How To: Replace the Tension Struts

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  1. #16
    www.zygotecustoms.com Greg095's Avatar




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    I need to do this and sway bushings. Then I think I will have replaced every suspension part on my car. Thanks for the write up.
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    Wheels // Accessories // Body kits // Suspension // Electronics
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  3. #17
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    i just did my tension struts on my 07 SE and after putting the new ones on and got it aligned the sterring wheel still is not straight. did you have to do anything different on the install than just putting the new ones on and cleaning up the areas?
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  4. #18
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    i just did my tension struts on my 07 SE and after putting the new ones on and got it aligned the sterring wheel still is not straight. did you have to do anything different on the install than just putting the new ones on and cleaning up the areas?
    That is your alignment tech that should have corrected the steering wheel alignment. They should strighten the steering wheel before aligning and they have a device that holds the steering wheel in place while they align the vehicle.
    To correct it, they will end up adding toe to one side and removing the exact amount from the other.


    Good luck!
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  6. #19
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by lowendboy View Post
    That is your alignment tech that should have corrected the steering wheel alignment. They should strighten the steering wheel before aligning and they have a device that holds the steering wheel in place while they align the vehicle.
    To correct it, they will end up adding toe to one side and removing the exact amount from the other.


    Good luck!
    i know they have done it 3 times for the same problem and it happened again with the sterring wheel it is driving me crazy.
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  7. #20
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    i know they have done it 3 times for the same problem and it happened again with the sterring wheel it is driving me crazy.

    sounds like you might want to try another alignment shop. Getting the steering wheel straight is pretty simple. If they are aligning the vehicle correctly and with the steering wheel straight, then it sounds like you may have other worn out suspension components causing it to pull. if so you are counter steering to keep it straight and the counter steering would make the steering wheel look mis-aligned.

    do you have your alignment specs to share?
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  8. #21
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by lowendboy View Post
    sounds like you might want to try another alignment shop. Getting the steering wheel straight is pretty simple. If they are aligning the vehicle correctly and with the steering wheel straight, then it sounds like you may have other worn out suspension components causing it to pull. if so you are counter steering to keep it straight and the counter steering would make the steering wheel look mis-aligned.

    do you have your alignment specs to share?
    i got to find it and then ill post it up. but is there anything else i can look for that would do that to the sterring wheel problem.
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  9. #22
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    i got to find it and then ill post it up. but is there anything else i can look for that would do that to the sterring wheel problem.

    Assuming that the steering wheel is aligned properly during the alignment, there are many components that can wear out and cause the wagon to pull. It sounds like you have replaced the main component that wears out, the tension struts.
    inspect your upper and lower ball joints, upper and lower control arm bushings, tie rod ends (inner and outer).

    A good alignment shop, in addition to properly aligning the steering wheel, should also inspect all of your suspension components for you. I would think 'they' should be able to identify why 'they' can't get your steering wheel to stay straight.

    I would consider a different alignment shop personally.
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  10. #23
    Member HBADGE's Avatar Array
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    This has been a VERY useful write-up! Great pics and descriptions! This will definitely come in handy! Great job..
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  11. #24
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by lowendboy View Post
    Assuming that the steering wheel is aligned properly during the alignment, there are many components that can wear out and cause the wagon to pull. It sounds like you have replaced the main component that wears out, the tension struts.
    inspect your upper and lower ball joints, upper and lower control arm bushings, tie rod ends (inner and outer).

    A good alignment shop, in addition to properly aligning the steering wheel, should also inspect all of your suspension components for you. I would think 'they' should be able to identify why 'they' can't get your steering wheel to stay straight.

    I would consider a different alignment shop personally.
    thanks for the info on this i am going to search for a different alignment shop hopefully by this weekend to have it taken care of.
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  12. #25
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    thanks for the info on this i am going to search for a different alignment shop hopefully by this weekend to have it taken care of.
    You're welcome. I hope it works out. Please let me know what comes of it.

    There are other things that can make it pull that I didn't mention like a bad tire, bad strut, a sticky brake caliper.

