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Hydraulics Tech - Suspension: McPherson Struts

Click here to view other strut installation methods.

The following pictures represent one way to make a hydraulic strut out of factory McPherson struts. This was done for the front end of a 1990 Cadillac Sedan Deville.

Start with a 8 inch Showtime competition cylinder and a pipe
An 8" Showtime competition hydraulic cylinder and a regular metal pipe.
The inside of the metal pipe had to cut out with a lathe
To fit over the cylinder, the inside of the metal pipe had to be slightly cut out with a lathe.
The pipe fits perfectly over the cylinder
The pipe makes up the difference when the cylinder gets put into the factory strut.
The fittings that will be used when the cylinder is in the strut
The hydraulic fittings that will be used: 1/2" to 3/8" straight, 3/8" to 3/8" elbow, and 3/8" to #6 elbow.
A 7/8 inch hole was drilled in the side of the strut
The top was cut off of the factory strut, the shock inside was taken out and then a 7/8" hole was drilled at the bottom in the side to have access to the fittings.
Cylinder welded to top of strut
After the pipe and cylinder were slid into the strut and the fittings were put on and tightened down, the cylinder was welded in the strut securely.
About an inch was left at the top to allow access to the collar
The cylinder was welded about an inch down from the collar to leave open future access for changing seals.
The strut was painted to prevent rust
The strut was primered and painted black to make it look good and prevent it from rusting.
Hydraulic Strut with factory spring and hardware
The hydraulic strut could have been put back on the car with the factory spring and factory mounting hardware.
Standard spring cup, surrounded by factory rubber mount with an upper mounting bracket
But, to let the car sit as low as possible, I opted to delete the spring. A cup is used to distribute weight.
Regular Spring Cups
A regular spring cup was used under the upper mounting plate to distribute the weight.
To keep it quiet, the cup was put inside a piece of rubber that was originally used for the front springs
The cup was put upside down in a piece of rubber to help keep it quiet.
Mounting plate, rubber, spring cup
Here it is installed on the strut/cylinder.
Bolted on the car
And how it looks bolted on the car.
Accumulators are used to soften the ride
Since no spring would be used, accumulators were added to the front pump off the dumps in the trunk.
Hose is run from the trunk to under the hood
The hydraulic hose was run from the trunk to the top side of the strut housing up under the hood.
A short hose makes it way down to the cylinder
The hose is then put through the housing with fittings and an 18" hose runs down to the hydraulic strut.
The strut is hooked up to the hose
The hydraulic strut is bolted back in (a grade 8 bolt was used up top) and then hooked up to hose.
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