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Ford Ranger Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

How to Maintain Your Ford Ranger Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

Anyone who has had the struts or shocks on their Ford Ranger repaired or replaced at the shop knows how expensive and inconvenient it can be. But that trip to the auto repair shop can be delayed if the struts and shocks are properly used and cared for. Regular maintenance is a must for the Ford shock absorber and struts assembly, especially since these components literally do most if not all of the heavy lifting in the truck's suspension system.

Maintaining the Ford Ranger shock absorber and strut assembly is not that hard as it requires at most a couple of hours of your time and tools that can be found in a typical car toolbox. In this guide, we'll share with you some simple tips on how to take care of your truck's shocks and struts assembly.

  • Check the wheel alignment.

One of the little-known but effective ways to lengthen the service life of the shock and strut assembly is to keep the wheels properly aligned. Driving through potholes and uneven terrain will gradually knock the wheels out of alignment, causing the car to not only pull to one side but also put unnecessary stress to the strut or shock connected to the misaligned wheel.

Common signs of misaligned wheels include pulling or jerking motions from the steering wheel and uneven wear patterns on the tire. If you see any of these on your truck, have it checked by a mechanic.

  • Keep the shocks and struts clean.

Shock and strut manufacturers often claim that their products can withstand the punishment brought on by the road and trail on a daily basis, but they do have to be cleaned from time to time. Dirt, mud, and debris can accumulate on the struts and shocks, particularly on the crevices, and accelerate wear and corrosion or even impede the performance of these parts.

  • Keep an eye out for warning signs.

Early detection is just as important on your struts and shocks as it is with your health as the sooner a problem is detected, the higher the chance that the issue is addressed quickly and effectively. For the shock and strut assembly, key warning signs of potential problems include excessive bouncing and vibration, noticeably reduced handling and braking performance, noises originating from the suspension, and leaks from the shocks and struts.

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  • Installation Tips for the Ford Ranger Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

    Deciding to install that new shock absorber and strut assembly in your Ford Ranger by yourself should be a well-thought out decision. After all, the shocks and struts are arguably the most important suspension components in your vehicle, so it’s not hard to imagine how bad it will affect your truck if the shock and struts were not installed properly. But if you have the tools and the expertise, it is quite possible to install the struts and shocks properly in your home.

    If you are planning to install a new set of Ford Ranger shock absorber and strut assembly, make sure to follow the instruction manual carefully and do not hesitate to ask a professional mechanic for help if you get into a bind. With that said, here are some additional tips to make installation a bit easier:

    Tip #1: Compare the original and replacement kits.

    Before you fit in those new shocks and struts, compare the supplied washers in the kit with the original ones. This is because some kits have more components than needed and some stock washers are meant to be re-used. In addition, you should also check if the washers are of the same thickness; if the washer or spacer in the kit is of different thickness than the one in your stock struts or shocks, it may cause installation or performance problems later on.

    Tip #2: Make sure the vehicle is on the ground before tightening the nuts.

    This is especially true for the upper stud nut as the truck needs to be on the ground in order for the stud to push through the mounting bushing and avoid thread damage.

    Tip #3: Do not use impact wrench to tighten the upper mounting nut on the piston rod.

    This is because electric and air impact wrenches operate at a torque higher than what is recommended for the upper mounting nut and cause damage to the piston. Instead, hold the piston rod with a wrench and use a torque wrench to set it to the manufacturer’s specifications.

    Tip #4: Do not use pliers or grips on polished shaft.

    Using such tools can cause scoring on the shaft, which in turn will lead to increased wear on the upper seals and fluid leaks on the shock or strut. Instead, use a standard wrench to grip the shouldered area near the top of the shaft.