Replace old front springs - Smart Car Forums
User Tag List

 2Likes
  • 2 Post By stuberman
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
My 2008 451 Passion is in its 12th year of all year driving on salted roads in the winter and humid summers. This winter the front end started making loud crunching sounds when turning sharply. I knew I would need to take apart the front end to figure out what was happening, but it also felt safe to drive for a few months until I had a vacation. I gave myself one week to tear apart the front end, figure out what needed to be replaced, order the needed parts and install them.

This is that story.


Last edited by stuberman; 07-14-2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Fix typos
stuberman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
I felt it was easiest, after years of removing smart body parts, to take off the whole front end (the front piece and two side fender panels) as a single unit. it was very easy. I also removed the 'hood' and the panel above the fresh air intake in order to access the top of each shock absorber. And the side rocker panels.

I found the that lower portion (the smallest diameter portion) each each spring was broken and was causing the crunching sound. The bottom of each spring was able to extend below the lower mount point on each shock.


Last edited by stuberman; 07-13-2019 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Added photo
stuberman is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
Additionally, the bellows that protect the shock absorber were split (4); the bearing (#7) was seized (it allows the shock and spring to turn easily); the 'spring insulators' were corroded or missing (6).



Parts 6 (two required an upper and a lower) & 7 were corroded or missing and needed to be replaced.

stuberman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
So I ordered the following parts with a cost around $175

Bellows with KYB strut boots SB108 from Rock Auto $11.08 each side
Upper strut (spring) mounts with bearing REIN AVQ0481 from Rock Auto $11.21 each side
Lower spring insulators 451-322-01-84 from mbpartsexpress.com $6.72 each side
(this just sits on shock plate and spring is prevented from turning by a notch in the insulator)
Upper spring insulators 451-320-00-26 from mbpartsexpress.com $5.74 each side
(the old ones were totally rusted)
New Lesjofors front coil springs from ebay $94.89 /pair from qeautoparts1




These did fit but they took a while to figure out that they look different from the originals and have to be muscled into position.


The small object is the bearing and it sits inside the larger rubber spring mount. The rubber mount was fine but I could only find them as a pair.


The springs are from Sweden and both have what seems like a cut or notch near the top coil. Concerned that this could rust and break prematurely, I sprayed the notch (the size of a pencil tip) with rubberized undercoating. I also sprayed the insulators for good measure since they were the most corroded.
stuberman is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
Taking the old parts out:

I bought a nice air impact wrench for $39 from Harbor Freight and some impact sockets, including extension bars and swivel heads and spring compressor, since I knew the top nuts on the shocks were very hard to remove with any other tool (some others have welded bits onto the shock to keep the piston from turning). I found my shocks were still working fine and I did not want to replace them if I did not have to. Replacement shocks start around $50 each from Rock Auto. Tools needed cost about $130 if I don't include the impulse purchases like a mechanics cart, nice creeper, and other stuff that kept calling my name.

The top nut(s) came off easily with a 1/2" air impact wrench and then I removed the lower ball joint, stabilizer link and steering outer tie rod end.

Seeing that the front brake rotors looked bad, I decided to replace them with an upgrade kit from Rock Auto - POWER STOP K5695 Z23 Evolution Sport Brake Upgrade Kit with coated and slotted rotors and ceramic pads to reduce dust.

stuberman is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
I painted the rotors and calipers using a Dupli-Color BCP101 ($9 from Amazon) caliper paint that almost matched my car (again since 2008 - see my original post here: DIY - painting brake calipers and drums )

And shoved it all back in place:

First put lower insulator on shock; then fit small end of coil spring onto shock; then push wide end of bellows onto shock (the small stop is a complete pain to push over the threaded part of the shock absorber); use a spring compressor to compress the spring; then put the upper insulator, the bearing and rubber spring mount over the threaded portion of the shock and finally the nut that holds it all together. I won't tell you how hard it is to get the spring compressor disentangled if you don't grab the spring in the right place. Too close to the end and it gets stuck in the coils, too far away you can't compress the spring enough to get the nut back on. But it wouldn't be a fun vacation if I didn't have a puzzle to figure out.

Then, assuming the shock and spring assembly is together, just lift the upper end into the cavity above the wheel well and guide the lower ball joint into the steering knuckle. Fit the upper stop (a rubber coated mount) and the upper nut and the nut on the ball joint.

The install and tighten the nuts for the outer tie rod and stabilizer link. Reconnect the ABS cable.
Then I mounted the pretty new rotor, the caliper support and caliper.







Then put the front end back on along with side rockers (I also replaced on that was torn up badly.)
Finally the torque the tire and it should be done.

jwight and twcom like this.

Last edited by stuberman; 07-14-2019 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Typos
stuberman is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to stuberman For This Useful Post:
jwight (07-14-2019), twcom (07-14-2019)
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 08:25 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 42
Thanks: 5
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
WOW, bet it is much better now!!
duckhunter9090 is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:54 AM
Bohemian Moderator 451gas
SCOA Club
 
jwight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Dayton, OH USA
Posts: 28,128
Thanks: 7,373
Thanked 5,811 Times in 3,523 Posts
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Garage
Thanks for the tutorial - it's a sticky now.
jwight is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:55 PM
 
twcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: New York NY
Posts: 474
Thanks: 33
Thanked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Garage
I Have already got my front end off for radiator issues.......... hmmmmmm if money was no object..... Cant wait to hear the after driving review.
twcom is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
 
stuberman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 247
Thanks: 19
Thanked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Garage
The car rides like a champ again. Turning is smoother and bumps seems to be less pronounced. Brakes were always good, but will be looking out for how dirty the front wheels get now, the OEM pads seem to create a mess within a week.
stuberman is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Smart Car Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Clubs, Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.