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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4716
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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Hi hope you can help me I have just changed the front suspension

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Hi hope you can help me I have just changed the front suspension shocks on my 2003 mini , after putting it all back together found that the suspension springs are loose can be turned and moved up and down slightly while the wheels are of the ground, is this normal after springs have been compressed or would I need to buy some new ones. thanks in anticipation Dougy


Hopefully i can help..

Id imagine the car didnt have any modifcations to front suspension previously?

Are 100% sure when you stripped the strut down everything when back the correct way - reversal of removal?

Was the spring tight and seated properly in the upper seat/top mount bearing and lower seat when you released the spring clamps before fitting the strut back on?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no previous modifications that I know of, 100% sure they went back as I took them of, the spring was seated properly but were loose after releasing clamps.

Hi..there..thanks for your responce..

As per the spring that shouldnt be you'll note when you removed the old ones the spring would of been tight,well it should of been "as per using the spring clamps to compress the spring" - if i recall you have about 8-9 bits on that - but before removal you should actually mark the top mount to the body with tipex so you know the top mount goes back on the same way as it came off - but starting from the top of the strut down = cap / locking nut which is removed after the spring is compressed / small disc / top mount bearing which affixes to the body of the car via 3 nuts / upper spring plate / another large disc washer / rubber bump stop that slides down the ram section of the shock / large dust protective coller / the spring itself / lower spring seat....Once everything is put onto the new shock then the spring is released last once the lock nut is fully bottomed out - until its full travel as the shock will only allow it to go so far the spring i mean..but it should be tight against the top and lower spring seat.and thats it - But once the car is fully on the ground then that compresses the shock and the spring obviously takes the weight of the car -

To me you either have the wrong shocks,both spring are actually broken.probably unlikely but you should check the ends of the spring for evidence of that or something hasnt been put back correctly on the new ones, you need to see when you lower the car the shock is actually compressing if not then it possibily fault shocks "you need to check that" - its also vital you do pair the old to new before fitting/building up...but as above ensure you havent left anything on the old the lower spring seat maybe...I do hope this helps..if you require to ask anything further or include anything further then please continue before you rate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for that I have checked the box the shocks came in is says mini cooper/one which I assume fit both models , they are kilen shocks ordered from a motor factor so should be the right ones ,I am sure I put them back on ok but will take one of again just to make sure, (big sigh) thanks for your help and advice.dougie

Hi..thanks for your reply..

They should fit both models .normally you should go thorugh the VIN number for these Mini's if thats what you done then the shocks should be correct ... but like i say above make sure you fitted that lower spring seat..not the first time ive come across on the odd occasion people leaving the old seat on the old strut thinking it was part of it,not only on minis but other cars too..when its not and should of been transferred over..just thought id throw that out there..but if you get one strut off..bring the old one over,compare - maybe rebuild it again see if everything goes back properly on the old one again..if so then strip down and rebuild the new one again..if its still the same loose spring on that new shock then the shocks you have there somehow isnt for that car and the factors givin over the wrong ones..I do hope this helps further..please dont forget to rate my assistance above most appreciated..however should you require to ask anything further then you can do after this post

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi have taken the new strut of and compared it with the old one found the actual piston was longer on the new one So that explains the slack spring .I am returning them tomorrow and try to get the right ones this time, thanks again for your help Doug