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Old 14-02-2011   #16
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Re: Croma springs

The Corma is in a garage getting an MOT and having its rear shocks replaced During the MOT they found a cracked spring on the rear.

The garage said they will swap the springs for new while they have the shocks off, so I would suggest the arms will drop lower if you take off the shocks. No doubt some garages would charge you fitting for both shocks and springs, so thanks to Barry and Paul again for keeping us on the road and money more or less in our wallets

The shocks we have bought are Bilstein OEMs.

edit: as if by magic, their advert pops up in the banner!
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Old 16-02-2011   #17
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Re: Croma springs

I fitted b4's and they were same catalogue numbers for Vectra C and Croma
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Old 16-02-2011   #18
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Re: Croma springs

Other manufacturers dont list them as the same part - only Bilstein.
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Old 16-02-2011   #19
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Re: Croma springs

One front strut done, other half done....

Looking at the unbroken spring it is clearly rusting at the lower point where is just leaves the strut saddle. This is obvioulsy the highest stread area and the sping flexing is causing the original paint (power coated ???) to fracture and allow water in.

New springs are suposedly powder coated but if this area just above the saddle is still a high stress area for the new springs, possibly due to saddle design, then we could be looking a more spring failures in the future.

Anybody tried rust preventive methods, like by liberally greasing this area in waterproof moly grease?
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Old 16-02-2011   #20
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Re: Croma springs

All the front springs done now. Will need the tracking redone all around ......

Has anybody here PERSONALLY change the rear springs themself?

If so was it as simple as removing the lower rear shock absorber bolt and pulling the arm and hub down to withdraw the spring (with or without spring clamp) or did you have to split the suspension somewhere else as well.
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Old 16-02-2011   #21
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Re: Croma springs

Yes its easy should take no more then 30mins to do a side.
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Old 16-02-2011   #22
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Re: Croma springs

So you are saying.....remove bottom shock bolt.....pull suspension down.....extract spring and refit new spring?

If so great. I was hoping this would be the case based on a few suspension upgrades I have done in the past.

Of course I'll find out very quickly when I tackle the job, hopefully tomorrow, but today I badly stuffed a finger on my left hand releasing the strut drop-link nut. I should have used a windy gun or an extension bar when undoing this 18mm nut. Instead I use just a socket and wrench, lent on it heavily and when it crack my 4th finger got smashed between the wrench handle and disk. Ouch !!!!

Personally I do not like to use windy guns or other machanically advantaged tools initially as they completely hide and distort the mechanical firmness of what you are playing with. Sadly, as in this case you occasionally get caught out. An extension bar would have kept my hand clear of the disc, but also an extension bar allows play and misalignment to creep in and thus potential other problems.

So with bloody sore finger, fully pumped up with blood, I'm looking for an easy rear spring replace. If is not as easy as you suggest then I'm inclinded to let my damaged finger rest for a day or two.
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Last edited by s130; 16-02-2011 at 21:39.
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Old 16-02-2011   #23
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Re: Croma springs

Nick;

to make it easier I removed the bolt holding the bottom arm (the alloy one) to the hub, it gave much better access. If you can get both rear wheels high up in the air then this probably isn't necessary but if you're doing one at a time I'd recommend it. There is no adjustment on the bolt in question so no need to re-align.

Condolences on the finger.

On the subject of spring seats, have a look here.

HTH.
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Old 16-02-2011   #24
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Re: Croma springs

Thanks HTH / DoIDon'tI

If the shock didn't work then I would have looked at the arm/hub knuckle joint separation anyway. Sounds like I should be Ok.

I don't mind tricky jobs (tools and space permitting) but with an knackered fingure and the desire to get the old girl fully refitted and fully 4 wheel aligned again to protect my new tyres I want the rears to go like clockwork (boing!) :-)

Least she is driveable again. Just so pleased the broken spring happended as I drove off my drive. Looking a how hard pressed the dropped spring was into the tyre wall I'm assuming that if that this had happend a couple of miles from home there would have been both a new tyre and trailer receovery required.

Thank goodness we were not on holiday (UK/Europe) with caravan in tow.

I'm going off modern cars.

Our Strada Abarth is some 22 years old, 82K+ miles on the clock, well over 6K of these on race tracks and she still has the original springs and shocks. Similar experince with loads of ther Fiats as well.

The cause of my Croma spring failure is clearly corrosion. Looking at the corrosion profile through the spring then it could have been partly broken for a while.

