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Original PEUGEOT coil spring compressor...
ONE DAY, KAREN's 404 developed clonking noises when turning the steering wheel from lock to lock. More force was also needed. No discussion here, as this is a typical 404 suspension weak spot: The axial needle bearings sandwiched between lower spring pan and McPherson strut seize solid. Good timing for a complete front suspension overhaul, as all bushes had probably a hard life after 35 years of service...
Most parts needed where bought from local 404 guru Jörn Haarmann, the rest from my usual supplier, the Löwendoctor: A complete set of suspension bushes including the anti-roll bar bushes, needle bearings, damper inserts, rubber gaiters and lower balljoints.
WORKING ON THE FRONT SUSPENSION is quite easy if you own a complete set of original PEUGEOT tools as I do. Everything came apart without any problems, even compressing the coil springs isn't a problem with PEUGEOT's strong spring compressor. Years ago we learned the hard way that cheap tools are not up to this job...
The suspension bushes were forced out and pressed in with a hydraulic press, and everything went together without any fuss. Remember to pour some engine oil into the struts before fitting the inserts.
...makes McPherson strut overhaul much easier. Stephan can tell a story about unwanted expanding of strong coil springs
Front suspension about to be re-installed
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW how well a PEUGEOT 404 can handle, give your car's suspension a complete overhaul! And now, with like new suspension, I also had to overhaul the brakes, brake balance valve, the Hydrovac and fit a new exhaust, from manifold to tail pipe. But that's another story