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Grease Recommendations for Steering & Suspension Parts


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    • By Counterman
      link hidden, please login to viewreleased two new suspension bushing tool kits for on-vehicle R&I of single-wrap and double-wrap heavy-duty suspension bushings – Suspension Bushing Kit with Pump and Suspension Bushing Adapter Kit. Both tool kits replace worn-out, rusted and frozen heavy-duty suspension bushings faster and easier without risking heat or other damage by providing a 25-ton capacity, the company said. Each kit saves hours on each job by making quick work of Pivot and D-pin bushing R&I. OTC’s latest suspension bushing tool kits include:
      4247-FR Suspension Bushing Kit with Pump: Includes air/hydraulic pump, 25-ton hydraulic cylinder, hose with couplers, complete puller leg/plates and adapter set for double-wrap leaf springs.
      4254-FR Suspension Bushing Adapter Kit: For use with OTC service sets; 4247, 4275, 4261 or 4263 with 4106A 25-ton ram.
      OTC said each suspension bushing kit features Hendrickson rear suspensions, including Primaax EX, Comfort Air and FCCC V-Ride Pivot and D-Pin suspension bushings, and freightliner rear suspensions, including double and single-wrapped FAS II Airliner rear suspension bushings. Both also include centering adapters to align tool and bushing for clean installation. Both are available through OTC distribution partners and resellers.
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    • By Advance Auto Parts
      RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, today announced that Ken Bush, senior vice president, chief merchant, will retire from the company after nearly 20 years and be succeeded by Bruce Starnes, who has been named executive vice president, chief merchant, effective June 24, 2024.
      Mr. Starnes, 48, who will lead all aspects of merchandising strategy, joins Advance from the Target Corporation where he spent nearly 20 years in a variety of product management roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, he served as senior vice president, merchandising capabilities and operations, where he was responsible for the strategy, capability and execution of Target’s merchandising operations, including price and promotions, in-store presentation, sales plans, negotiations, partnerships and vendor experience. Previously, he served as president of Target India and vice president, digital solutions and partnerships.
      “We are very grateful for the many contributions Ken has made to our industry over the past 37 years. He has helped strengthen our merchandising operations and built a talented team within the merchandising organization, making it an optimum time to make a leadership transition. We wish him all the best in his upcoming, well-deserved retirement,” said Shane O’Kelly, Advance’s president and CEO. “I’m excited to welcome Bruce to the Advance family. As a seasoned and accomplished merchandising executive with more than 25 years of experience, Bruce brings a deep understanding of successful merchandising operations and vendor partnerships as well as a proven track record of results at one of the world’s leading retail organizations. I look forward to working closely with him to take our merchandising operations to the next level.”
       

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    • By Advance Auto Parts
      RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, announced its financial results for the first quarter ended April 20, 2024.
      “Our team continues to execute against our decisive actions, including commencing our supply chain consolidation and making meaningful progress toward the potential sale of Worldpac,” said Shane O’Kelly, president and chief executive officer. “While the industry experienced a slower start to 2024 compared with our expectations, the actions we began in the back half of last year will help us streamline our operations for the long term. Our leadership team and I continue to focus on improving the core fundamentals of our business while reducing costs, which is reflected in our year-over-year SG&A reduction. As previously announced, we are reinvesting a portion of the savings back into the foundation of our business, including frontline compensation and training. We also made progress on our other decisive actions, including beginning three of our DC to market hub conversions.
      “We continue to work on improving our overall performance by removing complexities and distractions to increase our value proposition and deliver shareholder value. We recognize we still have significant work ahead of us, however the actions we're taking will put us on the path to delivering improved results. I want to thank all our team members for their continued commitment to serving our customers as we navigate through this pivotal year for Advance.”
      First Quarter 2024 Results (1,2)
      First quarter 2024 net sales totaled $3.4 billion, a 0.3% decrease compared with the first quarter of the prior year. Comparable store sales decreased 0.2%.
