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Author Topic: HowTo: Changing Rear Shock Absorbers  (Read 11322 times)

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HowTo: Changing Rear Shock Absorbers
« on: 17 April 2008, 20:28:36 »

16mm Socket
22mm Socket (Can't be sure - borrowed an imperial one that was a close fit)
Small Adjustable Spanner
Trolley Jack
Axle Stand
Wire Brush

90542942 - Standard Rear Shock Absorber (£73.00+vat retail, £45.85+vat TC)
72119084 - Self Levelling Shock Absorber (£103+vat retail, £64.88+vat TC)

Self Levelling shocks can be replaced be the standard shocks with no ill-effect (I've just done mine ;)), just need to tidy up the air lines from the compressor.

Took me (novice mechanic) an hour a side.  Would be much quicker now I've a better idea of what I'm doing.

How to...
First things first, if the rear of the car is coming off the ground then your handbrake or leaving the car in gear isn't enough - chock up the front wheels (both sides) so it doesn't move.

Whichever side you're going to start on, loosen the nuts to the wheel before you jack it up - I can guarantee that if you weren't standing over the tyre monkey that last fitted/balanced your wheels then they'll be on ridiculously tight!

Jack up the rear end of the car and get an axle stand underneath onto something nice and solid.  Once it's nicely supported give the car a gently shove to make sure it's not going to move around.  Remove the nuts and take the wheel off and if your shocks are knackered then you'll be greeted with a sight similar to this:

You can see the fluid leaking down the sides of the shock, and that was the good side - here's the worst:

Now place a jack underneath the old shock and crank it up.  You'll see the trailing arm rise with it, the idea being to compress the shock before lowering it out:

With the bottom jacked up open the boot and take a look inside.  If you have a saloon then you'll be able to see the rubber caps covering the top of either shock:

Whip the rubber cap off and you'll see one 16mm nut.  If you've got a deep socket then you'll be able to get that straight on, if not then it's spanners out and do it the hard way.  There's a chance that the whole thing will spin, which is why you may need a second spanner to get hold of the very top of the spindle which thoughtfully has two flat sides to hold things steady:

Take the nut off, remove the large metal washer and thick bit of rubber.  Back underneath the car, wind down the jack and you should find the shock drops neatly out from above:

If you've got the fancy self levelling shocks then now is the time to remove the clips and valves at the top end of the barrel.  Next comes the hard bit.

Clean off the end of the lower bolt with a wire brush and then spray it with WD40.  Give it a few minutes to penetrate, then get a socket onto the rear facing 22mm? bolt and undo that:

I found that one side was worse than the other, and took some serious effort to shift, but it did loosen off, eventually.  With the bottom bolt off you'll find you have a cup washer with it.  Save this to go back on later.
I had to give the old shock a fair thump to get it off.

Now, if you bought those shocks from VX then you'll have the following new shiny bits:

I read the Haynes Destruction manual and followed the instructions about priming the new shocks, which basically means move the piston in and out four times.  After that stick the larger rubber washer on the top of the piston:

Locate the bottom bolt, remembering the old cup washer and making sure that it's the right way round (the bottom of the shock should fit into the bottom bracket slightly).  Do the bolt up loosely (tighter than shown) so the thread is through the other side:

Now jack the new shock up, making sure that the top rubber goes neatly into place.  As the saying goes - replacement is the reverse of removal, so, with the new shock sticking up into the boot you just need to pop the other rubber back on (rounded bit down) and replace the large metal washer.  Use the new nut and tighten it up.  You will almost certainly have to grab hold of the top of the spindle this time.  This needs to go to 60Nm (although I have no means of checking that so I just did 'pretty tight')

With the top tight you need to do up the bottom to something fairly extravagant like 110Nm (again, I have no means of checking this but did this one up to 'bloody tight').

Lower the jack (shock will extend) and pop your wheel back on.  Lower the car and you should be done, just one more side to do  :y
« Last Edit: 01 February 2010, 11:53:03 by jimbob »


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Pictures for Saloon Rear Shock Guide
« Reply #1 on: 28 October 2015, 09:17:55 »

I think the guide for Saloon shock change needs some urgent updates with photos, the current guide makes no reference to the fitting kit. I think these photos should be added to the thread?

Lower bush with spacer

Inserted into the boot...

With top bush and disc....(before tightening it up)

« Last Edit: 19 March 2017, 21:01:58 by Jimbob »
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