All about Ford Mondeo

General information
Suspension and steering systems / General information


The independent front suspension is of MacPherson strut type, incorporating coil springs, integral telescopic shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar. The struts are attached to steering knuckles at their lower ends, and the knuckles are in turn attached to the lower suspension arm by balljoints. The anti-roll bar is bolted to the rear of the subframe, and is connected to the front suspension struts by links (see illustration).

1.1 Front suspension components
1.1 Front suspension components

1 MacPherson strut
2 Steering knuckle
3 Lower arm
4 Vertical silent bush on lower arm 5 Anti-roll bar
6 Front subframe
7 Front subframe rubber bush 8 Rear subframe rubber bush

On Saloon/Hatchback models, the independent rear suspension is of Quadralink type, having four mounting points on each side of the vehicle. The two lower arms are attached to the rear suspension knuckle at their outer ends, and to the rear crossmember at their inner ends. A tie-bar, located between the bottom of the knuckle and the floor, counteracts braking and acceleration forces on each side (see illustration).

1.2 Rear suspension components on Saloon/Hatchback models
1.2 Rear suspension components on Saloon/Hatchback models

On Estate models, the independent rear suspension is of SLA (Short and Long Arm) type. This allows a larger load area, since there are no suspension points projecting into the luggage area. There are three side arms on each side: one forged upper arm, and two pressed-steel lower side arms. A tie-bar on each side supports the rear suspension knuckles. The coil springs are separate from the shock absorbers (see illustration).

1.3 Rear suspension components onEstate models
1.3 Rear suspension components onEstate models

A rear anti-roll bar is fitted to all models. On SI models, the front and rear shock absorbers are gas-filled; on other models, they are filled with fluid. Self-levelling rear shock absorbers are fitted as standard to Ghia Estate models.

A variable-ratio type rack-and-pinion steering gear is fitted, together with a conventional column and telescopic coupling, incorporating two universal joints. Powerassisted steering is fitted to all models. A power steering system fluid cooler is fitted, in front of the cooling system radiator on the crossmember (see illustration). On models with adaptive damping, a steering position sensor with sensor disc is located above the upper universal joint.

1.5 The power steering system fluid cooler is located in front of the
1.5 The power steering system fluid cooler is located in front of the radiator

On models with adaptive damping, it is possible to select a hard or soft setting for the front and rear shock absorbers. The system is computer-controlled; a switch is provided near the handbrake lever for selection of Sport or Normal mode. With this system, a solenoid valve is fitted to each suspension strut. When the valve is open, the hydraulic oil inside the shock absorber is routed through a bypass channel, making the action softer.

When the solenoid valve is closed, the shock absorber action becomes harder. The system takes into consideration the roadspeed of the vehicle; at high speeds, the shock absorbers are automatically set to hard. The adaptive damping computer module is located in the luggage compartment, behind the rear seat, and incorporates a self-test function. Adaptive damping is not available on Estate models (see illustrations).

1.6A Adaptive damping switch located near the handbrake lever
1.6A Adaptive damping switch located near the handbrake lever

1.6B Adaptive damping computer module located in the luggage compartment
1.6B Adaptive damping computer module located in the luggage compartment

When working on the suspension or steering, you may come across nuts or bolts which seem impossible to loosen. These nuts and bolts on the underside of the vehicle are continually subjected to water, road grime, mud, etc, and can become rusted or seized, making them extremely difficult to remove. In order to unscrew these stubborn nuts and bolts without damaging them (or other components), use lots of penetrating oil, and allow it to soak in for a while. Using a wire brush to clean exposed threads will also ease removal of the nut or bolt, and will help to prevent damage to the threads. Sometimes, a sharp blow with a hammer and punch will break the bond between a nut and bolt, but care must be taken to prevent the punch from slipping off and ruining the threads. Heating the nut or bolt and surrounding area with a blow lamp sometimes helps too, but this is not recommended, because of the obvious dangers associated with fire. Extension bars or pipes will increase leverage, but never use one on a ratchet, as the internal mechanism could be damaged. Actually tightening the nut or bolt first may help to break it loose. Nuts or bolts which have required drastic measures to remove them should always be renewed.

Since most of the procedures dealt with in this Chapter involve jacking up the vehicle and working underneath it, a good pair of axle stands will be needed. A hydraulic trolley jack is the preferred type of jack to lift the vehicle, and it can also be used to support certain components during removal and refitting operations.

Warning: Never, under any circumstances, rely on a jack to support the vehicle while working beneath it. When jacking up the vehicle, do not lift or support it beneath the front or rear subframes.


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