front strut replacement

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My Name: bill sutton

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Sorry, 2002 HDi 1.4 16v
So, the 1.4 16v Hdi in the photo, 2002, and the 1.4 16v Hdi, 2004, which the new strut came from both have the same top mounting, but the 1.4 16v Hdi 2003 which I have, does not, and yet according to all sources, the change didn't happen till sep 2004. hmmmmmmmmmm
My Name: jbz2079

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Model: C3 2009-2013, New shape (A51)
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Bill Sutton- You said someone who's seen the light!
I seen it a long time ago, from the original Ford Mondeo that needed the engine and gearbox removed to change the clutch!

The Saab that needed the engine suspended and the front sub frame dropped to get the gearbox out of the car because the clutch slave cylinder was weeping and fitted inside the bell housing.

The list is endless, the more you try to DIY the more stupid designee you come across.
I remember seeing the first of the Montego / Maestro's with the ECU controlled ignition and a Carburettor fitted, and thinking what's going to happen to that lot when the engine is no longer in the first flush of youth!

Any modern car over six years old can be considered scrap if the clutch is worn out, it's cheaper to buy another car than pay to have it repaired.
Having done a few clutches on Citroen/ Peugeots, 406/ xantia / Bx etc., where it takes a good day to remove everything, replace the clutch, then carefully put everything back, taking great care not to trap and wiring and replacing everything you started with, I know why garages hate doing jobs like this and charge accordingly.

Even something a common as an electric window can be an expensive repair when a car gets on a bit!
My Name: bill sutton

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The list is endless, the more you try to DIY the more stupid designee you come across.
I remember seeing the first of the Montego / Maestro's with the ECU controlled ignition and a Carburettor fitted, and thinking what's going to happen to that lot when the engine is no longer in the first flush of youth!
Do you think its deliberate policy? I sometimes wonder if, in the bowels of the design departments, there's an "awkward squad" employed especially to make straightforward designs complicated, like the inlet manifold just covers the injector clamp bolts so you can't reach 'em, etc etc
I too remember my first Maestro, which was in essence, a Moggy 1000 with false eyelashes, it died mysteriously one day, and after checking everything I knew about, phoned a scrapyard with a view to buying another coil, "oh" he said, when I described the symptoms "sounds like your ignition amplifier" and it was. it was also the beginning of the end of common sense and the "refer to dealer" mentality with which are all now saddled.
My Name: bill sutton

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As for what, other than the peg location was changed on the 29/08/04, I have yet to find out
I'm guessing i was right then? I got 'em bang to rights this time, nice try Citroen, but this time your dirty secret has been exposed!!!! :twisted:
My Name: jbz2079

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Model: C3 2009-2013, New shape (A51)
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Fuel Type: Diesel
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Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: Yes
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: BlueHDi (100 PS)
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I saw on this forum about a new C3 with a slipping clutch or was it total clutch failure at 30,00 miles.
That you would think would be a manufacturers fault, but due to this being a component that can be driver abused gives the can't be bothered dealer or Citroen the option to not honour the warranty.

I know of a rash of MK V escort diesels that came back from their first service with new driveshaft's fitted and many were then recalled to have the gearbox replaced shortly after.

We never found out why! it just happened.

Talking of Austin Rovers stuff all the Montego / Maestro's were fitted with a VW sourced gearbox, final drive unit, just like a Golf's.
They way they were "Engineered" to fit Austin Rovers power units had to be seen.
It was defiantly a pink string and sealing wax job, little tin brackets and bolts where they touched.
Many that were roughly driven had the gearbox move in relation to the engine, putting to gearbox input shat out of line, causing clutch judder and often clutch drag making selecting gears from a standstill difficult or impossible.

The official cure was to slacken all the bolts wiggle the gearbox around and retighten the bolts
then try engaging the gears, if that cured it great, if not go through the procedure again!

