Chrysler Cirrus/Stratus/Sebring/Avenger/Breeze 1995-1998

Struts

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Removal & installation

Cirrus, Stratus, Sebring Convertible and Breeze

See Figures 1 through 12

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), remove the wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket from the steering knuckle.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the upper ball joint stud cotter pin



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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosen the upper control arm ball joint stud castle nut



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Fig. Fig. 3: Using a ball joint separator tool, separate the upper control arm ball joint from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 4: After separating the upper control arm ball joint from the steering knuckle, position the knuckle rearward

  1. Remove the cotter pin and castle nut from the upper ball joint stud, then, using a puller tool, separate the upper control arm ball stud from the steering knuckle. Pull the steering knuckle out and position it rearward in the front wheel opening.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pinch bolt attaching the strut to the strut clevis.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Loosen, then remove the clevis bracket-to-strut pinch bolt



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen the clevis bracket-to-lower control arm through-bolt ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... then pull the through-bolt out



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Fig. Fig. 8: Using a hammer and a drift, separate the clevis bracket from the strut



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the clevis bracket from the vehicle

  1. Remove the through-bolt attaching the clevis to the lower control arm.
  2.  
  3. Tap the clevis with a brass drift to remove from the strut.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 4 bolts attaching the strut to the strut tower.
  6.  
  7. Remove the strut and upper control arm as an assembly.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the 4 strut mounting bracket-to-strut tower bolts



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Fig. Fig. 11: Carefully lower the strut assembly out of the vehicle

To install:
  1. Install the strut assembly into the strut tower.
  2.  
  3. Install the 4 upper strut mounting bolts.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the bolts to 68 ft. lbs. (90 Nm).
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: When installing the clevis bracket (damper fork) onto the strut assembly, be sure that the locating tab on the strut fits into the slot in the bracket

  1. Install the clevis onto the strut with a brass drift until the clevis is fully seated against the locating tab.
  2.  
  3. Install the clevis pin bolt.
  4.  
  5. Install the clevis onto the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install the clevis through-bolt.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the clevis-to-strut pin bolt to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the upper control arm ball joint into the steering knuckle. Install the ball stud castle nut and tighten to 45 ft. lbs. (62 Nm). Install a new cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. If equipped with ABS, install the wheel speed sensor cable routing bracket to the steering knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle onto a jackstand supporting the lower control arm.
  16.  
  17. Tighten the clevis-to-lower control arm mounting bolt to 68 ft. lbs. (90 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Install the wheel and tire assembly.
  20.  
  21. Remove the jackstand and lower the vehicle.
  22.  
  23. Connect the negative battery cable.
  24.  

Sebring Coupe and Avenger

See Figure 13

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the appropriate wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the sway bar link from the damper fork.
  8.  
  9. Remove the damper fork lower through-bolt and upper pinch bolt. Remove the damper fork assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the strut upper nuts and remove the strut assembly from the vehicle. Do NOT remove the large center nut.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Strut (shock absorber assembly) mounting

To install:
  1. Position the strut to the vehicle and tighten the upper mounting nuts to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Align the strut to the damper fork and install the damper fork. Tighten the lower through-bolt/nut to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm) and the upper pinch bolt to 76 ft. lbs. (103 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the sway bar link to the damper fork and tighten the link nut to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and tire assembly.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Have the front end aligned by a trained technician at a properly equipped facility.
  14.  

Overhaul

See Figures 14 through 20

Do not clamp the strut in a bench vise by the body of the strut. Instead, the clevis bracket (or damper fork) must be installed on the strut and then clamped in the vise using the bracket.

  1. Install the clevis bracket (damper fork) onto the strut body, then secure in a bench vise at the bracket.
  2.  

Due to the fact that the front strut upper mounting bracket also includes the upper control arm for the Cirrus, Stratus, Sebring convertible and Breeze models, it is important to use Spring Compressor Tool 7521-A, or an equivalent tool, equipped with special top and bottom attachment shoes.

  1. Install a coil spring compressor tool so that it captures the full top and bottom coils of the spring. Tighten the compressor and slowly compress the spring. Make certain the compressor is properly engaged before tightening.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 14: Mount the strut assembly in a vise with the clevis bracket (damper fork) installed on the bottom of the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 15: After securing the strut assembly in a vise, install a spring compressor tool onto the coil spring and begin to slowly compress the coil



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Fig. Fig. 16: After tension has been removed from the strut assembly and mounting plate, loosen the piston rod nut and washer ...



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Fig. Fig. 17: ... then remove the piston rod nut and washer from the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 18: Remove the strut mounting bracket from the top of the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 19: Lift the compressed spring off of the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 20: Remove any bushings, washers, shields or other components below the mounting bracket. Note each component's location for proper reassembly

  1. After tension has been removed from the strut assembly and strut plate, remove the piston rod nut and washer from the top of the strut assembly.
  2.  
  3. If the spring is to be replaced, slowly release the tension on the spring compressor. Allow the spring to expand fully. If only the strut cartridge is being replaced, the spring may remain in the compressor assembly.
  4.  
  5. By hand, remove any bushings, washers, shields or other components below the mounting bracket/bearing plate. Take notice of each component's location for proper reassembly. Examine the condition of these components, and replace any if necessary.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the lower insulator, strut bumper and uncompressed spring. Install the upper spring insulator, strut shield, mount and washer.
  2.  
  3. Install or align the spring compressor. Make certain the spring is correctly positioned relative to the upper and lower insulator rings. Smoothly compress the spring.
  4.  
  5. Install the washer and piston rod nut. Tighten the nut to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) on Sebring coupe/Avenger and 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) on Cirrus/Stratus/Sebring convertible/Breeze. Install the dust cap.
  6.  
  7. Carefully release the spring compressor, watching the spring position as it seats. When the spring is properly seated, release/remove the compressor tools.
  8.  
  9. Reinstall the strut assembly.
  10.  

 
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