504/505 Front Suspension Strut
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  1. #1
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    Default 504/505 Front Suspension Strut

    How do you re-assemble the strut, especially compressing the spring, when you haven't got a "Spring compressor"? I tried with three cramps but it didn't go well. Peter

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    1000+ Posts catshamlet's Avatar
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    You've got to treat these things with respect. Obviously you took it apart without a spring compressor - you're lucky not to be in hospital, or worse, in your box.

    I've only ever taken two struts apart, and even using compressors I struggled. They seemed to work their way round to the same side of the spring.

    Out of interest, how did you take it apart?

    Mike.

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    Fellow Frogger! Roland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterR
    How do you re-assemble the strut, especially compressing the spring, when you haven't got a "Spring compressor"? I tried with three cramps but it didn't go well. Peter

    Peter,
    Don't try it.
    I had a strut explode on me before in my younger naive days when I didn't use spring compressors.
    Head off down to Supercheap or similar - a pair of compressors is not at all expensive - less than $20 from memory.
    Best of luck
    Roland

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    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Can't you use the weight of car and dismantle and reassemble with the struts still attached to the car?

    I remember someone suggesting that to me a while ago?

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    Fellow Frogger! Roland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shobbz
    Can't you use the weight of car and dismantle and reassemble with the struts still attached to the car?

    I remember someone suggesting that to me a while ago?

    shobbz

    You can - but the problem is keeping the centre shaft fully extended during reassembly. It always seems to catch and gets pushed down.

    To be honest - its just not worth the trouble. Spring compressors are not expensive and make the job much easier.

    As a safety thing I always tie the comressed coils together with strong wire as well.

    The message is don't take the risk. A compressed spring stores at least 1/4 of a ton of energy.

    Regards to all
    Roland

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    Peter,

    If you are going to buy a set of compressors, get the ones shown in the photo below. The double claw helps stop them from ending up on the same side of the spring as Mike said. The easiest way to compress a spring is to put the calmps on the spring whilst it is still on the strut and use a rattle gun to compress the clamps enough to take off the nut on the top of the damper. Don't stand directly over the spring at any time, if it lets go, it will kill you.

    Matt.
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    it is so easy to use the weight of the car to do them

    take your time and you never have any trouble with the shock shaft falling away from where you want it

    i have seen too many spring compressors let go over the years to bother with them

    walk into just about any workshop when someone is changing shocks in struts and chances are they will be doing them in the car and not with compressors ................... they also have the aid of a hoist but with 2 jacks you can do the same in the driveway
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    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Rambo,

    What is the procedure to replace front dampers in the car? I didn't think it was possible.

    Matt.
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    Its best to use a compressor from the start,,, but you obviousely know that by now. If we dont have a compressor we use rope - tie it down the spring useing lots of rope winging by winding, while its on the car. Then you get it out nice and clean and only start releasing the rope when you have everthing in place and torqued up.

    When its a case of a new spring that needs fitting (which should be the sort of situation your in) what we do is get a few chaps together (sober ones) for balancing the spring and the 2/1ft cement bricks that we will place on the spring Anything that is heavy and easy to balance will do but you need to be careful not to loose controle of the load and spring). Once you get a sufficient number of these on the spring one person ties rope around the spring (going round fromthe second last winding the whole way up as far as you can go). Once done you remove the bricks and put the spring in place.

    Finally put together the assembly by tightining the shock absorber to the tophead before loosing the rope. Best result is attained by loosening it front the nut you tie working you way to the end. By doing this you avoid an sudden recoil of the spring. Take care that no fingers are between the spring seat and the spring..
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    Using a cheap spring compressor -> be sure to count your fingers at the end of the job.

    My brother made up a spring compressor using some 6mm plate, roughtly cut to suit the strut, with a couple of holes for some 20mm allthread. Best bit of tooling I every used. Made sure I didn't give it back :-)

    Garry

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    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Garry,

    Have you got any pictures of this contraption? I am interested.

    Matt.
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default 504/505 sruts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lennix
    Its best to use a compressor from the start,,, but you obviousely know that by now. If we dont have a compressor we use rope - tie it down the spring useing lots of rope winging by winding, while its on the car. Then you get it out nice and clean and only start releasing the rope when you have everthing in place and torqued up.

    When its a case of a new spring that needs fitting (which should be the sort of situation your in) what we do is get a few chaps together (sober ones) for balancing the spring and the 2/1ft cement bricks that we will place on the spring Anything that is heavy and easy to balance will do but you need to be careful not to loose controle of the load and spring). Once you get a sufficient number of these on the spring one person ties rope around the spring (going round fromthe second last winding the whole way up as far as you can go). Once done you remove the bricks and put the spring in place.

