|05-06-2009, 05:20 PM||#1|
How To - Extensive Suspension Overhaul (Front and Rear)
Well, it’s finally that time. I’ve been wanting to do this since March, and I finally did.
Decided to do some extensive suspension work, and make a thread for it to help out as many people as I can with this.
I’m sure most, if not all of you know how to do your own suspension install, but there are some that need this info.
So, here we go…
Tools / Materials needed (not all mentioned here, but I’ll mention them as I go) –
•Car JackSuspension Work To Be Done –
•ShocksTotal Time – Just around 5½ hours. It’s less that this. It takes too much time to prep, paint, and clean stuff up. And take pictars!
1.I should mention that this is going to be done on my Focus wagon. All focus models (00-05) are just about the same in the front, so this should help with what ever focus, even the 06-09 models. I don't think there’s much difference with the newer ones.Here’s are some very useful diagrams I have found on the intra-webz. Very helpful stuff.
Now, let’s move on to the install –
We’ll begin with the front.
Start by loosening the front wheel nuts. Do not remove them. Just half a turn is fine.
Remember to Chalk your tires.
I’m lowered, so getting a jack under the car isn’t easy. Fortunately, I have some Lynx levelers. These are used for leveling R.V.’s. But work perfect for raising the car just enough to get the jack under there.
Place the Jack stands in place.
Now fully remove your wheel/tire, and place it under the car for safety.
Using a 15mm wrench and a 5mm allen wrench, loosen the end link nut.
Remove the end link from the strut assembly; place the nut on the end link so you won’t loose it. Place aside.
Having some one help you by pressing the brake pedal, use the breaker bar with a 32mm socket to loosen the axle retaining nut, and remove it. Here’s my helper!
Remove the dust cap to reveal the bolts holding the caliper in place.
Use a 7mm allen to loosen the caliper bolts. I used one of these
Just loosen them, do not remove yet
Use a 15mm wrench to remove bolts holding the caliper bracket in place
Remove the bolts and the caliper assembly.
Separate the caliper from the bracket, you’ll need to remove the pads and retainer spring
Using a bungee cord, support the caliper from the spring/strut. Let it hang, you’ll be removing it later.
Remove the rotor from the hub
Using the 5mm allen and the 15mm wrench, loosen the outer tie rod nut.
It might be stuck, so I used one of these to separate the tie rod from the knuckle
Remove and set aside
Remove the bolt that holds the strut to the knuckle using a 15mm wrench
Using a T50 Torx (I used a 47, worked ok) and the 15mm wrench, loosen and remove the lower bolt that holds the knuckle to the lower control arm.
Use the 15mm wrench to loosen and remove the brake line, you might want to loosen this while it’s still on the knuckle. Much easier.
Remove the caliper and set aside.
Separate the knuckle from the strut. I gave it a couple of kicks. You might have to give the axle a tap to help it slide/release from the hub. I used a hammer and a small piece of wood to prevent any damage from tapping it.
Completely remove the knuckle from the lower control arm. It might take a little force.
Now, open to hood to access the strut mount nuts.
Use a 13mm socket and remove the nuts.
Remove the strut assembly
Use a set of spring compressors to compress the spring, just a little. Enough to release the tension from the strut mount.
Use a ¾ closed end (curved) wrench and a 6mm allen to loosen the strut nut
Separate the spring and strut mount from the strut
Remove the dust cover
Remove the bump-stop and the plastic dust cover holder thingamajiggy-
Now lets assemble our new struts. I bought a set of KYB AGX’s.
Insert the plastic boot/dust cover holder thingy in place. The KYB shocks are a tad different from the Monroes I had, so the plastic piece doesn’t go all the way down, but does stay in place.
Now, insert the bump-stop
Then the boot/dust cover
With the spring compressed, insert it to the strut. Then, the coil and strut mounts. Tighten your bolt to 35 ft-lbs
I had a co-worker take the knuckles to a shop to have the bearings pressed out and the new one’s pressed in, with new hubs.
