Replacing struts

#1

how do you replace or find info on how o replace struts?

#2

Get something like a Chiltons manual.

CAUTION: Replacing struts are NOT for the novice. There is special equipment that you’ll need to SAFELY compress the spring. I do not do struts. The PROPER equipment is not easy to rent and very costly to buy. Do NOT use one of those cheap clamp type spring compressors. Friend of mine did it…and when he came to work on the following Monday it looked like he was in a fight and LOST. The spring compressor didn’t hold and it went flying…right into his face. Broke a eye socket and a fractured jaw. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

#3

Listen to Mike, this is one of those ‘if you have to ask, you might not want to try’ kind of things. Besides the problems dealing with the springs, you’re also going to have to disassemble the front suspension, which takes some decent (but not really unusual) tools, along with good jack stands. Once you get it back together, get an alignment immediately.

#4

I’ve been working on cars since 1968 and I like to change struts on small cars. The springs are weak enough to make the job easy. My spring compressor (cheap) didn’t work on the 85 Caddy. I was at an Auto Craft Center on a military base, so they used their “real” one for me. Nice. You may have to buy a deep socket in a big size for anything above a compact car. On the 85 Caddy, I had to drill the mount holes on the rear to a half inch from three-eights. You need a ball joint separator too. There is an easier way with Quick Struts that come with the springs already installed but they cost more. It takes too long to do the job at home but sometimes ya gotta.

#5

Usually the large nut at the top of the strut shaft requires a air impact to remove,not because it is so tight but because the strut shaft likes to turn when you try and take the nut loose,the impact gets it off without turning the shaft.

Then you have to get the top of the strut out from under the fender without scratching the fender,maybe you cant pull the strut low enough.

Then you have to get the large thresded retainer (at the top of the strut body) loose,some big channel locks sometimes work, but sometimes you have to use a air chisel to break the retainer loose (replace retainer,it will be kind of mangeled.

Oh yea make sure you have the spring compressed before you take the big nut I mentioned at first loose.

The first McPherson struts I ever did were on a Super Bettle, you didn’t need a spring compressor,you could use a floor jack, things have changed

#6

When you replace the struts, you must also do an alignment. This makes it not a do-it-yourself job in my book.

Call around for prices. Doing this saved me a couple hundred dollars. Between an independent shop, company-owned tire stores, and a franchise tire store, the franchise tire store gave me the best price because they happened to be running a special.

#7

You didn’t say what kind of vehicle, but you might check for a quick strut kit, or what ever its called. It comes completely assembled, spring and strut so all you have to do is pull the old one out and install the new one, then do an alignment.