300M, Concorde, Intrepid, LHS, 1998-2004

Strut (MacPherson Strut)

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Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
    NOTE
    Service of the coil spring requires the use of a coil spring compressor tool. It is required that 5 coils be captured within the jaws of the compressor tool.


    NOTE
    Do not support the vehicle by placing supports under the suspension arms. The suspension arms must hang freely.

  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Front wheel(s)
     
    Stabilizer bar attaching link at the strut assembly
     

  4.  
  5. Loosen, but do not remove the outer tie rod end-to-strut assembly steering arm attaching nut. Then, remove the outer tie rod end from the steering arm using puller MB-990635/C-3894A, or equivalent.
    WARNING
    The strut assembly-to-steering knuckle bolts are serrated where they go through the strut and steering knuckle. Do not turn the bolts during removal. If the bolts are turned, damage to the steering knuckle will result.



    Speed sensor wiring harness mounting bracket from the strut
     
    Brake caliper assembly. Support the caliper assembly from the vehicle frame with a strong piece of wire. Do not allow the assembly to hang by the brake hose.
     
    Front brake rotor
     

  6.  
  7. The strut assembly-to-steering knuckle bolts must not be turned during strut removal. Hold the bolt head with a wrench and turn the nuts off the bolts.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 3 or 4 strut assembly upper mount-to-shock tower mounting nuts and washers. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Disassemble the strut by performing the following procedure:
    1. Securely mount the strut assembly into a vise. Using paint, mark the strut unit, lower spring isolator, spring and upper strut mount for indexing of the parts at assembly.
    2.  
    3. Position the spring compressor tool onto the strut. Compress the coil spring until all load is off the upper strut mount assembly.
    4.  
    5. Install Strut Rod Socket tool L-4558A on the strut shaft nut and a 10mm socket on the end of the strut shaft to prevent it from turning. Remove the strut shaft nut.
    6.  
    7. Remove the upper mount assembly, jounce bumper and seat bearing and dust shield as an assembly.
    8.  
    9. Remove the coil spring and compressor as an assembly from the strut. Remove the lower spring isolator from the strut assembly lower spring seat.
    10.  
    11. Inspect all components for abnormal wear, oil leakage or failure. Replace parts as required.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. View of the front suspension components-2004 vehicle shown, others similar

    12.  

  12.  

To install:

  1. Assemble the strut by performing the following procedure:
    1. Inspect the strut assembly for signs of leakage. Actual leakage will be a stream of fluid running down the side and dripping off the lower end of the strut. A slight amount of seepage between the strut rod and strut shaft seal is not unusual and does not affect performance of the strut assembly.
    2.  
    3. Install the lower spring isolator on the strut unit. Install the compressed coil spring onto the strut assembly aligning the paint marks made during removal.
    4.  
    5. Install the strut bearing into the bearing seat. The bearing must be installed into the seat with the notches on the bearings facing down.
    6.  
    7. Lower the seat bearing and dust shield onto the strut and spring assembly. Align the paint marks made during removal.
    8.  
    9. Install the jounce bumper and upper mount on the strut shaft, aligning the paint marks.
    10.  
    11. Install the strut mount-to-shaft retainer nut. Inspect all alignment marks made during removal and align as required. While holding the strut shaft from turning with a 10mm socket, torque the strut shaft nut to 70 ft. lbs. (94 Nm).
    12.  
    13. Equally loosen the spring compressor tool until all tension is released. Remove the spring compressor tool.
    14.  

  2.  
  3. Install the front strut into the strut tower. Torque the 3 or 4 upper nuts to 25-28 ft. lbs. (33-37 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Position the steering knuckle neck into the strut assembly. Install the strut assembly-to-steering knuckle bolts. Install the nuts onto the attaching bolts and torque to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm). Do not turn the serrated bolt heads during installation. Turn only the nuts.
    WARNING
    The strut assembly-to-steering knuckle bolts are serrated (toothed) where they go through the strut and steering knuckle. Do not turn the bolts during removal. If bolts are turned, damage to the steering knuckle will result.

  6.  
  7. Install or connect the following:

    Brake rotor and caliper assembly to the adapter and torque the caliper bolts to 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm)
     
    Front speed sensor cable routing bracket onto the front strut, if equipped
     
    Outer tie rod on the steering arm and torque the attaching nut to 27 ft. lbs. (37 Nm)
     
    Stabilizer link assembly onto the strut assembly and torque the attaching nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm)
     
    Front wheel and lug nuts. Torque the lug nuts, in sequence, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  8.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  

The rear strut assemblies support the weight of the vehicle using coil springs positioned around the struts. The coil springs are contained between the upper mount of the strut assembly and a lower spring seat on the body of the strut assembly. The strut is attached to the spindle by a split collar on the rear spindle with a pinch bolt to hold the spindle to the strut.

  1. Remove or disconnect the following:
    NOTE
    Hold the hex on the attaching link stud while breaking the nut loose. The attaching link does not have to be removed from the strut.



