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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Model: 2000 Focus SE

Hello, I am replacing the front struts. The replacement units are Monroe 'Quick-Strut Complete Strut Assembly' #171504 & #171505.

I noticed on the new units that the piston rod within the spring is half-exposed. That is, the rubber boot cover is covering only about half of the piston rod whereas on the old unit, the rubber boot covers the entire piston rod, from the bottom of the spring all the way to the top. I have attached a pic of the old and new struts to show what I mean.

Is the exposed portion of the piston rod normal, in which case I just pop in the new assembly as is?

The instruction sheet enclosed with the new unit does warn not to grip the polished piston rod with any tool; I guess they wouldn't include such a warning if the piston rod wasn't in fact supposed to be exposed. Also, the pic of the unit on the Monroe site http://www.monroe.com/en-US/catalog/e-Catalog/171504 is as I'm describing with the half-exposed piton rod, so I guess it's normal.

Nevertheless, I just wanted to confirm, with someone who has had experience with this type of repair, whether or not this is normal. My experience with this type of repair has only been with shocks where the spring is held separately between the lower and upper control arms (i.e., Mustang). This is my first time changing out integrated spring-strut assemblies, so I'm a little unawares. Plus, if anyone has any special tips or guidance besides just bolting the new units in, please advise! Thanks!
 

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Does the current boot stretch? Like is just not fully extended to cover the rod?

I dont think its a problem, that part of the strut is going to be safely tucked up in your strut tower, especially under the weight of the car. You could cut off your old boot and fab it into the space if you are really concerned.
 

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The struts will be compressed quite a bit under the weight of the car. Every strut replacement I've done looks like this before they're installed.
 

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The instruction sheet enclosed with the new unit does warn not to grip the polished piston rod with any tool; I guess they wouldn't include such a warning if the piston rod wasn't in fact supposed to be exposed.
The rod needs to be completely covered when installed, otherwise exposure to dirt and contaminants can erode the guide seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The rod needs to be completely covered when installed
Thanks, that's what I always thought, which is why I found it strange that it came this way. But I bought these assemblies thinking that they are a true bolt in as is without any transferring of components from the original unit. Anyway, I'm trying to contact Monroe and see what they have to say.

@rambleon84:
Does the current boot stretch? Like is just not fully extended to cover the rod?
Yeah, might be. They're out in the garage right now, so I'll check in the morning. The new boot does look a little compressed relative to the old one, doesn't it? I had thought that maybe once the car's weight is on and the piston is compressed as much as it needs to be, the top of the boot somehow catches on and stretches only as much as it needs to, but I don't really know.

@onlycodered:
Every strut replacement I've done looks like this before they're installed.
Thanks - are you saying that you just bolted the assembly in as it was with the piston half exposed, or did you attempt to stretch the boot up towards the top of the spring?
 

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@onlycodered:

Thanks - are you saying that you just bolted the assembly in as it was with the piston half exposed, or did you attempt to stretch the boot up towards the top of the spring?
I just bolted it up without trying to stretch the boot. I've done this on my '12 Mustang and my friend's '08 Caliber SRT4. No ill effects. Those boots will end up covering the entire rods once the weight of the car is on them.
 

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There have been plenty with no boots at all, not a large concern.

Looks like those will cover OK once installed as mentioned.
 

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Dings from rocks say on gravel road can wreck the seals pretty quick. Tires will throw them easily that high and hard. While not absolutely necessary, full length gaiters are more desirable. And possibly wrong part used on struts pictured there. What you get paying global wages now.
 
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