Suspension and Steering Systems


  2. A. Course Title: Suspension and Steering Systems
    B. Course Number: FM 224B - 30566
    C. Semester: Fall 2019
    D. Days/Time: M T W Th F 9:30:00 AM - 11:30:00 AM
    E. Credit Hours: 4
    F. Instructor: Williams, Kelley
    G. Office: Don Whitaker Automotive Technology Center (ATC) 237
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2865
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 11:30:00 AM-12:30:00 PM (MST);
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): Each student must be officially accepted into the ASSET Program according to Ford and NMJC entrance requirement polices and must have successfully completed FM 124B Electronics II.
    M. Corequisite(s):
    N. Class Location:

    This course covers the operation, diagnosis, service, and repair of Ford Motor Company’s suspension and steering systems. Areas of instruction include front and rear suspension, wheel, tires, steering, and associated hydraulic and electronic management systems. Each student must be officially accepted into the Ford ASSET program according to Ford and NMJC entrance requirement policies. This is a four credit hour course. Prerequisite: FM 124B Electronics II.


    This course incorporates fundamentals important to obtaining employment upon graduation. It may not be suitable if used as a transfer to institutions of higher learning. Please consult with the receiving institution if you intend to transfer this course credit to another institution.



    ASSET students are required to provide their own basic tool set as outlined in the NMJC/ASSET Student Information Manual. This tool set must be on campus and complete during all on-campus training sessions. The set must also be complete and in good working order at the sponsoring dealership during every coop session. It is the student’s responsibility to replace all lost or broken tools. Each ASSET student has a considerable investment in tools and they are very important to the accomplishment of course objectives. Students are encouraged to have their tools marked and keep them secure and clean.

    Personal Protective Equipment (e.g. eye and hearing protection)

    Work uniform (provided through sponsoring dealership, consistent with retailer policy)

    Leather work shoes/boots (tennis shoes are not allowed)

    Text book: TODAY'S TECHNICIAN: Auto Suspension & Steering Schnubel, 6th Edition
    ISBN# 9781285438122

    Related Ford Course Materials

    Pencil and Pen


    3” – 3-ring binder

    Note pad for taking notes


    Lap Top Computer

    Locker padlock

    USB drive

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Note: All departmental requirements must be completed with a grade of “C” or better.

    The final course grade will be earned and distributed based on the items listed below. The percentages provided are approximate values and the instructor may alter this policy as warranted or needed.

    Attendance and Daily Preparation 10%
    Homework 15%
    Lab Exercises 25%
    Tests & Quizzes 50%

    Lab Exercises

    Lab exercises will be directed and documented through the use of lab sheets. Students will complete specific tasks identified by the lab sheet and respond to related questions as indicated. The instructor’s electronic grade book is the official record of lab sheet completion/task competency. Students will be given regular reports of their progress in lab assignments. Points for lab sheets will be awarded in the following manner:

    4 = Student has demonstrated hands-on competency in performing the task(s) identified by the lab sheet and responded to related questions with 100% proficiency.

    3 = Student has demonstrated hands-on competency in performing the task(s) identified by the lab sheet and responded to related questions with at least 80% proficiency.

    2 = Student has attempted to demonstrate hands-on competency in performing the task(s) identified by the lab sheet, but requires more practice and/or responded to related questions with less than 80% proficiency.

    0 = Student has not attempted or failed to complete the task(s) identified by the lab sheet.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    After completing this course, the student should be able to perform repairs, adjustments, and diagnostic procedures with demonstrated proficiency on Ford car and light truck steering and suspension systems. Additionally, the student should be able to enter full-time employment as a Ford and/or Lincoln-Mercury automotive dealership Steering & Suspension Repair Technician and should have the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will enable him/her to retain this employment and to continually make acceptable progress in this field.

    Course objectives will be accomplished by providing the following learning activities:

    Study and discussion centered on the operational principles and safety aspects of specific hand tools, shop equipment, and hazardous materials.

    Study will include component purpose and design factors in appropriate areas and the laws and principles governing the component’s design and operation.

    Instruction focused on the development of a knowledge base that will provide the student with insight and understanding of the operational characteristics and associated failure modes of the components and systems being studied. Each student will facilitate this process through personal study, knowledge application, and task performance.

    Instruction to provide the knowledge necessary to perform repairs, adjustments, and diagnostic procedures with demonstrated proficiency.

    Performance objectives designed to support the development of industry guideline skill achievement by each student throughout the instructional period.


