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Rear suspension crossmember (Saloon/Hatchback models) - removal and refitting
Suspension and steering systems / Rear suspension crossmember (Saloon/Hatchback models) - removal and refitting


Note: Before attempting to remove the rear suspension crossmember, tools to hold the coil springs in compression must be obtained.

Careful use of conventional coil spring compressors will prove satisfactory.

Removal
1 Chock the front wheels, then jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove both rear wheels.

2 Remove the complete exhaust system as described in Chapter 4.

3 Unscrew and remove the bolts securing the tie-bars to the rear suspension knuckles, and disconnect the tie-bars.

4 Unscrew the nuts securing the rear anti-roll bar links to the front lower arms. Hold the actual links stationary while the nuts are being unscrewed, to prevent damage to the joints.

Swivel the anti-roll bar upwards, and recover the rubber bushes.

5 Where applicable, remove the ABS wheel sensor from the rear suspension knuckle as described in Chapter 9.

6 Unscrew and remove the bolts, and disconnect both lower arms from the rear suspension knuckle.

7 To allow the rear suspension struts to be released from the rubber stops on the top of the crossmember, it is necessary to fit coil spring compressor tools to both of the rear coil springs, and compress them until all tension is removed from the upper and lower mountings.

Warning: It is important to only use high-quality spring
compressors, and to carefully follow the tool manufacturer’s instructions provided with them. With the compressor tools fitted, support the struts to one side.

8 Support the rear suspension crossmember on a trolley jack, then unscrew the four mounting bolts from the underbody (see illustration).

16.8 One of the rear suspension crossmember mounting bolts
16.8 One of the rear suspension crossmember mounting bolts

9 Lower the crossmember to the ground.

10 Unscrew the bolts securing the anti-roll bar clamps to the crossmember, then remove the clamps and withdraw the anti-roll bar.

11 Remove the lower arms from the crossmember as described in Section 14.

Refitting
12 Refitting is a reversal of the removal procedure. Ford specify the use of a special tool (tool number 15-097) to accurately align the crossmember onto the underbody before tightening the mounting bolts. This tool should be obtained if possible, since inaccurate alignment would result in bad handling and excessive tyre wear. The tie-bar and arm mounting bolts should be fingertightened initially, and only fully tightened after the vehicle is lowered to the ground, so that its weight is on the rear suspension. The rear toe setting should be checked, and if necessary adjusted, at the earliest opportunity.


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