Originally posted by Citrojim
This is exactly the same way I did it, but I left the strut in situ. I found that you could "pump" the ram in the strut to remove any lhm in there once removed from the strut top. Also mounted the strut top, and then jacked the strut back up into place.
I did the job today and put two new strut tops on the Xantia.
No problem at all. It's a straightforward job in all respects as you said it would be Malcolm (Citronut)! 2 spanners in BOL Speak, nooo. 1 I reckon.
I took a picture of the worst of the two. It looks bad but is in fact still very sound. It was a long way off failure I think. No cracks, no distortion, just rust but I was not going to take a chance...
These tips may be useful for anyone else doing the job...
Before you start, make sure you have two 3.5mm hydraulic pipe seals, Sphere seals and some LHM. I also recommed a new set of drop links be on hand too in case they won't play ball when disconnecting them from the strut.
Set suspension on high and firmly support the front of the car on axle stands. Don't take chances, they don't take prisoners, these hydraulic Cits.
Set suspension on low and depressurise.
Disconnect the drop link at the strut, remove the hub pinch bolt that clamps the bottom of the strut to the hub. Loosen slightly (but do not remove) the sphere, hydraulic pipe and strut top nut.
Ease the strut bottom clamp apart using an 8mm Allen key.
Manually pump the strut up to minimum height (full compression) to get rid of as much trapped LHM as possible. leaving the hydraulic pipes and sphere in place but slightly loose will prevent a spray of LHM across the engine bay. Hold the strut at this point with a trolley jack under the bottom balljoint.
Remove the sphere and hydraulic feed pipe, carefully disconnect the strut LHM return pipe at the pipe attached to the wheelarch. Pull gently on the rubber pipe.
Let the jack down a long way now to allow the strut to grow in length and carefully separate the strut from the hub.
Loosen the four 13mm bolts holding the strut top to the wing. Remove three but leave one loose. Grasp the strut and remove the last bolt. Remove strut complete with the top. Pull the gaiter off the strut top.
On the floor, on top of newspaper to absorb any LHM, can be a lot, you'd be surprised. Lay the strut and top and undo the top nut until it is just proud of the top of the threads. Carefully give the nut a good firm wallop with a large hammer to separate the strut from the top. Immediately wrap the tapered part of the strut piston in clean rag to prevent dirt ingress. It will need a good controlled heavy whack to separate the two but be careful not to do damage.
Lubricate the topmost part of the bore in the new top with a bit of LHM (around the two green "O" rings) and reassemble the strut into the new top.
Reassembly is a reverse of the disassembly (in the finest tradition of the BOL). Lubricate the new hydraulic seals with LHM during fitting and do a few Citarobics whilst looking for leaks. Job done.
Sorry for the long post, hope it's useful.
The most difficult job was getting the gaiter back on!