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How to: Replace Strut Rod Bushings


hcr32
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Figured since I've used these "How to" threads SO many times that I'd give something back.

This is my first "How to" guide so bear with me.

In the FSM they call this a "Compression Rod"..@ my local Auto parts place it was called in the computer a "Strut Rod" and I've always

called them a "Tension Rod" so whatever floats your boat.

 

Ok here we go.

 

So, to start look just behind the front wheels of your rig. See that Rod going from the LCA to the frame? That is your Strut Rod. You'll notice one black rubber bushing on one side of where it bolts to your frame and one on the other.

 

IMG00721-20120229-1053.jpg

 

Although the bushings may look fine, they're not, trust me. Unless they've been changed recently, change them.

 

The bushing kit was $20 with my 40% discount at local auto parts store (Lordco)

 

Time to complete: 2 hours (To be safe)

Skill level: Easy

 

Parts Needed: Moog Strut Rod Bushing Kit (1 Kit)

Included in the kit is:

(4) Strut Rod Bushings

(4) Metal Washers

(2) Strut Rod Sleeves

 

IMG00718-20120229-1032.jpg

 

Tools Required:

19mm Deep Socket

19mm Box Wrench

22mm Deep Socket

15/16 Box wrench

Small Pry bar or flat blade screwdriver

Your favourite penetrating lube (I used "Move-it)

Air Impact gun (If you have it, easier)

Torque Wrench

 

So to start:

 

Couple hours before you do this go and spray the 3 bolts per wheel with penetrating lube. you'll regret it otherwise.

 

 

1) Jack up one side of your rig (Use a Jack stand please, not a cinder block, not a tire, not a chunk of wood. I use 3 Ton Stands. You're neck is under the brake rotor basically while pulling on wrenches so...DO IT right or game over.)

 

Just so the tire is off the ground then remove the wheel.

 

IMG00720-20120229-1051.jpg

 

2)Remove the Rear most nut securing the Rod to the frame bracket. You'll need the 15/16" wrench as the torsion bars (or the bracket) won't allow you to get a socket in there.

 

IMG00724-20120229-1054.jpg

IMG00725-20120229-1104.jpg

 

3) Remove the 2 bolts securing the Rod to the LCA. 19mm Wrench on the top of the bolt and 22mm Socket underneath to get the nut off. I used air impact which makes it easier but a good 1/2" drive ratchet will do.

 

IMG00723-20120229-1054.jpg

 

4) Pull the thing out. After the 2 bolts and 1 nut are removed it'll come out. You may have to pry the rear most bushing from the backside of the frame->rod bracket to allow you to pull it out.

 

5) After it's out, set it on your work space and look @ the rust, destroyed bushings and (if you're lucky like me) the part where the sleeve wore right through onto the actual rod.

 

IMG00726-20120229-1138.jpg

 

IMG00728-20120229-1150.jpg

 

IMG00731-20120229-1222.jpg

 

IMG00733-20120229-1308.jpg

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6) If you're as picky and fortunate as me, to have a sandblaster, I just tossed the rod in the cabinet and blasted it quick to get the rust off. then put some tremclad on it. (Ignore the washer that I didn't take off yet, wack it with a hammer to get it off and put the new one on)

 

IMG00732-20120229-1307.jpg

 

7) Reassemble it as it came apart. Washer, bushing (through the bracket) then bushing, washer, then the nut on the back.

 

8) It's kinda of a PITA to get back in since the bushings are all new n'stuff so what I did was got it all assembled back through the bracket and zip-tied the rod thru the bolt holes on the LCA until I got the rear most nut tight enough to allow the bolt holes to line back up on the LCA. this also prevents the rod from twisting when you're trying to tighten the rear nut. Then cut the zip-ties and put the bolts back through the LCA and tighen.

 

IMG00736-20120301-1111.jpg

 

9) Torque the nuts down to 100ft/lbs (FSM says 97-108ft/lb I believe, so whatever.)

 

10) Put the wheel back on, lower your rig down, then start on the opposite side. It's exactly the same on both sides.

 

11) After all is said and done. Take it for a spin.

 

12) Have a beer, relax and stare at your rig knowing a job well done!

 

Drive around for a day or so then re-torque the bolts again to make sure they didnt losen off.

 

Any questions, Post them up!

 

Thanks! More how-to guides to come!

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Nice write up, thank you! :aok:

 

Amazing how bad those can look inside, isn't it? :blink:

 

B

 

 

Thanks!

 

And yes, its quite amazing. I thought about replacing them not long after I got that truck, about 6 months ago, and glanced @ them and thought "Nah, they look fine for now". Then I was in the Auto Parts place the other day and thought "what the hell, its only $20".

