Neon, 2000 - 2005

Struts (MacPherson Struts)

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Disassembly & Assembly



  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.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Mount the strut in a suitable vise

  4.  
  5. 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.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

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



    Click image to see an enlarged view

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

  6.  
  7. 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.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

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



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the strut shaft nut and washer

  8.  
  9. Remove the washer between the strut shaft nut and the upper strut mount and isolator.
  10.  
  11. Remove the upper strut mount assembly from the strut shaft and spring.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the upper strut mount and washer

  12.  
  13. Remove the washer from the strut shaft that is between the strut upper mount assembly and dust shield.
  14.  
  15. Remove the coil spring and spring compressor as an assembly from the strut.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the spring and compressor as an assembly



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Carefully lift the spring and compressor from the strut

  16.  
  17. Remove the dust shield from the strut assembly.
  18.  
  19. Remove the jounce bumper from the strut shaft.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

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

  20.  
  21. Remove the coil spring lower isolator from the strut assembly spring seat.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the coil spring lower isolator

  22.  
  23. 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:
    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.  

  24.  

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. Install 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 55 ft. lbs. (75 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. Check wheel alignment and adjust toe if necessary.
  24.  

Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Mark each one right or left, as applicable, if both struts are being removed.
  6.  
  7. Remove the screw securing the ground strap to the rear of the strut, if equipped.
  8.  
  9. Remove the screw securing the ABS wheel speed sensor to the back of the strut, if equipped.
    WARNING
    The steering knuckle-to-strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal.

  10.  
  11. Remove or disconnect the following:
    NOTE
    If necessary, partially lower the vehicle for access to the upper mounting nuts.



    Steering knuckle nuts while holding the bolts stationary
     



    3 upper strut mount-to-strut tower nuts
     
    Strut assembly

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of the front suspension

     

  12.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:
    WARNING
    The steering knuckle-to-strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during installation.


    NOTE
    The bolts should be installed with the nuts facing the front of the vehicle.



    Strut assembly into the strut tower by aligning the 3 upper strut mount studs with the shock tower holes. Torque the 3 upper strut mount nut/washer assemblies to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
     



    Lower end of the strut, in line with the upper end of the steering knuckle and align the mounting holes.
     
    Both strut-to-steering knuckle bolts and nuts. Torque both nuts, while holding the bolts stationary, to 40 ft. lbs. (53 Nm), plus an additional 1 / 4 turn after the specified torque is met
     



    ABS wheel speed sensor to the rearward ear of the strut, and secure with its mounting screw. Tighten the screw to 10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm)
     
    Hydraulic brake hose routing bracket and screw onto the strut damper bracket and torque the bracket bolts to 10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm), if necessary. If equipped with ABS, the hydraulic hose routing bracket is combined with the speed sensor cable routing bracket.
     
    Screw securing the ground strap to the rear of the strut, if equipped.
     
    Front wheels and torque the lug nuts, in a criss-cross pattern, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm)
     

  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the rear suspension

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheel.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with drum brakes, remove the screw securing the brake hose bracket to the strut.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), remove the screw securing the ABS wheel speed sensor bracket to the rear of the strut assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nut from the end of the rear stabilizer bar link bolt. Pull the bolt out through the top of the link and remove the link.
  10.  
  11. If equipped with rear disc brakes, perform the following steps:
    1. Remove the 2 guide pins securing the caliper, then remove the caliper
    2.  
    3. Use a piece of wire to suspend the caliper aside. Do NOT let the caliper hang by the brake hose.
    4.  
    5. Remove the rotor.
      WARNING
      The knuckle-to-strut attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal.

    6.  

  12.  
  13. Remove strut-to-rear knuckle nuts while holding the bolts stationary in the knuckle, then remove the bolts.
    NOTE
    Access to the rear upper strut mount-to-strut tower attaching bolts is through the trunk of the vehicle.

  14.  
  15. Remove the carpet from the top of the strut tower, if necessary.
  16.  
  17. Loosen, but do not remove the 3 upper strut mounting nuts.
  18.  
  19. Remove the 3 strut-to-chassis mount nuts, while supporting the strut.
  20.  
  21. Remove the strut from the knuckle by sliding it away from the knuckle, lowering it between the 2 lateral arms, then tipping the top outward and removing it through the wheel well opening.
  22.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Strut and torque the 3 strut mount-to-body nuts to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm)
     
    Carpeting on top of the strut tower, then close the trunk lid
     

  2.  
  3. Align the holes in the strut clevis bracket on the lower end of the strut with the mounting holes in the knuckle.

    2 bolts attaching the strut to the rear knuckle and torque to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm)
     

  4.  
  5. If equipped with rear disc brakes, perform the following:
    1. Install the brake rotor and caliper.
    2.  
    3. Install the caliper guide bolts and tighten to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm).
    4.  

  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar link, as follows:
    1. Place the link center sleeve and bushings between the eye in the end of the stabilizer bar and the link mounting bracket on the strut.
    2.  
    3. Start the stabilizer bar link bolt with bushing from the top, down through the stabilizer bar, inner link bushings and sleeve, and strut link mounting bracket.
    4.  
    5. Install a lower bushing, then the nut, but don-t tighten the nut yet.
    6.  

  8.  
  9. If equipped with ABS, install the screw holding the wheel speed sensor bracket to the rear of the strut and tighten to 10 ft. lbs. (13 Nm).
  10.  
  11. If equipped with rear drum brakes, install the screw securing the brake hose bracket to the rear of the strut assembly and tighten to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Rear wheel and torque the lug nuts evenly, in sequence, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm)
  14.  
  15. Lower the vehicle, then tighten the stabilizer bar link nut to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Check the alignment and adjust, if necessary.
  18.  

 
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