Car & Truck Suspension & Steering Parts

The purpose of a MacPherson strut, much like a shock absorber, is to dampen harsh spring movement and provide a means of dissipating the motion of the wheels. Whether it's one or two, replacing struts typically requires suspension disassembly and wheel realignment, meaning that it is a job best left to the professionals. Under that gob of undercoating, is another 15mm hex bolt, which screws into the end of the strut rod, clamping the bushings into the strut rod.

Support car frame by another jack, then slowly lower the jack under lower control arm. Hit the male end of the nut with a hammer to drive the bolt through the lower control arm bushing. Forks are also known as front suspension or front shocks. If your vehicle uses upper and lower control arms, you'll need a spring compressor.

Remove the wheel and tire assembly. When it comes time to assemble, make sure that the control arm bolt flats are in the correct position and seated flat against the frame or a sudden change in vehicle control can be experienced. Remove pivot pin bushing clamp bolt in upper control arm, then remove both pivot pin bushings from upper control arm, and remove rubber seals.

17: On the lower control arm, remove the rubber bumper and mounting plate. Replacement of other bushings depends on the age of the car, road conditions, driver's habits, etc. Unscrew bushings and remove shaft from control arm. This gets particularly tricky Suspension Disassembly in the case of a front-wheel-drive car, where the wheels are steering the vehicle as well.

Once again, be extremely careful when releasing the pressure on these springs. While on the alignment rack and doing the alignment, you remove the front upper strut nut (holding the upper strut plate to the body), then take a hammer and pound the stud out of that plate.

Other parts that received a similar blasting and painting treatment included the lower control arms, spindles, strut rods, steering centerlink, and miscellaneous bolts, nuts, and small parts. Dirt Rider has shown the ins and outs of disassembly and reassembly of the common cartridge fork designs and how to handle seal replacement and routine service.

The lower control arm is attached to the wheel hub with one bolt that is shown in the lower left hand corner of the image above. Replacing springs with different properties will dramatically alter the driving feel of the vehicle, and handling characteristics.

Remember that there will be a lot of spring pressure on ‘A' arms, so be very, very careful when you remove these bolts and nuts. This is how all of the bushings can be removed once the sleeve is out. They are not vulcanized to the control arm or camber rod ends.

The forks and shock are then re-assembled with all new bushings and seals, correct oil levels, nitrogen pressures. This type of spring provides the suspension required for heavier vehicles. Remove the remaining half of the front strut rod bushing. Insert the lower control arm bolt and tighten the nut on the back side.

That brings us to the replacement of the bushings and disassembly of the suspension. If you forget to remove them, the spring must be unloaded if the lower control arms have been removed. The bushings were in bad shape after more than a decade on the road, and the ball joints were loose and leaking.

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