Pulling the shock hats off production cars can be dicey. People have lost fingers doing it, but it’s not terrible on the factory shocks on Miatas. Before we can assemble and install the new Penske shocks on a new Spec Miata build, we have to take apart the old shocks so we can reuse the top hats. They’re under some tension, but it’s not enough to require the use of a spring compressor.
Start by clamping the shock in a vice. Then use an impact and an appropriate 14 mm impact socket to pull the keeper nut off. When that one is off, change sockets to a 17 mm impact and pull off the remaining nut. As you can see, whole thing jumps when it comes apart, but it’s manageable to do it by hand.
It’s definitely not an OSHA-approved method, but it gets the job done.