Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

So, I've searched the forum as well as YouTube but am still unclear if undoing the sway bar plus lower control arm is the way to go or disconnecting the sway bar & tie rod is the proper approach for removing & then re-installing front strut assembly on my 2013 FJ TT. Would like to do this once & with minimal frustration & swearing, if possible!

Input would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 08:51 AM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

I have an 07 but I believe removing the front strut is the same. I disconnect the sway bar link and the UCA from the top of the spindle, Pu t a small floor jack under the brake rotor and lower it until the strut loosens. Its actually very easy to do. Hope this helps

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 08:56 AM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

To take out the whole strut you dont have to take off the UCA. It does help to loosen the LCA bolts so it drops further.

Undo sway bar so it isnt in the way, then unbolt the strut - 3 top bolts and large bottom one. Drop it out.

If you are not doing it as a whole unit (like if you need to reuse the top hat) then you will be looking at the 'No spring compressor method" Still no need to touch the UCA.

-Adam

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

Quote:
iwashmycar previously said: View Post
To take out the whole strut you dont have to take off the UCA. It does help to loosen the LCA bolts so it drops further.

Undo sway bar so it isnt in the way, then unbolt the strut - 3 top bolts and large bottom one. Drop it out.

If you are not doing it as a whole unit (like if you need to reuse the top hat) then you will be looking at the 'No spring compressor method" Still no need to touch the UCA.
Sounds fairly straightforward. Any trouble getting the assembled strut assembly back in after disconnecting sway bar & lower control arm? Any special tools or antics required?

Thanks.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
iwashmycar previously said: View Post
To take out the whole strut you dont have to take off the UCA. It does help to loosen the LCA bolts so it drops further.

Undo sway bar so it isnt in the way, then unbolt the strut - 3 top bolts and large bottom one. Drop it out.

If you are not doing it as a whole unit (like if you need to reuse the top hat) then you will be looking at the 'No spring compressor method" Still no need to touch the UCA.
Sounds fairly straightforward. Any trouble getting the assembled strut assembly back in after disconnecting sway bar & lower control arm? Any special tools or antics required?

Thanks.
Just barely loosen the LCA bolts. That should be enough to get you the extra room. Tighten them ONLY with the truck on the ground. Cannot tighten them with it in the air. You’ll promptly need an alignment.

IF you loosen them and they don’t want to drop down your cam bolts are probably seized up to the bushings. This may affect your ability to get a good alignment if you just have stock UCAs.

I’d suggest raising both front tires at once. If you just do one corner and undo the sway, it will likely really be in the way with the torque on it from the other end.

Doing the rear too?

-Adam

'07 Black Diamond 4WD AT UR

TLCA #22985
295s | 3" | BL | Lights | Armor | Rails | Snorkel | CB | Dent(s)
Feb. 2017 Member of the Month
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Last edited by iwashmycar; 01-20-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 10:55 AM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

additional suggestion:

if when you go to install the new assembly, it might be longer than the original and it might be very (VERY) difficult to get it into place

My solution was to take a length of 2x4, wedge it into the lower control arm and stand on it, rotating the arm well down and out of the way. The installation of the lower bolt was then easy.

Use lots of anti-seize on everything for ease of removal next time.


N
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 11:06 AM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

I unbolt the spindle from the UCA. I don't have a sway bar so no issue there.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 11:09 AM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

Quote:
norm356 previously said: View Post
additional suggestion:

if when you go to install the new assembly, it might be longer than the original and it might be very (VERY) difficult to get it into place

My solution was to take a length of 2x4, wedge it into the lower control arm and stand on it, rotating the arm well down and out of the way. The installation of the lower bolt was then easy.

Use lots of anti-seize on everything for ease of removal next time.


N
That was the point of loosening the LCAs....no struggle at all then. If one is lifting the truck it needs aligned anyway...might as well "zero out" the LCA bushings by loosening them too, otherwise they might have a sort of preload on them from the factory position.

-Adam

'07 Black Diamond 4WD AT UR

TLCA #22985
295s | 3" | BL | Lights | Armor | Rails | Snorkel | CB | Dent(s)
Feb. 2017 Member of the Month
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

Quote:
iwashmycar previously said: View Post
Just barely loosen the LCA bolts. That should be enough to get you the extra room. Tighten them ONLY with the truck on the ground. Cannot tighten them with it in the air. Youíll promptly need an alignment.

IF you loosen them and they donít want to drop down your cam bolts are probably seized up to the bushings. This may affect your ability to get a good alignment if you just have stock UCAs.

Iíd suggest raising both front tires at once. If you just do one corner and undo the sway, it will likely really be in the way with the torque on it from the other end.

Doing the rear too?

1. Why tighten the lower control arm 2 bolts when vehicle is on the ground & not in the air?
2. Torque setting for lower control arm two bolts?
3. What are torque settings for sway bar end nuts & two middle brackets 4 bolts?
4. Last, how do you tighten sway bar end nuts? They turn inside joint assembly when I attempt to tighten them.

Thanks mucho for all of the guidance/input!

Almost done. Put Bilstein 5160's on rear a few days ago.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 04:36 PM
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Re: Strut installation: Lower control arm or tie rod?

Quote:
Hoden previously said: View Post
1. Why tighten the lower control arm 2 bolts when vehicle is on the ground & not in the air?
2. Torque setting for lower control arm two bolts?
3. What are torque settings for sway bar end nuts & two middle brackets 4 bolts?
4. Last, how do you tighten sway bar end nuts? They turn inside joint assembly when I attempt to tighten them.

Thanks mucho for all of the guidance/input!

Almost done. Put Bilstein 5160's on rear a few days ago.
1. They get 'set' at 'zero torque' (on the bushing) when you tighten them...its important to have the vehicle weight on them at this step. When your control arms go up and down, it essentially twists the bushings up and down....clocking them one way or the other can cause them to tear...like if you tighten them with the truck raised they will be pointing down....and then when you drop the truck the bushings will twist and then if you hit bumps they will twist further. thats bad for them.

2. No clue. I just went tight lol. Just locking in the cams....your alignment tech will probably go tight as f*ck anyway.

3. No clue. I just went tight as well. Just keeping in mind the frame nuts are just welded captive nuts.

4. I think you can put a star or allen wrench in the end and use a box end wrench to tighten? Its been a minute...if not, I think near the boot is a flat spot for another box end wrench to hold it still.

-Adam

'07 Black Diamond 4WD AT UR

TLCA #22985
295s | 3" | BL | Lights | Armor | Rails | Snorkel | CB | Dent(s)
Feb. 2017 Member of the Month
In the Midwest? OHIO FJ Owners
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