Mazda 323/MX-3/626/MX-6/Millenia/Protégé 1990-1998 and Ford Probe 1993-1997

MacPherson Struts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 through 9

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  2.  
  3. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: To remove the front strut, first unfasten the brake hose and/or ABS sensor wires from the strut housing



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Fig. Fig. 2: Paint matchmarks on the upper strut mount-to-tower assembly ...



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Fig. Fig. 3: ... and on the lower strut-to-steering knuckle mounting point. This will help preserve your alignment settings



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the upper strut mounting nuts ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... then loosen the lower strut-to-knuckle through-bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... and remove them. If the bolts seem stuck, try rocking the assembly slightly while pulling outward on the bolt

  1. Remove the bolts or clips attaching the brake hose and/or ABS sensor harness to the strut.
  2.  
  3. On vehicles equipped with the Automatic Adjusting Suspension (AAS), unplug the electrical connector and remove the actuator from the top of the strut.
  4.  
  5. On 32-4 626/MX-6, when removing the left side strut, remove the ignition coil bracket.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Separate the steering knuckle from the strut. Support the steering knuckle to avoid stressing the brake hose (arrow)



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 9: If necessary, replace the upper mount-to-strut tower gasket

  1. Paint alignment marks on the upper strut mounting block and strut tower, and on the lower strut mount-to-steering knuckle so the strut can be reinstalled in the same position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the upper strut mounting block nuts and the strut-to-knuckle bolts and remove the strut assembly.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the strut into the strut tower, aligning the paint marks made during removal. Install the mounting nuts and tighten to specifications.
  2.  
  3. Install the strut-to-knuckle bolts and tighten to specifications.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with AAS, install the actuator and engage the electrical connector.
  6.  
  7. Install the clips or bolts attaching the brake hose and/or ABS sensor harness.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle. Check the front end alignment.
  10.  

OVERHAUL



See Figures 10, 11 and 12

  1. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If the vehicle is not equipped with AAS, remove the cap from the top of the strut.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the front strut assembly. Rear strut is similar

  1. Install the strut securely in a vise with either aluminum or copper plates to protect the strut.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the piston rod upper nut several turns but DO NOT REMOVE IT.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Secure the upper strut mount in a vise and loosen the piston rod nut several turns but DO NOT REMOVE IT!

  1. Install the lower end of the strut in the vise and install a coil spring compressor. Compress the coil spring and remove the upper nut.
  2.  


CAUTION
Failure to fully compress the spring and hold it securely can be extremely dangerous.

  1. Slowly release the coil spring tension.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 12: Use a coil spring compressor and relieve the spring tension from the upper mount, then remove the piston rod nut

  1. Remove the suspension support, dust seal, spring seat, spring insulators, coil spring and bumper.
  2.  
  3. While pushing on the piston rod, make sure that the pull stroke is even and that there is no unusual noise or resistance. Also inspect for any oil leakage around the piston rod.
  4.  
  5. Push the piston rod in and then release it. Make sure that the return rate is constant.
  6.  
  7. If the shock absorber does not operate as described, replace it.
  8.  

To assemble:
  1. Install the strut assembly into a vise.
  2.  
  3. Install the bound stopper and dust boot onto the piston rod.
  4.  
  5. Install the coil spring and compress the coil spring with the spring compressor.
  6.  
  7. Install the rubber seat, the spring upper seat, the bearing and the mounting block. Make sure that the spring upper seat notched portion is facing inward and tighten the piston rod upper nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the spring compressor from the strut. Secure the upper mounting block in the vise. Tighten the nut to specification.
  10.  
  11. Make sure that the spring is well seated in the upper seats.
  12.  
  13. Install the strut to the vehicle.
  14.  

 
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