Car Mechanics (UK) - - Springs & Dampers -

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.

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