PT Cruiser, 2001 - 2005

Front Suspension

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Coil Springs



Removal & Installation
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the strut assembly and place it in a Strut Spring Compressor Tool W-7200.
  6.  
  7. Set the lower hooks then the upper hooks. Position the clevis bracket straight outward away from the compressor tool
  8.  
  9. Install a clamp on the lower end of the coil spring to secure the strut when the nut is removed.
    NOTE
    Do not remove the strut shaft nut until the coil spring is compressed. The coil spring is under pressure and must be compressed before the shaft nut is removed.

  10.  
  11. Compress the coil spring until all tension is removed from the upper mount.
  12.  
  13. Install a Strut Nut Socket Tool 6864 once the spring is compressed.
  14.  
  15. Install a socket on the hex end of the strut shaft and remove the nut.
  16.  
  17. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Upper mount from the strut shaft
     
    Upper spring seat, bearing and upper isolator as an assembly
     
    Dust shield and jounce bumper
     
    Clamp from the bottom of the coil spring
     
    Strut through the bottom of the coil
     
    Release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive completely
     
    Coil spring
     

  18.  
  19. Inspect the coil spring for any signs of damage

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Coil spring mounted in the coil spring compressor tool

  20.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Coil spring in the compressor. Rotate the spring so that the end of the top coil is directly in the front.
     
    Slowly compress the coil until enough room is available to install the strut
     
    Lower spring isolator on the lower spring seat
     
    Strut through the bottom of the of coil spring until the lower spring seat contacts the lower end of the coil spring. Rotate the strut until the clevis bracket is positioned straight outward away from the compressor.
     
    Clamp on the lower end of the coil spring and strut
     
    Jounce bumper on the strut shaft with the smaller end pointing downward
     
    Dust shield until the bottom of the shield snaps on to the retainer
     
    Upper spring isolator
     
    Upper spring seat and bearing on top of the coil spring. Position the notch formed into the edge of the upper seat straight out away from the compressor.
     
    Strut upper mount over the strut shaft and onto the top of the upper spring seat and bearing. Position the mount so that the third mounting stud is inward toward the compressor.
     
    Retaining nut on the strut shaft, loosely
     

  2.  
  3. Install the strut nut socket on the strut shaft retaining nut. Install a socket on the hex end of the shaft. Secure the strut shaft and torque the nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Slowly release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor completely.
  6.  
  7. Remove the clamp from the bottom of the coil spring and strut. Push back the spring compressor upper and lower hooks and remove the strut from the compressor.
  8.  
  9. Install the strut assembly to the vehicle.
  10.  

Lower Ball Joints



Removal & Installation

The front suspension ball joints operate with no free-play. The ball joints are replaceable ONLY as an assembly. Do not attempt any type of repair on the ball joint assembly. The ball joint is a press fit into the lower control arm with the joint stud retained in the steering knuckle by the clamp bolt. To check the ball joint, with the weight of the vehicle resting on the road wheels, grasp the grease fitting and without using any tools, attempt to move the grease fitting. If the ball joint is worn the grease fitting will move easily. If movement is noted, replacement of the ball joint is recommended.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel.
  4.  
  5. Remove the stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm links.
  6.  
  7. Loosen, but do not remove the bolts holding the stabilizer bar retainers to the crossmember. Then, rotate the stabilizer bar and attaching links away from the lower control arms.
    WARNING
    Pulling the steering knuckle outward after releasing the ball joint can separate the inner CV-joint.

  8.  
  9. Remove the steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud-s pinch bolt and nut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle using a pry bar.
    WARNING
    Be careful when separating the ball joint stud from the knuckle, so the seal does not become damaged.

  12.  
  13. If removing the right lower control arm, perform the following steps:
    1. Remove the drive belt splash shield.
    2.  
    3. Remove the pencil strut from the right front corner of the crossmember
    4.  
    5. Remove the engine torque strut.
    6.  

  14.  
  15. Remove the pivot bolts attaching the lower control arm to the front crossmember.
  16.  
  17. Remove the lower control arm.
  18.  
  19. Remove the ball joint using a pry tool.
  20.  
  21. Using a hydraulic press, press the ball joint from the lower control arm using Receiver tool 6908-2 and Adapter Tool 6804.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the ball joint from the control arm



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Aligning the ball joint stud notch to the control arm



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Installing the ball joint to the control arm



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Installing the ball joint boot seal

  22.  

