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9.1 - Front Shock Absorber Replacement Bushings ( )

The bushings are a known weak point, particularly on the left side of the car where heat from the coolant header tank is thought to affect them.

Feel above shock at top of body. If the bushing is deformed, or there is space then you probably have a half or three quarter inch of travel before the shick absorber begins to work. There will probably also be a bump as it hits the body work. This tends to be more of a problem on the left hand side of the car, due to the proximity of the coolant header tank.

It is vital to be really careful when replacing the bushes or shock absorbers - the warning next to top shock absorber mount is not there for nothing! The shock absorber is only thing which holds the spring in place, so the risk is that if the lower suspension drops too far, then the spring can come out sideways with a lot of energy and cause serious injury.

To perform the task, first slightly loosen, but do not remove, the top locknut, using a vice grip or similar if necessary in the top of the wheelarch to stop the shock absorber rod turning. Put the car up on a stand and then raise the lower suspension arm using a jack near the balljoint and then use a second stand or similar to raise up the suspension a little and so prevent the spring escaping.

If replacing the shock absorber itself, undo the nut and bolt attaching the lower end of the unit to the lower control arm. This is not necessary if just the bushings are being replaced.

Now undo the top shock absorber mount and depress the shock absorber rod itself. The existing bushing can now be removed and replaced as, where appropriate, can the shock absorber itself.

Refit the new components and tighten the top mount and, if necessary, lower mounting bolt, before releasing the suspension.

If you are not changing the shocks, and have had to use a vice to hold the rod, ensure the rod does not have any damage or burrs on it, as these will damage the seals of the shock itself when in use.


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