Tin worm attack ...
AO Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: United Kingdom
How to: replace rear shocks/struts on a 156 saloon
This is a basic start, I'll complete it up later ..
1. Remove the boot liner. This involves removing the panel at the rear panel (four philips under clip in plugs). Then remove the four tie-down loops: Torx screws. Two at back of boot may be rusty as these protrude beneath car. Remove top panel (twist clips). Remove rear lamp covers (two small nuts). Now carefully pull the two side panels after removing the two push on clips under the wing.
2. Loosen the top mount nut. This is down inside the top mount plates and is 22mm. A sharp tug on a socket worked for me and the rod stayed tight and didn't turn. I didn't remove it completely at this stage.
3. Jack up rear, support on axle stands and remove wheel(s).
4. Unclip the abs sensor wire plug and remove from rear of strut. Tuck it away where it won't get twisted or snagged.
5. Remove the rear caliper. On mine two 13mm bolts while holding the moving pins with a 15mm open ended spanner. Unclip the brake hose from the strut and move and support. I loosened off the handbrake but found it wasn't really necessary. (Must remember to tighten that again!)
6. Undo the top drop link ... it may be easier to factor in a new pair! I've got Mahle HD ones so was able to hold the bolt with a open-ended spanner while removing the nut. If yours are old and OEM, you will probably find the torx hole simply rounds off.
7. Remove the upper bolt mounting hub assembly to strut. 19mm nut and bolt head. You will need copious amounts of penetrating fluid and patience. In worst cases you may need to drift the bolt out .. make sure you have a spare. I was lucky. Soaking the bolt in penetrating fluid for an while meant it did turn. Wiggling it back and forth with a ring spanner while pushing did eventually mean the bolt came out.
8. Remove the long lower bolt that holds the transverse arms to the hub. Again, lots of penetrating oil. 19mm nut and bolt head again. Same as above but you also have a spacer to cope with. I was lucky as I'd change my transverse arms a couple of years ago and replaced this bolt, spacer and nut ... and smeared it all with copper-slip. Still needed a bit of penetrating fluid to get it going.
9. Lever hub from strut and support or prevent from dropping hard on floor. It will hang on the trailing arm.
10. Now remove uppermost nut and mountings from inside boot.
11. Pull the strut from the body. The top mounting has a moulded on rubber bush and this has a small lip which hooks over edges of the hole in the body shell. Pulling it outwards from the wheel arch worked for me. Make sure you don't catch the ABS cable or brake hose.
12. Compress the spring. Remove the top nut (22mm) and remove the top mount, rod cover/shield, spring and the rubber seal that sit on the lower spring plate. Give them all a good clean if they are in good condition. The top mount may be fairly rusty (mine was) so a good clean with a wirebrush and a coat of rust proofer and Hammerite might be needed before it goes back. Likewise the body shell where the mount sits.
13. Refit the parts to the new strut in reverse order: lower spring rubber, spring, cover and mounting. Refit the nut and release the spring compressors. Replace the strut and use a jack to push up into place if needed. The top mount should hold it in place with no nuts, etc once the mounting has pushed through the hole. Refit the top nut and washer/mount to stop it from dropping or being pulled out accidentally. Replace two hub mounting bolts. Replace caliper and pads after winding piston back. Reconnect ABS wire. Reconnect or replace drop-link.
14. Torque up the nuts to the right settings once the car is on the floor. (Not easy as the wheel is normally in the way!) <<I'll add torque settings later>>
There will be slight changes for other models, but the main process is the same. Only the boot/interior step (1) will be different.
HIS: 1998 156 2.0 TSpark with Sport Pack 2, sunroof and hi-level spoiler in Alfa Rosso. V6 intake mod, clear side repeaters and Zeatek undertray.
HERS: 2009 MiTo 1.4 95bhp Turismo arrived 21st November in Techno Grey with colour-coded headlight surrounds.
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"
My Alfa156 Web Site - how-to's, piccies, links, useful stuff, etc.
Last edited by gazza82; 17-11-14 at 14:24.