Trolley Jack
Axel Stands (x2)
Socket Wrench
Tommy Bar
Sockets 15,16,17,18,19
Ring spanner 19mm
6mm Allen Key
Spring clamps (get the ones with two teeth top and bottom for £20)
Possibly a range of ½” cold chisels
New front lower strut bolts (£4 each from fiat)
Top strut nut (usually supplied with suspension kit)
Wire brush/ wool
Safety Goggles/ mechanics gloves (for those that want to keep their knuckles)
Plus Gas (or similar)

Front Suspension

1)Get all your tools ready as well as yourself it isn’t a quick job and things need to be in the right order.

2)With the car still on the floor slightly loosen the wheel nuts (saves you tugging around when it’s in the air)

3)Open the bonnet, remove the black suspension turrets to reveal a 19mm nut with an Allen key hole

4)Using the 19mm ring spanner and the 6mm AK slightly loosen this nut. DO NOT LOOSEN ALL THE WAY AS THIS HOLDS THE TOP MOUNT OF A COMPRESSED SPRING! However, failure to loosen this nut now will either leave you trying to clamp the suspension strut in a vice (very awkward) or taking it down to a local garage to have it undone by a wizzy gun.

5)Use this opportunity to slightly loosen the two 15mm bolts again you don’t want to be tugging on the car with it up on stands

6)Raise the car and use the axel stands on the strengthened jacking points making sure the handbrake is on and the rear wheels are chocked. The car must be on axel stands on both sides failure to do so makes alignment of the suspension strut with the hub bracket nearly impossible

7)Remove the front wheels, keeping all bolts in a box so you don’t lose them.

8)You should now be looking inside the wheel arch at the suspension strut with spring and the wheel hub, brake calliper and brake disc. Importantly as well the brake line.

9)Carefully remove the brake line from its clip on the suspension strut.

10)Look at where the hub meets the strut, there are two bolts the nuts are on the right hand side of the leg whilst the bolt on the left. Bear this in mind for assembly.

11)Using the Tommy bar and the socket wrench use the 16 and 17mm sockets to undo the bolts. These bolts may be corroded onto the leg. I brushed mine up with wire wool to clean it up and used some WD40 and flow gas to help get the bolts off. Some suggest leaving these nuts to soak overnight. I found this wasn’t required in my case however, bear it in mind that yours may take longer to soak.

11a.For one of my bolts I had to use a small metal cold chisel to crack the nut as it was stuck solid. Splitting the nut in half and then using a punch to knock the bolt through works although the head of the bolt is often corroded onto the strut and that’s where the chisels came into break this. Douse in flow gas and persevere don’t go whacking anything too hard so you end up making another job for yourself.

12)Once the bolts are out the hub attached to the driveshaft and steering rack etc will drop slightly. I supported this to reduce the strain on the any other components. The bolts that are removed may have to be replaced. Contact FIAT for the bolts and nuts.

13)Move back up top under the bonnet and remove the 15mm bolts you loosened earlier. The strut won’t drop through the arch as there are two black clips that hold it up. Remember to keep all bolts together.

14)Kneel down so that you can access the strut in the wheel arch with one hand and the black clips in the engine bay with the other. Holding the strut pinch the back clips and the strut will fall away (controlled mind) from the car.

15)Tilt the lower strut into the gap on the same side as the brake line. This allows for easier removal away from the vehicle.
If you are replacing the dampers as well as the springs you will still need the top part of the OEM strut. Follow the next bullet points:

1)Lay the strut down and apply the spring compressors equidistance from one another.
2)Tighten gradually till the suspension cup at the top of the strut is moveable by hand. This tells you there is sufficient compression of the springs.
3)Using the ring spanner and the Allen key, stand the strut upwards and remove the top bolt. This would have been nearly impossible if you hadn’t already loosened this nut.
4)Remove the nut, then the dished ‘washer’, then the rub section (which has a tube of steel inside don’t lose that) then the top suspension cup. Keep this safe and in order.
5)Lift the spring of the strut, place away from you.
6)Remove the gator and the bump stop. Depending on the suspension kit these bump stop may need to be cut down. Read the instructions and warnings for this information.
7)Remove the spring compressors from the OEM spring. Trap one coil of the spring in a vice and slowly and evenly release the compressors.

Re-assembly of the new damper and spring.

1)Apply spring compressors slowly and evenly to the new spring keeping the compressors equidistant from one another.

2)Take your new damper and slide the spring over making sure the spring is sufficiently compressed to allow the top assembly.

3)Make sure the bottom coil sits properly in the damper (the instructions that came with the suspension is likely to have a diagram of this)

4)I cleaned up all top suspension bits with wire wool and a dremel tool so it wasn’t so rusty.