To install:

  1. Reinstall the ball joint into the lower control arm with the notch in the ball joint stud facing the front lower control arm bushing.
  2.  
  3. Using a hydraulic press, press the ball joint into the lower control arm using Receiver Tool 6758 and Adapter tool 6804.
  4.  
  5. Install the ball joint boot seal using a driver tool such as a large socket or suitable sized piece of pipe.
    WARNING
    Do not use a shop press that was used to install the ball joint, for the press exerts too much force.

  6.  
  7. Install the lower control arm into the front crossmember.
  8.  
  9. Install the rear lower control arm-to-crossmember and frame rail bolt.
    NOTE
    DO NOT tighten the rear bolt at this time.

  10.  
  11. Install the front lower control arm-to-crossmember nut and bolt.
  12.  
  13. Torque the lower control arm to rear pivot bolt to 185 ft. lbs. (250 Nm) and the front pivot bolt 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle. Torque the steering knuckle-to-ball joint stud pinch bolt/nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  16.  
  17. If the right side lower control arm has been service, install the following:
  18.  
  19. Install the engine torque strut.
  20.  
  21. Install the pencil strut to the right front corner of the crossmember and torque the nuts to 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Install the drive belt splash shield.
  24.  
  25. Install the front fascia-to-reinforcement screws.
  26.  
  27. Install the stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm link assemblies and bushings.
  28.  
  29. Rotate the stabilizer bar into position, installing the stabilizer bar links into the lower control arms.
  30.  
  31. Install the top stabilizer bar link bushings and nuts. DO NOT tighten the link yet.
  32.  
  33. Install the wheel.
  34.  
  35. Lower the vehicle so the suspension is supporting the total weight of the vehicle.
  36.  
  37. Torque the stabilizer bar-to-lower control arm links to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  38.  
  39. Torque the stabilizer bar bushing retainer-to-crossmember bolts to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  40.  
  41. Check and/or adjust the toe, as necessary.
  42.  

Lower Control Arm



Removal & Installation
  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove both stabilizer bar links from the vehicle. Remove each link by holding the upper retainer/nut with a wrench and turning the link bolt.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the forward ends of the stabilizer bar downward. It may be necessary to loosen the stabilizer bar cushion retainer bolts a little to ease any turning resistance.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nut and pinch bolt clamping the ball joint stud to the steering knuckle.
    CAUTION
    After removing the steering knuckle from the ball joint stud, do not pull outward on the knuckle. Pulling the steering knuckle outward at this point can separate the inner C/V joint on the driveshaft.


    NOTE
    Use caution when separating the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle, so the ball joint seal does not get cut.

  10.  
  11. Separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle by prying down on lower control arm and up against the ball joint boss on the steering knuckle.
  12.  
  13. If the right lower control arm is being serviced, perform the following:

    Remove the screws fastening the front fascia to the reinforcement as necessary in order to access the drive belt splash shield forward fastener screw.
     
    Remove the drive belt splash shield fasteners. Remove the shield.
     
    Remove the pencil strut from the right front corner of the crossmember and body of the vehicle. Remove the washer behind the strut from the torque strut bolt.
     
    Remove the bolts mounting the engine torque strut in place, then remove the engine torque strut from the vehicle.
     

  14.  
  15. Remove the front pivot bolt attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember. Remove the rear pivot bolt attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember and frame rail. Remove the lower control arm from the crossmember.
  16.  

To install:

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Lower control arm mounting bolts and location

  1. Position the lower control arm into the crossmember. Install, but do not fully tighten, the rear pivot bolt attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember and frame rail. Install, but do not fully tighten, the front pivot bolt attaching the lower control arm to the front suspension crossmember.
  2.  
  3. With no weight on the lower control arm, tighten the lower control arm rear pivot (and suspension crossmember) bolt to a torque of 185 ft. lbs. (250 Nm), then tighten the lower control arm front pivot bolt to a torque of 125 ft. lbs. (170 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle aligning the bolt hole in the knuckle boss with the notch formed in the side of the ball joint stud.
  6.  
  7. If the right lower control arm has been serviced, perform the following:

    Install the engine torque strut). To properly align and tighten the torque strut,.
     
    Install the washer on the end of the stud extending from the torque strut bolt.
     
