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I replaced the passenger side front shock on my 2009 Mazda 5 almost a year ago. It has been making noises, and upon inspection I see the coil is rubbing on the nearby metal.

overview of area

spot on metal that is clearly being rubbed

I don't know how to check if the parts store gave me the right part, or if I've installed it incorrectly. It attaches via three bolts at the top, and is clamped at the bottom, and I don't see a way to adjust its placement, but I'm probably missing something.

How do I resolve this rubbing?

Per the comment, here's a picture of the strut upper mount. I did not replace any of it, as it appeared to be in good condition, but I do see that the top of the shock is off center towards the side that's rubbing:

top strut mount

  • When the "shock" was replaced did you replace the spring as well, or just the gas cylinder? Was the car in any accidents or hit any curbs/potholes at speed? – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 19:57
  • @JPhi1618 I replaced the spring and cylinder as one pre-assembled unit. As of last fall we moved onto a dirt road, so it's likely that we've hit potholes at speed. No accidents since replacement. – Adam Davis Nov 16 '15 at 20:05
  • Ok, I was thinking if you didn't replace the spring, it really couldn't have been "the wrong part". And with no accidents to mess up the alignment of parts, you could have the wrong assembly. I'm not sure of any adjustments your car might have, but an alignment shop could probably tell you what's wrong if someone here doesn't know more about your car. – JPhi1618 Nov 16 '15 at 20:08
  • What is the condition of the strut upper mount? Is it new too? Can you post a photo of it? – HandyHowie Nov 16 '15 at 22:24
  • @HandyHowie I added a picture, I thought the plate on top of the mount would be enough to locate the shock appropriately, but perhaps there's some wriggle room? – Adam Davis Nov 17 '15 at 4:05
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I would check/replace the strut's top mount. The rubber may be worn allowing excessive movement at the top of the strut. Try pulling in the strut to see if the top mount moves excessively. If the rubber looks OK and nothing is worn, try loosening the mounting bolts and see if it can be relocated slightly to move the spring away from the panel it is rubbing against.

  • The strut I installed is a complete unit, including the strut mount, which I assume is the rubber part you mention. m.oreillyauto.com/mt/www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/MON2/… I un-clamped the bottom, removed the attached hoses and cable mounts, then removed the three bolts in the top, replaced the entire unit, then reversed the process. No rubber piece was left at the top from the old part or moved to the new part. – Adam Davis Nov 17 '15 at 10:55
  • I'll try loosening the tip bolts and adjusting the location of the top mount a bit. The rubbing has been going on for months but hasn't broken through the metal, so I expect it's very light and a small adjustment may be enough. – Adam Davis Nov 17 '15 at 10:56
  • Does the top mount only fit in 1 position or can it be rotated? If it can be rotated, does that change the distance the spring is away from the panel? – HandyHowie Nov 17 '15 at 12:24
  • If I remember correctly it had a locating pin. I'll examine it when I loosen the bolts later today. – Adam Davis Nov 17 '15 at 12:28

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