TownAndCountry 2008

Struts (MacPherson Struts)

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Overhaul



Specific to:

Chrysler Town & Country 2008-2009

Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-2009


NOTE
For the disassembly and assembly of the strut assembly, use strut spring compressor, 223-7400, or the equivalent, to compress the coil spring. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely.


NOTE
The strut assembly must be removed from the vehicle for it to be disassembled and assembled.


CAUTION
Do not remove the strut rod nut before the coil spring is properly compressed. The coil spring is held under pressure. The coil spring must be compressed, removing spring tension from the upper mount and bearing, before the strut rod nut is removed.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. If both struts are being serviced at the same time, mark both the coil spring and the strut assembly according to which side of the vehicle the strut is being removed.
  4.  
  5. Position the strut assembly (2) in the strut coil spring compressor (1), following the manufacturer's instructions, and set the lower and upper hooks of the compressor on the coil spring. Position the strut clevis bracket (2) straight outward, away from the compressor.
  6.  
  7. Compress the coil spring until all the coil spring tension is removed from the upper mount and bearing.
    WARNING
    Never use impact or high speed tools to remove the strut rod nut. Damage to the strut internal bearings can occur.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of strut coil spring compressor

  8.  
  9. Once the spring is sufficiently compressed, install Strut Nut Wrench (2), Special Tool 9362, on the strut rod nut. Next, install a deep socket (1) on the end of the strut rod. While holding the strut rod from turning, remove the nut using the strut nut wrench.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Install Strut Nut Wrench (2), Special Tool 9362, on the strut rod nut

  10.  
  11. Remove the clamp (if installed) from the bottom of the coil spring and remove the strut (damper) (9) out through the bottom of the coil spring.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower spring isolator (8) from the strut seat.
  14.  
  15. Remove the dust shield (5) and jounce bumper (6).
  16.  
  17. Remove the upper strut mount (2) from the top of the bearing and upper spring seat (3).
  18.  
  19. Remove the upper spring seat (3) and isolator (4) from the top of the coil spring (5).
    NOTE
    If the coil spring needs to be serviced, proceed with the next step, otherwise, proceed with Step 12.

  20.  
  21. Release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive completely. Push back the compressor hooks and remove the coil spring.
  22.  
  23. Inspect the strut assembly components and replace as necessary:
    1. Inspect the strut (damper) (9) for shaft binding over the full stroke of the shaft.
    2.  
    3. Inspect the jounce bumper (6) for cracks and signs of deterioration.
    4.  
    5. Inspect the dust shield (5) for cracks and tears.
    6.  
    7. Check the upper mount (2) for cracks and distortion and its retaining studs for any sign of damage.
    8.  
    9. Check the bearing and upper spring seat (3) for any binding.
    10.  
    11. Inspect the upper and lower spring isolators (4, 8) for material deterioration and distortion.
    12.  
    13. Inspect the coil spring (7) for any sign of damage to the coating.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Exploded view of strut components

    14.  

  24.  

To assemble:


NOTE
If the coil spring has been removed from the spring compressor, proceed with the next step, otherwise, proceed with Step 3.


NOTE
When installing the coil spring in the spring compressor, be sure to place the end with the tag closest to it upward.

  1. Place the coil spring in the spring compressor following the manufacturer's instructions. Before compressing the spring, rotate the spring so the end of the bottom coil is at approximately the 9 o'clock position as viewed above (or to where the spring was when removed from the compressor). This action will allow the strut (damper) clevis bracket to be positioned outward, away from the compressor once installed.
  2.  
  3. Slowly compress the coil spring until enough room is available for the strut assembly reassembly.
  4.  
  5. Install the bearing and upper spring seat (3), and isolator (4), on top of the coil spring (7).
  6.  
  7. Install the upper mount (2) on top of the bearing and upper spring seat (3).
  8.  
  9. Install the lower spring isolator (8) on the spring seat on the strut (damper) (9).
  10.  
  11. Slide the jounce bumper (6) and dust shield (5) onto the strut rod.
  12.  
  13. Install the strut up through the bottom of the coil spring and upper spring seat, mount, and bearing until the lower spring seat contacts the lower end of the coil spring. Rotate the strut as necessary until the end of the bottom coil (2) comes in contact with the stop (1) built into the lower spring isolator.
    NOTE
    Before installing the strut rod nut, make sure the hole (4) in the upper mount faces away from the strut clevis bracket (5). Upon doing so, also make sure the bearing and upper spring seat is positioned so the notches (1) in its top line with the studs (2) located in the upper mount flange. This orientation is necessary to avoid possible Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) issues following installation.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Rotate the strut until the end of the bottom coil (2) comes in contact with the stop (1) built into the lower spring isolator

