Lowering Front Suspension

If your car has ECS please first refer to the section on ECS suspension.

What you will need
A Good set of Jack stands.
A good Jack
Usual hand tools including 12mm, 2 x 17mm and 14mm spanners.
A good set of spring compressors.  If you can not get a good set of spring compressors you may wish to take your car to somewhere like Pedders or just remove the struts and take them in for the spring replacement.  Magna springs are under amazing tension so be damn careful.

What to do:

Removing the struts.

  1. Before you lift the car, grab a socket and "crack" the top nuts for the struts located under the rubber caps.  Do not undo these more than say 1 turn.  This will help later when it is time to remove these nuts.

  2. Jack front of car and support with stands.  Make sure as always that you have the handbrake on and the car is on level ground and rear wheels are chocked.

  3. Remove front wheels.

  4. Using 12mm remove the bold holding the brake pipe bracket to the strut.  For ABS models there may also be a wire to remove for the Wheel Speed Sensor.

  5. Using 2 17mm spanners (or socket) remove the 2 bolts holding the lower part of the strut.

  6. Using a 14mm spanner remove the 3 retaining bolts in the engine bay, be careful not to drop the strut when the last one is undone.

Springs and Shocks.

Now you have both struts out, if you are only replacing the springs you will need to keep your existing shocks and the top retaining plate and bearing plate.

If you are replacing both shock and spring you only need keep the top retaining plate and the bearing plate.

Either way inspect the bearing plate for excessive wear in the bearing.  If it looks dry or is rusty replace the bearing plate all together.  Although these are expensive the result of a failed plate can be the shaft of the strut going through your bonnet and if this happens you defiantly do not want to be moving at the time.  Take this opportunity to relubricate the bearings.  Do not wash these in solvent as you will damage the rubber.

Spring / shock replacement

Now comes the hard and possibly dangerous part.  AGAIN IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TAKE IT TO SOMEONE WHO IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Secure the strut in a vice, do not use too much pressure or you will damage the tube.  Use some timber to insulate the tube from the vice Jaws.  Under no circumstance should you attempt to grip the shaft with a vice or vice grips as even the smallest mark will destroy the shock.

Get your spring compressors, attach them evenly around the struts.  If you have 2 sets all the better.  DO NOT USE A RATTLE GUN as it will cause the compressors to slip and WILL cause serious injury.  Slowly and evenly do up the compressors until the spring seal has lifted from the strut.  Now once you are sure the spring is loose undo the nut that you "cracked" before in the strut top.  Once the spring is off the strut immediately remove the compressors evenly to help avoid the spring being dropped and the compressors flying off.

Whether you are using new shocks or the old ones reassembly is the exact reverse of disassembly paying particular note to the position of the top spring plate.  Again once the car is on the ground check the top shaft nut is tight.

Once all done ALWAYS get a wheel alignment as the geometry of your front end will have changed due to lowering and the face that everything has been moved.

Madmagna : Thursday, 21. August 2003 16:15:54