The need for MacPherson strut replacement may or may not be indicated by the presence of oil on the strut body. A thin film of oil deposited on a new strut's outer tube is normal during a break-in period of 3,000-5,000 miles. If present, such weepage will not affect the strut's performance and will normally cease after the initial wetting of the strut body and seal break-in period. However, when oil leakage occurs beyond this period, or causes a constantly wet condition on the entire strut body (and possibly, the lower control arm) strut replacement is indicated.
MacPherson struts are non-serviceable, and must be replaced as a unit. Although Ford deems it unnecessary to replace both struts if only one is defective, we suggest that you consider replacing struts in pairs, particularly after several years of service or extended mileage.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Place the ignition key in the UNLOCKED position to permit free movement of the front wheels.
- Working from the engine compartment, remove the large nut that attaches the strut to the upper mount. A screwdriver in the slot will hold the rod stationary while removing the nut. Loosen the smaller strut retaining nuts (usually 3), but do not remove at this time.
- Raise the front of the vehicle by the lower control arms, then place safety stands under the frame jacking pads, rearward of the wheels, but DO NOT remove the floor jack from the control arm.
- Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
In order to provide sufficient clearance for strut removal and installation, it may be necessary to remove the brake caliper and brake pads.
- Remove the brake caliper and pads, if necessary, without disconnecting the brake line. Suspend the caliper by a piece of wire or twine. (For further detail on caliper/brake pad removal and installation, refer to Brakes .)
- Remove the small mounting nuts from the upper strut mount which were loosened earlier.
- Remove the two lower nuts and bolts attaching the strut to the spindle.
- Lift the strut up from the spindle to compress the rod, then pull down and remove the strut.
- With the rod half extended, place the rod through the upper mount and hand start the mount as soon as possible.
- Extend the strut and position it onto the spindle.
- Install the two lower mounting bolts and hand start the nuts.
- Loosely install the small upper mounting nuts.
Position a suitable tool in the slot to hold the rod stationary while the nut is being tightened.
- Remove the suspension load from the lower control arm by lowering the jack, and tighten the lower mounting nuts to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm).
- Raise the suspension control arm and tighten the nut that attaches the strut to the upper body mount to 60-75 ft. lbs. (81-102 Nm). This can be done from inside the engine compartment. Tighten the small upper mounting nuts which were loosely installed earlier.
- If applicable, remove the wire or twine and install the brake caliper and pads.
- Install the tire and wheel assembly.
- Remove the safety stands and lower the vehicle.
- Check and adjust the front wheel alignment, if necessary.