I also pressed out the studs, but didn’t take pictures. However, I did for the rear, so look below for this.
In the mean time, I cleaned up the parts and did some painting. Nothing too fancy, but looks way better than it was before.
Now, moving on to the control arms...
With an 18mm or 11/16 socket, and closed end wrench, loosen and remove the bolt holding the front part of the control arm.
You might have to raise the engine a bit with the jack, to get the bolt out all the way.
With a 15mm and a 18mm socket or wrench, loosen and remove the smaller bolt, on the rear of the control arm, closest to the outside (tire).
Ok, here comes the tougher bolt. I had to use the breaker bar for this one. Use the 18mm or 11/16 socket to loosen and remove the inner bolt, on the rear of the control arm. It’s on there pretty tight, so be careful. Use the 18mm closed en wrench to hold the nut on the top, like on the other bolts.
Once all bolts are off, wiggle the arm out
And, now out
Fortunately for me, I had picked up a set of used lcas from a good friend. So, I just refurbished those. I ground off the rivets holding the ball joint in place. And used a hammer to pound them out. I didn’t get any pics of this process, though. Sorry. It’s fairly easy.
Here’s a pic with the old ball joints off
I cleaned up the lcas with a wire wheel
Then, sanded them a bit with 600 grit metal sand paper
And washed them up.
After they were all dry, I sprayed them with etching primer
Then I sprayed them with silver Duplicolor wheel paint
I let them dry for 2 days (more than enough).
I bought a set of Moog Ball Joints, part number K80067 for the 00-04 Focus. These are pretty great, they’re greasable, ulike the OEM joints.
They come with everything you need for installation, except washers. So, I bought some.
Install the greaser nipple to the ball joint assembly
Now, install the new ball joints in place
Bolt them up, I used two washer per bolt.
Huge difference comparing them
Control arm installation –
Insert the control arm in place and install the front bolt. (Torque Specs below)
Then install the other two bolts
Torque specs -
•Step 1 (inner rear bolt/nut) 74 ft-lbsAnd, now installed
Take your strut assembly and put it in place
Use your nuts to hold in strut in place, then tighten them to 18ft-lbs
Next, take your knuckle and put the ball joint heat shield in place
Insert the axle into the hub and then, on to the ball joint on the lca
Then, attach the knuckle to the strut. This might take some wiggling to get the strut to fully set into the knuckle. I used my jack to raise the arm/knuckle into place
After it’s fully inserted settled, insert your pinch bolt
Tighten in with a 15mm socket and torque to 66 ft-lbs
Afterwards, insert the ball joint pinch bolt and torque to 37 ft-lbs
Insert the tie rod into the knuckle, torque to 35 ft-lbs
And now, things should look like this
Next, insert the end link into the sway bar and strut, torque the buts to 37 ft-lbs
I replaced my old studs with ARP studs. Part number 100-7708. Here’s a good thread on ARP studs that fit the Focus ARP Stud Info
Set it into place and tap the rear of the stud a little with a hammer
Using an old nut and a closed-end wrench ( I used a loop hole from an adjusting wrench) tight the nut so it pulls the stud into place
After they’re all in place, place your new (or old) rotor in place
Put the axle nut in place as well, you’ll need to torque this to 214 ft-lbs, but not until you have installed your brakes. That way, you can have some one help you by pressing on the brake pedal while you torque the nut. Remember, you can only use this nut a maximum of three times.
Next, we’ll install the brakes! Take the caliper guide bolts and clean them up
After they’re all clean, you need to grease them up. It’s best to add the grease in the guide (where they’re inserted in the caliper) Be sure to use high-temp grease only. And be sure to use enough. The guide bolts need to move freely and not seize.
Then, install your brake pads. I’m using the same as my last sets, Hawk pads.