  14.  
  15. While holding the strut in position, install the nut (3) on the end of the strut rod (6) by hand.
    WARNING
    Never use impact or high speed tools to remove the strut rod nut. Damage to the strut internal bearings can occur.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Before installing the strut rod nut, make sure the hole in the upper mount faces away from the strut clevis bracket

  16.  
  17. Install Strut Nut Wrench (2), Special Tool 9362, on the strut rod nut. Next, install a deep socket (1) on the end of the strut rod. While holding the strut rod from turning, tighten the strut rod nut to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) using a torque wrench on the end of Special Tool 9362.
    NOTE
    Before releasing the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive (1), make sure the hole (4) in the upper mount faces away from the strut clevis bracket (5). Upon doing so, also make sure the bearing and upper spring seat is positioned so the notches in its top (1) line with the studs (2) located in the upper mount flange. This orientation is necessary to avoid possible NVH issues following installation.

  18.  
  19. Slowly release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive completely. As the tension is relieved, make sure the upper mount and bearing align properly. Verify the upper mount does not bind when rotated.
  20.  
  21. Remove the strut assembly from the spring compressor.
  22.  
  23. Install the strut assembly on the vehicle.
  24.  

Removal & Installation



Specific to:

Chrysler Town & Country 2008-2009

Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-2009


WARNING
Do not remove the strut rod nut while the strut assembly is installed in the vehicle, or before the coil spring is compressed with a compression tool. The spring is held under high pressure.


WARNING
At no time when servicing a vehicle can a sheet metal screw, bolt, or other metal fastener be installed in the shock tower to take the place of an original plastic clip. It may come into contact with the strut or the coil spring.


WARNING
Wheel bearing damage will result if, after loosening the axle hub nut, the vehicle is rolled on the ground or the weight of the vehicle is allowed to be supported by the tires for any length of time.


CAUTION
Do not remove the nut from the strut rod while the strut assembly is installed in the vehicle or before the strut assembly spring is compressed.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. If both of the strut assemblies are to be removed, mark the strut assemblies RIGHT or LEFT according to which side of the vehicle they were removed from to keep from mixing parts.
    NOTE
    It is important to note that the left and right side wheel speed sensor routing brackets (3) mount opposite each other on the strut making it necessary to install the left side mounting screw from the rear and the right side mounting screw from the front.

  8.  
  9. Remove the screw (1) fastening the wheel speed sensor routing bracket (3) to the mounting flange (2) on the strut.
    NOTE
    When removing the nut (3) from the stud of the stabilizer bar link (2), do not allow the stud to rotate in its socket. Hold the stud from rotating by placing an open-end wrench on the flat surface machined into the stud.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the screw (1) fastening the wheel speed sensor routing bracket (3) to the mounting flange (2) on the strut

  10.  
  11. Remove the stabilizer bar link (2) from the bracket on the strut assembly (1). To do so, place an open-end wrench on the flat surface machined into the link's mounting stud, then remove the nut (3) while holding the wrench in place. Push the stud out of the bracket.
    WARNING
    The strut assembly-to-knuckle attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal. Proper removal is required. Refer to the following steps for the correct method.



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the stabilizer bar link from the strut assembly

  12.  
  13. If servicing a left strut:
    1. While holding the bolt heads stationary, remove the 2 nuts (3) from the bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle.
    2.  
    3. Remove the 2 bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle using a pin punch.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Remove the 2 nuts (3) and the 2 bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle-left strut

    4.  

