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Old 01-02-2009   #1
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Front Suspension Knock

Just before christmas the girlfriend took the Panda to be Motd. It passed of course but the guy mentioned before the next one I should have a look at the front passenger side suspension, there was a rubber on its way out.

You can feel a slight knock at times so I have had a look. The antiroll bar seems fine as does the ball joints but when I lift the wheel there is about an 20mm of free play before the spring starts to compress.
With the bonnet open I can see the top of the shock moving up and down freely so I guess this is the problem. There is a bit more resistance on the drivers side but not alot.

Everything is tight so I suspect it is something to do with the pivot point at the top of the spring.
The play only seems to be vertical but we are having trouble keeping the tracking straight for any amount of time so fixing this problem might help. (she never drives up curbs etc... so it wont be that)


I am wondering if anyone has had this or can point me in the right direction? I am only in the UK every 2 weeks for a weekend so its nice to get all the parts in place before stripping the car as she wont be able to get to work.

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2009   #2
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Sounds like a top mount for the damper. I had this problem on my BMW (it was the rear). Not sure how difficult it will be to do it on the panda. But I did both sides on the beemer in about 20 minutes, no need to even take the wheel off either. Cost about 12.
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Old 01-02-2009   #3
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

If it is the top mount, which sounds likely, the strut has to be removed and disassembled to change it on the Pandas. About 30 each.
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Old 01-02-2009   #4
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Quote Originally Posted by HP. View Post
If it is the top mount, which sounds likely, the strut has to be removed and disassembled to change it on the Pandas. About 30 each.

I guess thinking about you'd need to compress the spring on a Macpherson strut in order to get the top plate off and remove the top mount. I was lucky on the beemer as the rear dampers are separate from the spring with a trailing arm multilink setup.
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Old 01-02-2009   #5
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Wow, you said MacPherson without being derogatory.

Yep, the top mount is held in by the shocker top nut. Bonus is the strut just attaches to the hub with 2 bolts so you don't need to undo balljoints and driveshafts to get it off.
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Old 01-02-2009   #6
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Thanks, its good to know the parts are availble separately.

I will give Stoneacre a call in the morning to check the prices and decide whether both sides need doing. I probably will as they have both done the same distance.
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Old 01-02-2009   #7
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Quote Originally Posted by PNL View Post
There was also a complete strut/spring assembly on ebay recently for a 1.2 although you didnt say what model the car is.. even quicker change over..
ideally you should change dampers in pairs
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Old 01-02-2009   #8
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Cool Re: Front Suspension Knock

Quote Originally Posted by RobW View Post
ideally you should change dampers in pairs
Dont disagree with that.. but many do to cut costs..personally I wouldnt but thats personal choice..
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Old 01-02-2009   #9
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Quote Originally Posted by PNL View Post
Dont disagree with that.. but many do to cut costs..personally I wouldnt but thats personal choice..
but you recommended he did...
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Old 01-02-2009   #10
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Cool Re: Front Suspension Knock

Quote Originally Posted by RobW View Post
but you recommended he did...
Nope just said its a quicker change over..tried to quote my last post and deleted by accident my quote in post 7 ..me and a PC don't mix..
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Old 01-02-2009   #11
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Either way its not the damper but the mount on the top thats failing, so if it worked out cheaper I could have got that unit and changed just the mount.

Its a Panda Sporting so its a diesel, the front springs and probably the dampers will be different anyway.

(I wondered where that quote had come from as I couldnt find the original post)
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Old 02-02-2009   #12
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Looking on Ebay there are some replacement parts for about 20 per side. It appears these are the same as on the Punto.

Also spoke to the dealer and they are 30 for genuine so that is what was ordered.
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Old 11-02-2009   #13
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Re: Front Suspension Knock

Changed the bad part last weekend and it was relatively easy.

A good way to see how much play is in these parts is to watch the top of the strut relative to the mounting point as the car is jacked up.


Basically a case of removing the strut;
- Bolt at the top with an allen key in the middle to stop the strut turning. I didnt have the correct array of tools as you need a very deep dish 19mm ring spanner or a socket with a hex on the outside. I resulted to the stilsons on the outside of the socket tecnique and the allen key through the square where the ratchet usually goes.
- Remove the anti-roll bar link. This is harder than it looked and needed a set of pipe grips on the back of it to stop it turning and there is no key way and no hex on the back. On an old car I can see this needing to be sawn off.
- Remove the two bolts holding the strut to the hub.

After this there is another nut the hold the rubber and the spring in place.
- Compress the spring and undo the 27mm nut. Again you have to hold the centre shaft with an allen key so I sacrificed a spare socket and ground flats onto it so I could get the stilsons onto it more easily.

The rubber unit then comes off and can be replaced. Re-assembly is exactly the reverse, I gave the outer of each thread a copperease shroud but didnt put it under the nuts as they are safety related and need the proper friction/torque levels.
I imagine as a home fix that 2hrs is a good estimate for time.

The rubber unit I got was a slightly different design which might make it slightly more rigid but the same manufacturer. Made in germany of all places!!
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