I have decided to be frugal and replace the struts on my wife’s 2004 Accord EX. After harassing many people of various stages of knowledge, I have received many varying pieces of advice and I would love some clarification, please. I plan to buy complete assemblies with springs and mounting plates, but should I replace anything else? I have heard from many that the outer tie rod ends should be replaced since I will have it apart already, I just wnat to know what else would be smart to replace since I’ll have it apart.
@edinhell why do the tie rods have to be removed?
How many miles?
Is the ride very bouncy?
You’re going to have the front tires off the ground when replacing the struts.
Before removing the tires, grab each tire at the 3:00 and 9:00 oclock position and try wiggling the tire. If the tire wiggles check the tie rod ends. Now grab each tire at the 6:00 and 12:00 oclock position and try wiggling the tire. If the tire wiggles that bearing is worn out.
@db4690 - I was told it was better to replace tie rod ends since it will be disassembled and they are fairly inexpensive.
not really bouncy
@Tester - thank you, I had not even thought about bearings
If you replace the tie rods, you will definitely need to pay for an alignmment
It needs alignment anyway and since it is my wife’s, I figured I’d do everything so I don’t have to do it again for a while.
The real reason for the work is one strut bottoms out from time to time and this is a car project I have yet to undertake. I thought it was the motor mounts, but it’s the suspension and I don’t want to have her worrying about anything else going wrong in that area. I will replace the brake pads and rotors as well (they are getting bad’ish and the rotors cannot be ground down again).
While researching the parts, I noticed Monroe has two different types of Quick-Struts for this car… One is for either side and the other is specifically for driver or passenger… Does this matter?, the ones for either side is $30 cheaper than the ones for each side.
@edinhell get the struts that are side specific
If you were planning on an alignment anyways, now is a good time to replace those tie rod ends.
I’m not against replacing cheap stuff like tie rod ends, but you don’t have to take the struts off to replace them. So all you avoid is the alignment, plus of course taking the wheel off. A tie rod tool will be very handy to have to do it though. Also you want to take a good look at the ball joints. That could be a little nasty but as long as you are at it. Oh and how do the stabilizer bolts look? Brake pads? Its hard to stop once you start looking at stuff.
Front struts only? Does your car have 4 wheels?
Let me suggest that before trying this you get a repair manual at the local parts store, carefully review the strut replacement procedure, and be sure you have the appropriate tools and feel comfortable doing the process.
Let me also suggest that you ensure that you have a flat, level, paved or concrete surface and proper high quality jack stands to hold the car up. This morning I saw a small SUV propped up on concrete blocks on a grassy surface and the blocks had fallen over on one end. At least one disc was sunk into the wet dirt (been raining here lately). You do NOT want to be under a vehicle should this happen. CAUTION: CONCRETE BLOCKS KILL.
@Cavell I’ve carefully reread OP’s post
OP did not specify if all struts or only front struts would be replaced
I agree with Tester and S Mountain Bike. I replaced just the front struts on my 92 Buick last fall. I wanted to learn how to remove springs from the assembly so prior to that I splurged on a OTC Clamshell Spring Compressor. It is unlikely that you would need to replace the springs on this Honda but I can understand you not wanting to deal with spring removal. I was told long ago to not fix things that are not broken. If your wife drives in town alot and the car has over 80k miles then I would replace the tie rod ends also.
@CW I also own the OTC clamshell spring compressor . . . the light blue model
It is a very nice tool that is very easy to use