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Old 2nd January 2012, 00:19   #1
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Default Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

My Lancer's done ~90k and and 8.5+ years. All this while it was running great on stock suspension (I changed steering tie-rod ends at 82k, more as a pre-emptive move), and took the record status Bangalore speed(and back ?)-breakers, moonscrapers, potholes and the like, not to mention some horrendous NH and SH, and all other manner of roads, mud and rock tracks etc on long drives.
About 3+ years back, I had upsized wheels and tyres to 15" and 195/60R15 which would have also put a tad more stress on the suspension, but it soldiered on and I was pretty happy taking the curves as a Lancer can :-)

As bhpians know, the Lancer has an all independent suspension, with the rear having a stabilizer bar. What I learnt is that originally, Lancer sported Japanese KYB Excel G gas charged shocks, but my car had oil filled ones (Gabriel) as they had switched to localize and reduce costs. Well, I can vouch for the oil filled ones doing a great job, but then the gas filled ones probably would do a tad better on long drives etc...

Cut to November, and suddenly one fine day, I started feeling the car bouncing a bit more than usual over ruts, and bad surfaces. SVR Motors being on the other end of the city, I was pondering how to get there for a check. Over next 3-4 days, I even felt the car bouncing and swaying a bit over potholes etc, feeling it on the steering. So, finally drove to SVR motors very next Saturday, and then hoisted the car up on the fork lift, and here was their prognosis:

* Left rear shock had an oil leak, so shock needs to be replaced
* Lower arm, upper link, trailing link bushes have gone, and needs to be replaced - which means replace the lower arm and trailink link
* Impact damage on rear suspension housing and right rear lower arm
- Suspension housing is part of chassis and can be repaired
- Lower arm needs to be replaced as it has bend
- All bushes need replacement, so again the links...

The approximate bill estimate from SVR

Part Qty Unit Price Total
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rear Upper Link 2 2000 4000
Rear Trailing Link 2 1000 2000
Rear Lower Arm 2 4985 9970
Rear Struts 2 2300 4600
Housing Repair 1000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total 21570
Time required was 2 days to work on the suspension, and labour charges I had not enquired, but given a labour rate of 200/hour, labour charges would be another 1.5-2k. Not clear if taxes were included in the rough estimate!

The strange part was that the A.S.S. had inspected my suspension in the last service a couple of months earlier, and reaffirmed to me that all the suspension bushes are fine! SVR does seem to have a tendency to "advise" a lot of replacements ... Also, no mention of any impact to suspension, and since then, I had only driven inside city and can't remember any big bump / hit. A.S.S. claimed that since suspension housing is in-line with the wheels, so the only way to get such an impact is to fall in a big pothole such that the housing / rear lower arm touches the edge of the pothole...

Next up, alternatives etc...
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Old 2nd January 2012, 00:24   #2
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Default Suspension work Alternatives

Well, 24-25k seemed a good bit to spend, and I was not entirely convinced that all of the parts needed to be changed esp since there was no suspension work recommended only a couple of months back. Also, I had thought of trying a performance suspension on occassion...

So, the options seemed to be:

a) Go with SVR, and spend 25k - base option

b) Try Pedders struts which are exact fit to Lancer
- got positive feedback from razor and on the forum. However, seems Electra performance has shut shop, and there is no importer for these shocks anymore :-( Koni's are not a drop in replacement, and need some retrofitting etc, and I wanted no tampering with parts! So option ruled out

c) Try sourcing parts, and go to an independent garage - go for KYB Excel G gas charged struts
- valid option!

d) Repair oil leaked strut
- rejected, car's handling, ride and reliability are too important for me to try out such a path

So, that left options a) SVR A.S.S. and c) Independent garage. I was concerned with the independent garage not being familiar with the Lancer suspension setup, the torque settings for various bolts etc. Didn't want suspension falling apart, or lose its character ... Another possibility was do a combination of both! Replace the rear struts at independent garage, and do any other work at A.S.S. including a retorque of the suspension elements!

Some confidence about how to go about it outside A.S.S. was derived from the excellent Lancer (actually Mirage) service manual posted elsewhere on our forum!
https://rs205tl3.rapidshare.com/#!download|205l32|54690495|PDFTown.com-Mirage99.zip|82019|R~0|0|0
Password: pdftown.com

So, asked Sai Colorium (my preferred bodyshop) about availability and cost of components:
Rear Struts - KYB Excel G were 2250 per piece plus 14% tax. Thats the same as oil filled ones in the A.S.S., who didn't have the option for the former.
Roughly speaking, the same parts (imported from Thailand/Japan), would cost 14.4k + taxes to be sourced outside. So, adding labour costs, probably saves 8-9k wrt A.S.S. with better struts to boot!
Also, instead of replacing all arms, one is able to source a rear suspension "bush kit" for Rs. 3900 + taxes which could bring down costs further (note, one side had impact damage, needed replacement as per A.S.S.)

