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

MacPherson Struts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Detach the brake hose from the strut mounting clip



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Fig. Fig. 2 Slide the brake line out of the bracket



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Fig. Fig. 3 Pull the clip off and move aside



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Fig. Fig. 4 Using a ratchet and a wrench, loosen strut lower mounting bolt and nut



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Fig. Fig. 5 Remove the mounting bolt, nut and washer and set aside



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Fig. Fig. 6 Separate the knuckle from the strut

Rear Wheel Drive
EXCEPT CONQUEST


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Fig. Fig. 7 View of the rear wheel drive front suspension

  1. Loosen the lug nuts, jack up the front of the vehicle (after blocking the rear wheels) and support safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel assembly, brake caliper, hub and brake disc rotor. Disconnect the stabilizer link from the lower arm, remove the steering knuckle-to-strut assembly bolts. Carefully force the lower arm down and separate the strut assembly and the steering knuckle. Unscrew the retaining nuts at the top of the strut and remove the strut assembly.
  4.  

On some models the lower splash shield may interfere with the strut removal and installation. If so, remove the splash shield.

To install:

  1. Position the strut assembly in the fender. Install the upper retainer nuts hand-tight.
  2.  
  3. Apply sealer on the mounting flange and fasten the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Connect the brake line if it was removed.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the upper retaining nuts to 7-11 ft. lbs. Torque the knuckle bolts to 30-36 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Assemble the stabilizer link and fasten it to the lower control arm if removed.
  8.  
  9. Assemble the remaining parts. Bleed the brakes if any brake lines were disconnected during strut removal.
  10.  

CONQUEST


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Fig. Fig. 8 Exploded view of a common rear wheel drive front strut



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Fig. Fig. 9 Exploded view of the Conquest front strut assembly

  1. Raise and support the front end of the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the wheels. Allow the front suspension to hang.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake caliper and suspend it out of the way with wire. Do not allow any strain to be put on the brake hose.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel hub and disc rotor.
  6.  
  7. Remove the brake dust cover.
  8.  
  9. Unbolt the strut from the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the strut to upper fender mount securing nuts and remove the strut assembly.
  12.  
  13. Service the strut as required. Secure the strut to the upper mounting. Secure the strut to the steering knuckle. Install the dust shield, hub, rotor and caliper. Torque the upper mounting nuts to 18-25 ft. lbs.; the strut to knuckle bolts to 58-72 ft. lbs.
  14.  

Front Wheel Drive
1979-84 COLT AND 1985-89 VISTA


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Fig. Fig. 10 Exploded view of the McPherson strut assembly-1979-84 Colt and Champ



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Fig. Fig. 11 Remove the nuts only at the arrowed locations on front wheel drive models

  1. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Detach the brake hose from the clip on the strut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the mounting nuts that secure the upper end of the strut to the fender housing.
  8.  
  9. Unbolt the strut from the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  12.  

To install:

  1. Service as required. Bolt the strut to the steering knuckle, and the upper fender mounting. Secure the brake hose to the strut mounting clip.
  2.  
  3. Torque the strut to knuckle bolts to 55-65 ft. lbs.; Torque the strut to fender housing bolts to; Colt, 7-11 ft. lbs. Vista, 18-25 ft. lbs.
  4.  

1985-89 COLT
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Detach the front brake hose from the strut mounting clip.
  6.  
  7. Unbolt the strut from the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the dust shield from the top of the fender housing mount. Insert a suitable socket (special tool MB991036, or the equivalent) into the top of the strut to loosen the mounting nut.
  10.  
  11. Insert an allen wrench through the socket, into the top of the strut shaft. Remove the mounting nut, while holding the shaft with the allen wrench.
  12.  
  13. Remove the strut. Service as required.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Mount the strut into position and secure the upper mount. Attach the lower strut bracket to the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Torque the strut to knuckle bolts to 55-65 ft. lbs.; the upper retaining nut to 25-36 ft. lbs. Check the wheel alignment.
  4.  

 
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