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800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:54 am
by richard moss
If you look at my signature picture, you will see that the back end of the car has been sitting very low - worse than any standard 800 I've ever seen before. I've now fitted the self-levelling struts and springs that I picked up from my mate Chris and the back end is now up where it should be. It only took 90 minutes or so, too - and that wasn't rushing. A few highlights:


Mk1 and Mk2 struts are different - the tops are specific to the strut but as long as they are matched strut>strut top then you can fit either type to either car.

Mk1 strut top:
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Mk2 strut top:
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When swapping struts, I remove the boot trim and undo the top mount bolts first as these are easier to do when the car is sitting on it's wheels. Two of the three nuts are easy to get to, the third is a pain. I find a 3/8" drive 13mm long socket works best.
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Jack the car up and the strut top comes away from the inner arch:
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Release the brake hose from the bracket on the strut (10mm bolt). I also unbolt the caliper and move it to one side for easier access:
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Release the anti-roll bar drop link (14mm spanner and 17mm nut):
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Release and remove the bottom strut pinch bolt (15mm bolt head, 18mm nut):
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Push the hub housing down and lift the strut bottom out - it may be reluctant, so twisting helps. Wiggle the spring out of the lower arm if you're changing springs too (the self levelling struts require the matched springs).:
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Refitting is the reversal of removal, as Haynes say. I'll add an "after" picture in the morning

Things to remember:

You need to compress the strut to get it into place.
It's best to fit the bottom end of the strut first, then push the top into place whilst raising the bottom arm on a trolley jack. A little "persuasion" may be required to get the struts in place.
I find it easier to refit the arb droplink before tightening the top bolts as I can raise or lower the bottom arm.
This is a good chance to wind your rear brake pistons in and readjust the handbrake (by pumping up with the brake pedal).

Re: 800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:36 pm
by richard moss
Here's the after shot - I've got at least 2" more clearance than before and should then spend less time with the towbar whacking speed bumps. Previously, thanks to the weight of the LPG tank, the back was sat right down.

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Re: 800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:49 pm
by Richard Clements
I think the hardest part of doing the rears is getting nuts undone, mine were really hard.

Re: 800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:37 pm
by richard moss
Thankfully these were all relatively easy to remove.

Re: 800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:10 am
by Phil - Nottingham
Richard - It is very good of you to share this information with others and your pictures are far more useful than those found in WSM and other publications.

I have no 800 cars but I am sure thos ethat own them will find them very helpful.

I wish more would take the trouble even if it is only the odd one

Re: 800 rear springs and dampers swap

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:53 pm
by richard moss
Glad to be of service.