    I am confident that you will find a shop that can identify the issue for you.
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  13. #26
    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    i just did my tension struts on my 07 SE and after putting the new ones on and got it aligned the sterring wheel still is not straight. did you have to do anything different on the install than just putting the new ones on and cleaning up the areas?
    I had my inner tie rods replaced a couple of weeks prior to replacing the tension struts. The alignment after the new tie rods but before the new tension struts was crap. I complained about it, but the tech thought it was "normal". The alignment after replacing the tension struts was dead on. The alignment of the car as it sits right now is probably the best it has ever been.

    I'd say that the tech either did a bad job of aligning you car or you have some other issues in there preventing you from getting a good alignment. The only other thing that I could think of that would cause that is the tie rods. Most places have a warranty on the alignment for like 3k-6k miles. I'd start by taking it back to the alignment shop and have them relook at it.
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  14. #27
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    Quote: Originally Posted by lowendboy View Post
    You're welcome. I hope it works out. Please let me know what comes of it.

    There are other things that can make it pull that I didn't mention like a bad tire, bad strut, a sticky brake caliper.

    I am confident that you will find a shop that can identify the issue for you.
    you know that is funny you said about the sticky brake caliper because i found out that my front passenger caliper is not closing when i hit the brakes so im going to try to bleed the caliper before i take it in for a alignment.
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  15. #28
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by stingrayj View Post
    I had my inner tie rods replaced a couple of weeks prior to replacing the tension struts. The alignment after the new tie rods but before the new tension struts was crap. I complained about it, but the tech thought it was "normal". The alignment after replacing the tension struts was dead on. The alignment of the car as it sits right now is probably the best it has ever been.

    I'd say that the tech either did a bad job of aligning you car or you have some other issues in there preventing you from getting a good alignment. The only other thing that I could think of that would cause that is the tie rods. Most places have a warranty on the alignment for like 3k-6k miles. I'd start by taking it back to the alignment shop and have them relook at it.
    how do you know that your tie rod ends are going bad by looking at them because when i was changing the tension struts there was no damage to anything else on the suspension parts?
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  16. #29
    Quando omni flunkus moritati. stingrayj's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    you know that is funny you said about the sticky brake caliper because i found out that my front passenger caliper is not closing when i hit the brakes so im going to try to bleed the caliper before i take it in for a alignment.
    My right front caliper completely locked up on me. I replaced it with a reman caliper from NAPA. My mpg went up 2 mpg, so I guess it was going bad for a while. lol!

    Quote: Originally Posted by Trogan View Post
    how do you know that your tie rod ends are going bad by looking at them because when i was changing the tension struts there was no damage to anything else on the suspension parts?
    Get the front end up in the air. Have someone grab the wheel at 3:00 and 9:00 then wiggle the tire back and forth (just like the wheel would turn with the steering wheel). If the tie rods are bad, the person wiggling the wheel will likely feel a "click". You may even hear it. If you believe that you hear/feel a "click", while that person is wiggling the wheel crawl under the car and watch the tie rods. If everything is good, it should all move (slightly) together. If something is bad/worn, you will see a disconnect in movement. In other words, the knuckle will be moving but the outer tie rod stays (relatively) still. If the outer tie rods seems to move with the knuckle and you hear/feel a "click" it is likey the inner tie rod.
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  17. #30
    Member Trogan's Avatar Array
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    Quote: Originally Posted by stingrayj View Post
    My right front caliper completely locked up on me. I replaced it with a reman caliper from NAPA. My mpg went up 2 mpg, so I guess it was going bad for a while. lol!



    Get the front end up in the air. Have someone grab the wheel at 3:00 and 9:00 then wiggle the tire back and forth (just like the wheel would turn with the steering wheel). If the tie rods are bad, the person wiggling the wheel will likely feel a "click". You may even hear it. If you believe that you hear/feel a "click", while that person is wiggling the wheel crawl under the car and watch the tie rods. If everything is good, it should all move (slightly) together. If something is bad/worn, you will see a disconnect in movement. In other words, the knuckle will be moving but the outer tie rod stays (relatively) still. If the outer tie rods seems to move with the knuckle and you hear/feel a "click" it is likey the inner tie rod.
    ok thanks ill try that and see what happens with the tie rods. im going to check the brake caliper first then move to the tie rods.
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