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      10-23-2019, 11:24 PM   #1
TacoChris
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Help needed finding a tool to Safely clamp Strut Piston Rod on KW CS

Having a tough go of sourcing the proper tool to safely hold the piston rod on one of my rear KW Clubsport 3 way shocks in order to remove rebound adjuster so as to replace a cracked dust cover. Tried a pair of vice grips with two pieces of curved plastic between the vice grips and the piston rod, but I was unable to get the vice grips tight enough to avoid spinning the thread while attempting to unthread the rebound adjuster.
Here a couple of pics for reference.
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      10-23-2019, 11:25 PM   #2
TacoChris
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And before someone asks, I already asked a rep at KW, and they do not sell or have any recommendations for this tool.
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      10-24-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
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Hoping someone needed the same solution as me at some point in the past.
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      10-24-2019, 02:46 PM   #4
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How much space do you need to loosen the adjuster?
You may try installing two nuts back to back onto the top threaded portion of the piston and torque them together to hold the piston while you loosen the rebound adjuster? Think of similar method to installing wheel studs. A better photo of what you're trying to do might help as I'm not familiar with how the CS shock adjusters look.
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      10-24-2019, 05:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightarmor View Post
How much space do you need to loosen the adjuster?
You may try installing two nuts back to back onto the top threaded portion of the piston and torque them together to hold the piston while you loosen the rebound adjuster? Think of similar method to installing wheel studs. A better photo of what you're trying to do might help as I'm not familiar with how the CS shock adjusters look.
That is good thinking, but I believe with the CS the rebound adjuster has the threaded portion attached to it, and the entire thing threads to the rod.
Iím a big time diyíer, but every now and again I consider coming out of pocket to head to a shop and bite the bullet.
If I end up having to find time out of my schedule to source parts at the hardware store in hopes of getting it done safely/correctly it ends up making more sense to source it out $$$.
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      10-27-2019, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoChris View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by knightarmor View Post
How much space do you need to loosen the adjuster?
You may try installing two nuts back to back onto the top threaded portion of the piston and torque them together to hold the piston while you loosen the rebound adjuster? Think of similar method to installing wheel studs. A better photo of what you're trying to do might help as I'm not familiar with how the CS shock adjusters look.
That is good thinking, but I believe with the CS the rebound adjuster has the threaded portion attached to it, and the entire thing threads to the rod.
I'm a big time diy'er, but every now and again I consider coming out of pocket to head to a shop and bite the bullet.
If I end up having to find time out of my schedule to source parts at the hardware store in hopes of getting it done safely/correctly it ends up making more sense to source it out $$$.
Not many shops will have a way to clamp onto a shock absorber piston rod without damaging it. I wouldn't assume that your local shop can do it . . . Even if they say they can, it's about a 50/50 chance they screw it up.

We have some brass jaws for our bench vises that can do it in a pinch, but even then it's a last resort. It'll depend on the material the jaws are made of and how hard KW's chrome plating is.

A bench vise can apply more pressure than handheld pliers can, so soft materials will be more successful there.

Or try something from here maybe:


https://www.mcmaster.com/soft-jaw-pliers

YMMV, at your own risk, etc.
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      10-27-2019, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer20 View Post
Not many shops will have a way to clamp onto a shock absorber piston rod without damaging it. I wouldn't assume that your local shop can do it . . . Even if they say they can, it's about a 50/50 chance they screw it up.

We have some brass jaws for our bench vises that can do it in a pinch, but even then it's a last resort. It'll depend on the material the jaws are made of and how hard KW's chrome plating is.

A bench vise can apply more pressure than handheld pliers can, so soft materials will be more successful there.

Or try something from here maybe:


https://www.mcmaster.com/soft-jaw-pliers

YMMV, at your own risk, etc.
If I were to have another try at something it would definitely be the bench vice. Thanks for chiming in!!
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      10-28-2019, 04:23 AM   #8
robbo mcs
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To me that special tool looks like on of these, except just with a longer arm. These are designed to stop the piston retracting, but the longer arm would allow you to hold it so it would not rotate

https://www.albadiagnostics.com/prod...r_piston_clamp

https://www.lasertools.co.uk/product/5791

With one of these you would just need a longer flat handle, drill two holes in the same position, and then attach to the clamping device with a longer set of bolts. Clamp it down and it should work, I think. Or just attach this clamp, then use the vice grips on the clamp

