How to Replace Front Struts 11-12 Ford Explorer

How to Replace Front Struts 11-12 Ford Explorer

Mike: Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30
years. What’s up, guys? I’m Andy, from 1A Auto. Today I’m gonna be installing this strut in
this 2011 Ford Explorer. If you need these parts or other parts for
your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to Whenever you do any kind of suspension work
or front end work on a vehicle, you’re gonna wanna go to a local shop and have the alignment
performed. ‘Cause you don’t want any premature tire wear. I’m gonna loosen the lug nuts up, I’m just
gonna use a 19-millimeter socket and a breaker bar. I’m just gonna crack them free. Now, we’re gonna raise and support the vehicle,
we’re using a two-post lift. If you’re doing this at your house, you can
use a jack and jack-stands. We’re gonna remove the lug nuts. Once those lug nuts are off, take the tire
off. I’m gonna spray some rust penetrant on here,
that’ll help us get the nut off. I’m also gonna spray rust penetrant on these
two bolts for the strut. All right, now we’re gonna use a 21-millimeter
wrench, I’m gonna loosen this nut. Once it loosens a little bit, the stud is
gonna spin as well. So, we’re gonna need to hold the stud, I’m
gonna use a 10-millimeter socket and a ratchet. That’ll hold the stud. You’re gonna put the ratchet on tighten, that’ll
keep it from spinning while we’re loosening the nut. And once it gets pretty loose, it won’t spin
back and forth anymore. And I should be able to take it off by hand. There we go. Now I can take it off by hand and pull it
out. So, slide this out of the strut bracket. You may have to turn the wheel a little bit. Slide that out, and out of your way. All right, now we’re gonna take these bolts
out for the front strut. I’m gonna use a 21-millimeter wrench and a
24-millimeter socket and a breaker bar, loosen the nut up. All right, before I take that off, I’m gonna
loosen up the bottom one. Now, I’ll switch to a ratchet, take this nut
off. Take that nut off. Then I’ll take the top nut off. Before I take those bolts out, I’m just gonna
remove this ABS wire. Just pull this out, the little rubber grommet,
slide it off. Now, I’m gonna take a hammer and tap these
bolts out. Tap the bottom one out. Should be able to just wiggle them out. And we can separate the knuckle from the strut. We’re gonna have to take these four nuts off,
up top here. There’s a 15-millimeter socket and a ratchet. And it’d be better if I had a semi-deep 15,
but just a regular 15 will work. I’m just loosening these up. Before I take the last nut off, I am gonna
have to support the strut assembly. You wanna make sure you do not take this middle
bolt out. This middle nut. Just take the outer ones off. Now, with the last one on there, I’ll grab
the spring and strut assembly, and then take this last nut off. Then I can grab it from underneath, get the
ABS wire out of my way. Slide it down. And pull it out. One thing you wanna make sure about this knuckle,
is the brake hose, make sure you don’t have too much tension on the brake hose, right
here, that’s good. But, if it was sagging any more, you wanna
put something underneath here to support it. Just keep that in mind. Here’s our old strut assembly. Here’s our new strut assembly from As you can see, the shape is the same. Same bracketry, same brackets here. The holes are in the same position. Has a nice spring that it comes with. Flip it around, the strut mount is the same. Comes with new nuts. Get yours at and you’ll be ready
to rock and roll. We’re gonna take the nuts off this strut mount
before we install it into the vehicle. And we’ll line it up underneath. And then once that’s lined up, install the
nut. Then I can let go of the strut. You could also use a helper if someone wants
to hold the strut while you’re trying to put the nut on–that would be a lot easier. So, I’m gonna take a 15-millimeter socket
and a torque wrench. I’m gonna tighten these nuts up to 41-foot-pounds. Now, I’m gonna take the knuckle and line it
up with the strut assembly. Gonna take a little bit of effort to force
it in there. There we go. Pull this up a little bit. You’re supposed to replace these nuts and
bolts when you’re doing this job. At least Ford recommends to replace them. But, we’re gonna reuse these. Take a hammer and just hammer them in. And
take the nut, put that on, and put that one on. Now, I’m gonna take my 24-millimeter socket
and a ratchet and 21-millimeter wrench, hold the bolt with the wrench and tighten down
the nut. Same with down here. Now, I’m gonna torque these with a torque
wrench. I’m gonna torque them to 180-foot-pounds. Now we’re gonna take this ABS harness and
slide it into the bracket right there, where the rubber grommet is. Now we’re gonna line this top of the sway-bar
link up. Right through there. Take the new sway-bar link nut, slide that
on. I’m gonna tighten that down and then we’re
gonna torque it. I’m gonna torque this nut to 111-foot-pounds. Reinstall the tire. Put the lug nuts on. And lower the vehicle. Now, we’re gonna torque these lug nuts to
100-foot-pounds. We’re gonna use a torque wrench, and we’re
gonna torque them in a star pattern. The reason you do it in a star pattern is
so that the wheel gets tightened down properly against the rotor, and evenly. You can go around again just to double check,
make sure you got them all. You’re good to go. Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts,
fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

11 Replies to “How to Replace Front Struts 11-12 Ford Explorer”

  1. I used this video to install this assembly. If you are doing this with a jack and jack stands, be aware that you may have to turn the wheel to one extreme or the other in order to get the knuckle back on. That was the hardest thing to figure out. Otherwise, excellent video. Also, be sure you have a mid-depth socket for the strut mount bolts.

  2. How did you fit torque wrench and socket on the upper bolts near firewall? I can't get in there without removing wipers/cowl(?) etc

  3. Excellent video! I used this video to replace struts on '12 Explorer XLT – the video outlined all the steps and it was a pretty easy job. Two of the nuts were very difficult to remove so in addition to penetrating oil I recommend a wire brush to remove as much rust, corrosion and debris from the bolts and stud as possible – mine only rotated freely at the very end, and for one I had to use pliers to grip the back side of the stud because I ran out of room on the stud and my 10mm socket wouldn't fit on the end any more. Otherwise the job went just like the video description. Thanks 1A!

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