    Rear wheel
     
    Caliper assembly and rotor from the hub, if equipped with rear disc brakes
     
    Brake flex hose from the support bracket and wheel cylinder, if equipped with rear drum brakes. Plug the brake flex hose to prevent system contamination. Do not allow the rear caliper to hang by the brake hose. Support the caliper off of the frame with a strong piece of wire.
     
    Speed sensor cable routing bracket and tube, if equipped with Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
     
    Lateral links to the rear spindle assembly bolts
     
    Rear strut assembly-to-stabilizer bar attaching link at the stabilizer bar
     

  2.  
  3. Remove the rear spindle-to-strut assembly pinch bolt. Install a center punch in the hole on the spindle and tap the punch into the hole until jammed. This will spread the spindle casting allowing it to be removed from the strut.
  4.  
  5. Using a hammer, tap on the top surface of the spindle, driving the spindle down and off the end of the strut assembly. Let the spindle and assembled components hang from the trailing arm while the strut is being serviced.
  6.  
  7. From inside the trunk of the vehicle, remove the 3 upper strut mounting bolts and remove the strut from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Disassemble the strut by performing the following procedure:
    NOTE
    Service of the coil spring requires the use of a coil spring compressor tool. It is required that 5 coils be captured within the jaws of the compressor tool.

    1. Securely mount the strut assembly into a vise. Using paint, mark the strut assembly, lower spring isolator, spring and upper strut mount for indexing of the parts at reassembly.
    2.  
    3. Position a spring compressor tool onto the coil spring. Compress the coil spring until all load is off of the upper strut mount assembly.
    4.  
    5. Install the strut rod socket tool L-4558 on the strut shaft nut and an 8mm Allen wrench on the end of the strut shaft to prevent it from turning. Remove the strut shaft nut.
    6.  
    7. Remove the upper strut mount assembly off of the strut shaft. Remove the coil spring and compressor tool as an assembly from the strut.
    8.  
    9. Remove the plate, dust shield and jounce bumper off of the strut unit.
    10.  
    11. Inspect all components for abnormal wear, oil leakage or failure. Replace parts as required.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. View of the rear suspension components-2004 vehicle shown, others similar

    12.  

  10.  

To install:

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Separate the lateral links from the spindle-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the nut from the stabilizer-to-strut attaching link stud at the bar-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Loosen, then remove the rear spindle-to-strut pinch bolt-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Insert a center punch into the hole on the spindle and tap until the casting is spread-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Tap with a hammer on the surface of the spindle driving it down and off the end of the strut-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Allow the components to hang from the trailing arm as shown-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Access the 3 upper strut mounting nuts through the trunk-rear strut service



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. During reassembly, tap the spindle onto the strut until the notch in the spindle is tightly seated against the tab-rear strut service

  1. Assemble the strut by performing the following procedure:
    1. Install the lower spring isolator on the strut unit. If it is the original isolator, align the paint marks.
    2.  
    3. Install the jounce bumper into the dust shield. Install the plate on top of the dust shield and into the jounce bumper.
    4.  
    5. Install the dust shield, jounce bumper and the top plate onto the strut unit as an assembly.
    6.  
    7. Install the coil spring and compressor tool onto the strut unit and align the paint marks on the spring to that of the strut unit.
    8.  
    9. Install the upper strut mount assembly onto the strut shaft. Align the paint marks and install the strut shaft retaining nut.
    10.  
    11. Using the strut rod socket tool L-4558 and the 8mm Allen wrench to prevent the strut shaft from turning, torque the strut shaft nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
    12.  
    13. Equally loosen the spring compressor tool until all tension is released. Remove the spring compressor tool.
    14.  

  2.  
  3. Position the strut in the vehicle. Torque the 3 upper mounting nuts to 20 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the spindle assembly onto the bottom of the strut. Push or tap the spindle assembly onto the strut, until the notch in the spindle is tightly seated against the locating tap on the strut assembly. Remove the center punch from the hole in the spindle.
  6.  
  7. Install or connect the following:
    WARNING
    Do not tighten the lateral link-to-spindle bolt at this time, or the bushings will be contorted and fail. You must tighten the bolt at curb height.



    Strut-to-spindle pinch bolt and torque to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm)
     
    Lateral link-to-spindle attaching bolt, hand-tight only
     



    Stabilizer bar attaching link and torque the stabilizer link-to-stabilizer bar attaching nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm), while holding the stabilizer link stud at the hex with a wrench
     
    Rear speed sensor cable routing tube and bracket, if equipped with ABS
     
    Rotor and caliper assembly (if equipped with rear disc brakes) and torque the bolts to 16 ft. lbs. (22 Nm)
     
    Rear brake flex hose to the wheel cylinder and support plate, if equipped with rear drum brakes
     
    Rear wheel(s) and torque the lug nuts, in sequence, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm)
     
    With the weight of the vehicle on the tires, tighten the lateral link-to-spindle attaching bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (140 Nm)
     

  8.  
  9. Bleed the brake system, if equipped with rear drum brakes.
  10.  
  11. Have the rear wheel toe set to specifications.
  12.  

 
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