Or you could just get a shop to fab one up. The diameter of the hole needs to be just bigger than the piston and lined with rubber etc
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      10-28-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
To me that special tool looks like on of these, except just with a longer arm. These are designed to stop the piston retracting, but the longer arm would allow you to hold it so it would not rotate

https://www.albadiagnostics.com/prod...r_piston_clamp

https://www.lasertools.co.uk/product/5791

With one of these you would just need a longer flat handle, drill two holes in the same position, and then attach to the clamping device with a longer set of bolts. Clamp it down and it should work, I think. Or just attach this clamp, then use the vice grips on the clamp

Or you could just get a shop to fab one up. The diameter of the hole needs to be just bigger than the piston and lined with rubber etc
I definitely saw this tool on Amazon, and was just a little concerned because the shock piston is pretty thick. Guess I should measure the OD in mmís and see if this tool can accommodate it.
Thanks for jumping on here and offering this solution
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      10-28-2019, 05:08 PM   #10
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Just ordered these non-marring clamps for my bench vise. It is my hope that my light/medium duty vise will provide enough clamping power to keep the piston from spinning when removing the rebound adjuster.
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      10-29-2019, 03:17 PM   #11
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hose clamp(s), then hold onto the screw part of the hose clamp with a benchvise, vice grip, or some sort of contraption?
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      10-31-2019, 10:41 PM   #12
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After looking into what suspension rebuilders do I have decided that its cheaper for me to ship my shock to KW, and pay them to do this job. The tool needed is a solid aluminum clamp to go in a bench vise, and is the proper size for the particular damper you are using it on, in my case 22mm based on my measurement I got with a digital caliper. The only company I found selling what I need, wants $70 + shipping. Beyond that there is threadlocker on the rebound adjuster which needs to be heated up with a torch prior to attempting to remove.
Iím usually up for purchasing obscure tools in the hope that one day they will be used again, but I do not see myself wanting to rebuild shocks, so not this time.
The cost to pay KW will be close in cost to purchasing the clamp tool, but in this case I donít mind.
Thanks to anyone who chimed in.
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      11-01-2019, 11:01 AM   #13
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Acetone or gasoline will eat away the threadlocker. (gasoline works better) however in this case you probably don't want to dunk this particular part into a bin of fuel 😁

I have the bench vise clamps (came with my vise when I bought it years ago) that you show. They suck and are really more for lighter duty type applications.
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      11-01-2019, 03:43 PM   #14
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Cut some strips from an old tire (preferably not a dry rotted one) and glue them to each of the bench vise pads. If that doesn't hold it, nothing will.
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      11-02-2019, 03:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev608 View Post
Cut some strips from an old tire (preferably not a dry rotted one) and glue them to each of the bench vise pads. If that doesn't hold it, nothing will.
Rubber I am sure would help, but at this point I am willing to contribute zero more time besides dropping this thing at FedEx Monday morning to have KW do the job.
Thanks for chiming in!
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      11-02-2019, 04:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoChris View Post
Rubber I am sure would help, but at this point I am willing to contribute zero more time besides dropping this thing at FedEx Monday morning to have KW do the job.
Thanks for chiming in!
I actually think this is a wise decision. The costs for shock rebuilds is actually quite reasonable. They have a huge amount of expertise in this, and it is not something a DIY person is likely to need to do often. They have access to the right tools and equpment, which can be quite specialised, but crucial, such as a shock dyno

Enjoyed this discussion though. I rally cars, and often have to service things and make do in the middle of nowhere, so always interested in hearing about DIY skills and hacks, coz you never know when you might need them
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      11-05-2019, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoChris View Post
After looking into what suspension rebuilders do I have decided that its cheaper for me to ship my shock to KW, and pay them to do this job. The tool needed is a solid aluminum clamp to go in a bench vise, and is the proper size for the particular damper you are using it on, in my case 22mm based on my measurement I got with a digital caliper. The only company I found selling what I need, wants $70 + shipping. Beyond that there is threadlocker on the rebound adjuster which needs to be heated up with a torch prior to attempting to remove.
Iím usually up for purchasing obscure tools in the hope that one day they will be used again, but I do not see myself wanting to rebuild shocks, so not this time.
The cost to pay KW will be close in cost to purchasing the clamp tool, but in this case I donít mind.
Thanks to anyone who chimed in.
IF you don't mind sharing, what are the costs associated with rebuilding the CS shocks? I have CS 3ways and may want to rebuild them in the future.
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      11-05-2019, 01:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesGames View Post
IF you don't mind sharing, what are the costs associated with rebuilding the CS shocks? I have CS 3ways and may want to rebuild them in the future.
I am not doing full rebuild, so the price I am paying will not be the same. I highly recommend you contact Agustin Gomez at KW. He is very helpful, and responds to emails very quickly.
Agustin.Gomez@kwautomotive.com
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