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How to Replace Front Strut Assembly 2000 - 2005 Ford Focus

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How to Replace Front Strut Assembly 2000 - 2005 Ford Focus

Created on: 2019-07-31

Watch this video to find out how you can replace the front struts on your 00-05 Ford Focus! 1A Auto shows you how to do it yourself, step by step!

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 19 mm lug nuts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Remove the wheel
    • You may replace one lug nut and pry the wheel from behind if it is difficult to remove
  2. step 2 :Removing the Front Strut Assembly
    • Remove the 15 mm nut to remove the sway bar link from the strut
    • Remove the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt
    • Hammer down on the knuckle to loosen the strut
    • Remove the 32 mm axle nut
    • Push the axle end in to make sure its loosened from the hub
    • Hammer down on the knuckle to separate it from the strut
    • Remove the three 13 mm top strut mount nuts
    • Remove the strut assembly
  3. step 3 :Installing the Front Strut Assembly
    • Insert the top strut mount studs into the body mounting holes
    • Install the three 13 mm top strut mount nuts, which will be torqued later
    • Pry down the lower control arm to fit the lower strut into the knuckle
    • Raise up the wheel knuckle with a jack to seat it onto the strut properly
    • Install the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt
    • Torque the 15 mm lower strut pinch bolt to 66 ft-lb
    • Reinstall the sway bar link into the strut, and secure it with the 15 mm nut
    • Reinstall the 32 mm axle nut
    • Torque the 32 mm axle nut to 266 ft-lb
    • You may also torque the axle nut after the wheel has been put back on, with the center cap removed
    • After lowering the vehicle, torque the 13 mm top strut mount nuts to 18 ft-lb
  4. step 4 :Installing the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs
    • Install the 19 mm lug nuts by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 19 mm lug nuts to 93 ft-lb in a crossing pattern
    • Torque the axle nut to 266 ft-lb, if you haven't already
    • Lower the vehicle completely

Tools needed

  • 32mm Socket

    13mm Socket


    Torque Wrench

    Locking Pliers

    15mm Socket

    Rust Penetrant

    Pry Bar

    19mm Socket

    Anti-Seize Grease


Hey friends. It's Len here at 1A Auto. Today I'm working on a 2001 Ford Focus and I'm going to show you how to do a front strut. It's going to be a very simple job. I want to be the guy that shows you how to do it. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us out at 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

Okay, friends. We've got the vehicle supported under all its lift points. We're going to bring the vehicle up a little bit. Try to keep the wheels so it's just barely touching the ground. We're going to break free the lug nuts, 19 millimeter. If you're going to be using an air gun, you really shouldn't have to do this, but if you're using a ratchet, you want to do it with the wheel still touching the ground. Now that they're loose, we can raise the vehicle and we'll get busy.

Here we go. Time to get the wheel off. Use your ratchet, use your air gun, use your 19, whatever you're doing. When I take off the last one, I'm going to hold the wheel. It's nice and corroded on there. Just put one of these lug nuts back on. Just going to give this a little bonk, see if we can get it to break free. Feels like a no. Okay. Something else that we can try doing, just grab a pry bar or you can use a rubber mallet if you wanted to. I use a pry bar and I just come from the back side, pry up against the lower control arm and the wheel. Use a little leverage break it free. Easy peasy. Some people might try to use a hammer. You could dent your wheel, rubber mallet could work. All right, we removed the wheel, now we have a clear view of what we're working on.

One of the first things we got to do here is we got to get the stop off of the strut. We're going to be taking the strut out, this unit right here, it's got the spring on it. When you take the brake hose off of here, it should just slide right out. Okay. It's always a good habit to spray everything down with some penetrant spray as well because that's going to help soak in because what we're going to have to do is we're going to have to take this nut off right here, pop the sway bar link out of the way. We're going to remove this bolt right here. This is the pinch bolt. It squeezes your knuckle around your strut. Once we get this off, we'll move ahead to this one. And then once we get that all off, we'll go ahead and give this a couple bonks, see if we can drive it down. Once we get it so it's separated, we'll be able to go up top and finish up taking the strut out.