      The company's gross profit decreased 2.2% to $1.4 billion. Gross profit margin of 42.0% decreased 82 basis points compared with the first quarter of the prior year. This was primarily driven by increased costs that were not fully covered by pricing actions. These were partially offset by supply chain productivity.
      SG&A expenses were $1.3 billion, which improved to 39.4% of net sales compared with 39.9% in the first quarter of 2023. This was primarily driven by the cost control efforts initiated at the end of 2023, including reduced corporate expenditures from the decrease in headcount and significant reduction of marketing expenses as well as a net gain on asset sales. These were partially offset by the reinvestment in field wages and training as well as typical expense inflationary pressure.
      The company's operating income was $86.0 million, or 2.5% of net sales, compared with 2.9% in the first quarter of 2023.
      The company's effective tax rate was 33.2%, compared with 28.5% in the first quarter of 2023. The higher effective income tax rate was due to a discrete charge for share-based compensation. The company's diluted EPS was $0.67 compared with $0.81 in the first quarter of 2023.
      Net cash provided by operating activities was $2.7 million through the first quarter of 2024 versus $382.5 million of cash used in operating activities in the same period of the prior year. Free cash flow through the first quarter of 2024 was an outflow of $46.3 million compared with an outflow of $472.5 million in the same period of the prior year.
      Capital Allocation
      On May 21, 2024, the company declared a regular cash dividend of $0.25 per share to be paid on July 26, 2024 to all common stockholders of record as of July 12, 2024.
      __________________________________ (1) All comparisons are based on the same time period in the prior year. Comparable store sales include locations open for 13 complete accounting periods and exclude sales fulfilled by distribution centers to independently owned Carquest locations.
      (2) As reported in the company’s fourth quarter and full year 2023 earnings release, the company corrected non-material errors in certain previously reported financials. All comparisons are based on the corrected historical results as presented in the company’s prior earnings release dated February 29, 2024.
       

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    • By Counterman
      Most active suspension systems come in many styles with fancy names like airmatic, dynamic or advanced. And, it doesn’t matter if it is a BMW, Mercedes or Jaguar, an active suspension must be able to react to three critical pieces of information.
      First, it must act on information from the ABS and stability control system. Second, it must measure body movement. Third, it must detect the extent and rate of suspension movement. With these three pieces of information, the suspension can actively adjust the compression and rebound of the shock or strut.
      Why would an engineer or automaker include this feature on a vehicle? An active dampener allows for a ride without compromise. The three inputs can be used to detect a rough road or an emergency situation where body roll could change the stability of the vehicle.
      Electronic Shocks/Struts
      Electronically adjustable shocks and struts use conventional mono-tube and twin-tube oil-filled dampeners. The rods, gas chambers and piston have the construction of passive units. Like a passive unit, they can fail if they leak, the gas escapes or the rods are bent. They can also wear out like a conventional unit as the oil inside breaks down and surfaces in the bore wear.
      link hidden, please login to view
      What makes these units unique are the valves with their variable orifices. These valves regulate the flow between the chambers on either side of the piston. The piston in some units, however, does not have any valving.
      The size of the orifices controlled by electromagnetic solenoids can control the valves very quickly. The electrical connections and solenoids are typically found outside the body and act on the valves inside the unit using magnetism. The signal to the solenoid is pulse-width modulated and varies the voltage to change the size of the orifice.
      The valves and solenoids can’t be serviced or separated from the shock or strut. If a problem is detected with the system, the valves go into a fail-safe position that is fixed, and the system becomes passive. The driver is then alerted with a message or light on the instrument cluster or message center.
      Most systems will perform a circuit check when the system wakes up. This typically involves sending a signal to fully open and close the valve. If the system detects an open, short or a voltage outside of the specifications, it will set a code. 
