Front strut repair issues

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stanrob
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My tercel:: Two 1985 Tercel SR5 4WD, Cal. emission controls, one currently unusable but still has full power at 310K; another, a rust-free project car, with 302k, found, worked on somewhat, and delivered recently by Petros
Location: Wayland, MA, USA

Front strut repair issues

Post by stanrob » Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:57 pm

Hello Brothers, I'm making front strut repair into a new topic even though there's plenty of discussion already.
But it's all been under the topic of Radiator Replacement.
The original subject drifted and drifted! My fault!
So here I am, in the process of repairing a front strut collapse in my 85TTW.
The lower spring seat had collapsed, releasing the spring.
A very kind T4wd member volunteered to send me a used shell of the lower half of a front strut.
He offered it by private message, so I'm not revealing who he is. But he's wonderful.
That part was what I needed!
I managed to marry it with the original upper half, spring, and cartridge. It looks good and solid.
Now I'm struggling with installing the assembly back into the car.
Attaching the upper end was easy.
The 1985 FSM creates the impression that attaching the lower end requires mere foot pressure on the hub's stabilizer bar.
Well, that hasn't worked yet for me. I would love to hear suggestions.

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irowiki
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by irowiki » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:01 pm

Foot pressure up, or down?
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marlinh
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by marlinh » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:08 pm

If you are trying to line up the two bolts that hold the strut to the hub assembly, you need a long prybar to pull the hub towards the ground until the strut lines up. You are working against the tension of the stabilizer bar that is pushing the hub up. You need to anchor your bar somewhere on the frame and then lever it down. It is great to have a helper do that for you. Then use a tapered punch or screwdriver if necessary to get the holes lined up and get the bolts started.

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rer233
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by rer233 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:55 pm

Do you have both front wheels off the ground? If not, you're gonna have to do it. I've found a floor jack handle (professional-style- 3or 4 feet long) makes a real nice pry bar to force the sway bar down so as to line up the bolts.

Good Luck.
if it aint there, there's a good chance it won't break!
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85 SR5 Blue
88 SR5 White (the 'good' one)-not anymore-totaled
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xirdneh
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by xirdneh » Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:36 pm

i use a long crow bar wedged under control arm at body and over stableizer bar then sit on it so my hands are free
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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dlb
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by dlb » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:01 pm

xirdneh wrote:i use a long crow bar wedged under control arm at body and over stableizer bar then sit on it so my hands are free
this is my technique as well.

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Petros
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by Petros » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:59 pm

I do something similar as Xirdneh, but I put my foot on it. I have used several type of pry bars, I find the larger wood working type of pry bar (the ones they use for opening crates or pulling stubborn nails, has hook at one end, and a chisel point at the other slightly bent). I put the chicels point under the lower arm where it mounts to the frame, and the shaft of the bar over the top of the end of the sway bar, and than I step on the end with the hook on it. a helper is very good, but I usually manage alone. I uses a big (like 16 or 18" long) screw driver to lever the lower end around to get it to line up until I can get a bolt in it. I find it easiest to have the strut and steering knuckle bolted together, and than get the lower mount (the ball joint) to line up with the bottom of the strut. once in place it stays there, so I tap it around with a mallet until the two 12mm bolts line up. Marlin's tip to use a pointed chisel to get them to line up would work well too.
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stanrob
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Location: Wayland, MA, USA

Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by stanrob » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:44 pm

Your help is really nice. I really appreciate it. I don't have a long pry bar. My neighbor who probably has one recently fell off atop a ladder, so is away in rehab. I finally bought a 6 foot iron pipe, and it seems to have the desired effect. I'm making progress! Stay tuned.

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4wdEconoBox
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by 4wdEconoBox » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:47 pm

I wish I could remember exactly how I did it. Seems like I used a bottle jack under the strut in a certain spot, maybe at an angle, to push up on it which gave me enough tension to line everything up right. For some reason I feel like a big c clamp was used somewhere in my technique also...I can't remember why though haha....Good luck, I know it isn't fun to do by yourself!

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ARCHINSTL
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by ARCHINSTL » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:51 am

4wdEconoBox wrote:. Seems like I used a bottle jack under the strut in a certain spot, maybe at an angle, to push up on it which gave me enough tension to line everything up right.
Ditto!
Tom M.
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4wdEconoBox
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by 4wdEconoBox » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:12 am

So I'm not the only one that gets creative Tom?!?! haha

stanrob
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My tercel:: Two 1985 Tercel SR5 4WD, Cal. emission controls, one currently unusable but still has full power at 310K; another, a rust-free project car, with 302k, found, worked on somewhat, and delivered recently by Petros
Location: Wayland, MA, USA

Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by stanrob » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:15 pm

FINALLY! Job completed and back on the road after a month of drydock.
In that time, the choke got temporarily stuck open and the calipers started misbehaving, but I can go!
Now I see that you had at least one other thread on this subject, so I'm more impressed than ever at the attention you guys gave me.
I'm specially impressed by the number of responders who've "been there, done that."

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Petros
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by Petros » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:10 pm

we are all in this together, we are pulling for you.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

stanrob
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Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:03 pm
My tercel:: Two 1985 Tercel SR5 4WD, Cal. emission controls, one currently unusable but still has full power at 310K; another, a rust-free project car, with 302k, found, worked on somewhat, and delivered recently by Petros
Location: Wayland, MA, USA

Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by stanrob » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:24 pm

I forgot to mention that the 6 foot iron pipe did get us over the top, along with the screwdrivers you suggested.
(I thrust two sizes into the not-quite-matching bolt holes. The larger size screwdriver helped match those holes.)
Commenting further about the iron pipe: two of us had to sit on it, one on the far end, to get (and keep) action!
I also stuck in a wooden spacer between the pipe and the lower arm to keep its far end off the ground.
When the bolts finally got thru, I removed the iron pipe and found that we had bent it slightly!

Finally, I discovered that the dead 83 Hatchback's rusted-up bolt holes had become unmatched.
Next project is to restore that match and get a wheel back on that car to satisfy zoning.

Now, about that bottle jack method: how did you get around the stuff in the way and so much and the tendency to twist?

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SinusoidalTendencies
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Re: Front strut repair issues

Post by SinusoidalTendencies » Mon May 13, 2019 3:31 pm

just pull the wheel assembly & rotor towards yourself tilting it a wee and then down so you can line up the lower hole on the knuckle first.
stick a screwdriver or something in the hole as soon as you can to keep it there as you proceed with arguably the hardest part of this whole job....lining the holes up to get the lower bolt in. the second upper one is easy once the first is in. i just used my knee for leverage during all this as i didn't need more than a little weight holding it down.
I don't always learn my lesson.
But when i do, it's the hard way.

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