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Compress spring for strut bearing removal


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I want to remove the strut bearing. I have never done this job before. Reading the factory manual says that I am going to need to compress the spring using a compressor. Which I don't have but will source. 


What it doesn't say is, how much do I compress the spring? Just enough to take the tension of the spring capping? I just don't want to compress anymore then needed.


Also - Given that I want to clean and spray the struts at the same time - is it important to make sure the left spring goes back on the left side and right spring on the right?










1972 BMW 2002 Tii - Golf Yellow


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And while you have things apart...especially if you live in a wet climate or drive on roads with dirt and loose gravel...enlarge the drain holes in the lower spring perches.  You'll note that the holes are very small and aren't at the bottom of the pocket they're supposed to drain.  Even one small stone will block the drain, allowing dirt to fill the cup, causing rust and possible structural problems down the line.  Now's the time to prevent the problem while you have everything apart.  


'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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When I do this, I put the whole strut tube into a vise, in the vertical direction, strut bearing up.  This makes it easy to compress the spring just enough to remove everything, and even more important, to re-install everything.

    There's a "slot" inside that Spring Pocket (part 13) in which the end of the spring fits, you'll see it when you disassemble.  Be sure to get the thick rubber pieces (Spring Pad, part 14) installed correctly on the end of the spring, there is a "notch" for the end of the spring, it will make sense when you see it.  There is a Spring Pad at both the top & bottom of the spring.

     And be sure that the Spacer Washer (part 11) is on top of the Spring Pocket, it fits between the Pocket and strut bearing.

    Buy and install a new Rubber Bumper thingie (part 17), it slides over the shock absorber rod and is inside the spring itself.



Once you look at all this, you'll understand why I do the disassembly/reassembly with the strut tube vertically in a vise, it makes it easy to keep everything in position while gently loosening the spring compressor.






Edited by OriginalOwner
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I compress the spring before any removal from the car with a floor jack under the ball joint, install the compressors then remove and set spring aside carefully so it doesn't kill somebody.  Install is the reverse and only unload the spring when it is all in the car using the floor jack again.

A radiator shop is a good place to take a leak.


I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I'm really good at it.

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