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Front suspension strut - overhaul
Suspension and steering systems / Front suspension strut - overhaul

Warning: Before attempting to dismantle the front suspension strut, a tool to hold the coil spring in compression must be obtained.

Do not attempt to use makeshift methods.

Uncontrolled release of the spring could cause damage and personal injury. Use a high-quality spring compressor, and carefully follow the tool manufacturer’s instructions provided with it. After removing the coil spring with the compressor still fitted, place it in a safe, isolated area.

1 If the front suspension struts exhibit signs of wear (leaking fluid, loss of damping capability, sagging or cracked coil springs) then they should be dismantled and overhauled as necessary. The struts themselves cannot be serviced, and should be renewed if faulty, but the springs and related components can be renewed. To maintain balanced characteristics on both sides of the vehicle, the components on both sides should be renewed at the same time.

2 With the strut removed from the vehicle, clean away all external dirt, then mount it in a vice.

3 Fit the coil spring compressor tools (ensuring that they are fully engaged), and compress the spring until all tension is relieved from the upper mounting (see illustration).

5.3 Coil spring compressor tools fitted to the coil spring
5.3 Coil spring compressor tools fitted to the coil spring

4 Hold the strut piston with an Allen key, and unscrew the thrust bearing retaining nut with a ring spanner (see illustration).

5.4 Unscrewing the nut from the top of the strut
5.4 Unscrewing the nut from the top of the strut

5 Withdraw the top mounting, thrust bearing, upper spring seat and spring, followed by the gaiter and the bump stop (see illustrations).

5.5A Front suspension strut components
5.5A Front suspension strut components

1 Cap
2 Nut
3 Retainer
4 Nut
5 Top mounting
6 Thrust bearing
7 Upper spring seat
8 Spring
9 Bump stop
10 Gaiter
11 Lower spring seat
12 Strut
13 Steering knuckle
14 Clamp bolt
15 Solenoid valve for modelswith adaptive damping

5.5B Removing the top mounting from the strut
5.5B Removing the top mounting from the strut

5.5C Removing the gaiter
5.5C Removing the gaiter

5.5D Removing the bump stop
5.5D Removing the bump stop

6 If a new spring is to be fitted, the original spring must now be carefully released from the compressor. If it is to be re-used, the spring can be left in compression.

7 With the strut assembly now completely dismantled, examine all the components for wear and damage, and check the bearing for smoothness of operation. Renew components as necessary.

8 Examine the strut for signs of fluid leakage.

Check the strut piston for signs of pitting along its entire length, and check the strut body for signs of damage. Test the operation of the strut, while holding it in an upright position, by moving the piston through a full stroke, and then through short strokes of 50 to 100 mm. In both cases, the resistance felt should be smooth and continuous. If the resistance is jerky, uneven, or if there is any visible sign of wear or damage to the strut, renewal is necessary.

9 Reassembly is a reversal of dismantling, noting the following points: (a) Make sure that the coil spring ends are correctly located in the upper and lower seats before releasing the compressor.

(b) Check that the bearing is correctly fitted to the piston rod seat.

(c) Tighten the thrust bearing retaining nut to the specified torque.

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