The struts on the Ford Explorer are very large shock absorbers that use large coil springs and insulators to absorb the shocks of the road. The individual components of a strut for a 2002 model Explorer can be changed out, but replacing the entire strut may be easier and quicker. If one strut needs replacing, it is very likely that you'll need to change both.
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Things you need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- Torque wrench
Raise the 2002 Ford Explorer's front end and support it on jack stands, then remove the front wheels. It will help to loosen the wheel lug nuts with the tire iron before you raise the truck.
Loosen and remove the three mounting nuts at the top of the strut using a wrench from inside the engine compartment. There are two mounting nuts on one side of the central spring nut and one on the other side. Do not loosen the central nut.
Disconnect the stabiliser bar link connecting the bar to the strut by removing its mounting nut with the wrench.
Remove the bolt connecting the strut to the lower control arm at the bottom with the wrench. Lower and remove the strut out of the wheel well. The strut will be heavy and may require a second person to remove.
Guide the replacement strut up into the wheel well, making sure its three mounting studs fit through the holes in the top of the tower. Have an assistant hold the strut in position as long as the strut is not directly connected to the body of the 2002 Explorer.
Connect the lower control arm and the stabiliser bar to the strut using your wrench, the nuts and the stabiliser bar link. Tighten the lower control arm bolt to 184 foot pounds and the stabiliser link nut to 18 foot pounds.
Install the upper mounting nuts to the top of the tower but do not tighten them yet.
Reconnect the wheels and lower the truck once you have changed both struts. Tighten the upper mounting nuts to 22 foot pounds each.
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