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Shock Absorbers
Frequently Asked Questions - Suspension

Suspension - General

Q. I can hear a knocking noise from the front of my car, especially on bumpy roads. What is the problem?
A. You most likely have a worn anti-roll bar drop link. This is common on the 205 and 309 GTi models. You will need to replace the drop link.

Q. I hear a clonk from the front of the car when I drive off after reversing. What causes this?
A. You have a worn ball joint or worn taper on the hub. You will need to replace the ball joint or if the hub is worn, unfortunately a replacement hub will be required.

Q. The handling of my Peugeot has become unpredictable and it sometimes feels like the rear end is wandering during cornering. What is wrong?
A. There are two possibilities here, and both need resolving immediately:
1. Check the rear sub-frame rubber mounts as they often split in half, particularly on older models.
2. Check for play in the trailing arm bearings. These are the bearings that the trailing arm pins locate in, inside the rear suspension tube. They allow the trailing arms to move up and down smoothly. They regularly wear out, particularly if moisture has got inside the bearing tube. You can test for play with the car raised off the ground at the rear - try and move the wheel in and out of the wheel arch. It should only move up and down, not in and out (small movement of the wheel when grasped either side could be a worn wheel bearing). Replacement of the bearings is a specialist job. Often the bearing surface of the pins will be worn as well, and if so, they must be replaced. It will probably be more cost effective to replace the whole sub-frame with a reconditioned unit. Beware when buying 2nd hand sub-frames, as the bearings are generally in poor condition once past 5-6 years old.


Q. Do I have to change the standard shock absorbers if I fit lowered or uprated springs?
A. You can get away with keeping the standard shock absorbers when you fit lowered or uprated springs. However, the handling, roadholding and ride will not be optimised. For best results, fit a quality suspension kit because the springs and dampers will have been designed and tested as a set for optimum performance.

Q. If I fit lowered springs, do I have to have the torsion bars adjusted?
A. Yes, you must have the torsion bars re-set to match the new ride height at the front. Most Peugeots run torsion bar rear suspension. This set up is designed to be very compact and give lots of rear seat space, whilst giving excellent control of the trailing arms. Make sure you know what you are doing here, or take it to someone who does, or you could end up with a different height each side. The torsion bars must be fully released from their splined locations at both ends of each bar (after removing the anti-roll bar and rear dampers etc.). This allows the trailing arms to droop freely. The adjustment must be made by measuring the length of the shock absorber mounting points - 'dummy shock absorbers' should be used for accuracy, and to hold the trailing arms in place during re-fitting of the torsion bars. There is a ratio to consider for the reduced ride height to damper mounting distance - ie. if you want to lower by 30mm, don't reduce the damper mounting distance by 30mm or your car will be sat on its sills! The torsion bars should be spun round and tested at each spline location until the best sliding fit is located.
Common mistakes include:
1. Attempting to adjust the ride height with one end of each torsion bar still fixed in place. Result - one side higher than the other.
2. Not replacing all the bolts and adjusters when re-assembling. Result - incorrect tolerance at trailing arm bearings and dangerous rear suspension.
3. Lowering too far. Make sure that there is still sufficient suspension travel at the rear, before the trailing arms hit the bump stops. You will have seen many Peugeots with the rear wheels right up in the arches: looks cool, but they effectively have no operable rear suspension, resulting in appalling handling.
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