Quantcast
Jump to content
  • Welcome to Auto Parts Forum

    Whether you are a veteran automotive parts guru or just someone looking for some quick auto parts advice, register today and start a new topic in our forum. Registration is free and you can even sign up with social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn. 

     

Dorman: Loaded Knuckle Overview


Recommended Posts

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Similar Content

  • Similar Topics

    • By Counterman
      Quick struts, loaded struts, strut plus – there are many names on the market for a complete strut assembly, with different brands assigning their own catchy term to their version of the product. I don’t have a preference, although any time I hear the term “loaded,” I immediately think of a baked potato. I picture a piping-hot spud, covered in melted cheese, bacon bits, sour cream and chives, so maybe that’s my favorite one. Did I grow up in the fast-food generation or what?
      So, what’s in a name? Loaded – in baked-potato terms – meant you were getting it all, and in the case of struts, it means the same thing. In the June 2022 issue of Counterman, I dug into the difference between shocks and struts. If you read the article, you’ll remember that terminology was a big part of it, and it’s always been one of the more challenging facets of selling parts. The same thing can have multiple different names, depending on the manufacturer, or the technician working on the car.
      The term strut is a reference to the main component in a MacPherson-strut suspension design. The strut itself is the suspension spring and shock absorber assembled together as a unit, which also includes mounting bushings, spring insulators and turn bearings. Replacing a bad component in a strut assembly requires a special coil-spring compressor, so the unit can be safely disassembled.
      By definition, the individual parts only made a strut when they were all assembled, but over time, just the shock absorber itself came to be known as the strut. I speculate this was primarily to provide an accurate description of what we were looking for – to differentiate the fact we were working on a strut suspension as opposed to a “traditional” upper-lower A-arm design. So, you could argue that a “loaded” strut is a contradiction of terms, but it really doesn’t matter. Who cares what we call things, right! As long as we get our customers the right stuff!
      Emergence of the Assembled Strut
      Before the common availability of a complete strut assembly, replacing a bad component in a strut required a coil-spring compressor so the unit could be safely disassembled. It was far more labor-intensive, and you always had to use caution working with the coil spring. Typically, a bad shock absorber was the component that was being replaced. But, technicians often discovered that one of the other components such as a bushing or bearing would show considerable wear upon disassembly. Nobody wants to reassemble something with worn parts, but since many of the components weren’t considered “normal” service items, we’d often have to wait a day or two to
      get them.
      This, of course, made for an inefficient repair, but it’s not the ultimate reason that assembled struts became popular. When strut suspension systems first became popular, they were used on small, lightweight front-wheel-drive vehicles. As a result, the coil springs rarely wore out or broke, and the only component that went bad a lot was the shock absorber itself, so it was common to disassemble the strut just to replace the shock.
      As the strut-suspension design became more popular and the many advantages of it became clear, it quickly found its way onto full-size sedans and trucks. All of a sudden, the struts were no longer holding up meager economy cars, and we began to see broken coil springs, worn bearings and strut mounts and worn spring insulators, on top of worn shocks. Almost every time you disassembled a strut, you found that all the components needed to be replaced.
      Stocking all the different strut components for every make and model was unrealistic on one hand, but necessary on the other, and the idea of offering a completely assembled strut was a welcome revelation. Limited at first to a few of the most common models, the idea took off quickly, and now there’s an impressive list of coverage.
      The Assembled-Strut Advantage
      The advantages for a counter professional, a technician or a DIYer can be summed up the same way for all of us: It’s simply easier. Technicians prefer them, and almost always ask for them first. DIYers may not be familiar with them, so as a counter professional, you may have to explain the advantages.
      Safety might be No. 1. There’s no danger involved when you don’t have to compress and remove the coil spring, and it saves on the tool too, which a DIYer will either need to borrow or buy. Even though it’s possible that purchasing a single component such as a shock absorber or coil spring may be less expensive, the process of building or assembling the strut is where the biggest hurdle can arise.
      Overall, there aren’t too many different pieces involved, but there are almost always some types of spacers and washers. Placement is critical, and it’s easy to make mistakes or lose one of the small components without realizing it. You can end up with a strut that rattles excessively or, in the case of a front strut, binds up during turns. Purchasing an assembled strut eliminates the possibility of any of these problems.
      As a technician or service advisor, we can represent the advantage of time savings, which translates to less labor charged to the customer. In addition, the advantage of all-new components allows us to guarantee proper performance, no noise or rattles, and a longer-term repair. If you replace only one component in the interest of saving money, perhaps another one of the strut components goes bad a few months down the road. You’re no longer saving money at this point.