Cheap Fiat springs, poor manufacuring / finish, ?, ?,

Just hope these new Kilen springs are top quality and I can now forget about them for the next 20 years!
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Old 17-02-2011   #25
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Re: Croma springs

When I did the springs on a Tipo years ago, I fitted heat shrink tubing around the bottom half of the spring. Providing you dont trap moisture in there it should help protect the powder coating and in turn help prevent corrosion.
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Old 17-02-2011   #26
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Re: Croma springs

Quote Originally Posted by DoIDon'tI View Post
Nick;

to make it easier I removed the bolt holding the bottom arm (the alloy one) to the hub, it gave much better access. If you can get both rear wheels high up in the air then this probably isn't necessary but if you're doing one at a time I'd recommend it. There is no adjustment on the bolt in question so no need to re-align.
HTH.
Well I failed /gave up.

I tried one side, dropping the shock and started to remove the bottom arm to hub bolt. As soon as one end of the bolt cleared the arm hole the whole lower bush keeled over with the in-built tension in this lower assembly.

At this point I decided that if I fully removed the bolt then working on my own I was very likely not to be able to get the bush back in the yoke and get the bolt all the way through again. As it was getting the single now out of alignment bolt end back proved quite difficult to do on my own.

After lunch I thought, OK lets get the whole back of the car in the air, drop both shocks and now hopefully the anti-roll bar moving on both sides at the same time should allow the suspension enough droop to be able to take the springs out. Still no go. Both sides bottomed out even before the brake hose became an issue.

With both sides dropped the twist tension in the lower bush was a little better and I could see that by jacking the arm upwards the twist reduced. However working on my own I can see that getting the hub bottom bush back into the lower arm yoke was probably still ging to be a two person job so I decided to quit whilst I was ahead.

Car has to be mobile for tomorrow so could not risk getting stuffed with no one to help.

She is now booked in at my local independent guys (who i know well). They also have a really neat 'one side entry' spring clamp so with luck should be just able to insert, compress, withdraw.

I did try spring clamps (worm gear style) but the rod ends got in the way. As the spring came down the rods ends still fouled the bodywork/chassis around the spring.

I'm actually quite pissed off because normally I don't like failing and certainly not when it comes to cars. However I'm no long the spring chicken I used to be and with back problems and arthritis in the wrists and handss my ability in both time duration and continual loading is well below what I used to enjoy.

Least I've done the fronts and the car is mobile again. The fronts you probably think was the harder job, but these back springs are IMHO little buggers unless you have special spring clamps on another pair of strong hands with a mechanical mind behind them to help with re-assembling the hub/yoke joint.

I keep on thinking I've not done something obvious.........
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Old 17-02-2011   #27
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Re: Croma springs

Quote Originally Posted by s130 View Post
I keep on thinking I've not done something obvious.........
Nope - it's just not that easy if you haven't got a lot of brute force at your disposal. My spring compressors worked (worm type), but only if I removed the bolt from the lower arm - otherwise I couldn't get access. Axle stands and trolley jacks are the only things that help really. Sounds like you had a good go at it, I wouldn't worry.

By the way, HTH = Hope This Helps

HTH.
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Old 18-02-2011   #28
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Re: Croma springs

Quote Originally Posted by DoIDon'tI View Post
Nope - it's just not that easy if you haven't got a lot of brute force at your disposal. My spring compressors worked (worm type), but only if I removed the bolt from the lower arm
By the way, HTH = Hope This Helps

HTH.
Well I have all the kit (4 jacks, 6 stands, tools galoor etc.) but was potentially lacking brute force etc..

Had a rear spring spring actually broken then I would have been forced, like I was with the front, to press on regardless but when you have a fully functional car the decision to press on when you have to have the car back on the road quickly was that "step too far" for me on this occassion.

Yes the HTH did help in that where possible I always research as much as I can before most jobs that could get involved.

Maybe this is all a good omen for others thinking of tackling the rear springs in that it is not an easy job on the Croma compared to Uno's, Tipos, Tempras, in fact most (all ?) Fiats with simpler rear suspensions. The Croma's rear multi-link suspension is too complicated for it's own good.
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Old 18-02-2011   #29
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Re: Croma springs

Since shocks and springs have not been changed on the Corma I hopefully wont need to change them again.

Steering wheel isn't straight when driving now so something has changed. Think we best get some 4 wheel tracking before we scrub the rear tyres to nothing!
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Old 19-02-2011   #30
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Re: Croma springs

My front tracking is a little off after I changed the springs because I always pre-load the hubs before tightening. In the factory and most other places they tighten the strut/hub bolts up with the hub in a hanging/droop state. There is always free/preload play in this connection interface and I prefer to tighten up pre-loaded as the hub can never move from this postion even if the strut/hub bolts loosen.

When the rears are done I'll get the full 4 wheel alignment done again.
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