[ROVERNET - UK] Question on Rover SD1 Front Suspension / Damper Removal & Exchange

pj.info pj.info at bluewin.ch
Thu May 12 21:12:27 BST 2005

Hi Bill,
Hello all Rovernetters,

I got to do-it and bought a big 2" plumbing tube pliers (~20" long) and very carefully, I could get the rusty damper cover to rotate a bit while the struts being in site. I did'nt go further than 1 mm off since the spring is still under tension on the strut.
I plan to take the strut out tomorrow, remove the spring by means of spring compressors and finally try to get these dampers out of the struts for replacements.

I have two more questions before getting the strut off:
1. It seems very hard to get the track arm ball joint out. Isn't it then better to remove the strut with the track arm by unscrewing the latter from the cross member and losening the suspension bar (allowing by the way to replace the bushes)?
2. Help! While trying to get the steering arm ball joint in place again (to maintain the strut against rotation in the above exercise) the nyloc nut made the bolt from the ball joint "drive ill" (I dont'now if that's the right expression?). 
    Is this normal, i.e., is this bolt not maintained against rotation or is my ball joint defective (hopefully not!)? I gently got the ball joint out with a screwing-extractor (no hammer...).
Thank you for your help.
Best regards,

> Hello
> I am about to replace the dampers in the the front struts of my SD1. I
> got new ones from Rimmers (Koni) with the corresponding "screwable
> tops" (no edges but two holes for screwing...). My question is: how
> can I remove the original "screwable tops" from the struts? They are a
> bit rusty and seem to need some special proprietary tool (diameter
> ~55mm with 4 cross-tags). An idea would be to try to unscrew the top
> just a bit "in site" with some kind of big plumbing pliers (what if it
> does'nt grip)? Is there any hint or better idea on this topic?
> Do they really have to use such proprietary tools... For the new
> "screwable tops", I think it would be possible to build the tool with
> a flat alu bar and 2 screws of the correct diameter in order to
> tighten the new tops. Does this need to be screwed specially tight
> (vibrations,...)?
> Many thanks to all the Rovernetters for the help.
> Best regards,
> Pierre.
Please let us know how you get on with this.  We were faced with 
the same problem last year on my son's SD-1, and concluded that 
the inserts would probably be impossible to remove without 
destroying the strut tube.  In the event, we were able to source 
some good used struts complete.  Then, as a matter of curiousity, 
we had a go at getting an insert out of one of the old struts.  Used 
every kind of tool imaginable to unscrew the retaining ring. Finally 
got it out with a huge Stillson wrench, but the insert was rusted into 
the strut tube and wouldn't budge even with the retaining ring out.

Not an awfully good design on the part of the Specialist Cars 
division's engineers, really.  I suspect the "real" Rover designers 
would have come up with something more serviceable.

Good luck with the job!

Bill Daddis

Aurora, Ontario, Canada
The Toronto Area Rover Club


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