Wrestled with the approach to take and mulled over it a few days...
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Old 2nd January 2012, 00:33   #3
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Default Decision

Giving it some thought, I was veering towards getting the rear struts replaced outside A.S.S. with KYB Excel G, and then taking up any additional work @ A.S.S. Till date, all work on my Lancer was done at A.S.S. (A.S.C/SM, and then SVR from this year) other than denting/painting.

Talking to Ananth at Sai Colorium, found out that he has a supervisor (Srinivas) who worked for Lathangi Mitsubishi A.S.S. and is familiar with the Lancer. Discussing with Srinivas, he mentioned that they also have a mechanic trained on Mitsubishi cars from Lathangi days - this improved my comfort level significantly.

Srinivas also mentioned that at Lathangi, they had poor results replacing bush kit on a couple of Lancers (sourcing the kit outside), and the owners changed the links/arms within a few months - so he does not recommend to go for the kit. On the other hand, he mentioned that they can check up the condition of bushes while doing the strut replacement, and also see if the impact damage can be repaired etc. Seemed a reasonable way to go!

So, Sai colorium with imported KYB struts was the way I decided. Atleast, as first step. It would take a half-day to get the job done! Asked Ananth to order the struts from Mumbai!
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Old 2nd January 2012, 01:23   #4
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Default Job done so far

Took the car to the workshop on a Monday morning, and two mechanics got down to brasstacks. Rear wheels come off, then the car is lifted up on the fork-lift, and the struts need to removed by taking of a 2-3 nuts in the suspension assembly. It took ~3/4 hour to remove both struts including unscrewing the bolts at the top of the towers in the dicky.

Photo of the old struts - one of them with oil leaked out
Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-old_struts.jpg
The strut with oil leakage had no damping at all, and was freely moving up and down. So, the coil springs took all the load on that side which is what caused the jarring, sway and vagueness I experienced.

Inspection of all the rubber bushes by the mechanic and Srinivas revealed that all of them seem to be fine, and shouldn't need replacement yet !

Attention then turned to the impact damage which had caused some degree of bend/twist to the rear suspension housing and lower arm etc. Picture below:

Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-suspension_impact.jpg

Excuse the photo quality from my phone cam.
What had confused me earlier at SVR was that, if there is bend in the suspension arm, then how are my wheels properly aligned, and car running in a straight line ? Now what I heard is that the bend has happened before the point where the arm angles to the wheel hub (sorry, I don't have the right angle which captures that), and that is why there is no alignment effect of the bend! They advised I don't do any work on the bend unless I drive the car and feel some issue or find the alignment amiss ?? See attachment below :
Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-rear_susp_impact2.jpg

Do let me know what learned members (esp. wrt suspension) think of the impact twist and what I should do.

Well, I decided to just change the struts and drive around after wheel alignment and then contemplate next steps if any!

It took about 3 hours to do the entire job, and I must say Sadiq (the mechanic was pretty knowledgeable) - he dis-assembled and reassembled the strut assembly perfectly (which I cross-checked with the service manual illustrations), and later torqued the bolts/nuts to the specified torque level as I told him (and Srinivas had re-checked with A.S.S. guy). He also cleaned the suspension coil, and various rubber and other parts to give it a spic and span look. The coils had to be clamped at a vice when removing and before reassembling on the new struts. Let the pictures show the end result:

New KYB rear shocks : Unlike oil filled shocks, the gas filled shocks always expand out, so they are constrained with a tape when packaged... Nowadays, KYB Excel G from Thailand instead of Japan.
Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-kyb_excelg_rear_strut.jpg

Reassembled rear-strut assembly
Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-reass_strut_rear.jpg

Rear struts ready to go onto the car :-)
Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k-reass_strut_rear2.jpg

Initial driving impression is very good. Car feels surefooted, ride compliant, and handling better. Drove it for about 1k km post overhaul, need to evaluate next steps if needed.

Total bill for job done so far at Sai : 6.2k
incl. wheel alignment & using best parts available!
I am quite happy with the result and am thinking to replace front struts with KYB gas charged ones after crossing 100k!

Inputs, advise from bhpians welcome...

