This guide is for the renewal of a front spring for a bravo and also incorporates the drop links and strut top cup with bearing. All items below will be replaced. The car featured here is a 1.4 multiair.

im having problems uploading photos at the moment so will update when I have sorted them out

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This job is in the realms of a DIY mechanic but you will need some decent tools. 15,16,17 and 19mm spaners and sockets, allen keys, a lever, some WD40 (or similar) and spring compressors> In addition to these essential tools you preferably need a workbench with a sturdy vice on it as this makes the job so much easier. Are you ready? lets go!

removing the strut and replacing the drop link

Firstly jack the car up and get it secured on axle stands then remove the wheel and lift the bonnet. I started at the top by undoing the strut top nut. You'll need to fit an allen key into the centre of the strut to stop it from spinning as you turn the bigger 19mm nut. Its a bit fiddley as there is a piece of trim in the way but you can force the key by without too much fuss. Personally i did'nt remove the nut completely prefering to leave it on just a few threads so it does'nt drop dowm when you undo the bottom bolts.

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Next up is the drop links. Just like the top strut you will need to hold the centre of the ball joint to stop it spinning as you undo the bigger securing nut. Both ends are exactly the same and the nut on my car was a 16mm. Once both nuts are off just tap the ends with a hammer and they will pop out.

If its just drop links your replacing then replacing them is just a case off refitting the new ones starting with the bottom first then using a lever just lever the anti-roll bar down until the top one lines up then just push it through and do the nuts up. Job done.

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With the drop link out the way its now time to remove the lower two strut bolts. These will no doubt be solid so give them a blast with some WD40. The bolt is a 15mm and the nut is 17mm. Also remember to remove all the ABS and brake hoses from their holders in the bottom of the shock.

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Using your lever just lever the top of the hub out from the bottom of the strut and it should just flop towards you. Now just hold the bottom of the strut with one hand while undoing that top nut with your other hand and thats it, its free. Now just lower it all out carefully and take it to your work bench and fit it securely in a vice.

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Spring and top cup removal and refitting

Now this next bit is very important. To remove a spring you will need to compress it as the top nut is under tension. For this you will need a spring compressor. The ideal spring compressor is a floor standing hydraulic one but the more cheaper common one is a manual one like this which is what im going to use.

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Springs, even broken ones, hold a ridiculous amount of energy so please make sure your spring compressor is up to the job!!! if it breaks the spring will fire off in any direction with devastating consequences so please pay attention to what your doing. So clamp your compressors on an start winding them in a bit at a time. Try to keep the turned equal to the other side so it winds down evenly. Once the spring has compressed enough so the spring is slack remove the washer spacer and you can now remove the top strut nut. Just like at the start you'll need to hold the centre with an allen key whilst undoing the nut (19mm i believe).

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With this out of the way you can remove the top cup and the lower bearing rubber that sits on the top of the spring. The bearing sits in between the top cup and the lower bearing rubber. If your renewing the bearing like i am then just prise the old one out of the top cup and push the new one in.

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Now lift off the old Spring and remove the shock from your vice and clamp the lower coil in place. Using the same method as before just undo the spring compressors bit by bit taking your time until they are slack and the spring is decompressed. Now you have to compress your new spring in the same way, by clamping the lower most coil in the vice and refitting the compressors again being very careful that they are on securely. Its a bit fiddley and may take a few goes to get right. Once you are happy (and only when you are happy!!) remove the compressed spring form the vice and place (do not throw!) the whole lot on the floor pout the way and re-secure the shock in the vice then fit the new spring over the top making sure the end of the coil is up against the stop on the shock base then fit the lower bearing rubber on the top of the spring making sure that that is also up against its stop then on goes the top cup. Now this next bit must be done correctly. The top cup bearing has a little tab sticking out of it that must align with the cutout on the lower bearing rubber. If this is not done then the strut wont fit properly when you come to refit it to the car.

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With all this lined up you can begin to fit the nut back 19mm nut back on the top. Wind it in as far as it goes then don't forget the washer spacer that goes on top. Then start to wind your spring compressors out making sure the ends of the coils are still seated in their rightful spots untill the compressors become slack and now you can breath :D If you've done it right then the top cup and lower bearing rubber tabs should be facing the you if you are looking at the shock as fitted to the car and the tapper of the top cup is tappering towards you as below......

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refitting the strut.

To refit is to basically go in reverse to how you removed it so insert the strut, secure it at the top with the nut finger tight at first then push the top of the hub into the bottom of the strut and align the two holes up and push the bolts though and do up. Next its the drop links (see top of guide) then secure all the brake pipes and wires where they were before then tighten the top nut last. Refit your wheel then put then put the car back on the ground and with the weight of the car back on the strut just give the top nut another go with the spanner just in case. Pat yourself on the back as thats a job well done (y)

This was exactly how i did it so may not be the way others do it but this way worked for me. Hope this is of some use to others :)