I does not help that aftermarket parts can often be suspect too, I fitted a new clutch to an Escort Diesel van and it would not select gears when running and the clutch was very heavy.
I checked everything I had done but could find nothing wrong, I phoned our supplier who said
Oh no, I thought they had sorted that out, there was a large batch of defective clutch cover plates and they all were recalled after a few had been fitted. Just send it back and we will replace it!
Yeah after taking it all apart again!
My Name: Hans Zarkov

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
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Photo of my c3 before & after strut replacement..
before
before
after
after
My Name: Hans Zarkov

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
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Strut top & peg positions left & right

The locating pegs are in the oval holes nearest to the outside of the car. The round holes that are towards the centre of the car appear to be closer to the shock absorber nut.
strut top
strut top
lhs mounting
lhs mounting
rhs mounting
rhs mounting
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My Name: C3CAR

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
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jbz2079 wrote:I saw on this forum about a new C3 with a slipping clutch or was it total clutch failure at 30,00 miles.
There are at least two, one failed at 21k and the other is slipping at 20k miles, Citroen C3 slipping clutch problem

Hans Zarkov wrote:Photo of my c3 before & after strut replacement..
Citroen C3 before new suspension springs
Citroen C3 before new suspension springs
Citroen C3 after new suspension springs
Citroen C3 after new suspension springs
Hi Hans Zarkov

Wow, what a difference. Back to normal. Thanks for the pictures :)

What part of the assembly that you changed do you think was the thing that made such and impact? And is it worth just changing that part, or do you think it would be easier to change the whole 'leg'?
My Name: Hans Zarkov

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Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:59 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 120000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

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I changed both front strut assemblies, as I wanted to work on them whilst the car was still on the road.

I picked up both struts from a local dismantlers, put new springs on them & serviced the top mount bearings. All the shock absorbers were the same (left to right excepted), so were the top mounts, only the springs were different.. 20+ parts in a bin all labeled with year & model.

This follows what I found whilst pricing up new parts. There are many springs listed, only one consistent shock absorber, and one top mount.

The old springs look very different to the new ones, the old springs have fewer coils and are wider then the new ones. There is less tension in them too. Easy to see why the car was droopy :(

This is my 2nd c3 from 2004, both 1.4hdi exclusives, both have had low front ends... I had my 1st C3 from new, and it was always low - I ripped my new mudflapps off twice over speed bumps when travelling slowly. Citroen told me that was how they came out of the factory. Now I know that Citroen were fitting the wrong springs to this car in 2004 :x

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My Name: C3driver52

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KYB have produced a video showing their procedure for swapping out the front strut assembly, which may be worth watching if you are thinking about carrying out a similar job on your C3.




The springs on the front of the C3 are Side Load Coil Springs or Banana Springs which need special handling because they look like standard parallel spring when under compression on the car, but when uncompressed, parallel they are definitely not as warned by bill sutton.
bill sutton wrote:The near tragic accident was the result of Citroen fitting curved springs to a straight strut, presumably to save threepence by re-using the same springs as the rear which operate in an arc and therefore need to be curved. The front springs don't need to be curved but are, as a consequence, when compressed, the squashed spring loses its curve, and it develops uneven tension (greater on one side due to the curve). As a result of this, the spring compressor decided to follow the line of least resistance and jump to the uncompressed side whilst trying to alternatively slacken them a little at a time. This was reminiscent of a bear trap going off, and I found my hand to be holding the wrong place (the spring) at the wrong time.

Have a read of the KYB PDF regarding C3 front springs if you are going to get involved

https://www.kyb-europe.com/pdf/Banana_Springs.pdf
banana springs are found on the Citroen C3 front suspension
banana springs are found on the Citroen C3 front suspension
Not to scale ;)


KYB springs for the C3 front suspension RH2611 from KYB or RH2608 from KYB listed as new on eBay. Check the vehicle year and model to ensure you order the correct spring, or just enter your Registration number in the tool at Euro Car Parts who can offer free delivery :)
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