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Thread: Servicing front suspension on a 2004 Vectra Estate 2.2 DTi, advice please :-)

  1. #1
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    Default Servicing front suspension on a 2004 Vectra Estate 2.2 DTi, advice please :-)

    Just got a 2004 Opel Vectra Estate 2.2 diesel, approx 65000 miles on bad and bumpy roads, and AFAIK the car has only got 2 ordinary service, and probably is no parts in wheel / suspension ever changed. And it feels heavy and nervous in the front, kindof like a bathtub in the North Sea compared to my old car Citroźn Xsara 2001 estate. Not like the Vectra should be, huh No clicking/ticking noise when driving, except from a squeek in the spring/damper on left side, the first minutes of driving.

    So, I want to service it properly, and change all parts who are, or will be soon, worned, and then have the wheel allignement adjusted and wheels properly balanced.

    What parts should normally be replaced?

    Of course the damper itself. Ill guess that is a complete unit with all the "bone", not only the damper.

    I see that several here talks about bad / broken spring. I cannot find anything wrong with mine, but I have'nt checked thorough. Only a quick look when changing tyres, and it looked quite clean and OK. Should I change them now when I change the dampers?

    Other things to change? Steering joints, outer/inner or both? Any bushings? Anti-roll bars/joints? Top bearings at dampers, dust caps?


    I dont have any intention to lower the car, and since I don't know how stiff the suspension is when new/good, I stick to standard stiffness for now, and eventually change to stiffer / thighter in future.

    Normally our car is used as a family car, so no really hard driving, but we have very bad and curvy roads where we live, so we really need a solid everyday-suspension

    Regarding buying parts, I live in Norway, so it is a Opel with steering at left side. Have never serviced on a Opel before, but experienced (as hobby) with Citroźn, Mazda, and a bunch of motorcycles, so Ill guess it should be straightforward to do the Opel? I see they use alot Torx, so I have got some more Torx tools than I already had.
    Should I go for original parts, or other brand? I can probably get KYB double-action gas-filled dampers. I belive they only make standard and not "sport" versions, but I have used KYB several times, and are quite happy with the result on my other cars. Other / better brands?

    Thanks alot for all suggestions
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  2. #2
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    I answer myself:
    Today I was at my local Opel garage, and an experienced mecanic helped me out:
    Dampers: Yes, replace, all the way. But the KYB is a better choice than original (Sachs?), both for performance and for how long they last. And the KYBs in rear is auto-leveling.
    Spring: Yes, at least in front, but all way is a good choice. They recommend the un-original (sorry, don't recall the brand), as they don't snap as easy as the original.
    Top bearing: Definately yes. They are prone to squirk
    Steering end tracker ball: Yes. Anyway cheap and fast to change.
    Antiroll bars: Yes. The original is reinforced since 2004
    Antiroll bushings: Yes, but use those meant for the 2006 models (or newer), since they are reinforced/redesigned. A pain to mount, but alot better, and not the squeecky sound as I have on mine today.
    Dust cap: No! They last, he claimed. Hmm, I have never changed dampers on a McPherson without also changing the dustcap, but he was stubborn and said they didn't even have it inhouse.

    The price for original was affordable and almost the same as the un-original, but the springs and dampers is 30% cheaper un-original (and better).
    Actually I also bought longlife GM-oil for the engine, and GM ATF-oil for the gearbox, and oil and airfilter, as they actually is cheaper than other oilbrands I paid about £52 for engine oil, included taxes (25% here in Norway), and for Comma oil bought where I get good discount, they wanted £58 for equal quality and amount.

    So, soon I will have a "new" car
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  3. #3
    Regular Member kenp's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C


    Engine : 2.2 Direct

    Year : 2004

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    Hi fikse

    That sounds like you have some work to do some of the bits you are getting changed. is not even changed on my 04 vectra estate..

    But the KYB shocks.. i cant find any here in Denmark.. they sound great as self leveling kan make xenon leagal what was the price for the shocks all way round?

  4. #4
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenp View Post
    Hi fikse

    That sounds like you have some work to do some of the bits you are getting changed. is not even changed on my 04 vectra estate..

