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How to change MK2 top mounts without removing strut


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NebulaicToaster

So the polo failed it's MOT on a wobbly top mount. I ordered the bits and got hold of some spring compressors. I read in another thread that once the top nuts are off you can jack the car up and the bolt should fall, which it did. The problem now is how to remove the old top mount bushing, it looks like the spring is still pushing up against the bush despite the bolt falling by about 12 cm. 

 

The spring compressors I have are about 40cm long, threaded one end and have a socket hole on the other. They're the 2 claw clamps. The only way I can see it working is if the bit you turn, the socket end, is pointing up. Otherwise the threaded bit hits the roof of the wheel well without the jaws doing the compression. 

 

I would try to just take the whole strut off but I now cannot get the hub nut off as the car is in the air and I've got not impact wrench, I can't put it on the ground because I can't get the shock bolt back up into the right hole without the spring compressors which I cannot get to work. 

 

Am I missing something stupidly obvious with how to use these ruddy spring compressors?  Do I just need to get shorter ones? Does anyone have advice for doing the top mounts without removing the struts, the Haynes isn't hugely helpful. I'll attach some pics 

 

Cheers in advance,

J

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Bingo! Went to Screwfix to look at the size of the compressors they had in stock, bought a pair that was probably 2/3 the size! They worked a treat the right way up, I cranked the spring down then pri

loosen the big ARB nut at hub? or take it off the Track Control Arm's balljoint? (nut and bolt through hub)   (or take anti-roll bar off only at front mounts. It can be a right pain to

In the end I realised the shock absorber had a lot more travel in it, so I fed some string down through the mounting hole and tied it round the shock thread. Gentle but constant pulling on that string

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steveo3002

whats the problem with the compressors?

 

adjust them by hand so they span the most coils possible ,fit the hooks over the spring and crank the nut to compress the spring , be carefull using em and keep your fingers and face away as they can slip off 

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NebulaicToaster
56 minutes ago, steveo3002 said:

whats the problem with the compressors?

 

adjust them by hand so they span the most coils possible ,fit the hooks over the spring and crank the nut to compress the spring , be carefull using em and keep your fingers and face away as they can slip off 

The nut end of the compressor seems to only go in up into the wheel well, so I can't get up to tighten it with a spanner.

 

I might be being thick, but these compressors have a threaded end ----clamp with threads------ clamp without threads that can slide up and down----- nut end for tightening. 

 

Am I using them right? Or do I need to swap round the clamp order

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steveo3002

cant really advise without being there ...either have the nut at the top if you can get to it , so the thread comes out the bottom , or nut at the bottom if theres room for the thread to poke out the top...might take a couple of tries to get it working 

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NebulaicToaster

Bingo! Went to Screwfix to look at the size of the compressors they had in stock, bought a pair that was probably 2/3 the size! They worked a treat the right way up, I cranked the spring down then pried the old bearing out. The new one is now in place!

 

Having trouble getting the shock bolt to align with the bearing hole now. I still have the spring compressed as I thought that would make things easier. Jacking up under the control arm makes the bolt rise up but not aligned with the hole, I don't have enough strength to pull the inner strut to get it to align while also jacking up. 

Any tricks on this one?

 

Thanks a million for your help, next time this job will be a breeze.

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loosen the big ARB nut at hub?

or take it off the Track Control Arm's balljoint? (nut and bolt through hub)

 

(or take anti-roll bar off only at front mounts. It can be a right pain to refit ARB I find, but I do have g-laderseite blocks which pull wheels forward to increase caster angle).

.

 I normally end up with a big piece of 4x4 fence post on the jack (with chocked jack wheels). The post holds up the shock 's steering arm protruding bit in order to get the angles right.  

 

 

Those original spring compressors look big enough for a Range Rover 🤣

Edited by dvderlm
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I have same spring compressors and I have done at least 8 sets of mk2f  springs now and never had any problem with them. 

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NebulaicToaster

In the end I realised the shock absorber had a lot more travel in it, so I fed some string down through the mounting hole and tied it round the shock thread. Gentle but constant pulling on that string allowed the shock to extend enough (this is with the spring compressed mind) to be cajoled into the mount just enough to get the castle nut on a couple of threads. Then a combination of jacking and wiggling got the rest of the thread in. Yay for lateral thinking!

 

Yeah those original compressors were HUGE. Lesson learned, don't borrow tools for a job you've never done from a mate that's never used the tool. 

 

Sods law though, went to do the nearside one next and it had an Allen key end (the offside had an 8mm bolt). Promptly snapped the ball end of my long Allen key and now I'm stuck 😞 I'm going to leave it for the time being because she only failed on the offside.

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Yay for string! Check the castle nut after a hundred miles or so.

 

Is the ball end of the Allen key broken off and stuck in?

 

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NebulaicToaster
1 hour ago, dvderlm said:

Yay for string! Check the castle nut after a hundred miles or so.

 

Is the ball end of the Allen key broken off and stuck in?

 

Yeah ball end broke off and stuck in the hole. I've tried a magnet but it's slightly rotated and stuck in proper. Might be an aryldite on a stick job or an extractor.

 

What am I looking for on the castle nut after 100 miles?

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steveo3002

heres a tip for you ...never use a ball end allen key where a straight one will fit , theyre meant for using on a angle and weaker than a normal one 

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NebulaicToaster
8 hours ago, steveo3002 said:

heres a tip for you ...never use a ball end allen key where a straight one will fit , theyre meant for using on a angle and weaker than a normal one 

Annoyingly the other Allen keys I had weren't long enough to clear the long reach spanner I was using. My impatience got the better of me!

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