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Mazda Ed
Mazda Ed, Auto Service Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 2223
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, Mazda Master Technician, GM and Ford factory trained. 15 years experience.
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Chevrolet Venture: Hello 2003 Chevy venture with 130k on

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2003 Chevy venture with 130k on it. Need to replace front struts and mounts as well have a right wheel bearing/hub assemble that needs to be replaced.
Assume that with 130k and as I am the original owner I know the left hub is original so assume I showed go ahead and replace that as well.
What are your thoughts on replacing the cv joints/half shafts while I have it apart they seem ok now but what is the life expectancy of them they are original?
In your opinion are there other components that should be replaced while its apart?
What are your thoughts on parts specifically wheel bearing should I go with a standard base line part or go with a top of line part like moog?
Finally can you send me the step by step on these projects and tell me what you estimate the time frame for a decent Do it yourselfer to complete as a driveway project.

Ok, let's start with the easy part of this...

Check your lower control arms thoroughly when doing this front end work. The bushings tear and the control arm will bang around. If you don't have the tools to press the bushing in and out I would replace the whole arm with Dorman brand. Part# XXXXX for Driver side and 520-146 for passenger side.

Check the ends of the sway bar for cracking. I have seen several that break the end off. Now would be a good time to replace the sway bar links and bushings.

I would use the Monroe complete strut assemblies. Part# XXXXX for the "Econo" strut and part# XXXXX for the regular strut. Both have a lifetime warranty.

As for the CV axles, if the boots aren't torn or dry rotted I would leave them alone.

For the wheel bearing I prefer the Timken bearings. I've had very few problems with that brand. We use other brands such as PTC for our customers when their budget can't handle the price of the Timken. The key here is to be sure that the large axle nut is torqued to the correct spec. If it is under or over torqued it will lead to early bearing failure.

It will take some time to respond back with step by step directions so bear with me.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help. If you can send me the step by step with torque settings when time permits I would greatly appreciate it.


One final question on the left side hub/bearing, no noise no play however has 130k on it. Do you suggest replacing or leave alone?


Thanks Again

I don't ever replace the hub unless it is bad. It's not too hard of a job to tackle by itself at a later date if it does fail.

I'm working on the other info for you....
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

sorry one more question if you can answer when you send the SBS. you indicate two different options on complete strut assemblies. The econo is about $75 cheaper (each) than the other option, do you recommend going econo or standard?

You will probably get a little better ride from the regular strut vs. the econo strut. But I doubt it would be very noticeable. If it is a vehicle you plan on keeping for many years to come, remember that they both come with a lifetime warranty.

Take a look at the control arms and let me know if the bushings are bad. If you need to replace the control arms then that will change some of the directions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The bushings don't look bad but noticeable wear so go to replace those as well thanks


Ok, I'll get back to you with some directions and torque specs. It will probably be in the morning.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Ok here we go.

1) Remove the wheel
2) Remove the large axle nut... this is easier if you have a helper hold the brakes.
3) Unplug the wire from the hub
4) Use a large punch and hammer to knock the axle loose from the hub... it won't come all the way out yet.
5) Remove the caliper and rotor
6) Mark the spot where the strut attached to the spindle by scribing a line on the side.
7) Remove the lower control arm bolts where they go through the subframe
8) Remove the sway bar link
9) Remove the 2 large bolts holding the strut to the spindle
10) Pry the strut bottom from the knuckle
11) The entire control arm and knuckle should be loose now. Pull them away from the vehicle and make sure the axle slides out of the hub while you are doing this. The assembly is going to have a little bit of weight to it so be careful.
12) Remove the 3 nuts from the top of the strut assembly.
13) Remove the nut from the ball joint to the knuckle and hammer the ball joint stud to remove it from the knuckle. Don't worry, the new control arm comes complete with a ball joint.
14) If you are replacing the hub on this side then unbolt the hub making sure where the backing plate and wire are located.
15) Install the new hub now, while the location of the backing plate and wire are fresh in your mind.
16) Slide the control arm back into place while making sure the axle shaft enters the bearing.
17) Bolt the new strut in to place at the top of the strut tower.
18) Install the strut to knuckle bolts, make sure the new strut lines up with the marks you made for the old strut.
19) Finish assembling the items saving the axle nut for last.
20) Have your assistant hold the brakes and torque the axle nut to 118 ft-lbs
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