Continental 2000-2002

Strut (MacPherson Strut) Assembly 1

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Removal & Installation




NOTE
Disable the air suspension before raising the vehicle. The switch is located on the left side of the luggage compartment.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Turn the air suspension switch to the OFF position.
  4.  
  5. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheels
     
    Left and right splash shields
     
    Wheel speed sensors
     
    Strut actuator connectors, if equipped with semi-active suspension
     
    Suspension height sensors
     
    Brake line brackets
     
    Stabilizer bar links
     
    Lower ball joints
     
    Steering knuckle pinch bolts
     

  6.  
  7. Separate the steering knuckles from the struts and remove the struts from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:


NOTE
When installing suspension components, use new nuts, bolts, circlips and split pins.

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Struts. Tighten the shock tower nuts to 23-29 ft. lbs. (30-40 Nm), and the steering knuckle pinch bolts to 73-97 ft. lbs. (98-132 Nm).
     
    Stabilizer bar links. Tighten the nuts to 30-40 ft. lbs. (40-55 Nm).
     
    Lower ball joints. Tighten the pinch bolts to 50-68 ft. lbs. (68-92 Nm).
     
    Brake line brackets. Tighten the screws to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
     
    Suspension height sensors
     
    Strut actuator connectors, if equipped with semi-active suspension
     
    Wheel speed sensors
     
    Left and right splash shields
     
    Front wheels
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  2.  
  3. Turn the air suspension switch to the ON position.
  4.  
  5. Road test the vehicle and check for proper operation.
  6.  

  1. Place the ignition switch in the OFF position and the steering column in the UNLOCKED position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the plastic cover from the shock tower to gain access to the upper mounting nuts and dual damping actuator.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two actuator screws and move the actuator aside.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the 3 top mount-to-airspring tower nuts; but do not remove all the nuts at this time.
  8.  
  9. Remove the hub nut.
  10.  
  11. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  12.  


NOTE
When raising the vehicle, do not lift by using the lower control arms.

  1. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake caliper, then support it on a wire, out of the way. Remove the rotor.
  4.  
  5. At the tie rod end, remove the cotter pin and the castle nut. Discard the cotter pin and nut, and replace with new ones during installation.
  6.  
  7. Using a tie rod end remover tool and the tie rod remover adapter tool, separate the tie rod from the steering knuckle.
  8.  


WARNING
Use extreme care not to damage the link ball joint boot seal.

  1. Unfasten the stabilizer bar link nut, then remove the stabilizer bar link from the strut.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower arm-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt and nut; it may be necessary to use a drift punch to remove the bolt. Using a suitable tool, spread the knuckle-to-lower arm pinch joint, then remove the lower arm from the steering knuckle. Discard the pinch nut/bolt and replace with a new one during installation.
  4.  
  5. Remove the halfshaft from the hub and support it with a wire to maintain a level position.
  6.  


NOTE
When removing the halfshaft, do not allow it to move outward as the internal parts of the tripod CV-joint could separate, causing failure of the joint.

  1. Remove the strut-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt. Using a small prybar, spread the pinch bolt joint and separate the strut from the steering knuckle. Remove the steering knuckle/hub assembly from the strut.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 3 top mount-to-airspring tower nuts, then remove the air spring from the vehicle.
  4.  



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Fig. This shield covers the strut housing. You will use a 13mm wrench to remove the nut



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Fig. After removing the shield, you will see the suspension actuator



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Fig. You can unplug the actuator, although it is not necessary to replace the air spring



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Fig. 2 screws hold the actuator in place



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Fig. The actuator just lifts off once the screws have been removed



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Fig. Loosen but do not remove all the top mounted screws



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Fig. The air spring solenoid must be removed to remove the air spring



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Fig. Unplug the air line by pushing in on the air line and colored ring.The ring will seat against the base. Hold the ring against the base and pull the line out of the ring



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Fig. Unplug the electrical connection to the solenoid



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Fig. There may be a slight hiss of air when the airline is first disconnected, but even with both connectors in your hand, there should be no air loss from the air spring



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Fig. Slid the connector retaining clip off the solenoid



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Fig. The locking clip has to be removed to release the air pressure from the spring



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Fig. Rotate the air spring solenoid by giving it a twist counterclockwise until it comes to the first stop. Allow the air pressure to release slowly at this position



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Fig. Twist counterclockwise again to the second stop and pull straight down to remove the solenoid from the air spring. Reinstall the solenoid to prevent dirt from entering the air spring



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Fig. You will have to disassemble the components shown here to remove the air spring assembly



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Fig. Push on the clip to relieve the tension and pull the height adjusting sensor off the stud



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Fig. It is safer to remove the brake sensor, but not always possible without destroying it. You can work around it, but do it carefully!!



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Fig. To remove the stabilizer link from the air spring housing, use two wrenches



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Fig. Unbolt the anti-lock brake sensor line from the air spring housing



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Fig. Match mark the rotor and a stud the way you see here



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Fig. Using a Torx®driver, remove the caliper bolts



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Fig. Remove the caliper by sliding it off the spindle



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Fig. Now slid the rotor off the studs, make sure you have them matchmarked



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Fig. Remove the pinch bolt from the lower arm assembly



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Fig. Remove the airspring mounting bolt



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Fig. Remove the tie rod from the spindle, using the special tool . . .



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Fig. . . . or you can use the peen end of a ball-peen hammer to jar and separate the taper of the tie rod as it sits in the spindle



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Fig. We broke this nut loose with the car on the ground. Now it's just a matter of unscrewing the nut and removing the washer



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Fig. Slide the axle shaft out of the spindle/hub assembly. Be sure to support the axle. Don't let it hang!

 
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