Place the rear pad into the caliper
Then, the front pad and the caliper bracket. Do not bolt the bracket just yet. Leaving it unbolted makes it very simple for you to place the retainer spring into place. If you’ve done SVT brakes before, you know what I mean.
Now, on to the retainer spring
I used a set of vise-grip pliers to hold the retainer and set it into place. As much as I tried, it’s tough to set it in place with out scratching the painted caliper. It's best to place one side of the spring into the holding hole, then the other, and then place it on the bracket.
Install the brake line to the caliper and use a 15mm wrench to tighten it.
Next, mount the brake assembly to the knuckle. Remember to use thread lock on the bolts prier to tightening them. Torque to 74 ft-lbs (could be wrong on this, so look it up to be sure)
Torque your caliper guide bolts to 21 ft-lbs
Now, things should look like this
At this point, you’ll need to bleed your brakes to get the air out. I suggest getting some speed bleeders.
Remember to torque your axle nut to 214 ft-lbs
Install your wheel, and torque your new (or used) nuts to 94 ft-lbs
Front should be all done!
Lets go to the rear!
Again, I raised the Focus a little with the lynx levelers
Loosen your wheel nuts
Place your jack right under your rear cross member and raise
Remove your wheel/tire and place under the car
Unhook the e-brake cable
Loosen the brake fluid line with a 15mm wrench
Use a 15mm and a 13mm wrench to loosen the remove the caliper bolts
Remove the caliper from the bracket/rotor and remove the brake line
Use a 15mm wrench or socket to remove the caliper bracket
Remove the rotor
In these next steps, I’ll be removing the spindle and hub just to clean them up. I’ll be replacing the wheel studs as well, so removing this make things easier. You don’t have to do so, unless you want to clean things up as well or you’re replacing the bearing. If So, go here Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement
Use a 13mm socket to loosen and remove the bolts holding the spindle, behind the trailing arm
Afterwards, remove the spindle and dust cover from the trailing arm
Set aside for future cleaning
Use a 14mm socket and wrench to remove the sway bar end link
Remove the bolts holding the sway using a 13mm socket or wrench
Remember to save your bolts
Place your jack under the control arm, and raise it a bit to put some tension on it.
Then use a 15mm socket or wrench to loosen and remove the control arm bolt on the trailing arm
While you’re there, loosen and remove the bolt holding the shock to the trailing arm.
After removing the control arm bolt, slowly lower the jack. Once all tension is released from the spring, remove it
Use an 18mm and 19mm socket to remove the control arm bolt
You might have to wiggle the arm a bit to remove it
The results of using a large diameter sway with non-reinforced control arms
This is my drivers side, looks like I replaced it just in time!
I actually had one snap on me, that’s why it’s welded together
Locate the bolt that holds the top part of the shock to the chassis, use a 15mm socket to remove. I had to use 3 extensions to get to it
On the drivers side, you have to remove (or move to the side) the heat shield to access the top bolt
After some cleaning
Back to the spindles/hubs
I used a couple of old cheapo sockets I had and a table vice to press out the studs
After some major cleaning with the wheel grinder.
And some painting
I used some primer, and silver duplicolor wheel paint, then clear coated them.
Let’s begin with the install by placing the rear lca into place. You might have to wiggle it a bit to get it in there. After it’s in place, put the bolt through the hole to hold it in place. Do not tighten the bolt, you’ll need to wait till the car’s weight is on them (ride height). It should be torqued to 111 ft-lbs
Place the coil spring on the lca perch
Place your jack under your lca, then raise it slowly until you’re able to screw the bolt in place.
Use your 15mm socket / wrench to bolt it up. Remember not to tighten them until the car’s weight is on them.
Put your shock in place and torque bolt to 85 ft-lbs (13 ft-lbs for ZX3/4/5’s). I used KYB GR-2s for my rear. Not vary many options for wagons.
And screw in your lower shock bolt. Remember not to tighten it yet. This should be torqued to 66 ft-lbs
Take the spindle assembly and put in place, remember to use thread lock on your bolts.