Last edited by lancer_rit : 2nd January 2012 at 01:24.
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Old 7th January 2012, 09:36   #5
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Default KYB Suspension Catalogue and Exact part numbers for Lancer

While searching for Lancer suspension parts, I came across several KYB catalogues (US, Europe, Japan/Asia), and all of them had Lancer/Mirage/Colt suspensions albeit several different part numbers.

Finally, I came across this KYB catalogue which explicitly mentioned the "Indian Lancer" :-). The OEM part numbers matched with what Chewbacca had provided for both front and rear suspension, so these KYB part numbers are the real deal ! (Ignore chassis mentioned as CJ#, Indian Lancer is CK2A).
Please see the snippet below from the catalogue.Name:  lancer_kyb_susp.jpg
Views: 7972
Size:  41.2 KB

So, the right KYB part numbers for our Lancer is:

* Front Right : 333342
* Front Left : 333343
* Rear Both : 341313

Also, this catalogue has specific mention of suspensions for "Indian" variants of Corolla, Corolla Altis, Getz, SX4 and probably matches many more Jap and Korean models. So, I have attached the document below. As it exceeded the 3MB limit, I had to split it into two parts!

So, folks if you want to get Gas filled shocks for, say a Wagon R, you may find this document useful :-)

PS - If you have OEM part numbers for your suspension struts, its easy to search those numbers in the catalogue, and find the KYB parts corresponding to it!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf KYB-JAPAN-2011_1_103.pdf (2.89 MB, 3070 views)
File Type: pdf KYB-JAPAN-2011_103_175.pdf (868.0 KB, 3237 views)
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Old 7th January 2012, 10:10   #6
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Thanks for the post. Can you please post/PM me the contact numbers/address for Sai?
I need to do some work on my car as some rubber parts were not available with SVR during my last 100K service there.
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Old 8th January 2012, 13:09   #7
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Hi Ritesh, thats a very good job done on your car.
Looking at the damage of the suspesnion housing. I beleive this part only provides stability ( support) for the independent suspesion. I think the bend really does not affect the real suspension or handling in anyway. I would be worried if the lower arm (supporting the strut) has moved or displaced due to the hit.. But looking at the damage, it seems to be only superficial and has not resulted in changing the geometry of the lower arm. First suspension change after almost 9 years .. thats an amazing feat by itself. I guess these KYB gas charged ones should hold on for some time to come. I guess it would be good to change the front struts aswell.
Time for KYB ing my ikon suspension..


regards,
Shaz
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:07   #8
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

@shaz, thanks. Your assessment is exactly what Srinivas and the mechanic asserted. It seems to be borne out by the wheel alignment data where rear toe is perfect, and camber is well within range. There is a small setback (rear wheels) though it seems that is also within margins as claimed on a website (0.25" tolerance claimed by some manufacturers).

Yeah, front struts in line past 100k km :-) That gives me 8k to run around with the new rear struts before I make the jump! Good luck with your Ikon strut replacements...
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Old 12th May 2012, 19:40   #9
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Default Update after 5k km

5k+ km after the rear struts replaced. Car is driving well including a couple of highway drives at higher speeds, and climb up/down Yelagiri hill.

Front struts still ok according to A.S.S. SVR Motors - had got suspension retorqued. Let's see if I go for front strut replacement post 100k ...
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Old 23rd July 2012, 13:20   #10
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Default Re: Suspension work Alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post

So, asked Sai Colorium (my preferred bodyshop) about availability and cost of components:
Hi

Do you have a contact number for Sai Colorium? I tried calling 080 41214556 but not working.

I am looking for a trusted mechanic in Bangalore to do some work for my Lancer. My slave cylinder is damaged yesterday and also should replace some rubber parts.

If not Sai, can you suggest a reliable guy?
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Old 13th August 2012, 16:29   #11
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

100k km done last week. Front struts are still holding, so wondering if I should wait for another 5-10k km before replacing them ? Or should I have all 4 struts new ?

@coolclouds, sorry for late reply.
Sai Colorium contacts:
Khan : 9900991370
Landline : 08026631125

I don't know of other independent mechanics who are good on the Lancer - would love to hear about a dependable Lancer expert.

Sai Colorium have Srinivas and a couple of mechanics who worked on Mitsubishi @ Lathangi. So, they can probably do mechanical jobs fine...
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Old 24th September 2012, 02:47   #12
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post
100k km done last week. Front struts are still holding, so wondering if I should wait for another 5-10k km before replacing them ? Or should I have all 4 struts new ?
How come the coil springs have the white sleeve? Did you also replace them too?

