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2005 Dodge Grand Caravan front struts. How to replace?

Customer Question
How do you replace struts...

How do you replace struts on a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan?

Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dodge
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
2/11/2009
Dodge Mechanic: Your Auto Inspector, ASE Certified Assistant Service Mgr replied 8 years ago
Your Auto Inspector
Your Auto Inspector, ASE Certified Assistant Service Mgr
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 874
Experience: ASE Certified, over 10 years experience
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Thanks for using Just Answer. I will be glad to assist you.

Here is the procedure:

REMOVAL

WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE THE NUT FROM THE STRUT ROD WHILE STRUT ASSEMBLY IS INSTALLED IN VEHICLE, OR BEFORE STRUT ASSEMBLY SPRING IS COMPRESSED.

  1. Raise the vehicle.
  2. Remove the wheel and tire assembly from location on front of vehicle requiring strut removal.
  3. If both strut assemblies are to be removed, mark the strut assemblies right or left according to which side of the vehicle they were removed from.graphic
  4. Remove the hydraulic brake hose routing bracket and the speed sensor cable routing bracket from the strut damper brackets. CAUTION: When removing the nut from the stud of the stabilizer bar link, do not allow the stud to rotate in it's socket. Hold the stud from rotating by placing an open-end wrench on the flat machined into the stud.
    graphic
  5. Remove the stabilizer bar link from the bracket on the strut assembly. To do so, place an open-end wrench on the flat machined into the link's mounting stud, then remove the nut while holding the wrench in place. Push the stud out of the bracket. CAUTION: The steering knuckle to strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during removal. Remove nuts while holding bolts stationary in the steering knuckles.
    graphic
  6. Remove the 2 strut assembly clevis bracket to steering knuckle attaching bolts.graphic
  7. Remove the 3 nuts attaching the strut assembly upper mount to the strut tower and remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
  8. To disassemble the strut assembly, see below:

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

For the disassembly and assembly of the strut assembly, use of Strut Spring Compressor, Pentastar Service Equipment (PSE) tool W-7200, or the equivalent, is recommended to compress the coil spring. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely.

WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE THE STRUT SHAFT NUT BEFORE THE COIL SPRING IS COMPRESSED. THE COIL SPRING IS HELD UNDER PRESSURE AND MUST BE COMPRESSED, REMOVING SPRING TENSION FROM THE UPPER MOUNT AND PIVOT BEARING, BEFORE THE SHAFT NUT IS REMOVED.

  1. Position the strut assembly in the strut coil spring compressor following the manufacturers instructions. Position the lower hooks on the coil spring first. The strut clevis bracket should be positioned straight outward from the compressor.graphicgraphic
  2. Turn the upper mount of the strut assembly toward the inside of the compressor as shown to allow positioning of the compressor upper hooks. Position the upper hooks on top of the coil spring upper seat approximately 1 inch from outside diameter of seat. Do not allow hooks to be placed closer to edge. Place a clamp on the lower end of the coil spring, so the strut is held in place once the strut shaft nut is removed.
  3. Compress the coil spring until all coil spring tension is removed from the upper mount.
  4. Install Strut Nut Socket, Special Tool 6864, on the strut shaft retaining nut. Next, install a 10 mm socket on the hex on the end of the strut shaft. While holding the strut shaft from turning, remove the nut from the strut shaft.graphic
  5. Remove the upper mount from the strut shaft.
  6. If the pivot bearing needs to be serviced, remove it from the top of the coil spring upper seat by pulling it straight up.
  7. Remove the clamp from the bottom of the coil spring and remove the strut out through the bottom of the coil spring.
  8. Release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive fully. Push back the compressor upper hooks and remove the upper spring seat with upper spring isolator.
  9. Remove the coil spring from the spring compressor.
  10. Remove the dust shield and jounce bumper as an assembly from the strut shaft by pulling both straight up and off the strut shaft. The dust shield cannot be separated from the jounce bumper until after it is removed from strut shaft.
  11. Remove the jounce bumper from the dust shield. The jounce bumper is removed from the dust shield by collapsing the dust shield until the jounce bumper can be pulled free from the dust boot.
  12. Remove the spring isolator from the lower spring seat on the strut.
  13. Inspect the strut assembly components for the following and replace as necessary:
  • Inspect the strut for any condition of shaft binding over the full stroke of the shaft.
  • Check the upper mount for cracks and distortion and its retaining studs for any sign of damage.
  • Check the upper seat for stress cracks and wear.
  • Check the upper spring isolator for severe deterioration.
  • Check for binding of the strut assembly pivot bearing.
  • Inspect the dust shield for rips and deterioration.
  • Inspect the jounce bumper for cracks and signs of deterioration.

ASSEMBLY
For the disassembly and assembly of the strut assembly, use of Strut Spring Compressor, Pentastar Service Equipment (PSE) tool W-7200, or the equivalent, is recommended to compress the coil spring. Follow the manufacturer's instructions closely.

NOTE: Coil Springs on this vehicle are side-oriented. Springs on the left side of the vehicle have a left-hand wind top-to-bottom while springs on the right side have a right-hand wind top-to-bottom. Left and right springs must not be interchanged.

