Chrysler Neon 1995-1999 Repair Guide

MacPherson Struts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten the retainer(s), then remove the hydraulic flex hose bracket from the strut bracket. If equipped with ABS, the wheel speed sensor cable routing clip is also attached to the strut assembly bracket.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Unfasten the brake hose bracket mounting bolt

  1. Support the rear knuckle, suspension and brake components before removing the clevis bracket-to-knuckle attaching bolts. Do NOT allow the weight of the knuckle and related components hang without support when the strut is removed.
  2.  


WARNING
The knuckle-to-strut attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal. Remove the nuts while holding the bolts stationary in the knuckle.

  1. Hold the bolt with a wrench, then unfasten the 2 clevis bracket nuts attaching the strut to the knuckle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Location of the knuckle-to-clevis bracket bolts



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Fig. Fig. 3: While holding the bolt stationary, loosen the lower strut mounting nuts

  1. Carefully lower the vehicle, then open the trunk. Access to the rear upper strut mount-to-strut tower attaching bolts is through the trunk of the car.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, remove the carpet from the top of the strut tower. Then, remove the rubber dust shield from the top of the strut tower for easier access to the upper strut nuts.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: From inside the trunk you can remove the center cap from the strut assembly

  1. Loosen, but do not remove the 4 upper strut mounting nuts. Then, while supporting the strut assembly, fully remove the 4 strut mount attaching nuts.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a ratchet to unfasten the upper strut mounting nuts

  1. Remove the strut assembly from the knuckle by sliding the knuckle out of the clevis bracket on the strut, then remove it from the vehicle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: Carefully pull the strut assembly out of the vehicle

To install:
  1. Position the strut back into the vehicle with the 4 studs on the strut mount assembly through holes in the strut tower of the vehicle. Install the 4 strut mount-to-body attaching nuts onto the mount studs. Tighten the nuts to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the dust shield into the opening on top of the strut tower. Install the carpeting back on top of the rear strut tower.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Install the knuckle into the clevis bracket on the strut assembly. Install the 2 clevis bracket-to-knuckle attaching bolts and nuts. Hold the bolts with a wrench while tightening the nuts to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the brake hose bracket to the strut bracket and secure with the retaining bolts. If equipped with ABS, the wheel speed sensor cable routing clip is also attached to the strut bracket.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel and tire assembly on the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts evenly, in sequence, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Have the toe checked and adjusted as necessary.
  16.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 7 through 16

  1. Remove the strut requiring overhaul from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Position the strut in a vise. Using paint or a marker, matchmark the strut unit, lower spring isolator, spring and upper strut mount for installation purposes.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Mount the strut in a suitable vise

  1. Place suitable spring compressor tools (Special tool C-4838) on the strut spring. Compress the coil spring until all load is removed from the upper strut mount.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Carefully compress the coil spring until all tension is relieved from the upper strut mount



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Fig. Fig. 9: Use a ratchet to tighten the nut on the spring compressor

  1. Install a suitable strut nut socket to or an open ended wrench on the strut shaft retaining nut. Then, install a 10mm socket on the hex end of the strut damper shaft. While holding the strut shaft from turning, remove the strut shaft retaining nut.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Use an adjustable wrench to hold the strut shaft in place and loosen the nut



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the strut shaft nut and washer

  1. Remove the washer between the strut shaft nut and the upper strut mount and isolator.
  2.  
  3. Remove the upper strut mount assembly from the strut shaft and spring.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the upper strut mount and washer

  1. Remove the washer from the strut shaft that is between the strut upper mount assembly and dust shield.
  2.  
  3. Remove the coil spring and spring compressor as an assembly from the strut.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 13: Remove the spring and compressor as an assembly



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Fig. Fig. 14: Carefully lift the spring and compressor from the strut

  1. Remove the dust shield from the strut assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the jounce bumper from the strut shaft.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 15: Remove the dust shield and the jounce bumper from the strut shaft

  1. Remove the coil spring lower isolator from the strut assembly spring seat.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 16: Remove the coil spring lower isolator

  1. Inspect all of the disassembled components for damage, abnormal wear or failure. Check the strut unit for excessive oil leakage and/or loss of oil charge, as follows:
  2.  

  1. Push the strut shaft into the body of the strut and release, the strut shaft should return to its original position.
  2.  
  3. If the shaft does not return to its original position, replace the strut unit.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the isolator on the lower spring seat of the strut.
  2.  
  3. Install the jounce bumper on the strut shaft.
  4.  
  5. Install the dust shield on the strut assembly.
  6.  
  7. Lower the coil spring onto the strut unit. Position the end of the coil spring against the edge of the spring isolator on the lower spring seat of the strut assembly.
  8.  
  9. Install the washer on the strut shaft with the raised edge of the washer facing upward.
  10.  
  11. Place the strut upper mount onto the strut shaft.
  12.  
  13. Install the washer on the strut upper mount, The washer must be installed with the raised edge of the washer facing down.
  14.  
  15. Instal the upper strut mount-to-strut shaft retaining nut.
  16.  
  17. Use a strut rod socket or an open ended wrench and a 10mm socket, to prevent the strut shaft from rotating, tighten the strut shaft nut to 45 ft. lbs. (60 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Equally loosen the spring compressors until the spring is seated on the upper strut mount and all tension is relieved from the spring compressors.
  20.  
  21. Install the strut in the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  22.  
  23. Have the toe checked and adjusted as necessary.
  24.  

 
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