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How to replace cars' strut?

Jun. 21, 2019

Level required: amateur to confirmed according to the vehicle concerned 

Duration: from 1h to 4h, for a set of two shock absorbers

Expert advice

It is strongly recommended to replace the suspension stops when changing dampers. Indeed suspension stops, rubber, are subject to high pressures and movements. They wear out very quickly and need to be disassembled to change a damper. 

For some vehicles, there is a pre-installed shock absorber kit that is easier to use.



Tools needed:

A jack | Candles | Complete toolbox | Spring compressor if necessary A swivel extractor if necessary  



 

Removal of front suspension shock absorbers

Presentation of the combined shock absorber and spring for front axle. This case is the most common and requires a spring compressor.

Lift the car on a stand and dismount the wheels of the axle concerned.

Remove the wheel (s) concerned.

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Unlock the central nut at the top of the damper without removing it. This nut holds the spring and damper assembly.


Uncouple the stabilizer bar link from the triangle or damper depending on the version.

Uncouple the shock absorber from the rocket or suspension arm. There are several cases, here are the most common:

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• By two screws:


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• By a screw:


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• The cartridge 


damper snaps into the strut, which itself supports the rocket. The cartridge is held in the strut by the clamping ring. The suspension strut assembly and rocket is deposited in one block. The steering and suspension ball joints, as well as the brake caliper, therefore, be disconnected. 

Unhook the cables and hoses connected to the strut

Unscrew the damper dome stop while holding the suspension strut assembly from below to prevent it from dropping. There are several types of fixation:

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Compress the spring using the compressor to release the stop. The springs are subjected to very strong pressure, it is necessary to scrupulously respect this step in order to avoid any accident during the removal of the stop.

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In the case of a cartridge damper, unscrew the clamping ring to remove the cartridge from the strut.



Installation of front suspension shock absorbers

Insert the cartridge damper into the strut and tighten the clamping ring

Refit the bellows

Reinstall the old or new spring

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Reposition the suspension strut assembly to the dome:

 • In the case of a standard shock absorber:

i. Position the strut

ii. Attach the stopper to the damper dome and then to the rocket.

 • In the case of a cartridge damper

i. Position the strut

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ii. Attach the stopper to the damper dome and then to the suspension and steering knuckles.  

iii. Refit the brake caliper  

Couple the stabilizer bar link to the triangle or damper.

Some models require adjustment of the front axle geometry  

Removal of rear suspension shock absorbers

Shock absorber and combined spring:

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 • The only difference to disassembly with a nosewheel damper is at the lower attachment point (see above). It only requires unscrewing a screw or a nut to separate it from the rear axle.

Independent shock and spring:

• Lift the car on a stand and dismount the wheels of the axle concerned.

 • Remove the wheel (s) concerned.

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 Unlock the lower part of the shock absorber connected to the rear axle:

 

i. Raise the rear axle slightly with a jack to relieve the spring pressure on the damper lower screw or nut.

ii. Remove the screw or nut

 • Unlock the upper part of the damper

 • Remove the jack

 • Remove the upper screw or nut (e)

 • Remove the damper from its housing

 • Recover the protective bellows (dust cover)

Installation of rear suspension shock absorbers

Refit the bellows on the shock absorber

Reposition the damper in its housing

Screw in the upper screw or nut

Raise the rear axle slightly with a jack, guiding the spring.

Tighten the screw or the lower mounting nut of the shock absorber.


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