    But the KYB shocks.. i cant find any here in Denmark.. they sound great as self leveling kan make xenon leagal what was the price for the shocks all way round?
    Yep, some work. A few six-packs, a couple of days, and wohoooo! Hopefully I will get a "new" car. I changed the dampers on the Xsara I just sold, with KYBs, and what a upgrade! The buyer, when passing some huge speed bumps in 45 KM/h, promptly claimed "this is alot better than my car". He came in a 2007 Volvo XC90...

    KYB, you should get them in Denmark. KYB is the world biggest manufacturer of dampers, even Citroen use them as OEM on some models! Have a look at http://www.kyb-europe.com/ Ill guess they produce for other brands too..
    If it is impossible to get to Denmark, I would be more than happy to help you to get them for you. I don't know much about the function of the auto-level function, but the seller (a friend of mine) claimed it to be a good choice especially for Estates. This is a guy who drives rally, and "eats suspension for breakfast", so I belive the guy

    Don't know about Denmark, but in Norway it will not do the trick regarding HIDs. Here you definately need separate levelling-system for the lights only.

    What I paid.. Hmm, in NOK I paid 2.800.- for all 4. £277, or 2.360 DKK, including norwegian tax at 25%
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  5. #5
    Regular Member kenp's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C


    Engine : 2.2 Direct

    Year : 2004

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    Well here i law only says the there must be autoleveling.. dosnt say it have to be on the headlight.

    But then theres all the other bits to be within if im going to do it i can see the kyb is bit more expencive than other brands here.. but not that bad a price after all.

  6. #6
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenp View Post
    Well here i law only says the there must be autoleveling.. dosnt say it have to be on the headlight.

    But then theres all the other bits to be within if im going to do it i can see the kyb is bit more expencive than other brands here.. but not that bad a price after all.
    I'm not 100% sure what the law excactly says here, but the autorities is hard to satisfy, and AFAIK they only accept original or aftermarket sets, designed for each car, and "E"-branded. This is for low beam, and of course not for high beam-only lights. I belive Norway and Denmark follow the same EU-regulations.

    The price of the dampers is about 20% higher than Sachs, and 30-40% higher than the cheap no-name stuff. A good choice for the other cars I have mounted KYBs on, and hopefully a good choice for the Vectra
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  7. #7
    Regular Member kenp's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C


    Engine : 2.2 Direct

    Year : 2004

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    Quote Originally Posted by fikse View Post
    I'm not 100% sure what the law excactly says here, but the autorities is hard to satisfy, and AFAIK they only accept original or aftermarket sets, designed for each car, and "E"-branded. This is for low beam, and of course not for high beam-only lights. I belive Norway and Denmark follow the same EU-regulations.

    The price of the dampers is about 20% higher than Sachs, and 30-40% higher than the cheap no-name stuff. A good choice for the other cars I have mounted KYBs on, and hopefully a good choice for the Vectra
    We follow the same law on hid/xenon here they are made out in thises rules:

    Headlightwashers must be present (dont need to work)
    Approved headlamp
    Approved bulps
    Must have autoleveling (dosnt say if in headlamp, or on the car or i anyother way i has to work)

    Let me know if the kyb is a good choice before i buy some

  8. #8
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenp View Post
    <snip>

    Let me know if the kyb is a good choice before i buy some

    You're BAD
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  9. #9
    Full Member fikse's Avatar
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    Just got most of the parts today, except from right side front damper. "Someone" had nicked it from my order
    And of course they are out of stock in Norway, so Ive got to wait approx 14 days. Just have to wait to do the front job, don't want to drive with one new damper in front
    Anyway, have some job to do in the rear, and also clean the EGR etc, because of a engine that keeps dying every now and then
    Looks like I have some time to spend in my garage in the summer holiday. Guess my wife will love me then
    Bent, my name is Bent
    Mods: I polished it in september...

  10. #10
    Regular Member kenp's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C


    Engine : 2.2 Direct

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    when you have fixed it then she will love you but not during the repair

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