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Recommended Posts

Hi, now that the cylinder head crack is fixed, the engine reinstalled and the car runs well, I am going to address the 19 year old suspension.

 

The rubber bushings and ball joints visible in the suspension links still seem in good shape (they may not be original) but the shocks, rubber boots and bumps stops appear badly worn.  Replacements are coming , but should I also replace the original springs?  Do they lose strength by a noticeable amount over time?  The car has 19 years and 81,000 miles on it. Getting sport springs and lowering the car is not a viable option as i want to preserve a decent ride, have lots of speed bumps where I live, and being a cabriolet, I am unlikely to start tracking it.   Does anyone sell stock length and rate aftermarket springs anyways?  The OEM items are vastly more expensive than aftermarket.

 

Are upper shock mounts typically shot? With the metal washers above and below the rubber inserts, it is hard to visually inspect them for cracks.  The car does not make any clunking sounds over bumps, it just seems poorly damped and makes the occasional groan or squeak when going over speed bumps.

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

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  • Admin

I think each car is different in it's wear and tear on suspension components. For instance, if you heavily track your car there is a lot more stress put on all suspension parts.

Inspection is the key (IMHO) - look for cracks in metal components or wear points. Look for cracked or damaged rubber parts. You can measure spring height side to side and replace if they are out of spec (that is without the the shocks - just springs).

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

M030 US suspension springs /kits   may still be  available. ( same height as standard, higher spring rate)  .   I have a set on my car  and am very pleased  with it .  Front  Strut mount bearings  are ball bearings rolling in plastic  races . Add age and mileage..you know the rest. Rubber  bump stops. that  are smashed  or torn  are   a  pretty good clue as cars with worn struts will bottom out   more    . Struts mounts do weaken so I would just replace them  for peace of mind, but I know folks who did not without adverse  outcomes  As Loren  advises, inspection is the key.  Lastly , stabilizer bars get unbolted at the same time., no reason to re-use them . They can set off a lovely knock knock symphony   even  when minimally loose.  As for groans and squeaks, control arm bushings,, ball joints should be carefully inspected . I am pointing that out last because they can be handled without removing struts/ springs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

To provide an update, I replaced all 4 shocks with Konis from Pelican (more reasonably priced than the Bilsteins), reused the original springs and changed all four control arms, drop links, front upper mounts, upper and lowed spring pads and sway bar bushings. Following an alignment, the car rides and handles far better than it ever did and no longer creaks over bumps (remarkable for a 19 year old convertible with 130,000 km).  I am quite pleased with it. 

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