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Front suspension strut - removal and refitting
Suspension and steering systems / Front suspension strut - removal and refitting


Removal
1 Apply the handbrake, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it on axle stands.

Remove the appropriate front wheel.

2 Unbolt the brake hose support bracket from the front of the suspension strut (see illustration).

4.2 Removing the brake hose support bracket from the front of the front
4.2 Removing the brake hose support bracket from the front of the front suspension strut

3 Remove the brake caliper as described in Chapter 9, but do not disconnect the flexible hydraulic hose from the caliper. Suspend the caliper from a suitable point under the wheel arch, taking care not to strain the hose.

4 Extract the split pin from the track rod end balljoint nut. Unscrew the nut, and detach the rod from the arm on the steering knuckle using a conventional balljoint removal tool.

Take care not to damage the balljoint seal.

5 Remove the ABS sensor (when fitted) from the steering knuckle, as described in Chapter 9.

6 Remove the clip securing the driveshaft inner gaiter to the inner CV joint. Disconnect the gaiter from the CV joint housing.

7 Remove the nut and disconnect the anti-roll bar link from the strut. Note that, on models fitted with ABS, the ABS wheel sensor wiring support bracket is located beneath the nut (see illustration).

4.7 Removing the anti-roll bar link and ABS sensor wiring bracket
4.7 Removing the anti-roll bar link and ABS sensor wiring bracket

8 Note which way round the lower arm balljoint clamp bolt is fitted, then unscrew and remove it from the knuckle assembly. Lever the balljoint down from the knuckle; if it is tight, prise the clamp open carefully using a large flat-bladed tool. Take care not to damage the balljoint seal during the separation procedure.

9 Where applicable, disconnect the adaptive damping wiring multi-plug at the strut, and unclip the wire.

10 Support the strut and steering knuckle on an axle stand. Working inside the engine compartment, remove the strut cap (if fitted).

Unscrew and remove the front suspension strut upper mounting nut, holding the piston rod stationary with an 8 mm Allen key (see illustration).

4.10 Front suspension strut upper mounting nut
4.10 Front suspension strut upper mounting nut

11 Lower the suspension strut, together with the driveshaft and steering knuckle, from under the wheel arch, withdrawing the tripod on the inner end of the driveshaft from the CV joint housing.

12 Unscrew and remove the pinch-bolt securing the steering knuckle assembly to the front suspension strut, noting which way round it is fitted. Prise open the clamp using a wedge-shaped tool, and release the knuckle from the strut (see illustrations).

4.12A Steering knuckle-to-strut pinch-bolt
4.12A Steering knuckle-to-strut pinch-bolt

4.12B Releasing the knuckle from the strut
4.12B Releasing the knuckle from the strut

Refitting
13 With the clamp prised open, locate the front suspension strut on the steering knuckle, and refit the pinch-bolt with its head facing forwards. Tighten the bolt to the specified torque.

14 Locate the suspension strut (together with the driveshaft and steering knuckle) in its upper mounting, and loosely screw on the nut.

15 Locate the tripod on the inner end of the driveshaft in the CV joint housing, then manipulate the gaiter onto the housing, and fit a new clip.

16 Where applicable, reconnect the adaptive damping multi-plug, and fit the wire in the clip.

17 Locate the lower arm balljoint fully in the bottom of the steering knuckle. Refit the clamp bolt and tighten it to the specified torque.

18 Reconnect the anti-roll bar link to the strut, and tighten the nut to the specified torque. On models fitted with ABS, do not forget to locate the sensor wiring support bracket beneath the nut.

19 Where fitted, refit the ABS sensor as described in Chapter 9.

20 Refit the track rod end balljoint to the steering knuckle, and tighten the nut to the specified torque. Check that the split pin holes are aligned; if necessary, turn the nut to the nearest alignment, making sure that the torque wrench setting is still within the specified range. Insert a new split pin, and bend it back to secure.

21 Refit the brake caliper as described in Chapter 9.

22 Refit the brake hose support bracket to the strut, and tighten the bolt.

23 Refit the wheel, and lower the vehicle to the ground. Tighten the wheel nuts to the specified torque.

24 Tighten the suspension strut upper mounting nut to the specified torque, while holding the piston rod with an 8 mm Allen key.

If the adaptor needed to do this is not available, the nut can be tightened initially with a ring spanner while the piston rod is held. Final tightening can then be carried out using a torque wrench and a conventional socket (see illustration).

4.24 Final tightening of the front suspension strut upper mounting nut
4.24 Final tightening of the front suspension strut upper mounting nut


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