      Drawbacks?
      I’d like to say no, but instead I’ll say no … with exceptions. Overall, assembled struts make sense. But it’s a good idea to consider what they’re going on. As with many components, there are economy versions and top-of-the-line versions. It’s an undeniable fact that the economy versions won’t last the same amount of time as the original OE strut on any vehicle. Of course, you won’t represent them as a poor-quality part to your customer, but you can represent your top-of-the-line as higher-quality, longer-lasting and better-performing, then let your customer make the decision.
      On older vehicles where cost and a safe level of operation are the primary concerns, economy struts may make the most sense. The flip side is vehicles that still have many years left on the road, and it’s always a good idea to recommend the highest quality in these situations.
      The fact of the matter is that struts affect the safety, handling and braking of a vehicle. It’s a difference that can be easily noticeable, and the more performance-oriented the vehicle, the easier it will be to notice the difference between high- and low-quality struts.
      I mentioned that technicians prefer assembled struts, and we know the advantages they offer. But, we also know that we can make more money on our labor installing them. It’s quick and easy for us, so we’ll end up ahead of the flat-rate time. Even though we get more time for rebuilding a strut, it usually takes us all the allotted time, so we lose our flat-rate advantage.
      This can be a sticky point for some technicians, but an assembled strut isn’t always the best choice. A perfect example would be a high-end European vehicle. These are cars that handle very well, and the owners expect this type of performance. I’ve seen cases where assembled struts are available, but the performance just isn’t up to par with the OE equipment.
      Regardless of make, when it’s a performance-oriented vehicle, it’s important to ask questions to determine your customers’ expectation. Though there are times when these cars can be just as old and beat-up as any other, and maybe the owner is just looking for an economical repair, if you suspect they’re looking for a high level of performance, recommend that they use OE parts, which in most cases means getting each piece individually from the dealer.
      As a counter professional, you don’t want to lose sales and refer someone away from buying what you offer. But, in a situation like this, it’s the trust and rapport that you build with the customer that’s important. The same customer with a high-end vehicle may have multiple other vehicles they’re responsible for maintaining – for example, their children’s cars – and if you always point them in the right direction, a lost sale one day can mean multiple sales the next.
      A Few More Details
      Struts always should be replaced in pairs. Do you have to? Technically, no, and I’m sure you’ve already had customers who only buy one. But it’s the same theory with brakes. Only replacing one side means you’ll have unequal performance side-to-side, and as we all know, if one side wears out, the other isn’t too far behind.
      An alignment always should be checked anytime the struts are replaced. Whenever the suspension, front or rear, is disassembled in any manner, the possibility of affecting the alignment exists, and in the case of struts, ride height could change slightly when going from worn coil springs to new ones.
      When the strut is a bolt-on design, it’s a good idea to advise your customer to pay attention to the bolts, especially if they’re camber bolts. Marking their location gives you a good reference for installing the new strut, keeping the alignment as close as possible. That makes the alignment easier, and is much better if the vehicle needs to be driven to an alignment shop.
      Upsells
      My favorite add-ons for strut work are caliper hangers, bungee cords, nylon wire ties and penetrating oil. During removal, you’ll often run across brake hoses and ABS harnesses that are secured to the strut via a small bracket. The bolts are usually small, and penetrating oil usually is the trick to keep them from breaking. After detaching any hoses or brackets, it’s a good idea to secure them out of the way. The struts are heavy and awkward, and this helps you avoid snagging them as you wrestle the strut out of the fender well.
      When the strut is disconnected from the steering knuckle, the suspension naturally will want to drop. In some cases, it doesn’t or doesn’t drop much, but you should be aware of the possibility, and securing it up with a caliper hanger or bungee cords will prevent it from pulling down on the brake hoses and ABS wiring.
      Finally, when you have the strut out, it’s a good time to look closely at CV boots. Many cars require separating the strut from the knuckle to remove a CV shaft, and if you’re in there already, it’s the perfect time to do it.
      The post
      link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view.
      link hidden, please login to view
    • By Counterman
      Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has launched a live, web-based Part Smart educational program providing OE-level training for the professional technician.
      Developed and taught by MPA’s ASE-certified master technicians, the Part Smart training program addresses real-world troubleshooting and diagnostic procedures, product information and manufacturer-specific systems information.
      The latest training event in the series continues Thursday, Feb. 24, at 12 p.m. CST, with an overview of troubleshooting and diagnosing LIN-controlled charging systems. Full class schedule and signup information will be available soon for 2022.

