Car Shock Absorber Replacement: A Technical Guide
Shock absorbers pose a severe safety risk if they are worn or damaged. Wheels bounce, and the body rolls and pitches due to worn shock absorbers. Braking efficiency is greatly diminished because of insufficient tire-to-road contact and tire wear is amplified by erratic hammering.
Here are a few things you should keep an eye out for:
MOUNTINGS THAT ARE LOOSE OR BROKEN
Ensure all nuts are snug and no missing rubbers on the fasteners. If the shock absorber isn’t secured correctly, it won’t work.
Shock absorber with a leak
Examine the device for any identifying smudges. Verify that these are genuine shock absorber parts, not simply debris from the road, sump, or transmission.
In the absence of a proper testing apparatus, one can get a rough indication of the state of the shock absorbers by following this procedure.
Release at the bottom of your bounces to avoid damaging the car’s suspension. Every angle should snap back to the peak of its stroke before returning to its natural resting place. The shock absorber needs to be replaced if it bounces higher than this.
If bouncing the car is difficult or impossible, the shock absorber may have seized, or the piston rod may be bent because of a defective mounting bracket. It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of having the right equipment for any task. The installation of shock absorbers is no exception. The following equipment will significantly facilitate the adjustment:
Compressor with a Spring
Clamp for the brake hose
Clamp for struts
Adjustable ratcheting wrench Shock absorbers come in three distinct varieties: the wet strut, the sealed strut, and the telescopic.
Find out what kind is in your car by consulting the manual.
WET STRUT REPAIR, NO. 1
The procedure for fixing a strut that became wet is outlined below.
Step 1: Using the appropriate size socket spanner, remove the piston rod nut by one turn. Get the wheel nuts loosened. Raise the vehicle on jack stands, and before removing the wheel, put a corresponding mark on the rim and the bolt. For your protection, use axle stands.
Second, use a spring compressor to clamp the coil spring. Brake fluid is caustic, so be careful not to spill it when you clamp the line, remove the spring clip, and detach the brake hose fittings.
Remove the nuts connecting the steering arm to the strut in Step 3. Take off the top three screws and put a mark where they were. Now, raise the strut out of the way, together with the brake assembly.
Fourth, bring everything to a workbench and disassemble it there. You’ll need a strut clamp to secure the strut while comping the coil spring until the piston rod can travel freely. Please carefully note where parts were removed so they may be returned to the correct order when reassembling.
Carefully remove the gland screw with the appropriate size spanner, as it may be needed again. The gland screw is used to centralize and clamp the inner workings. Take out the old guts and compare them to the new insert to ensure they fit.
Sixth, get rid of the oil. Use a solvent to flush out the tube and the threads. Fill the tube with the recommended amount of oil, preferably SAE 30, although any kind will do. Sliding the replacement insert into place is possible.
Step 7: Replace the gland screw with care and torquing guidelines. Ensure the new insert is securely seated in the tube, and check that the piston rod is centered and that the appropriate amount of thread is showing. Start the oil pumping by giving it a good prime.
Step 8: Place the spring in the depressions of the seat. Apply grease to the wheels. Put enough force on the top nut to keep the whole thing together. The car can now receive the unit.
Step 9: After everything is in place, tighten the top three fastening nuts to the specified amount. After adjusting the tightness of the piston rod nut, the steering arm can be reattached to the strut knuckle. Put a new dust cover over it.
Tenth, reattach the spring clip and reconnect the brake hose fitting. Replace the wheel and check that the corresponding marks are lined up. Reduce vehicle height and secure wheel nuts.
Eleventh, you should bleed the brake line. Tire pressure, wheel alignment, and a test drive are all things to consider before buying a used car. We have finished fixing the leaking struts.
SECURE STRUT REPLACEMENT
The procedure for replacing the front-sealed struts is as follows:
Disconnecting the brake hose is the first step, and it is the same for both the sealed strut and the wet strut up to this point. Disconnect the brake hose by unclamping it, then removing the spring clip.
Second, mark the location of the cam that controls the adjustment by cutting a notch into the bottom bracket. Use a jack to keep the suspension from collapsing. Loosen the two bolts holding it together. Now that the seal has been broken, the sealed strut may be taken out of the steering knuckle.
Step 3. Clamp the strut in a strut clamp and compress the coil spring on a workbench until the strut is free to move. Take apart the parts, remembering where they were placed, and unscrew the top nut. Take the old one out of the clamp and see how it measures up to the new one. Replace the old unit by inserting it into the strut clamp.
Check for wear and damage as you replace each component in the correct order, and make sure the new unit is primed correctly in Step 4. Check that the bottom seat hollow is in line with the coil spring. The top spring seat’s “out” marking must be oriented toward the vehicle’s exterior. Tighten the top nut until the strut is secure.
The sealed strut is now ready for reassembly. Therefore, step 5 is to remove the spring compressor. Adjust the tightness of the top three nuts to the specified level. Connect the bottom bracket and the steering knuckle again. Bolts should be inserted from behind after being oiled and worked into place. Align the notch on the lower bracket with the adjustment cam on the steering knuckle, and then tighten the nuts to the correct torque. Finally, replace the dust cover and torque the piston rod nut to the manufacturer’s specifications. The spring-clip should be replaced, and the brake hose fittings should be reconnected. A test drive is in order after bleeding the brake lines and checking the tire pressure and wheel alignment.
SECONDARY SHOCK ABSORBER REPLACEMENT (TELESCOPIC)
Telescoping shocks are much simpler to install than wet or sealed struts. But there are always minor but crucial details to remember. Remember to apply some rubber lubricant (not oil) to the bushings. The top mounting should only be fully tightened when the vehicle’s weight is distributed evenly over all four tires when using studs.
Also, make sure the bushings aren’t overly tightened. Instructions for adjusting the four-position shock-absorbing settings are included in the packaging. Use Loctite penetrating oil to loosen nuts, as a general rule. Do not destroy them with fire. Utilize a “nutcracker” on tough nuts; throughout the job, be sure to utilize the right equipment. Check that the new unit is suitable for your car before installing it.
Before installing the unit, make sure it has been primed, and if any of the components are old or worn, they should also be replaced. Neither pliers nor a vise should be used on the piston rod since this could cause irreparable damage to the machine.
If you need to alter or repair the shock absorbers on your car, I hope this article is helpful.
Gerald Crawford, born in South Africa and an expert in eco-tourism and the African travel experience, has a background in electronics and telecommunications. He lectured on the importance of ethical travel in South Africa. Please feel free to send me an email with any feedback or inquiries. Contact Information:
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