Diagnosis and Part Selection Advice:
How did you know this part needed replacement? Why did you choose a certain brand/part number?
I heard a high-pitched squeak coming from the front end as I drove down the highway (or even if I pushed hard against the side of the van in the parking lot). Looking underneath, I saw the strut rod bushings on both sides looked like they had melted (not sure why -- they're not near exhaust or anything -- maybe just lots of friction from bouncing down the road?)
I used the Moog K7090 kit. It was more expensive than the Spicer parts, but it claimed to be a "problem solver" (i.e., better than OE). And since I had other parts to order, including Spicer would have involved another warehouse and added to my shipping cost.
What came in the box? Were additional nuts, bolts, sealant, etc. needed for the repair?
The box included rubber bushings and cotter pins for both sides, plus a (nylon?) washer that goes between the back bushing and the car frame (I'm guessing this is the "problem solver" feature that reduces friction and makes the bushings less likely to melt.
The kit included an instruction sheet (English & Spanish, with a picture) that showed how all the pieces fit together.
Repair / Installation tips:
Special tools needed? Have to remove other parts to reach this one? Any left-hand threads, sharp edges, messy fluids or other pitfalls to avoid?
First, I removed the pin that keeps the nut at the end of the rod from unscrewing. My nuts were nowhere close to the pins, but after 15 years of rust, the pin on one side was in no mood to come out, and it must be made of hardened steel because drilling it out broke several bits.
Second, I removed the nuts -- no big deal except it took about a 4 foot extensinon on my socket wrench to get enough torque to get them loose.
Third, I removed the sway bar links (which were so rusted they broke when I tried to unscrew them -- but needed to be replaced anyway because the bushings were worn out).
Fourth, I removed the nuts/bolts holding the rubber bumper, sway bar link mount, and strut rod to the control arm (2 on each side). These actually came out fairly easily -- they were better quality and/or less rusty than the other parts, I guess (or my muscles were extra strong after wrenching on all the other stuff).
Putting it all back together was easy -- take off the old, melted bushings, stick on the new ones, and bolt everything back together (all my old nuts/bolts were still OK to re-use after I cleaned them up a bit).
No special tools, just socket wrenches -- including a big 1 1/16" one, I think, for the nut at the end of the rod and a really long handle extension for leverage -- plus lots of penetrating oil and a hard 1/8" drill to drill out the pin at the end.