      link hidden, please login to view for this free one-hour Part Smart training. Seats are filling up fast! The post
      link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view.
      link hidden, please login to view
    • By Counterman
      Whenever a shopper finds a product they need on DormanProducts.com, they now instantly can see which nearby stores have that part in stock, using a new real-time inventory tool announced by Dorman Products.
      To use the new functionality, visitors to
      link hidden, please login to view can search for a product using either vehicle year, make and model; keywords; VIN; OE number; or visual-hardware drilldown. When they find what they need, they can scroll down on that product description’s page to the updated “Where to Buy” section. There they can view on a map what stores near them have that part available, as well as get directions and click to call. “We are always looking for ways to make it easier for repair shops and DIYers to finish a job. With this new capability, it’s now incredibly easy to find our full range of products,” said Steve Gisondi, Dorman’s vice president of marketing. “You can quickly search our tens of thousands of parts and components on a computer or smartphone, and find where they’re available near you, without the hassle of having to call around to multiple locations.”
      This industry-first capability is made possible through a strategic relationship between Dorman and Epicor, a global leader of industry-specific enterprise software. By leveraging Epicor channel connectivity among leading parts-distribution businesses across North America, the Dorman website now connects directly with store-inventory systems at a variety of retailers and distributors to let users know if parts are in stock at specific locations, according to the company.
      “Dorman is one of the automotive aftermarket’s most innovative suppliers, so it’s no surprise they are on the leading edge of solutions that bring increased access and convenience to the industry’s end-users,” said Tim Hardin, senior vice president and general manager of Automotive at Epicor. “We are very proud to have played a role in enabling this important new solution for Dorman and the many parts distribution businesses that offer Dorman’s products.”
      Dorman parts and components are stocked by hundreds of retailers and distributors throughout North America. Real-time inventory is available now on DormanProducts.com for most of Dorman’s largest retail partners, and new partners and locations are continuously being added.
      For more information,
      link hidden, please login to view. The post
      link hidden, please login to view appeared first on link hidden, please login to view.
      link hidden, please login to view
    • By TheAutopartsShop
      Tires that are too flat and tires that are too full , both can create problems on the Road.
      Tire Pressure Monitoring System Valve Kit also known as TPMS valve kit , PartNumber 974-900 by Dorman - OE Solutions provides an easy solution by allowing you to check the pressure in your tires any Time and in any location.
      FIND THE Tire Pressure Monitoring System Valve Kit 974-900 AT  theautopartsshop.com
       

    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      Learn the proper way to install your Dorman split brake dust shield. Facebook:
      link hidden, please login to view ...
×
  • Create New...