Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Coil Spring

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except 1985-89 Colt


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Fig. Fig. 1 Vista front strut torque specifications



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Fig. Fig. 2 When removing the spring, be sure to keep it secured in a vise



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Fig. Fig. 3 A spring compressor is a necessary tool for the job

  1. Remove the strut assembly as previously outlined. Clamp the strut assembly in a soft-jawed vise or wrap heavy rags around the strut before tightening the vise.
  2.  
  3. Install a spring compressor on the spring and tighten to compress the spring slightly. The compressor will keep the spring compressed while the strut cover and spring seat are removed.
  4.  


CAUTION
A compressed coil spring can release tremendous energy. Be very careful when compressing or releasing the spring. Be sure the jaws of the compressor grip the coils of the spring firmly.

  1. Remove the upper dust cover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nuts that retain the insulator to the strut. Remove the insulator.
  4.  
  5. Remove the spring. Service the strut as required.
  6.  

To install:

  1. If a new spring is to be installed, compress the spring.
  2.  
  3. Install the spring on the strut.
  4.  
  5. Fully extend the shock absorber piston rod.
  6.  
  7. Align the spring seat upper assembly with the indent on the piston rod and the D-shaped hole.
  8.  
  9. Install the insulator assembly. Temporarily tighten the self-locking nut.
  10.  

Always install a new self-locking nut. DO NOT use the old nut.

  1. After correctly seating the upper and lower ends of the coil spring on the grooves of the upper and lower seats, release the spring compressor.
  2.  

Hold the upper spring seat stationary and tighten the self-locking retaining nut. Torque the nut to 30-36 ft. lbs. on all models except the Conquest. Tighten to 43-51 ft. lbs. on the Conquest.

1985-89 Colt


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Fig. Fig. 4 Torque specifications for the 1985-86 Colt front strut

  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Using a spring compressor, fully compress the spring.
  4.  


CAUTION
A compressed coil spring can release tremendous energy. Be very careful when compressing or releasing the spring. Be sure the jaws of the compressor grip the coils of the spring firmly.

  1. Using special tool MB9910036, or the equivalent, and an allen wrench, remove the retaining nut.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rubber insulator, support, spring seat rubber bumper and spring.
  4.  
  5. Use a brass drift and carefully remove the bearing from the support.
  6.  
  7. Check all parts for wear. Service as require.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Install the bearing, spring, seat rubber bumper, support, rubber insulator and secure them with a new self-locking nut.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that both spring seat grooves align with the coil spring ends.
  4.  

Always install a new self-locking nut. DO NOT use the old nut.

  1. Tighten the retaining nut to 25-36 ft. lbs.
  2.  

OVERHAUL



  1. Remove the strut from the vehicle. Remove the coil spring from the strut.
  2.  

Matchmark the upper end of the coil spring and bearing plate to avoid confusion during assembly.

  1. Keep the upper mounting parts in the order of their removal, again to avoid confusion during assembly.
  2.  
  3. Clean the outside of the strut body, especially around the top. Use the proper size wrench to loosen the top strut body nut.
  4.  
  5. Remove the body nut. If a new nut came with the strut overhaul kit, discard the old nut.
  6.  
  7. Use a suitable tool and remove the O-ring from the top of the strut housing bore.
  8.  
  9. Grasp the piston rod and slowly pull the cartridge out of the housing. Remove the cartridge slowly to prevent the oil between the housing and the cartridge from splashing.
  10.  
  11. Pour all of the strut oil into a suitable container. Clean the inside of the housing and inspect the cylinder for dents and to insure that all loose parts have been removed from the inside of the strut body.
  12.  
  13. Keep the strut upright and replenish the strut cylinder with one ounce (or whatever amount is suggested by the overhaul kit instructions) of the original or fresh oil. The oil helps dissipate internal heat during operation and results in cooler strut operation. Do not put too much oil in, or the oil may leak at the body nut when the shock heats up and causes expansion.
  14.  
  15. Insert the replacement cartridge into the strut body. Push the piston rod all of the way down to avoid damage if the wrench slips when installing the top nut. Carefully install the top body nut, take care not to cross-thread. Tighten the top body nut to 100 ft. lbs. (or whatever the instruction sheet calls for).
  16.  
  17. Install the coil spring and top parts. Pay attention to the alignment reference marks made when taking apart the strut.
  18.  
  19. Install the strut on the vehicle.
  20.  

 
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