What I'm going to do here, I'm just going to use some locking pliers. I'm going to try to grab the backside of this sway bar link, try to hold onto it, then I'm going to use a 15 millimeter, try to remove this nut right here. Can use a ratchet or whatever you want to do. If you have access to an air gun, it's definitely helpful. We sell them at 1AAuto.com, by the way. There's that. We've got our brake hose out of the way. It's going to have plenty of slack, so when we swing our knuckle down, once this breaks free, it won't put a tug on our brake hose. See what size this bolt is. It's a 15 as well. Safety glasses, of course.

This is our pinch bolt. If you take a look at it and it looks like it's corroded and rotted away, you'd want to replace this. All right. This one looks like it's pretty good. Just a little rusted. I'll go ahead and clean it up before I reinstall it, but I'd say that this one's still reusable. I'm going to set this aside. We'll move along.

Here we go, little bit more penetrant. Cool. You're going to take your hammer. You're going to try to bonk right on this knuckle right here. Just give it a couple of bonks. Bonk, bonk. See if you can get your break free. I'm going to bring it down to a working level. This a little bit high for me to try to swing. I don't want to hit the fender. It's a beautiful fender, so I'm going to bring it down and then I'll show you what I'm talking about.

Okay. We can go ahead and bonk right on here. If you felt the need, you could take a lug nut, just put it on here. We still have the brakes attached so the rotor really can't go anywhere. But if you want to make sure that the rotor doesn't move around, very much, couldn't hurt to just throw that on there. That's going to help prevent the rotor from moving around and rust falling down in between the rotor and the hub. Looks like it's starting to slide down, swing a little harder if I want to. I just want to be careful. Like I said, I don't want to hit the fender.

Yep, that looks pretty good. Looks like we're cruising along. Still got quite a bit to go though. It feels like we're about, maybe about halfway up that knuckle. Right about here is where the strut ends. What I'm going to do, I'm going to remove this axle nut right here. I'm going to try and push the axle through a little bit. I don't want to put too much pressure on the axle itself, so I'll grab the a socket for that. I'll tell you what it is. We'll remove it, we'll try to drive the axle in a little bit. 32 millimeter.

Here's our axle nut. We'll set this aside. If you don't have an air gun, impact gun to take the axle nut off, you can do something like this with a pry bar. You just kind of stick it in between the studs just like that and up against the ground, assuming you had the vehicle lower, that's going to help prevent your a hub and everything from turning. Now over there you could put your socket with your long ratchet on there, you can relieve pressure or take off the nut without spinning your whole hub. That'll just hold it still for you. I just want to give you a heads up on that.

This is our air chisel available at 1AAuto.com. Performance tool, it's going to work pretty good. All we're going to do is we're going to use a center punch bit. Try to go right in that hole, apply pressure and just air chisel it. Get it to vibrate, push the axle in a little bit, and that should give us a little bit of slack to continue with what we're doing here.

That was easy peasy. All right, let's continue with the bonking. Getting pretty close now. You have access to a pry bar, all I'm going to do is I'm going to try to lower this down a little bit, just like that. All right, so that's all nice and free. You want to be careful pulling this out because you can separate your axle joint like that and that'll cause an issue. At that point you'd want to replace it. I'm going to be replacing the axle in one of these videos anyway, so you might see it magically become new, but that's what you're going to do.

I lowered the vehicle down. Now we're going to start working from the top. I'm going to spray down the three nuts that we're going to be removing. One, two, three. Do not touch the center one. Do not touch it. One, two, three. I'm going to use the 13 millimeter to remove these nuts. One, two, third one the struts going to want to fall down so you can just reach underneath, hold it up if you want. Set those aside. Strut should come down. Now we've removed our left front strut.

Here we go friends, a quick product comparison for you. Over here we have our original strut from our 2001 Ford Focus. We just tore it out, easy peasy. Over here we have our brand new quality 1A Auto part. As you could tell, they're both shaped the exact same. You've got your flex hose point right here. You've got this part that goes into where your knuckle is. On the other side, you've got your spot for where the sway bar link goes through. It's the same thing on this strut. They're both the same height. Very important. You want to make sure that you have them both the same height. If your old one sits this high and your new one's that low, well, you're going to have a ride height issue, aren't you? They're built to the same exact quality specs. Everything's the same. You got your coils, brand new coil springs, brand new dust boot dampener and everything. This right here is a little John's bumper. In case you happen to hit something real hard and you condense this all the way, you won't bottom it out completely.