    Finally put together the assembly by tightining the shock absorber to the tophead before loosing the rope. Best result is attained by loosening it front the nut you tie working you way to the end. By doing this you avoid an sudden recoil of the spring. Take care that no fingers are between the spring seat and the spring..
    Lennix,
    Is life still that cheap in EA that you would resort to these methods to change struts?
    The "Myth Busters" would get a half hour show out of this !!

    Rambo,
    I would be very surprised if any pro workshops didn't use spring clamps.
    There is never enough weight on the front suspension to compress the spring enough to safely release the top nut. Attempting to locate the spring and enter the shock absorber in the top bearing hole on reassembly would be a "quince" inducing performance!!

    To prevent the shock absorber shaft from creeping down, drill a small hole in the shaft above the threaded section and use wire to keep it up.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    fellas it is very simple

    jack the car up under the strut and remove the wheel

    remove the sway bar link

    place 2nd jack under the car body or front cross member

    attack strut top as per normal and slowly lower the jack holding the strut and it comes apart

    i have seen this done many times and i have also done same many times

    very safe and yes the car and the jacks do hold the weight

    i have changed front springs and shocks in under an hour using this method

    i will be replacing the front shcoks in the near future( if i ever get some bloody spare time ) so i may just do a photo shoot as i do it

    a may as well put a pair of konis in the rear while i am at it
    3 x '78 604 SL

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    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i forgot to add a little info about koni shocks

    the pair that i will be putting in the rear of the 604 have mates sitting on a shelf as well

    but i'll find out how many mates they have in the next couple of days as i journey around this great land of ours
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

    1 x 2000 Citroen XM,

    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default 504/505 front strut.

    Quote Originally Posted by pugrambo
    fellas it is very simple

    jack the car up under the strut and remove the wheel

    remove the sway bar link

    place 2nd jack under the car body or front cross member

    attack strut top as per normal and slowly lower the jack holding the strut and it comes apart

    i have seen this done many times and i have also done same many times

    very safe and yes the car and the jacks do hold the weight

    i have changed front springs and shocks in under an hour using this method

    i will be replacing the front shcoks in the near future( if i ever get some bloody spare time ) so i may just do a photo shoot as i do it

    a may as well put a pair of konis in the rear while i am at it
    Rambo,
    Am I right reading your post that you are just describing the removal of the strut as an assembly ?
    Good, all that makes sense but what about compressing the spring so that the shock top nut can be undone. The spring needs to be removed also to undo the gland nut so the shocker can be withdrawn.

  16. #16
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Rambo,
    Am I right reading your post that you are just describing the removal of the strut as an assembly ?
    Good, all that makes sense but what about compressing the spring so that the shock top nut can be undone. The spring needs to be removed also to undo the gland nut so the shocker can be withdrawn.

    no sorry

    you put the jacks under the car as i suggested

    you then attack the top of the strut as if it were out of the car in that you undo the top nut on the top of the shock shaft

    undo the 3 retaining bolts and then lower the jack that is under the strut slowly and it all comes apart smoothly and safely

    remove the top and pull the uncompressed spring out and then undo the gland and remove the old insert

    assembly is reversal of ripping apart

    P.S. if using a gas insert the problem of the falling shaft is not a problem at all and if not using a gas insert then a falling shaft is still easy to get by (think rear oil shocks especially in a 604 with very limited room)

    believe me i have used this procedure time and time again and it is quick, easy and much safer than using compressors and the cars weight will hold the spring in compression as it does when it's on the road normally otherwise the car would be sitting more like the soccer mums WD40's at the local supermarket
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

    1 x 2000 Citroen XM,

    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0

  17. #17
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    Default 504/505 Front Suspension

    Since I started this thing, I had better add my bit of 'experience'.Many thanks for the number of replies!
    I found by using two jacks and having the car on a jack stand, I was able to get it out and dismantled. My real problem was getting it back together again, keeping it straight, while lowering the weight of the car to compress it. I priced spring compressors and they were $40 at Supercheap and started at $150 at Repco. Next step was to go in to our local "French Car Care" bloke and he has a very neat hydraulic spring compressor. Guess what! I have asked him to put it back together for me, which he says won't take long, nor should it with the right gear. I have taken the easy way out, but have concluded that 'discretion is the better part of valour.' Peter

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