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I'm working on strut replacement in front of 2000 V6. Have the struts out and expect that I'll have new shocks and strut tower put back together by tomorrow. Here's the question.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that before tightening up a bolt on the strut reassembly, one should load the suspension to prevent squeaking or something. I've just now read over my Bentley and the various threads on doing the struts and can't find mention of this. So I'm wondering if I imagined this. Does anyone know if you should put weight on the suspension before tightening up a bolt and if so which bolt requires this special treatment?
 

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Suspension needs to be at final ride height when you tightened the all the bushings (including strut and sway bar bushings). This avoids pre-loading a twist into the rubber, which will cause them to fail prematurely.
 

· I had a steering knuckle in my shed. Really!
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Yes. Tighten all fasteners to their final torque with the suspension loaded. Just jack up under the steering knuckle in e front or the lower shock mount in the rear until the weight of the car is barely lifted off the jack stand.
 

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When I did mine, I had no idea how low the front would be, so I drove on it for a little while. Once the front settled, I measured from top of wheel arch to the center of the hub, removed the wheel, lifted the knuckle to a point that would allow the hub center to be where it was when riding, then loosened and retorqued as many bolts as I could. It's most important for the control arms, but I did some other components that had bushings if they allowed me to. This simulates a loaded suspension.

I did mine without removing upper control arms, so when I had alignment done, it was off ever so slightly. I rode before alignment for probably a least a month and a half with no wear issues.
 

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Hard to reach a few with the wheel on and car on the ground.
Not the way I did it. Using box-end wrenches or similar items as spacers under a couple of lug bolts, tighten the disk to the hub on the side that you are working on. Then lower the car until the rim of the brake disk settles on sturdy wood blocks, so the disk is at its normal height above the road. With the wheel off, you have complete freedom to reach all of the upper and lower suspension bolts.
 
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