      Measuring Wheel Movement
      Ride-height sensors not only measure the position of the suspension, but also the rate of movement. They are supplied with a voltage of around 5 volts. The signal voltage is changed as a magnet moves past a coil. Most sensors have three wires – ground, power and signal.
      Internally, it is difficult to damage one of these sensors. Externally, however, the linkage that connects the sensor to the suspension arm can be damaged. Additionally, the connector can be damaged and cause a short or open that sets a code. If one of these sensors is replaced, it must be calibrated after it is installed.
      Ride-height sensors are sometimes called suspension-position or wheel-displacement sensors. The data from the sensor is used to measure the movement of the suspension. By knowing how far and fast the suspension is moving, the module can use the information to determine the size of the orifice in the dampener to control compression and rebound. These sensors should be calibrated if a sensor is replaced, a module is reprogrammed or if the battery dies.
      Measuring Body Movement
      Accelerometers mounted to the body measure changes in the ride. These accelerometers are typically mounted to the strut towers. These sensors output information as gravitational forces, or “G-force,” to a module. Changes in body roll due to cornering will produce lower G-force than a pothole would.
      Information from the accelerometers is coupled with data from the ride-height sensor, steering sensor and other inputs by a computer processor in a module. The module can determine if the vehicle is going around a corner or traveling down a bumpy road. With this datastream, the valving inside the dampener can be adjusted in milliseconds for the best control and ride quality.
      The accelerometers on the body differ from vehicle to vehicle. Some manufacturers mount the sensors under the headlights, on strut towers and near the taillights. More sophisticated systems use more than two accelerometers mounted in various locations.
      link hidden, please login to view Control Module
      The control module for the electronic dampeners needs more than the movement of the wheels and body to determine the correct settings for the dampeners. The module uses and shares information with the anti-lock braking system, engine control module and instrument cluster. This information is typically shared on the high-speed CAN serial data bus. On some BMW 7 Series models, the information is shared on the fiber-optic Flex Ray bus.
      With all this information, the module can do some amazing things with the adjustable dampeners. Problems like nosedive under braking, torque steer and understeer on FWD vehicles can be minimized. If the vehicle has air ride, the volume and pressure inside the air springs can also be tuned along with the valving in the dampeners to optimize ride quality and control.
      Most active suspension systems will perform a circuit check when the system wakes up. The system will send 5 to 12 volts to the actuators and ride height sensors. The system is also looking at the resistance in the circuit, and the amount of voltage dropped. If the system detects an open, short or voltage outside of the specifications, it will set a code. Next, the control module will fully open and close the valves in the struts. If the system does not detect any irregularities, the system will go into an active mode. 
      Looking for these self-diagnostic signals can be performed using a meter. You may have to use a bypass harness or back probe the connector. If the system detects any problems, the system will go into a passive mode.
      Sometimes servicing an active suspension is like rebuilding an engine with a new crankshaft and reusing the old bearings and valve springs. When a new active strut is reassembled with the old and tired spring and strut plate, the results can be less than desirable.
      Upper strut mounts and bearings can be hammered to death. The upper strut mount essentially supports the vehicle weight and counters both braking and acceleration torque. Most mounts are sandwiches of rubber, metal and bearings. Over time, the rubber can lose its ability to isolate the suspension from the body. Bearings can also seize and bind, causing the vehicle to have steering problems.
      Look up the ride height specifications and measure ride height front and rear, and on both sides of the vehicle. If ride height is less than specifications, the problem is most likely one or more weak springs that should be replaced. Springs should typically be replaced in pairs to maintain the same ride height side-to-side.
      Weak springs also are more likely to fail. The springs on many late-model vehicles are thinner to reduce weight and have an outer plastic coating to protect the metal from corrosion. If this outer coating is cracked or damaged, corrosion can form a hot spot that eats into the spring, weakens it and eventually causes the spring to break.
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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By OReilly Auto Parts
      2024 Aztek 200 | Powered by O'Reilly Auto Parts

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