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My struts are basically gone on my 164LS, I would like to try to replace them myself, I am not a seasoned mechanic but I like to do a lot of the little things, is this something a novice should take on? and does anyone have documentation on the process, I would like to review it to decide if I should take it on or not, I have done shock absorbers in older Alfa's just never done struts in a FWD car. :sweatdrop:
what should I be looking for with replacing other components, bearings?, mounting plate? etc.
any help would be appreciated.
 

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pretty straighforward with a couple of tricks

Basically the only thing holding the strut in place are 4 bolts on the bottom and ?3? on the top --

the bottom bolts can get very rusty and hard to remove (I am told, i live in so Cal and so I;ve never seen this) so the advice is to liberally wet them with PB blaster or Kroil or Liquid Wrench, etc , whatever you like.

jack the side up , remove the tire, remove the 4 bolts on the bottom and let the hub sag down. Remove the anti-sway bar end link. Pull the hub away from the strut end
remove the top three bolts and the strut comes out in your hand.

replace it

FOr the rears, the top three mounting bolts are fiddly. A 3/8 pnnuematic nut driver with short socket works well there (not a lot of clearance up/down or to swing a ratchet handle ) - same thing

The major trick is to use a second jack to raise the finally-completed hub (with strut attached) to get the antisway bar end link back in the hole and attached. Its not hard just requires a second floor jack

All this from memory, havent done it in a few years!
 

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To disassemble the rear strut and retrieve the spring, no special tools are required, however, on the front you need to use a spring compressor to get the upper plate assembly off.
 

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1990 164QV Euro spec & 1991 168B
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My struts are basically gone on my 164LS, I would like to try to replace them myself, I am not a seasoned mechanic but I like to do a lot of the little things, is this something a novice should take on? and does anyone have documentation on the process, I would like to review it to decide if I should take it on or not, I have done shock absorbers in older Alfa's just never done struts in a FWD car. :sweatdrop:
what should I be looking for with replacing other components, bearings?, mounting plate? etc.
any help would be appreciated.
Fronts struts require some heavy duty tools.

Rear struts can be a bear to get out if lower bolts rusted in place.
 

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I think you'll find some pretty good step by step instruction in some older threads. Also some good info on parts to replace...bearings, dust boots, bump stops. The top supports might be in the best shape overall, but you might need visual inspection to tell for sure. I'm still researching all of this myself for a suspension rebuild hopefully in the spring. From what I've seen, usually everything needs to be replaced at the age of these cars.

Besides the spring compressors, you may need some different wrenches, ratchets, etc to get the top nut off the front struts. Maybe an impact gun. That's my experience on other cars. I think that's what Steve is alluding to.

If you're not intimidated by compressing the spring, you should be good. Note how everything comes apart and reassemble the same way. The end of the spring usually wants to sit in a specific spot.

I'm a believer in having it aligned after suspension work.
 

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difference between 'replacing struts' and 'rebuilding struts'. Replacing them (ie you have another strut in your hand (strut = shock + spring+ perches + boots etc, ie ready-to-install) is as I described.

Rebuilding is more complex as Steve and RIchard describe. Must have spring compressor and quality pneumatic tools. If you're a novice I would advise against as compressed spring stores a LOT of energy.
 

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I'm soon to do this and document it with fotos and narrative here on the board. Within the next 2 weeks weather permitting if your schedule allows a few weeks to wait. Look at my thread on clutch hydraulics for an example of how I try to make things easy to understand. There's not really much to doing this job (but then I've done many struts on various cars) but time and a somewhat methodical approach to things. I had mine apart recently and the few bits that stood out at me are the lower bearing (the yellow thing in Mr Steves fotos) can come apart in a zillion little balls. The orientation of the struts plates and the spring and all the assorted stuff needs to be right and being able to get the upper nut off the strut rod can be tricky. IIRC it took 20 minutes to get the unit out of the car and on mine, there was no need to disconnect the swaybar links. I will recommend having all the bits available prior to starting. ciao, chris
 

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All of the above is very sound advice. My only reservation is the need of a pneumatic wrench. I've done this trip many times have have never needed one, it's loud and bad for your ears and in some cases bad for the car. If the car was an S or Q, the pneumatic helper could unseat some pretty important seals. A good visegrip, some reinforced vinyl tubing and a huge breaker bar is all you need to remove the top nut.
 

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come to think of it, if you are replacing the struts then how you get the nut off the top is a moot point. Latch a big vise grip or something similar around the strut rod (shiny part) and go to town. Trouble is that it wants to spin in the tube, thus making removal of the nut tricky. I'm lucky, mine have a way to hold the rod still and use a box wrench to get it loose. Otherwise I'm w/pinino, no need for air power. ciao, chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, absolutely would like to reap benefits from the fruits of your labor, I will probably not tackle this job for a few more weeks, if you do put together the documentation I would very much like to get a copy.
 

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Hi
I too would like access to the Google link. We're going to do the strutty thing on our 164and we're going to need all the advice we can get. Like, can we use a generic spring compressor?
Veronica
 

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"Like, can we use a generic spring compressor?"

On the front, yes you can. I used one of the auto parts store (or maybe Sears) threaded rods w/clamps version to compress the front strut enough to clear the shock shaft so that I could attach a visegrips to hold the shaft while I loosened the nut. It worked well on two cars, although you do have to be careful of course, standing to one side while you use it, never stand in line with the shaft. Much energy stored in the compressed front spring when compressed.

The rear strut doesn't really need a spring compression rig, as you can push down on the soft spring enough to get at things. Maybe use the compression rig a little to clear the shaft, but on reassembly, you don't need it, being able to push down on the soft spring enough to put on the nut.

I sure would advise that you have a copy of the workshop manual, and look at the Fiat parts eper on the web @ (FIAT ePER :: The FIAT Forum) to see the assy of the parts. That should be enough, at least it was for me, and I had not worked on the struts before.
 
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