MACPHERSON STRUT REMOVAL
With the strut removed, check the suspension tower carefully for corrosion. Treat any with a rust converter, followed by underseal. This one is in excellent condition but anti-rust wax was applied as a preventative measure. Check over the removed strut carefully. Not only should you look for evidence of a broken spring but also familiarise yourself with how the ends of the spring coils locate into the top mount and lower spring pan. Never underestimate the power behind a compressed spring; use decent quality tools. This gated spring compressor (Sealey R229) is a professionalquality tool that has an RRP of £395.94 but regular special offers can see that price almost halved. The advantage with quality spring compressors is that their plastic inserts not only prevent the spring from slipping but they also reduce the risk of the protective paint being chipped-off. A further benefit to large gated spring compressors is that only one set of compressors needs to be tightened, while the less expensive type (pictured inset) requires a pair to be tightened evenly. Using a ring spanner and an Allen key (where appropriate), unscrew the top mount nut. Sometimes, the nut is rusted in place, causing the Allen Key insert’s edges to round-off. Should this occur, follow the advice from Step 8 but do not reuse the damper. With the damper removed, doublecheck that all fixings are the same on your replacement part. Doing this before dismantling the strut means that you can put your car back together temporarily, should you need to make a further parts order. As you dismantle the strut, pay special attention to the order in which all the parts are dismantled – taking pictures can be helpful. Remove the nut and any washers beneath it, prior to lifting off the original top mount.
Unscrew the securing nuts/bolts from the top mounting (pictured in Step 42), while supporting the strut’s weight as you do so. Once they are removed, manipulate the strut from the car, taking care not to chip the paintwork.
When the spring is compressed sufficiently, you will notice that the coil ends will be loose against the top mount and bottom plate. Do not over-compress the springs so that a pair of coils touch each other.