 

But ya, I couldn't imagine them getting any worse. It would wear right through the rod eventually then you'd have complete rod failure.

 

Also didn't mention too that I wire wheeled the brackets on the frame then sprayed with "Rust-check" primer then some black tremclad over top. i know it'll probably just wear off but piece of mind for me knowing that I at least tried to prevent rust! I got some gravel guard kickin around..might spray over top with that too

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My "Compression" Rod or "Strut" rod on both sides were as corroded as yours so I replaced them.

I didn't remove the wheels, or jack up the truck and put it on stands. I just crawled under, lay on some cardboard and went to work.

 

Good write-up! :popcorn:

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Nice write-up...I al sways do mine with wheels on the ground so I don't have to fight it...an fyi the bushing retainer in the last pic is on backwards...it will cut into the bushing and damage it if it's a left that way over time...compare to first pic

Edited by unccpathfinder
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Nice write-up...I al sways do mine with wheels on the ground so I don't have to fight it...an fyi the bushing retainer in the last pic is on backwards...it will cut into the bushing and damage it if it's a left that way over time...compare to first pic

 

O crap! Thanks for pointing that out. I knew I shouldn't do much when I'm overtired! haha

 

Thanks for the heads up!

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I had issues for about 2 months...all stemming from this...

 

DSCN5243.jpg

 

Finally found some bearing races to weld on and cleaned up all the surfaces BC I had originally rewelded on the inside of the cup and it causes the bushings to fail...I had also straightened and rewelded the bent part above...about 20 good whacks with a 5lb got.her back in place

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Thanks, Im about to do this next weekend. Where you able to torque down the 15/16" nut to spec?

 

 

Wasn't able to get the torque wrench in there..and really there is no way since the bracket basically prevents it so I just "guessed" as best I could with

the wrench. Im going to drive for a bit then snug it up after/

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I had something like unccpathfinder did. Everything failed to the point where the frame needed to be welded and the entire strut rod assembly had to be replaced on both sides. Don't wait until it's too late!

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  • 1 month later...

The picture below the one you quoted is a picture of the rod with that steel collar off.

 

Most of what looks damaged and screwed up is that steel spacer...wasn't bad once it was off....i little notch worn into the rod and thats it.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

It braces the lower arm quite well in the opposite direction of travel, which makes sense really. Without it I think the bushings in the lower arm wouldn't last nearly as long and those are a hell of a lot harder to replace. Also, it was a 'proven' design, my D720 has an almost identical set up. Really, the only thing they did wrong is not make it a regular maintence item.

 

B

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The WD22 (Xterra) no longer has these things. Instead they use a different LCA design that works just as well. Back in the day they just went from forward mount tension rods to rear mount compression rods to save the tension rods from bending all the time when off-road. Just replace the bushings every 5 years or so and everything will be fine. They are pretty cheap anyway and you won't have to deal with cups or get new rods if you don't put it off.

Edited by Tungsten
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  • 2 months later...

My uncle helped me do mine today.

 

P1010027-3.jpg

 

P1010031-3.jpg

 

It wasn't too bad, but the bolts needed a little torching to come off, and the job certainly needed doing. Both sleeves were worn through, and the rods were a little worn, but nothing we decided to worry about. The cups were knackered though. The passenger's side one was actually broken, which might explain some of the thumping noises the truck made on corners.

 

P1010039-2.jpg

 

So we welded L68111 bearing cups in their place. I had the idea to use one of the old buggered rubber bushings on the rod to center the cup for tack welding, and this seemed to work pretty well. Once it was tacked my uncle pulled the rods back out and welded the cups on the rest of the way. The rear cups looked okay, so we just did the fronts and called it good.

 

P1010035-2.jpg

 

We didn't bother sandblasting, but we did apply anti-seize to the rod bolts and bearing grease to the rusty bit of the rod to protect it from moisture. Now it just needs an alignment! And thanks for the write-up, it helped a lot.

Edited by Slartibartfast
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  • 6 months later...

I had issues for about 2 months...all stemming from this...

 

DSCN5243.jpg

 

Finally found some bearing races to weld on and cleaned up all the surfaces BC I had originally rewelded on the inside of the cup and it causes the bushings to fail...I had also straightened and rewelded the bent part above...about 20 good whacks with a 5lb got.her back in place

 

Can you explain what I'm looking at and elaborate on what you're talking about? Im completely lost on this one lol

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The camera is underneath right-hand side of the truck, looking up and forward. The long blue thing is the torsion bar. The blue thing on the right is the UCA. And the bent-to-hell bracket in the middle is the bit that the strut rod bushings clamp onto.

 

See the metal plate on the bottom of the bracket? Scroll up to my last pic, you can just barely see that plate sticking out around the bottom edges of the bracket.

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