Press in your new studs using an old lug/wheel nut and a open end wrench, like so
And all 4
Now, put your new (or old) rotor in place
Next, we’ll be installing the caliper bracket, but the guide pins will need to be cleaned up and greased. Use high-temp grease only
Separate the rubber boot from the pin and clean separately
After they’re all clean, put the boot back in place, and lube the pin. As you place the pin back into the hole on the bracket, you have to make use to get all the air our. If there’s air in the hole, it’ll push the pin out.
And bolt the bracket in place. Torque the bolts to 41 ft-lbs
Before installing the caliper, you’ll need to push the piston in, and for those of you that have done rear disc brake jobs, know it can be a B
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Now pushing in the piston is as simple as turning a lever!
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When pushing in the piston, remember to leave it in this position
It’s for the guide bump on the brake pad
I used Hawk Pas as well for the rear
Place your pads on the rotor/bracket
Connect the brake fluid line to the caliper. It’s best to do this before mounting the caliper to the bracket.
Mount the caliper to the bracket and tighten the bolts to 26 ft-lbs
Re-engage the e-brake cable
Here’s yours truly workin’
Your set-up should look something line this now
Next, we’ll install the rear sway. I picked up a set of Energy Suspension bushings and end links. The sway bar I have is an Eibach 25mm.
Pic for reference and part numbers
Separate the bushings from the bracket and grease the inside. Not too much, just a small amount is fine
Put things together and mount the sway to the sub-frame. Torque the bushing brackets to 35 ft-lbs
And remember to grease the bushing
Install the end links, but do not tighten them. You might not be able to get the nut on the bolt anyways, till the car is lowered
Don’t forget to bleed your brakes.
Put your wheels/tires back on and torque the wheel nuts to 94 ft-lbs
Lower the car, and now you can tighten/torque the control arm and shock bolts.
Fallow these brake-bedding instructions and youre good to go!
I know I didn’t take all the pics necessary and I missed something. So, ple'ase let me know so I can update the information.
I'm back, Itchbes!
|05-06-2009, 05:54 PM||#2|
Very complete write up but you have your tires rotating in the wrong direction the arrow should be at the top of the tire facing the front of the car and also on the front struts you shouldn't tighten up the top nuts until the car has weight on the front. Good job on this though it would take a lot more time than i have to take pics of everything.
"Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry"
|05-06-2009, 06:09 PM||#3|
Yes, i know about the tire. I put it on to take the pic, since i need to get the alignmwnt done first. And as for the strut, i actually researched that, and read both arguments. So, either on or off will work.
I'm back, Itchbes!
|05-06-2009, 06:20 PM||#5|
Yup, i just don't use the sensors.
I'm back, Itchbes!
|05-06-2009, 06:56 PM||#6|
One question, how did you not exceed the post character limit!?!?
oh also, is it SVT brakes upgrade or is it advancetrac? they are not the same!
|05-06-2009, 06:58 PM||#7|
coffee, have some
Damn playa, you make that look easy!
Great write-up, I'll be doing some bushings soon so this will help.
Oh, sorry those bump stops weren't go-fast red. Now I feel bad giving you black ones to install on all that prettyness!
2004 ZX3 - Twighlight Blue_____________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
|05-06-2009, 07:51 PM||#8|
And i thought the SVT and advance trac was the same, they both have ABS, right?
Thanks again bro!
I'm back, Itchbes!
|05-06-2009, 08:03 PM||#9|
the SVT rears are bigger than the 00-04 (including advancetrac) fronts! and the advancetrac/ST rears are just tiny.
|05-06-2009, 08:34 PM||#10|
Yeah, the SVT rear rotos are bigger (by a small amount) than the stock fronts. So, mine are SVT's
But, on the CFM and NewEdgePerformance, they list all the rear discs the same. Same part number for all rear rotors.
I'm back, Itchbes!
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