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Strut Assembly

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You can never have a smooth drive if any of your car's suspension system components are malfunctioning. In front-wheel drive vehicles, one of the most important suspension components is the strut assembly. Properly maintaining this assembly ensures a smooth and manageable drive. This assembly integrates a coil spring with the shock absorber, which makes it very efficient in dampening the up and down movement of the vehicle whenever it encounters bumps and potholes on the road. Aside from that, strut assemblies also align some of the suspension system components for seamless performance. However, all strut assemblies have a downside. The failure of one part will cause the whole assembly to fail as well. If your suspension system is not working as well as it used to, you need to primarily check the struts. Inspect it carefully for signs of rust and corrosion. Once you've confirmed that it's malfunctioning, don't think twice about replacing the whole thing. This will restore the smoothness and maneuverability of your drive. Replacing the assembly is an advanced task, but it can be performed by do-it-yourself mechanics who have worked on the suspension before. More often than not, replacement assemblies come with an installation manual and the installation hardware. Our online auto parts store, Auto Parts Warehouse, offers extensive strut assembly selections to suit your specific vehicle make and model. Don't hesitate to check out our online catalog to find your most compatible replacement!

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Choosing a New Strut Assembly: Twin-tube or Monotube?

Is your vehicle showing signs of worn-out struts such as poor ride control and handling, fluid leaks, suspension noise, and a variety of steering problems? If you’ve observed or experienced most of these signs, it’s time to take a look at your vehicle’s struts. Once you’ve confirmed that the culprit behind these car problems is a worn-out strut assembly, replace it as soon as you can. But before you grab the first strut kit you see, you need to know first which type will suit your vehicle and needs best. To help you on this, here’s the lowdown on the two basic types of strut assemblies:

Twin tube

As its name suggests, this assembly uses two tubes or cylinders—inner and outer. The inner cylinder, also known as the working cylinder, is where the shaft and piston are located. The outer cylinder, on the other hand, functions as a hydraulic fluid reservoir. This strut design involves several valves that offer additional damping force and control the flow of fluids between the two cylinders. A twin-tube assembly is used on a variety of non-performance vehicles as a factory built kit. So if you’re looking for a replacement strut assembly for your car’s factory struts, a twin tube type is a good choice.

Monotube

A monotube assembly features a single tube or cylinder. This cylinder is then divided into two parts: a gas chamber and a fluid chamber. The fluid chamber is similar to a twin tube’s inner cylinder this is where the piston and shaft move up and down. Compared to a twin tube, a monotube has a larger diameter. To separate the monotube’s two parts, a seal and floating piston is used. Because of its design, this type of strut assembly offers a more aggressive movement. This is why this design is included as a factory kit on certain performance and racing vehicles. It’s also the perfect kit if you wish to upgrade a suitable vehicle that originally came with twin tube struts since it offers higher performance capabilities. However, before you upgrade to a monotube assembly, make sure first that your vehicle’s suspension system can handle more aggressive struts.

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How to Install a Strut Assembly like a Pro

Your car’s strut assembly offers structural support for the suspension and dampening features, so its components are made to withstand lots of movement, friction, and heavy load. Over time, however, it will wear out. Good thing replacing it is manageable as long as you have the skills and tools. Here’s what to do:

Difficult level: Moderate

Tools required:

  • Coil spring compressor
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Ratchet
  • Wrench

Step 1: Loosen the lug nuts of the front wheels with a lug wrench, but don’t remove these nuts yet. Remove the hub caps if needed. Then jack up your car and support it with jack stands.

Step 2: Remove the lug nuts in order to remove the front wheels. Depending on your car make and model, you might need to remove brake line clips or other parts to get access to the struts.

Step 3: Remove the old strut assembly’s top nuts using a socket or wrench. However, don’t remove the center nut. Mark the lower mounting location of the strut on the hub for easier installation later on.

Step 4: Unscrew the bolts that link the struts to the hub and pull out the strut assembly from the car. Then mark the top mounting location for future reference.

Step 5: While the old strut kit is placed on a work bench, compress the spring with a spring compressor so you could remove the retaining washer and top center nut. Pull out the strut assembly, starting from the lower part of the spring.

Step 6: Slide the new strut kit into the spring and reposition the top mount, using the mark you’ve made as a guide. Then reinstall the top nut and retaining washer. Tighten the top nut by following torque specifications. Carefully loosen the compressor to remove it from the struts.

Step 7: Attach the new assembly to your vehicle, making sure that you follow the old assembly’s exact position. Loosely reattach the top mounting nuts of the assembly to attach it onto the engine compartment frame. Adjust the bottom mount until it’s perfectly aligned with the marks you made earlier. Then torque the bolts and top nuts according to the manufacturer’s torque specifications.

Step 8: Reinstall all the other parts you’ve removed—brake line clips, wheels, and hubcaps. Take the car for a test drive.