October 2013: Tech Center Tips

Jaws of Destruction

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All too frequently technicians make the mistake of holding a strut shaft with vice grips so that they can tighten the upper mounting nut without spinning the shaft. Using vice grips instead of the proper holding tool can look like a simple, quick solution; but at an awful price.

There are oil, Nitrogen gas & dust seals at the top of every shock and strut tube. If the polished shaft is damaged or distorted, it will damage the seals as it passes up & down through the seals. Even if the shaft is gripped near the top, above the upper travel limit, the damaged chrome is likely to split open and allow water to enter, then rust and eventually destroy the shaft. Vice grips leave a mark, a scratch, or a crack in the polished chrome surface. No matter how carefully you try, damage will still occur and probably in the form of a hydraulic fluid or gas pressure leak.

 

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You know the saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Take a few moments to discuss this simple but often overlooked problem with your technicians. You don’t want to call a supplier and try to convince them that two parts failed at the same time! Yes, if the technician does it to one, they will likely do it to a pair during installation.

It’s Important to do the job correctly. There are a variety of shaft holding tools available and be sure to check the factory specs.: There’s always a specific upper mounting nut torque specification.

KYB’s strut shafts receive more machining, grinding, cleaning, polishing, chroming and insp-ection processes than any other internal component. We’re careful; hopefully you will be too!