  14.  
  15. If servicing a right strut:
    1. While holding the bolt heads stationary, remove the 2 nuts (3) from the bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle.
    2.  
    3. Remove the 2 bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle using a pin punch.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Remove the 2 nuts (3) and the 2 bolts (2) attaching the strut (1) to the knuckle-right strut

    4.  

  16.  
  17. Remove the wiper arms and the cowl grille (3) from the cowl plenum (1).
    1. Raise the hood.
    2.  
    3. Remove the wiper arms.
    4.  
    5. Remove the push pins (2) and the metal clips for the cowl grille (3).
    6.  
    7. Remove the cowl grille (3).

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Remove the wiper arms and the cowl grill from the cowl plenum

    8.  

  18.  
  19. Remove the 3 nuts (1) attaching the strut assembly (2) upper mount to the strut tower, then remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the 3 nuts (1) attaching the strut assembly (2) upper mount to the strut tower

  20.  

To install:


WARNING
When installing a strut assembly, make sure the strut being installed has the correct coil spring for that side of the vehicle. Do not interchange the two sides.

  1. Install the strut assembly (3) into the strut tower (2), aligning and inserting the 3 studs on the upper strut mount into the holes in the tower. Install the 3 mounting nuts (1). Tighten the nuts to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the cowl grille (3) and the wiper arms.
    1. Install the cowl grille (3) in place to the vehicle and route the clips under the windshield (1).
    2.  
    3. Install the push pins (2) and metal clips.
    4.  
    5. Install the wiper arms.
      WARNING
      The strut clevis-to-knuckle bolts are serrated and must not be turned during installation. Install the nuts while holding the bolts stationary in the steering knuckle. Refer to the following steps.


      WARNING
      If vehicle being serviced is equipped with eccentric cam strut attaching bolts, the eccentric cam bolt must be installed in the bottom (slotted) hole on the strut clevis bracket.


      NOTE
      The strut clevis-to-knuckle bolts are installed differently on each side. The left hand side bolts are to be installed to the vehicle rear-to-front. The right side bolts are to be installed to the vehicle front-to-rear.

    6.  

  4.  
  5. If servicing the left strut:
    1. Position the lower end of the strut assembly (1) in line with the upper end of the knuckle, aligning the mounting holes. Install the 2 strut clevis-to-knuckle bolts (2).
    2.  
    3. Install the strut clevis-to-knuckle nuts (3) on the 2 bolts (2). While holding the bolts in place, tighten the strut clevis-to-knuckle nuts to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm), plus an additional 90° turn after the torque is met.
    4.  

  6.  
  7. If servicing the right strut:
    1. Position the lower end of the strut assembly (1) in line with the upper end of the knuckle, aligning the mounting holes. Install the 2 strut clevis-to-knuckle bolts (2).
    2.  
    3. Install the strut clevis-to-knuckle nuts (3) on the 2 bolts (2). While holding the bolts in place, tighten the strut clevis-to-knuckle nuts to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm), plus an additional 90° turn after the torque is met.
    4.  

  8.  
  9. Install the stabilizer bar link (2) mounting stud through the rearmost hole in the bracket on the strut assembly (1).
    WARNING
    When installing the nut on the mounting stud of the stabilizer bar link, do not allow the stud to rotate in its socket. Hold the stud from rotating by placing an open-end wrench on the flat surface machined into the stud.

  10.  
  11. Hand thread the nut (3) on the end of the stabilizer bar link stud. Place an open-end wrench on the flat surface machined into link's mounting stud to hold the stud from turning while tightening the nut. Tighten the nut to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm).
    NOTE
    It is important to note that the left and the right side wheel speed sensor routing brackets (3) mount opposite one another on the strut making it necessary to install the left side mounting screw from the rear and the right side mounting screw from the front.

  12.  
  13. Attach the wheel speed sensor routing bracket (3) to the mounting flange (2) on the strut assembly. Install and tighten the screw (1) to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Install the tire and wheel assembly and tighten the wheel mounting nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Lower the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Perform a wheel alignment, as necessary.
  20.  

 
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