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  1. #1
    Mike
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    1973 96
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    Front Strut/Hub assembly Removal - NG900

    This is a walk through of how to remove the front strut/hub assembly. The car shown in the pictures is a 1996 900SE.

    Difficulty: 4 out of 5 (if you live in a salty winter area) but considerably easier if you have a completely rust free front suspension.

    Estimated time: I had quite a bit of trouble with rust, so it took me about 6~7 hours per-side. I feel if I didn't have rust problems, I could have cut that down to 3 hours a side.

    Tools:
    -32mm socket
    -A breaker bar
    -24mm open ended wrench (a crescent wrench will work, but is harder)
    -18mm open ended wrench
    -13mm socket
    -11mm socket or wrench
    -10mm allen key/wrench
    -5mm allen key/wrench
    -Car jack
    -Jack stands
    -Tie-rod/ball-joint separator
    -Hammer

    Tips:
    If you car is a bit rusty, read through this first, and spray all the nuts/bolts/screws with as much PBlaster, or similar, way in advance.

    Steps:
    1)While the car is still on the ground, remove the center cap off the front wheels, and loosen the hub nuts (32mm, use breaker bar) on both front wheels, and loosen the wheel bolts (17mm) too.

    2)Properly jack up the front of the car and put it on jack stands.
    3)Remove the wheels (17mm wheel bolts) and the hub nut (32mm).
    4)Remove the cap screw (5mm allen) holding on the brake discs, and remove the brake discs.
    5)Remove the ABS sensor. This can be done by unscrewing the cap screw (shown in photo below) holding it back of the hub. Mine were rusted beyond belief, so I just ended up leaving the ABS sensor. While you can still proceed with the ABS sensor attached, you just can't take the complete strut assembly any further than the length of the ABS sensor's wire (it's just long enough to allow you to lay the strut assembly on the ground).

    6)Remove the nut (18mm) from the bottom of the tie-rod end (sometimes called "track-ends"). Then separate the tie-rod end from the strut assembly with a separator tool. DO NOT USE A HAMMER ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BOLT. YOU WILL RUIN THE THREADS. If you ruin the threads, you'll have to attempt to re-tap them or get a new tie-rod end.

    7)Remove the two 10mm (allen) caliper bolts. And tie the caliper off to the side. I ended up changing how I hung mine after the photo as I didn't like how it was tugging on the brake lines. Remove the dust shield if you can... my screws were too rusty, so I left it, but it was a little bit in the way.


    8)I found this to be an optional step. I did it on one side, and not on the other. It did make the re-assembly easier to remove it, but I didn't want to risk it as I sheared the bolt off on re-assembly when I went to put the nut back on the end-link assembly which attaches to the front sway bar. But it's just a 13mm nut to be removed. Just remove the nut (shown with the wrench on it), you don't need to do any more (besides not losing the washers). Note, the front sway bar can be connected to a different point on the suspension depending on the year.

    9)Separate the bottom ball joint.
    10)With a hammer, gently tap the axle to loosen it up. Now lift on the hub, while pulling away from the axle. Lift up to so the bottom ball joint drops, and pull out so you can get the axle out. You may have to have a friend hold down on the lower suspension so you'll be able to get it apart.
    11)Holding the strut assembly with one hand, remove the three nuts (13mm) holding the strut assembly onto the car. These are up in the engine bay, and are in a triangular pattern. Un-doing these will cause the assembly the drop down, so hold on to it tight.
    12)You've got it out! Mine is shown with the ABS still connected.


    Re-assembly is just the reverse of above. If you chose to disconnect the front sway bar, it makes it easier getting the lower ball-joint back on the strut assembly and getting the axle back into the hub.

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    Last edited by Shazam; 11 March 2012 at 01:47.
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  2. #2
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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