    Install the pencil strut to the right front corner of the crossmember and body of the vehicle. Tighten the pencil strut nuts to a torque of 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm).
     
    Install the drive belt splash shield and fasteners.
     
    Install the screws fastening the front fascia to the reinforcement.
     

  8.  
  9. Install a new ball joint stud pinch bolt and nut. Tighten the nut to a torque of 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Rotate the forward ends of the stabilizer bar into mounting position.
  12.  
  13. Clean the threads of the stabilizer bar link bolts, then apply Mopar® Lock And Seal or equivalent to the threads.
  14.  
  15. Install both stabilizer bar links back on vehicle. Start each stabilizer bar link bolt with bushing from the bottom, through the stabilizer bar, inner link bushings, lower control arm, and into the upper retainer/nut and bushing. Do not fully tighten the link assemblies at this time.
  16.  
  17. Lower the vehicle to ground level.
    NOTE
    It may be necessary to put the vehicle on a platform hoist or alignment rack to gain access to the stabilizer bar mounting bolts with the vehicle at curb height.

  18.  
  19. Tighten each stabilizer bar link by holding the upper retainer/nut with a wrench and turning the link bolt. Tighten each link bolt to a torque of 250 inch lbs. (28 Nm)).
  20.  
  21. If previously loosened, tighten the stabilizer bar cushion retainer bolts to a torque of 250 inch lbs. (28 Nm).
  22.  

Stabilizer Bar (Sway Bar)



Removal & Installation
  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove both stabilizer bar links from the vehicle. Remove each link by holding the upper retainer/nut with a wrench and turning the link bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the stabilizer bar cushion retainer bolts and retainers, and remove the stabilizer bar with cushions attached from the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. To remove the cushions from the stabilizer bar, peel back each cushion at the slit and roll it off the bar.
  8.  

To install:

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Typical view of a stabilizer bar


NOTE
Before stabilizer bar installation, inspect the cushions and links for excessive wear, cracks, damage and distortion. Replace any pieces failing inspection.

  1. If removed, install the stabilizer bar cushions on the stabilizer bar utilizing the slit in each cushion. Position the cushions at each end of the bar's straight beam, just before it begins to curve.
    NOTE
    Before installing the stabilizer bar, make sure the bar is not upside-down. The stabilizer bar must be installed with the curve on the outboard ends of the bar facing downward to clear the control arms once fully installed.

  2.  
  3. First, place the stabilizer bar in position on the front suspension crossmember. The slits in each cushion must point toward the front of the vehicle and sit directly on top of the raised beads formed into the stamping on the crossmember. Next, install the cushion retainers, matching the raised beads formed into the cushion retainers to the grooves formed into the cushions. Install the cushion retainer bolts, but do not completely tighten them at this time.
  4.  
  5. Clean the threads of the stabilizer bar link bolts, then apply Mopar® Lock And Seal or equivalent to the threads.
  6.  
  7. Install both stabilizer bar links back on vehicle. Start each stabilizer bar link bolt with bushing from the bottom, through the stabilizer bar, inner link bushings, lower control arm, and into the upper retainer/nut and bushing. Do not fully tighten the link assemblies at this time.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
    NOTE
    It may be necessary to put the vehicle on a platform hoist or alignment rack to gain access to the stabilizer bar mounting bolts with the vehicle at curb height.

  10.  
  11. Tighten each stabilizer bar link by holding the upper retainer/nut with a wrench and turning the link bolt. Tighten each link bolt to a torque of 250 inch lbs. (28 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Tighten the stabilizer bar cushion retainer bolts to a torque of 250 inch lbs. (28 Nm).
  14.  

Steering Knuckle



Removal And Installation
  1. Apply the brakes and hold in place.
  2.  
  3. Raise the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cotter pin, lock nut and spring washer from the hub nut.
  8.  
  9. While the brakes are applied, loosen and remove the hub nut on the end of the driveshaft.
  10.  
  11. Release the brakes.
  12.  
  13. Remove the front disc brake caliper and adapter as an assembly, and the brake rotor from the steering knuckle.
  14.  
  15. Remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod to the steering knuckle. To do this, hold the tie rod end stud with a wrench while loosening and removing the nut with a standard wrench or crowfoot wrench.
  16.  
  17. Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle using Remover, Special Tool MB991113.
  18.  
  19. Remove the tie rod heat shield.
  20.  
  21. Remove the nut and pinch bolt clamping the ball joint stud to the steering knuckle.
    CAUTION
    The strut assembly-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal. Hold the bolts stationary in the steering knuckles while removing the nuts, then tap the bolts out using a pin punch.

