Toyota Matrix 2003-06

Strut (MacPherson Strut) Assembly

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Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable. Because of the air bag system, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding.
     
    Rear wheel
     
    Rear deck board, luggage compartment tray and any trim necessary to access the strut towers
     
    Shock absorber head cover
     

  4.  
  5. On AWD vehicles, separate the rear stabilizer link.
  6.  
  7. For FWD vehicles:
    1. Support the axle beam with a jack.
    2.  
    3. Remove the strut tower nuts and bolt.
    4.  
    5. Remove the lower strut nut, cushion retainer and strut .
    6.  

  8.  
  9. For AWD vehicles:
    1. Support the rear control arm.
    2.  
    3. Remove the bolt and nut from the rear control arm.
    4.  
    5. Remove the strut tower nuts.
    6.  
    7. Remove the 3 rear control arm bolts.
    8.  
    9. Press the rear control arm down to the outside of the vehicle, then remove the strut.
    10.  

  10.  
  11. To disassemble the strut:
    1. Place the strut assembly in a pipe vise or strut vise.
    2.  

  12.  


WARNING
Do not attempt to clamp the strut assembly in a flat jaw vise as this will result in damage to the strut tube.

  1. Compress the spring until the upper suspension support is free of any spring tension. Do not over-compress the spring.
  2.  
  3. Hold the upper support, then remove the nut on the end of the shock piston rod.
  4.  
  5. Remove the support, coil spring, insulator, and bumper.
  6.  

  1. Inspect the strut as follows:
    1. Check the shock absorber by moving the piston shaft through its full range of travel. It should move smoothly and evenly throughout its entire travel without any trace of binding or notching.
    2.  
    3. Use a small straightedge to check the piston shaft for any bending or deformation.
    4.  
    5. Inspect the spring for any sign of deterioration or cracking. The waterproof coating on the coils should be intact to prevent rusting.
    6.  

  2.  

To install:


NOTE
Never reuse a self-locking nut. Always replace self-locking nuts and cotter pins as applicable.

  1. Assemble the strut as follows:
    1. Loosely assemble all components onto the strut assembly. Be sure the spring end aligns with the hollow in the lower seat.
    2.  
    3. Align the upper suspension support with the piston rod and install the support.
    4.  
    5. Align the suspension support with the strut lower bracket. This assures the spring will be properly seated top and bottom.
    6.  
    7. Compress the spring to expose the strut piston rod threads.
    8.  
    9. Install a new strut piston nut and tighten to 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
    10.  
    11. Remove the spring compressor. Be sure the paint mark on the upper support faces the outside of the strut.
    12.  

  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:

    Strut on the vehicle. Tighten the strut-to-strut tower nuts to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
     
    Strut to the axle carrier and install the nut and cushion retainer/bolt snug. Do not fully tighten at this time.
     
    Strut head cover
     
    Rear control arm (AWD). Tighten the bolts to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
     
    Rear stabilizer link (AWD)
     
    Trunk tray, deckboard and any other trim pieces removed
     
    Wheel
     

  4.  
  5. With the vehicle-s weight on the suspension, tighten the bolt holding the strut to the axle carrier to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) for FWD vehicles, or 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm) for AWD vehicles.

    Negative battery cable
     

  6.  
  7. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment.
  8.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable. Because of the air bag system, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding.
     
    Rear wheel
     
    Rear deck board, luggage compartment tray and any trim necessary to access the strut towers
     
    Shock absorber head cover
     

  4.  
  5. On AWD vehicles, separate the rear stabilizer link.
  6.  
  7. For FWD vehicles:
    1. Support the axle beam with a jack.
    2.  
    3. Remove the strut tower nuts and bolt.
    4.  
    5. Remove the lower strut nut, cushion retainer and strut .
    6.  

  8.  
  9. For AWD vehicles:
    1. Support the rear control arm.
    2.  
    3. Remove the bolt and nut from the rear control arm.
    4.  
    5. Remove the strut tower nuts.
    6.  
    7. Remove the 3 rear control arm bolts.
    8.  
    9. Press the rear control arm down to the outside of the vehicle, then remove the strut.
    10.  

  10.  
  11. To disassemble the strut:
    1. Place the strut assembly in a pipe vise or strut vise.
      WARNING
      Do not attempt to clamp the strut assembly in a flat jaw vise as this will result in damage to the strut tube.

    2.  
    3. Compress the spring until the upper suspension support is free of any spring tension. Do not over-compress the spring.
    4.  
    5. Hold the upper support, then remove the nut on the end of the shock piston rod.
    6.  
    7. Remove the support, coil spring, insulator, and bumper.
    8.  

  12.  
  13. Inspect the strut as follows:
    1. Check the shock absorber by moving the piston shaft through its full range of travel. It should move smoothly and evenly throughout its entire travel without any trace of binding or notching.
    2.  
    3. Use a small straightedge to check the piston shaft for any bending or deformation.
    4.  
    5. Inspect the spring for any sign of deterioration or cracking. The waterproof coating on the coils should be intact to prevent rusting.
    6.  

  14.  

To install:


NOTE
Never reuse a self-locking nut. Always replace self-locking nuts and cotter pins as applicable.

  1. Assemble the strut as follows:
    1. Loosely assemble all components onto the strut assembly. Be sure the spring end aligns with the hollow in the lower seat.
    2.  
    3. Align the upper suspension support with the piston rod and install the support.
    4.  
    5. Align the suspension support with the strut lower bracket. This assures the spring will be properly seated top and bottom.
    6.  
    7. Compress the spring to expose the strut piston rod threads.
    8.  
    9. Install a new strut piston nut and tighten to 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
    10.  
    11. Remove the spring compressor. Be sure the paint mark on the upper support faces the outside of the strut.
    12.  

  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:

    Strut on the vehicle. Tighten the strut-to-strut tower nuts to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
     
    Strut to the axle carrier and install the nut and cushion retainer/bolt snug. Do not fully tighten at this time.
     
    Strut head cover
     
    Rear control arm (AWD). Tighten the bolts to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
     
    Rear stabilizer link (AWD)
     
    Trunk tray, deckboard and any other trim pieces removed
     
    Wheel
     

  4.  
  5. With the vehicle-s weight on the suspension, tighten the bolt holding the strut to the axle carrier to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) for FWD vehicles, or 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm) for AWD vehicles.

    Negative battery cable
     

  6.  
  7. Check and adjust the rear wheel alignment.
  8.  

 
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