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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,
Having trouble removing the front damper/spring assembly from my 400 as one unit. I'm looking at the Front Suspension Service Notes and it's unclear to me if I need to remove either or both the upper/lower ball joints from the hub in order to get the assembly out or possibly the upper wishbone's front & rear pivot bolts?
My tetris abilities have not found a way to remove the damper/spring assembly, with the upper top mount bracket still attached. I did release the ARB link to try and get the most up/down travel on the suspension but no joy.

Appreciate any guidance or input!!

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I don't believe the S2s are that different from the S1s in this regard. I just had my damper assemblies out a few weeks ago, and it's basically like you said; Tetris, but there's really only one possible angle/position where it will successfully clear the wishbones. Thinking about it, I had to pull the assembly down as low as it would go into the lower wishbone, and then angle the top mount away from the upper wishbone, maybe do a quarter turn, and extract upward while pushing down on the hub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I'll try again but I can't seem to get enough movement up or down, before I hit or get wedged, to clear either end.
 

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Now that I think about it, it was the rear assemblies that I removed intact; the fronts I had to take the top mount off, which allowed the shock to slide lower into the wishbone, and then was able to pull the spring out separately, and then the shock. But upon reassembly, the front assembly went in as a whole, so I suppose it could have come out that way too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well, I farted around with it for another hour to try and get the LF/Driver's side (haven't tried FR/passenger side yet) as a whole unit. Could not get it out. Sometimes it look & felt close but then start stressing, scratching and marring aluminum. I decided to separate the top wishbone ball joint from the hub carrier. Took 3 minutes and the assembly was out once I was able to pust the upper wishbone up while pushing the lower down.
The spring is under compression in the unit so you really want to compress/decompress the spring outside the car, on the bench as per the Lotus Service notes.

As far as the ball joint separation, I used my hinge style separator. Put some tension on the separator and took my ballpeen hammer with light taps around the hub carrier joint and it separated nicely. Just FYI for anyone wanting to do this. The tooth/fork end of my separator is pretty thick so I couldn't get a really good bite on the top of the hub carrier. Was prepared to file down some thickness on my separator but it didn't become necessary. Also was prepared to put a bit of heat, via a heat gun on the hub but also became unnecessary.
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Hi, sorry I'm late to this... but if you go to BOE web page and pull the install instructions for their lowering cups they give instructions how to pull the front and rear in one unit and its supper simple! have done it multiple times :)
PS separating isn't necessary

-At least you'll have it for future reference 😉
 
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Hi, sorry I'm late to this... but if you go to BOE web page and pull the install instructions for their lowering cups they give instructions how to pull the front and rear in one unit and its supper simple! have done it multiple times :)
PS separating isn't necessary

-At least you'll have it for future reference 😉
That's what I used, but unless they've changed the doc since, it shows the front upper mounts being taken off in-situ:
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Yes @ardentdr8 Correct ...Sorry meant you don't have to separate the upper A-arm and hub carrier. I used to separate them too until I got the lowering cups and realized I was just doing extra work -lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Wow, they are showing to relieve spring tension while in car and I understand how they did it... BUT....there are a couple issues that I don't care for using this method. Firstly, it can be pretty hazardous to do this in situ for both your limbs/hands/fingers but also all the aluminum front subframe. The spring pressure is massive and can do a lot of jamming/wedging of brackets and such into awkward positions. Maybe I'm missing something on this method and if so, please enlighten me.
Next issue is getting it back together in reverse order while trying to keep parts aligned and not tearing stuff up.
That being said, the few moments it took to separate the upper ball joint allows a lot of room to get the unit out and the new units back in much more easily IMHO.
Hmmmm....very interesting and I really appreciate you sharing this and helps to validate that there isn't a super secret gymnastics position to get it out in one piece without doing what we've mentioned above.
Rears look super easy......knock on wood.....! :p :p

Thanks again!
 

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I was concerned with the spring tension as well, so I attempted to wedge my spring compressor into the wheel well to alleviate that before undoing the upper mount bolt, but there wasn't sufficient room. Instead, I grabbed a secondary hydraulic floor jack and used it on the bottom of the shock to push upwards (and inwards), pulled the upper bolt out, and then slowly let the jack down to relieve the spring pressure. Thankfully the front springs aren't under a ton of pressure on the OE shocks, unlike many struts I've worked on in the past.

Getting the front assemblies back in (all together) seemed to be rather simple, compared to trying to work out how to get them out. Maybe gravity assisted some in that regard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I looked at getting my spring compressors in there too and just too much in the way. Compressed springs bring out the baby in me. :oops::oops: Got bit once a few decades ago and now I'm probably over respectful of that pent up energy.

I took the rear out on same side. Took 10 minutes.
 
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