  22.  
  23. Remove the two bolts attaching the strut to the steering knuckle.
    NOTE
    Use caution when separating the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle, so the ball joint seal does not get cut.

  24.  
  25. Separate the ball joint stud from the steering knuckle by prying down on lower control arm and up against the ball joint boss on the steering knuckle.
    NOTE
    Do not allow the driveshaft to hang by the inner C/V joint; it must be supported to keep the joint from separating during this operation.

  26.  
  27. Pull the steering knuckle off the driveshaft outer C/V joint splines and remove the steering knuckle.
    NOTE
    The cartridge type front wheel bearing used on this vehicle is not transferable to the replacement steering knuckle. If the replacement steering knuckle does not come with a wheel bearing, a new bearing must be installed in the steering knuckle. Installation of the new wheel bearing and hub must be done before installing the steering knuckle on the vehicle.

  28.  
  29. If the wheel bearing and hub need removal. Do not reuse the wheel bearing.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. The separation of the ball joint and the knuckle

  30.  

To install:

  1. Slide the hub of the steering knuckle onto the splines on the driveshaft C/V joint.
  2.  
  3. Install the steering knuckle onto the ball joint stud aligning the bolt hole in the knuckle boss with the notch formed in the side of the ball joint stud.
  4.  
  5. Install a new ball joint stud pinch bolt and nut. Tighten the nut to a torque of 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
    CAUTION
    The strut assembly-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during installation. Install the nuts while holding the bolts stationary in the steering knuckle.

  6.  
  7. Position the lower end of the strut assembly in line with the upper end of the steering knuckle and align the mounting holes . Install the two attaching bolts. The bolts should be installed with so that the nuts face towards the front of the vehicle once installed. Install the nuts. Holding the bolts in place tighten the nuts to a torque of 40 ft. lbs. (53 Nm) plus an additional 90° turn after the specified torque is met.
  8.  
  9. Place the tie rod heat shield on the steering knuckle arm so that the shield is positioned straight away from the steering gear and tie rod end once installed. Align the hole in the shield with the hole in the steering knuckle arm. Install the outer tie rod ball stud into the hole in the steering knuckle arm. Start the tie rod attaching nut onto the stud. Hold the tie rod end stud with a wrench while tightening the nut with a standard wrench or crowfoot wrench. To fully tighten the nut to specifications, use a crowfoot wrench on a torque wrench to turn the nut, and a wrench on the stud.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the nut to a torque of 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm). Install the brake rotor, disc brake caliper and adapter.
  12.  
  13. Clean all foreign matter from the threads of the driveshaft outer C/V joint. Install the hub nut in the end of the driveshaft and snug it.
  14.  
  15. Have a helper apply the brakes. With vehicle brakes applied to keep brake rotor and hub from turning, tighten the hub nut to a torque of 180 ft. lbs. (244 Nm)
  16.  
  17. Install the spring washer, lock nut and cotter pin on the hub nut. Wrap the cotter pin ends tightly around the lock nut.
  18.  
  19. Install the tire and wheel assembly. Install the wheel mounting nuts and tighten them to a torque of 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Lower the vehicle.
  22.  
  23. Set the front toe on the vehicle to required specification.
  24.  

Struts (MacPherson Struts)



Removal & Installation
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:
    WARNING
    The steering knuckle-to-strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal.



    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheels
     
    Mark each one right or left, as applicable, if both struts are being removed
     
    Ground strap from the rear of the strut
     
    Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) wheel speed sensor from the strut, if equipped
     



    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

     

  4.  

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).
     



    Steering knuckle nuts while holding the bolts stationary
     
    Steering knuckle arm and position it into the strut assembly by aligning the strut assembly-to-steering knuckle holes
     
    Both strut-to-steering knuckle bolts. On 2002-04 models, torque both bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (53 Nm), plus an additional 90 degrees after the specified torque is met. On 2005-06 models, torque both bolts to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
     



    ABS wheel sensor to the rear of the strut and torque the screw to 120 inch lbs. (13 Nm)
     
    Ground strap to the rear of the strut and torque the screw to 120 inch lbs. (13 Nm)
     
    Front wheel
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  2.  

 
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