5)Push the bumps top onto the top strut followed by the top cup, rubber bit, dished ‘washer’ and finally the top nut – use the new nut supplied.

6)Use the 19mm ring spanner and 6mm AK to tighten this but (not too much as you can tighten it when the wheels are back on and the car is off its stands)

7)Damper and spring is assembled ready for the car!

Re- assembly onto the car.

1)Tip the bottom of the damper into the gap where the brake line comes from and tit the strut into the wheel arch. Poke your head up over the wing and locate the two plastic clips. These are strong enough to hold the strut while you get the bolts to fix the top of the strut into place.

2)Tighten these fairly tight as you can tweak/torque them when the car is back on the ground

3)Align the damper bracket with the bolt holes in the hub and slide greased bolts back through keeping the bolt facing toward the front of the car with nut on the back.

4)Tighten these up

5)Replace the brake line into the bracket.
Repeat this same procedure for the other side. Drop the car back down onto the floor and use this opportunity to tighten up all the bolts to recommended torque, I just did them nice and tight.
Bounce on the front corners checking that nothing is rubbing or making any untoward noise and admire a half done job!

Rear Suspension:
The rears are much easier than the fronts literally 4 bolts where 2 of them are pretty well protected from the elements making removal much easier.
1)Loosen the rear wheel nuts

2)Jack up the rear and place one axel stands

3)Remove the rear wheels keeping all the nuts together

4)Douse the bolts where the dampers are attached with wd40/ plus gas

5)Support the trailing arm with a trolley jack, jack up so that the jack releases any strain on the damper. ENSURE THE CAR HAS NOT BECOME UNSTABLE ON THE AXEL STANDS

6)Using a 18mm socket on a tommy bar remove the lower bolt allowing the damper to swing away from the trailing arm.

7)Using a 16mm socket (and maybe an extension as the exhaust gets in the way on the passenger side) loosen the top bolt. The damper will now fall away. Keep the bolts safe and maybe clean them up if they are rusty.

8)To remove the spring, look at there the bottom of the spring is. There is a little plastic retainer that pushes through the bottom of the trailing arm. If you look under the cup you can see where it clips in. Remove this.

9)Now slowly drop the jack so the trailing arm falls away. The spring should now slide out.

9a.In my case this didn’t happen, instead I jacked the trailing arm back up and applied spring compressors (careful to use them properly) it just made it that much easier to slide the spring out.

10)The spring will now have a rubber bit at the top remember how this is fitted.


1)Take the rear spring and fit the rubber around the top making sure it is correctly orientated (see on removal or step 9 above)

2)Cut the bump stops down to the required length doing this now is so much easier than at the end!

3)Put the widest part of the spring in first and slide the bottom end onto the rubbers on the trailing arm.

3a.Your unlikely to have to use spring compressors here if you are using shortened springs

4)Once the spring is in place take your damper. The short wider part goes upwards.

5)Use the 16mm socket and the correct bolt and tighten into place. Don’t over tighten as it makes alignment of the lower hole with the trailing arm all the more difficult

6)Jack the trailing arm till the holes align and use the 18mm socket bit and the relevant bolt to tighten. Go back and tighten the top bolt too.

7)At this point re attach the plastic stopper into the bottom of the trailing arm the disc goes on the side of the suspension.

8)Lower the jack and repeat on the other side

9)Replace the wheels and hand tighten the bolts in opposite pairs to make sure the wheel seat on the hub properly

10)Lower the car of the axel stands.

Make sure all bolts that were removed have gone back on. The last thing you want is to find out at 60mph that you forgot to put a bolt in.
Cut the bump stops to the right length otherwise this can damage the suspension.
Make sure the wheels are on tight after dropping it off the axel stands.
Brake lines clipped making sure they don’t fowl on anything.
Pump each corner to make sure you don’t hear any funny noises

Take your first test drive slow this is for two reasons:
1)If anything has been put on wrong you want to find out the slowest speed
2)The car is going to handle differently, however don’t think because it’s lowered it’ll corner as flat as Hamilton’s f1 car because it won’t!

If you have lowered your car, I’m sure I’m right in saying that your lights will be affected as it is as if the car is heavily laden.
Watch the speed bumps, you can get complacent after a few trips and you forget, watch the CAT, sump, body kit and exhaust.
Lastly, declare your modifications on your insurance!

This guide is only a guide; it should not be considered the bible of suspension overhaul! There are few tips in here that I have picked up from the as well as my mechanic who kindly removed the top strut nuts as I did not loosen them before I jacked up the car. I was lucky he did it for free for me but others it has cost a £5. I take it that if you’re using this guide you don’t want the 4 hours labour charge of having them fitted so it’s a tip to keep costs down. He was also kind enough to lend me some tools!