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Front Shock Replacement on MK1.5


Msc1
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Hey, so my MK1.5 received an advisory on last month's MOT for a ineffective front shock absorber. I'm hoping to change this over the Xmas period, but looking for advice hopefully! 

I've done the rears and the spring and struts are separate. The front are coil overs and to buy a replacement set (strut with spring already attached) are very expensive compared to buying the struts and springs sesperate. 

2 questions really - 

 

1. Is assembling them difficult, and does anyone have any guidance? I'm pretty handy with a spring compressor but my Haynes only instructs to replace the whole assembly with an already assembled unit. 

2. I have a spring left from one of the rears, are the springs on the front the same as the rear? Hoping to use that one for time being 

 

Thanks in advance for any help! 

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The springs are different between front and rear.

If you already know how to use spring compressors, that's the hardest (and most dangerous!) part tbh.  Once you've removed the strut assembly and compressed the spring, there's just a single nut that holds the top mount on.  You'll need a swanneck spanner (21mm iirc) and a hex key to counterhold the shock.  The top mount & bearing is worth replacing at the same time to save doing the whole job twice.

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strange to get an advisory on that as testing the shocks is no longer part of the MOT, that part was removed a few years ago.

Sounds mad I know as ineffective shocks can easily cause loss of control.

They have to visually be checked for leakage but if no sign of leakage it cant fail even if all four have no damping effect.  I am guessing that part of the test was removed as it can be difficult to test as many cars don't have a good point on which to push down on (it was easier on something like all four corners of a cortina saloon with big wings and metal bumpers)

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Thanks guys, really helpful. Good shout on changing the mount too, I will. 

MOT station was a bit pedantic to be honest, flagged up the clipping of the brake pipes (which have been fine at last 2 Mot's elsewhere) and failed on a broken rear spring. Much have been hairline fracture as that bloomin spring fought to the death coming out! So yea, but I've had a terrible wobble going over bumps that I'm hoping this dodgy shock is behind, as I have essentially rebuilt the rear suspension where I thought the wobble was coming from. 

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19 hours ago, isetta said:

strange to get an advisory on that as testing the shocks is no longer part of the MOT, that part was removed a few years ago.

Advisories can still be manually entered under the new system, it doesn't have to be checked as part of the MOT. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just out of interest, on my old Mondeo I had 2 broken front springs at different times.

On the first occasion Mrs ScaniaPBman arrived home saying there had been a loud bang from the front and she had completed the last 20 miles driving a bit slower.

Sure enough a quick look under the front wing revealed the broken spring end sticking out and only inches from the tyre tread. It was only good luck that the spring had not penetrated the tyre which would have caused an immediate loss of pressure.

The second failure also resulted in a well displaced spring but not so close to the tyre this time.

The moral of the story?

If you suspect the spring has failed get out and look straight away.

ScaniaPBman.

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14 hours ago, Msc1 said:

Damn! Did you change this yourself? Assembly arrived from Germany this week so will tackle this soon! Going to be doing Rear Upper Control too

Not done any of the rear suspension on mine yet but I will be in the very near future due to advisories on last MOT and yes this was my very 1st time replacing front coils which tbh was very straight forward but a real pain to remove from the hubs so plenty of wd40 and plus gas used .

14 minutes ago, ScaniaPBman said:

Just out of interest, on my old Mondeo I had 2 broken front springs at different times.

On the first occasion Mrs ScaniaPBman arrived home saying there had been a loud bang from the front and she had completed the last 20 miles driving a bit slower.

Sure enough a quick look under the front wing revealed the broken spring end sticking out and only inches from the tyre tread. It was only good luck that the spring had not penetrated the tyre which would have caused an immediate loss of pressure.

The second failure also resulted in a well displaced spring but not so close to the tyre this time.

The moral of the story?

If you suspect the spring has failed get out and look straight away.

ScaniaPBman.

Quite right mate although I would be inclined to suggest that if the front of your car appears to have dropped even just a few millimeters then get it checked as it could be an early indication of fracturing in the coil and yes I have known people who have had a coil snap and go into the tyre which isn't funny as it can lock the wheel up .

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  • 2 months later...

Hey. So finally got round to this, and was a horrible job due to seized bolts like nearly every blasted bolt on this car. As suspected, the shock was lamped, zero resistance left in it.

Reassembled everything, but I'm not 100% thrilled with how the shock is seated, as looks like its not in all the way? The strut has a 'hook' on the back the slots into back of the knuckle, but when the strut is pushed all the way down, the hook moves away from the pinch bolt hole, so only way to get the hook to line up with the pinch bolt is push the strut back up again, so all the grooved bottom of the strut isn't in the knuckle. Maybe this is fine as when the bolt is in, the strut can't escape, so the bolt/hook connection is doing its job. 

Anyone encountered this? Struts are aftermarket so maybe it's fine and that grooved bit that slots into the knuckle is bigger than OEM? Taken it for a spin and it rides fine and has finally cured by wobbling Focus that had me baffled for months (thought could feel it pulling to the right tho, new strut is on the passenger side, but this might be in my head) so hoping for some reassurance! Pics below DSC_1351.thumb.JPG.298bad62ac1530331c1c07d1ace74b2d.JPG

DSC_1354.JPG

DSC_1347.JPG

DSC_1350.JPG

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Hmm, have you got a link to the strut you bought?  I reckon it's for a different car.  That's not seated far enough.  The impact from any bumps will be forced through the hook/pinch boot rather than evenly around the shock body.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know it's been a good while since you last posted and you basically stated that you wasn't sure if the strut was okay and since you haven't posted up with issues since and looking at how far into the hub the strut is as long as the pinch bolt is doing it's job it looks fine to me just as long as the bolt is fully tight and their was not any strut movement in the hub .

You have to remember that unless stated as original equipment on eBay then these struts are only pattern parts so are never an exact fit and require some fettling .

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Yea I've put about 500 miles on it since and honestly it feels fine. Have triple checked it, and everything still it situ. Had the alignment done 2 weeks ago as it was off, and no issues with that either, still straight. My only worry was the 'lip' was higher up meaning it doesn't look flush/seated, but yea hopefully thats no issue

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