Up top, got your strap mount. Brand new. You don't have to worry about replacing it. You never want to touch this nut. Just leave that alone. It comes with brand new mounting nuts for where it connects to the body of the vehicle. With all that said, I don't see any reason why this wouldn't be a quality part to install into our vehicle, so I'm going to go ahead and do it. If you need this or any other part, you can always check us out at 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

Okay, friends, time for the install. We're going to take off our nuts. We got new ones, so let's use them. We'll make sure that we recycle our old ones properly. There we are. Now what we're going to do, is we're going to come from under. Put it in just the way we took it out. Kind of shooting in the dark here. I'm going to get these studs lined up. These are locking nuts, so you won't be able to screw them down til they're bottomed out, by hand at least, obviously with your ratchet you can. There we are. Cool. All right, so let's snug these out. Snug them up. We'll torque them up. Once we get the weight of the vehicle on it, that'll really press it in nice and tight and then we can torque them. Okay, so let's snug them. Let's see if I can find my air gun. 13 millimeter, safety glasses, of course. We'll torque those up in a little bit.

On here, now what we need to do is we need to get our pry bar inside here. We're going to lower down the lower control arm. It's going to bring down our knuckle a little bit. We should be able to slide this right in. Before we do that, we'll grab our copper Never Seize again. Safety glasses. Good to go. I'm going to grab my pry bar. Come around this way a little bit. Just going to try to press down. Hopefully I can get my knuckle down low enough so I can get my strut in there. Sometimes it can be little difficult. Obviously, watch for pinch points. Safety first. I can't see what you're doing.

Just get stuff wiggling around here a little bit. I've got my jack. Just going to put it underneath the ball joint area. Going to try to jack this up. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of maneuverability here, a bit of brute force. Make sure it's lined up and it is. It's going. It's just a nice tight fit.

Now that I've got the knuckle pushed all the way up and the hole for the knuckle and the strut are lined up, I can use my pinch bolt, can use a little bit of thread locker if you'd like. It's up to you. I'm going to wear my safety glasses of course, because I'm using a air gun here. We're going to torque that down. Next what we can do, put that on there. We'll get our jack out of the way here. We'll go get that torque spec and we'll be able to move along.

For the pinch bolt right here, you want to go 66 foot pounds with your 15 millimeter. There we are. Just going to hit it one more time real quick. Torqued, 66 foot pounds with my 15 millimeter. We've got our axle nut, just going to start it on here. We'll get a few good threads. Make sure it's going on. Now we're just going to blast this on but we don't want to go too tight. We just kind of want to get it so it's close to bottomed out and then stop because we're going to torque this down. Here we are. 32 millimeter socket. Looks like it's getting pretty close. I'm going to leave it there for now. We'll go ahead and torque it down and that'll get it to the correct specifications. You don't want to over tighten this, ruin the bearing we just put in there.

Let's get our sway bar link. There we are. We got our nut. 15 millimeter. I'm just going to hold the backside there with some locking pliers. Tight. Perfect. All right, let's move along.

Okay, friends, we've got the vehicle on the ground. We've got the weight of the vehicle pressing down or pressing the strut cap up against the body of the vehicle, so now we can go ahead and torque this down. The torque for these is 18 foot pounds. We're going to use a 13 millimeter socket. We are not touching this center nut. Let's start here. There we are. Okay, I'm going to hit them again. There we are. Easy peasy.

Let's take off that stabilizing lug nut that we throw on there. We'll grab our wheel, bring it over. I'm just going to lift it right up with our leg, use our ab muscles. Hold the wheel, put our lug nut back on here. I'm going to grab the other three. Time to go ahead and tighten up these lug nuts. 100 foot pounds. We're going to go in a crisscross pattern, never around in the circle. Let's do it again. Tight. We're going to go ahead and torque this down. 266 foot pounds using my 32 millimeter socket. Getting close. Tight.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1AAuto.com, your place for DIY auto repairs, for great parts, great service, and more content.

2000 - 2005  Ford  Focus
2002 - 2004  Ford  Focus
2000 - 2004  Ford  Focus
2005 - 2005  Ford  Focus
2000 - 2000  Ford  Focus
2002 - 2005  Ford  Focus
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