NOTE: If the coil spring has been removed from the spring compressor, proceed with the next step, otherwise, proceed with step 5.

graphic

  • Place the coil spring in the compressor lower hooks following the manufacturers instructions. Proper orientation of the spring to the strut (once installed) is necessary. Consider the following when placing the coil spring in the compressor: From above, the compressor back is at the 12 o'clock position, and you, standing in the front of the machine, are at the 6 o'clock position. Place the lower coil spring end at the 6 o'clock position for both left and right springs.
  • Install the upper seat and upper isolator on top of the coil spring. Position the notch in the perimeter of the upper seat toward the front of the compressor (same 6 o'clock position as in step 1).
  • Position the upper hooks on top of the coil spring upper seat so the upper hooks span approximately 1 inch past outside diameter of upper seat. This will allow proper clearance for upper mount installation without pinching the hooks in-between the two pieces. Do not allow hooks to be placed closer to edge.
  • Compress the coil spring far enough to allow strut installation.
  • graphic

  • If the pivot bearing has been removed from the upper seat, install the pivot bearing on the top of the upper spring seat. The bearing must be installed on upper seat with the smaller diameter side of the pivot bearing toward the spring seat. Be sure the pivot bearing is sitting flat on the spring seat once mounted.
  • Install the spring isolator on the lower spring seat of the strut.
  • Install the jounce bumper on the strut shaft. The jounce bumper is to be installed with the small end pointing downward.
  • Install the dust shield on the strut. Collapse and stretch the dust shield down over the top of the jounce bumper until the dust shield snaps into the slot on the jounce bumper. The jounce bumper will be at the top of the inner dust boot. Return the dust shield to its fully extended length.
  • graphic

  • Install the strut through the bottom of the coil spring until the lower spring seat contacts the lower end of the coil spring. The clevis bracket on the strut should point straight outward away from the compressor (to the 6 o'clock position). This position should be within 5°of the lower end tip of the coil spring. If necessary, reposition the strut or coil spring in the compressor so both of these line up straight outward away from the compressor (to the 6 o'clock position). Install the clamp to hold the strut and coil together.
  • Install the strut mount over the strut shaft and onto the top of the pivot bearing and upper seat as shown. Loosely install the retaining nut on the strut shaft.
  • Install Strut Nut Socket (on the end of a torque wrench), Special Tool 6864, on the strut shaft retaining nut. Next, install a 10 mm socket on the hex on the end of the strut shaft. While holding the strut shaft from turning, tighten the strut shaft retaining nut to a torque of 100 Nm (75 ft. lbs.).
  • graphic

    NOTE: Before releasing the tension the compressor has on the spring, using the following figure as reference, make sure the upper spring seat, coil spring and strut clevis bracket are all lined up properly (within 5°of one another).

    • Slowly release the tension from the coil spring by backing off the compressor drive fully. As the tension is relieved, make sure the upper mount, pivot bearing and upper seat are align properly. Remove the clamp from the lower end of the coil spring and strut. Push back the spring compressor upper and lower hooks, then remove the strut assembly from the spring compressor.
    • Install strut assembly on the vehicle.

    INSTALLATION

    CAUTION: Front strut coil springs are side-oriented. When installing a strut assembly, make sure the strut being installed has the correct coil spring for that side of the vehicle. Springs on the left side of the vehicle have a left-hand wind top-to-bottom while springs on the right side have a right-hand wind top-to-bottom. Do not interchange the two sides.

    1. Install strut assembly into strut tower, aligning and installing the 3 studs on the upper strut mount into the holes in shock tower. Install the 3 upper strut mount attaching nut/washer assemblies. Then using a crow foot. tighten the 3 attaching nuts to a torque of 28 Nm (250 in. lbs.).

    CAUTION: The steering knuckle to strut assembly attaching bolts are serrated and must not be turned during installation. Install nuts while holding bolts stationary in the steering knuckles.

    NOTE: The strut clevis-to-steering knuckle bolts are installed differently on each side of the vehicle. Left hand side bolts are to be installed from vehicle rear to front. Right side bolts are to be installed from vehicle front to rear.

    1. Align strut assembly with steering knuckle. Position arm of steering knuckle into strut assembly clevis bracket. Align the strut assembly clevis bracket mounting holes with the steering knuckle mounting holes. Install the 2 strut assembly to steering knuckle attaching bolts. If strut assembly is attached to steering knuckle using a cam bolt, the cam bolt must be installed in the lower slotted hole on strut clevis bracket. Tighten the strut clevis-to-steering knuckle attaching bolts to a torque of 81 Nm (60 ft. lbs.) plus an additional 1/4 (90°) turn after specified torque is met.
    2. Install the stabilizer bar link mounting stud through the bracket on the strut assembly.

    CAUTION: When installing the nut on the mounting stud of the stabilizer bar link, do not allow the stud to rotate in it's socket. Hold the stud from rotating by placing an open-end wrench on the flat machined into the stud.

    1. Hand thread the nut on the end of the stabilizer bar link stud. Hold the stud from turning by placing an open-end wrench on the flat machined into the link's mounting stud, then tighten the nut while holding the wrench in place. Tighten the nut to a torque of 88 Nm (65 ft. lbs.).
    2. Install the hydraulic brake hose and speed sensor cable routing brackets on the strut assembly brackets. Tighten the routing bracket attaching bolts to a torque of 13 Nm (10 ft. lbs.).
    3. Install the wheel/tire assembly on the vehicle.
    4. Install and tighten the wheel mounting stud nuts in proper sequence until all nuts are torqued to half specification. Then repeat the tightening sequence to the full specified torque of 135 Nm (100 ft. lbs.).
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