REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Cirrus, Stratus, Sebring Convertible and Breeze
See Figures 1 through 8
- Pull back the carpeting from the rear strut tower.
- Remove the plastic cover from the top of the strut tower.
- Remove the 2 nuts attaching the strut assembly to the body.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
- Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
- Remove the bolt attaching the strut to the rear knuckle.
- Push downward on the rear suspension and tilt the top of the strut outward.
- Remove the strut from the vehicle.
- Install the strut into the vehicle at the rear knuckle.
- Push downward on the rear suspension and insert the top of the strut into the vehicle.
- Install the strut-to-rear knuckle attaching bolt. Tighten the bolt to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle enough to gain access to the trunk.
- Install the strut upper mounting nuts and tighten to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
- Install the strut top cover.
- Install the rear wheel and tire assembly. Tighten the lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. (125 Nm).
- Lower the vehicle.
Sebring Coupe and Avenger
See Figure 9
The strut assembly is a load bearing component; therefore, the vehicle's chassis and axle weight must be supported separately, requiring the use of two separate lifting devices.
The rear package shelf front cover(s) must be removed to access the top mounting nuts. Most of the fasteners are plastic clips. Use care when removing these components to avoid unnecessary damage.
- Remove the rear shelf speaker covers.
- Remove the rear shelf top assembly.
- Remove the front cover(s) to access the strut top mounting nuts.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle chassis.
- Raise and support the lower control arm assembly slightly using a floor jack.
- Remove the strut's upper mounting nuts.
- Remove the strut's lower mounting bolt and remove the assembly from the vehicle.
- Position the strut assembly so that the lower mounting bolt can be installed and lightly tightened.
- Use a jack to raise or lower the lower control arm, so that the top strut plate studs align through the body. Raise the jack to hold the strut assembly in position.
- Install the top plate mounting nuts on the studs and tighten them to 32 ft. lbs. (44 Nm).
- Tighten the lower mounting bolt to 71 ft. lbs. (98 Nm).
- Install the interior trim pieces to complete strut installation.
See Figures 10 through 15
- Position the strut assembly firmly in a vise. With the strut mounted in a straight-up position, install a spring compressor tool. The tool must capture the first full top and bottom coil of the spring for it to work effectively. Tighten the compressor tool and compress the spring slowly. Make certain the compressor is properly engaged before tightening.
- 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.
- 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.
- By hand, remove any bushings, washers, shields or other components below the mounting bracket. Take notice of each component's location for proper reassembly. Examine the condition of these components, and replace any if necessary.
- Install the lower insulator, strut bumper and uncompressed spring. Install the upper spring insulator, strut shield, mount and washer.
- 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.
- Install the washer and piston rod nut. Tighten the nut to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm) on Sebring coupe/Avenger and 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm) on Cirrus/Stratus/Sebring convertible/Breeze.
- Check to make sure that all the components of the strut assembly are accounted for and are installed correctly in their proper order.
- Carefully release the spring compressor, watching the spring position as it seats. When the spring is properly seated, release/remove the compressor tools.
- Reinstall the strut assembly.