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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I guess its my turn to finally ask for help...

Car = 2002 Suzuki Esteem 1.8.

Long story short I need to replace all four struts on the car.

For the front end of the car I know how to get everything unbolted from the lower end of the struts, its the upper ends that concern me, aside from compressing the springs and removing the three mounting nuts in the engine compartment is there anything else that needs to be done to get them out?

And the back struts, I'm sure I can figure the lower end out but my question is where it the upper nut hiding inside the car? I'm assuming its buried somewhere under the upper piller.
 

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I haven't worked on an Esteem specifically, but, it's a MacPherson strut system

Front end...

- put the car on jack stands, remove the wheels, remove the two bolts holding the strut to the knuckle, remove the three nuts securing the upper strut mount to the body and then lower the strut and guide it out - try not to drop it, because it's going to fall onto the CV boot and tear it - once the strut is out, you'll need a spring compressor to disassemble it - it won't come apart until you remove the nut on the top of the strut.

There may be clips securing brake hoses and/or ABS sensor cables to the strut, but nothing that would be difficult to figure out.

Rear end...

- see above -

I like to keep a scissor jack under the control arm to prevent it from "getting away" whilst I'm working on the struts, but it's not 100% necessary.

The first time you do it it's scary, you get accustomed to it after a while - I've done a few -some maintenance (replaced worn struts) and some modification (both lowered & lifted spring swaps).
 

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And the back struts, I'm sure I can fi gure the lower end out but my question is where it the upper nut hiding inside the car? I'm assuming its buried somewhere under the upper piller.
The upper nut is under the rubber(dome shaped) dust upper cap(dust cover).

There is more to orienting the lower spring seat that I will have to add later should it not be too late. Let me know, pressed for time at the moment.



Also fit coil spring (rubber) seat in upper seat, making sure their depth fits all around.No part of rubber seat should stick out higher than upper seat.

Pull strut rod as far up as possible, and use care not to let it retract into the strut.

Gym the upper spring mount seats are stamped with an "out" stamped on them, they has to be mounted so that the "out" is aligned with the bracket where the lower bolts mount to the hub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cool, thanks you two, compressing the spring after the strut comes out is what I wasn't sure about I thought maybe it had to be compressed first and then the strut could come out.

I have done a few sets of springs before but the last set was in a 1968 Chevy Impala 327 (5.3 liter) but that was around 1995, that was a big heavy car it weighed 4,400 pounds with me in it and had big beefy springs and large A-arms to hold up the front end, the springs were so stiff that it striped the threads off of the spring compressor that I had rented.
 

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Was that Impala macpherson strut? I don't have too much experience with Detroit iron of that vintage, but, I'd bet it had some sort of "dual wishbone" front end.

In my mind, the correct way to do a macpherson strut is to remove it from the vehicle and then disassemble - the compressor is not needed until you're removing the central nut that holds the upper spring seat to the strut.

I am aware of folks who have used chain vice grips to secure the spring in a "compressed" state with the weight of the vehicle on the wheels, and then removed the nut - let's just say I won't be doing that or recommending it to anyone.
 

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After removal of the unit from the car.

Disassembly

1-With special tool (A) placed to spring as shown(spanning middle 3 coils on each side, added by me)turn special tool bolt alternately until spring tension is released. Whethe it is released or not can be known by whether strut turns lightly while strut spring is held stationary.

Special tool (A) 09940-71430

2- While keeping spring compressed with special tool as shown above remove strut nut. (or impact it off, added by me)

3-Disassemble strut assembly.

Assembly

1-Compress spring with special tool untill total length (of spring)is 11.42 inches, or 290mm.

2-Install coil spring lower seat and compressed coil spring, mate large-dia spring end with stepped part of lower seat as shown.

3- Installs bump stopper onto strut rod. For installing direction, refer to above figure in Disassembly.

4- Install dust cover onto bump stopper.


Best to take pics of assembly first before disassembly to know which end of springs go up or down for assembly.

Do at your own risk, I have tried to provide this to help you but offer this on the condition you follow it with the understanding that I am not responsible.


Jim if you PM me your email, I will send you pics of the manual, the images will give you a better idea how to do the procedure safely, highly recommended that you do.
 

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Yup - unequal length double wishbones - you have to compress the spring on that before you disassemble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I finally have the money to order everything, the only question that I have for now is do you also replace the strut springs or just reuse the old ones if nothing appears to be wrong with them?
 
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