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fitting new coils

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Ok, am finally intending to fit heavy duty coils on fron this weekend on 300tdi 110,to cope with weight of h14 superwinch, and thought I would replace radius arm bushes as well, seeing as they need doing. But wondering - haynes manual says take coils off over top of shocks which means removing top shock mounts, but wouldn't it be easier to lower them down - seems much easier to remove lower shock mount? Or am I being dumb? Not intending to use spring compressors, rather supporting chassis and lowering axle (seeing as radius arms coming off anyway) as various people have said it's safer, and I don't have access to any !

Also do I definately need a ball joint splitter to remove radius arms front axle bolt? If so, I'd better get one!

Any hints and tips greatly appreciated, as don't want to spend hours in what looks like it's gonna be crappy weather!


James :rolleyes:

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id get a ball joint spilter. you can do it without by wacking them with a hammer but a spilter makes it so much easier.

dropping the axle is the easy way, just lift the car a bit (dunno how much sorry) first or the axle will be on the floor without the springs coming out.

which radius arm bushes are you doing? the chassis end is easy but the axle end needs a press normally. probably easier to take the arms to a garage & ask them to press them in. i tried to do mine in a vice & after 4 hours had fitted one damaged bush, gave up with the other 3.

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Doing the front bushes. Got a 2 tonne press that was in garage when bought house - one of those ones where you spin handle and stand back! (Arbor press or something? I don't know!) Not hydraulic though. Might have to consider leaving bushes for a while, if doing it on Saturday/Sunday, as obviously not many garages open then. Unless anyone knows of one in Eastleigh/southampton area? Don't want to end up with no car for Monday as I'll be stuffed!



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Removing & fitting OE bushes IS a DIY job and after finding a nice straight forward way of doing it I would say that anyone could do it without the need for any specialist tools (I.E. press or gas torch).

After removing the radius arm drill through the rubber of each bush using a holesaw, when the centre of the bush has been removed use a hacksaw to cut through the outer sleeve (take care not to get carried away and cut into the radius arm). When the sleeve has been cut through it should tap out very easily (a bit of WB40 might help if it has corroded to the arm). Clean up the hole, lubricate with a little oil/grease and with a vice and/or lump hammer press/tap the new bush into position using a spacer the same size as the outer sleeve (I have usually found a socket can be found in the correct size for this job). I have found that even with the most siezed bushes I can carry out removal & installation in about 30-minutes per bush.

A popular twist on this is to burn the rubber out but this is messy, smelly and not as quick as simply drilling through it in one easy action (hole cutters available in a range of sizes for only a couple of pounds).

With regards to changing the springs, just jack up the front of the vehicle, support the chassis with axle stands, remove the wheels and then lower the axle in a controlled manner using the jack (watch the brake lines). With the shocks unbolted the springs will extend and then pop out of their seats. I did mine again last year and the front springs took about an hour each but that included fitting new shocks & tubular turrets as well. Don't forget to get new retaining rings (even the HD ones are really cheap) and with the springs off clean up the chassis and apply a little Waxoil where you can't usually get unrestricted access.

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