    After successfully completing this course the student should be able to apply the related skills and technical knowledge on a full-time basis as a Ford automotive technician. Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

    Demonstrate safe work habits when working with suspension and steering components, tools, and equipment.

    Describe the basic operating Principles of Power Steering and the function of the individual components.

    Identify the different types of steering systems used by Ford Motor Company.

    Demonstrate the ability to locate test procedures and specifications in applicable Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) workshop manuals.

    Identify the steering system service operations that can be performed without removing components from the vehicle.

    Demonstrate the ability to select and use the proper steering system special service tools provided by Ford Motor Company.

    Identify and describe the different types of front and rear suspension systems used by Ford Motor Company.

    Identify and describe the major front and rear suspension components used on Ford cars and light Trucks.

    Identify and describe the major components of standard and Electronic Variable Assist power steering systems.

    Identify the major diagnostic features of electronically controlled steering systems.

    Demonstrate the ability to identify and explain normal operation of the various steering systems.

    Demonstrate the ability to perform steering system diagnostic and testing procedures according to FCSD service manual procedures.

    Demonstrate the ability to properly perform steering gear adjustments.

    Demonstrate the ability to perform steering system component removal and installation operations as directed by FCSD workshop manuals.

    Explain the principles and techniques recommended by Ford Motor Company and their approved equipment manufacturers’ for front-end alignment.

    Perform 4 wheel alignment operations following the guidelines recommended by Ford Motor Company and their approved equipment manufacturers.

    Explain the theory of operation behind basic steering systems.

    Demonstrate the ability to disassemble and reassemble a rack and pinion steering gear.

    Demonstrate the ability to properly select and use Ford/Rotunda suspension system special service tools on assigned laboratory projects.

    Perform steering column assembly diagnosis and repair procedures according to FCSD workshop manual instructions.

    Define the principles and identify the components of conventional Ford suspension systems and their applications.

    Discuss a comprehensive road test and vehicle suspension performance evaluation.

    Identify and describe Automatic Ride Control components and perform diagnostic routines on these systems using the appropriate FCSD workshop manual.

    Identify and describe Air Suspension components and perform diagnostic routines on the system using the appropriate FCSD workshop manual.

    Identify and describe Rear Load Leveling suspension components and systems and perform diagnostic routines on the system following the directions given the appropriate FCSD workshop manual.

    Explain the principles of tire/wheel balance and related radial and lateral runout.

    Perform tire/wheel balancing and runout operations following approved FCSD procedures.

    Identify the possible causes of steering gear binding, uneven turning effort, looseness, hard steering, and fluid leakage and determine the recommended repairs.

    Perform power steering hydraulic system diagnostic operations and determine the appropriate repairs.

    Perform power steering pump service operations following FCSD guidelines.

    Diagnose suspension system concerns and determine the correct repairs as assigned by the instructor.

    Demonstrate the ability to test and remove and install suspension struts.

    Demonstrate the ability to test and remove and install ball joints.

    Demonstrate the ability to measure vehicle ride heights in accordance with FCSD workshop manual procedures.

    Discuss tire wear patterns and determine the correct repair procedure.

    Inspect tires and check and adjust pressures according to the vehicle operator’s manual.

    Diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and tramp concerns and determine the proper service procedures.

    Explain the Ford recommended tire rotation procedures.

    Describe how wheel/tire and brake drum/rotor imbalance and runout can effect vehicle ride quality and perform the diagnostic steps recommended to find these problems.

    Pass all Ford final course assessments, “embedded in ASSET,” related to this course.

    Take the ASE Certification Exam in the area of suspension and steering.



    All course participants must pass the Automotive Safety Test with a final score of 100%.

    It is the responsibility of all concerned to sustain a safe learning environment in the Ford ASSET classroom and lab. Students must use all the safety precautions they have been taught and shown, discuss anything they are unsure of with their instructor, and report any unsafe condition to their instructor immediately. Every student should know the location of fire extinguishers and other safety equipment as well as procedures for first aid and for other emergencies, such as the need for emergency eye wash.

    All persons must wear approved eye protection at any time lab activities are in session--NO EXCEPTIONS


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    This course will follow the following general outline. The instructor may alter the outline as warranted or needed.

    WEEK 1

    Lab exercises
    Hand out Homework Assignments

    WEEK 2

    Lab exercises

    WEEK 3

    Lab exercises
    ALL Homework Assignments due before 4pm

    Week 4
    Final Review
    Course Final Written
    Course Final Hands - on

    Wednesday May 6th

    COOP V orientation from 7:30 am until 8:30 am