Today we’re going to replacing the rear shock absorber on a 2013 (Mk7.5) Fiesta.
This guide should be applicable to all Fiestas from 2008-2017 including ST models.
- A trolley jack
- Axle stands
- A 19mm socket and breaker bar
- A 15mm socket and ratchet
- A 10mm socket and an extension 6-10 inches long.
- A 13mm spanner
- Locking grip pliers (vice grips)
- Safety goggles
There are also a couple of bits that I found useful but aren’t essential to getting the job done:
- A 13mm deep socket
- Blue thread lock
- A Dremel/rotary multi tool with a wire wheel attachment
- Torque wrench
First thing we’re going to do is jack the first corner up.
As we’re going to lifting the rear of the car. I’m putting this car into reverse to stop the front wheels from rolling forward. If the car you’re working on is automatic, just make sure it’s in park.
Ford, for some asinine reason, don’t use proper jacking points. There’s loads of different suggestions online about how best to raise a Ford. On this car I’ve always used the pinch weld where the side of the body is attached to the floor.
The metal is double skinned there and is strong.
I also place the jack stands here. if you have a flat topped jack stand, I’d find somewhere with a bit more surface area to place it – the car could slip off if the stand is placed there. Mine have little notches in them which the seam sits in nicely to keep it secure.
Next pop the wheel off. It’s held on with four 19mm nuts. If you have alloy wheels they’ll be visible. If you have steel wheels, pull the plastic trim off to get to them.
Now find where the bottom of the shock absorber is attached to the rear cross member.
The bottom of the shock is held onto the cross member by a bolt with a 15mm head. The nut on the other side is 18mm, but is welded to the cross member, so unless something has gone really wrong, you won’t need to worry about that.
Use the jack to raise the cross member a little and to take the pressure off of that bolt.
Remove the bolt and lower the jack and the bottom of the shock absorber will be free!
This is really an optional step, but I always like to clean the rust and old thread lock out of the bolts that I’m reusing with a Dremel with a wire brush. Just so it should be just as easy to take apart in another 10 years time.
This was the before. I was going to take a pic of the after but it clearly slipped my mind!
The top is held in place by two 10mm bolts. One either side of the shock mount.
The front one is easily accessible but the back one is somewhat hidden by the arch liner.
To make access a bit easier I popped this little 10mm nut/clip thing at the bottom of the arch liner so I could fold the arch liner back.
This is where you will want your safety goggles. It’s dust and grit city and as you try to line the socket up with the bolt I can guarantee that all of it will fall on your face haha!
These 10mm bolts have also had thread lock put on them. As before just clean as much of that out as you can with a wire brush as you’ll be putting fresh stuff on during reassembly.
Congratulations! The old shock absorber is now out!
The new shock absorbers don’t come with the mount and dust cover so you’ll need to reuse those.
On the top of the shock absorber is a 13mm nut holding the mount to the shock’s shaft that comes through it.
To get that off hold the shaft with your vice grips (they’ve made two sides of the top of the shaft flat so your vice grips will hold it nicely.) then use the 13mm spanner to turn the nut.
I found using a 13mm deep socket with a ratchet on it first just helped it get moving. It hadn’t moved for 10 years and was obviously a bit stiff.
Now fully extend both your new and old shock absorber to make sure they are the same length.
Put the mount and dust cover on the new shock absorber, and time to put it back together.
Don’t forget to put a bit of fresh blue thread lock on all 3 bolts.
Seat the top of the shock into the car, the using the jack, raise the cross member so the bottom of the shock sits in its little mount. This will stop it moving about and will make it easier to get the top bolts in.
Once they are done, line the cross member and the bottom of the shock up and the bolt will feed straight through.
If you have a torque wrench, the tops need to be 18lb/ft and the bottom needs to be 85lb/ft
That’s it! You’ve changed the shock absorber. I hope this guide was helpful.
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By Richard Francis