Any why are you again thinking of replacing all 4 struts? Just replace the front 2 if necessary. The thumb rule says "Don't fix it unless it's broken or making noise". Well I myself don't follow this rule and do things pre-emptively but you can be practical and save money.

btw, a strange thing about coil springs, two years ago Pune A*S*S quoted the rear/front coils at Rs 800 ~ 1200 each and these were some OE Indian brand. A year ago I asked again and they quoted similar price. Now all of sudden they have switched to selling Japanese OE coils at Rs. 8000/- each. I questioned their logic and they simply said HM's policy keeps changing.

If you are really planning to replace the front shockers then I suggest DON"T put OE KYB gas struts. Good old Gabriels or any other compatible "gas-charged oil strut" should be fine.
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Old 24th September 2012, 08:43   #13
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
How come the coil springs have the white sleeve? Did you also replace them too?
The old sleeves had weathered. So, the mechanic put new sleeves and they were white in color.
Quote:
Any why are you again thinking of replacing all 4 struts? Just replace the front 2 if necessary. The thumb rule says "Don't fix it unless it's broken or making noise". Well I myself don't follow this rule and do things pre-emptively but you can be practical and save money.
Hey, I am only talking of the front suspension. No need to replace rear after 10k km! What I meant is - whether I change the front struts now, so that all 4 are more or less new, or wait out since front struts are still doing a decent job. The Gabriel oil-filled ones are long lasting!

Quote:
btw, a strange thing about coil springs, two years ago Pune A*S*S quoted the rear/front coils at Rs 800 ~ 1200 each and these were some OE Indian brand. A year ago I asked again and they quoted similar price. Now all of sudden they have switched to selling Japanese OE coils at Rs. 8000/- each. I questioned their logic and they simply said HM's policy keeps changing.
In Jan, I checked with A.S.S. in BLR and Coimbatore, and they only sell the oil filled Gabriels. So, not sure what your Pune A.S.S. is doing ? BTW, coils are separate from the struts. I had no need to change the coils. The oil filled struts cost way more than 1200 as I have posted earlier in the thread.
Quote:
If you are really planning to replace the front shockers then I suggest DON"T put OE KYB gas struts. Good old Gabriels or any other compatible "gas-charged oil strut" should be fine.
I rather put KYB part, since these are better damping than the Gabriel oil filled ones. Gabriel made these struts in collaboration with KYB. The KYB gas charged struts would last less, but I don't have a problem with that !

Last edited by lancer_rit : 24th September 2012 at 08:45.
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Old 24th September 2012, 17:55   #14
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post
I rather put KYB part, since these are better damping than the Gabriel oil filled ones.
Your ride will become stiffer with the KYB Excel G or GR2 and may increase the chances of a damage to the front strut mounts. You already have the stiffer 60 profile tyres and the KYBs would be an overkill, IMHO.

At the Pune A*S*S they sell both Gabriel and KYB (5x costlier) and I had insisted on KYBs when the front shocks were replaced two years ago. They discouraged me from putting KYBs knowing that I am more of a comfort oriented customer. I was told that the front coils are very stiff on the Lancer and thus the less-stiffer Gabriels and/or higher profile tyres are necessary to compensate the coil stiffness. They also showed me few damaged strut mounts, usually a tear or a crack surrounding the 3 nuts. This is easily seen under the bonnet if checked but goes un-noticed otherwise.

Most of the lower-profiled, performance tuned Lancers suffer this fate. If you can find less stiffer gas shocks then put those instead.
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Old 24th September 2012, 22:24   #15
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Default Re: Lancer Rear Suspension work @90k

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Your ride will become stiffer with the KYB Excel G or GR2 and may increase the chances of a damage to the front strut mounts. You already have the stiffer 60 profile tyres and the KYBs would be an overkill, IMHO.
My car's MXV8 tyres are comfort-oriented and much softer than the hard(though durable) MRF ZV2K. After I upsized, I could not detect more than 5-10% difference in increased stiffness. In fact, the front of the car behaved much better with lower profile and better rubber.
KYB designed the suspension struts for the Lancer worldwide, and they told Gabriel how to do it as well. The part numbers vary by geography, so the Indian numbers are different from other markets. Therefore, they should be having same damping when cold, or atleast, that is my expectation. So, I don't think there is alarm, but I'll check with a couple of A.S.S. guys! Thanks for the warning :-)
Old Lancers also used Bridgestone S248 & I was told they didn't go well with the suspension.
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