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Strut Replacement: DIY or Pay the price?

My 2002 Ford Explorer XLT V8 desperately needs replacement struts. I have been thinking of just purchasing some online and having a close friend/mechanic do it for me in order to save money, since many of the mechanics have given me quite hefty estimates.

I am not sure what brand/type of struts I should be looking for.

Should i just give in and take it to the mechanics to handle the purchasing and installation?

Consider “Quick Struts.” They Are A Replacement Assembly (Strut, Spring, Mount/Bearing) At A Reasonable Price And Easier To Install. I’m Not Sure If Monroe’s Got Them For Your Vehicle, But Have A Look.

CSA

Look for OEM replacement struts.

Whether you should just take it to a mechanic or not depends on your relationship with your close friend. If you’ve been friends for many years and always done thing sfor one another, and if he/she has offered to do the job for you, then go for it. If not, asking him/her to do a job of that size is, in fact, “using” him/her. Besides, you’ll need an alignment after anyway, so you’ll need to pay for some of the process anyway.

I do not recommend this as a DIY unless you’re knowledgable in things automotive. You’ll need to be aware of the little details like hanging the lower arms to protect the brake lines, how to properly remove the upper mounts and the strut shaft from the mounts, how to safely use the spring clamps to remove the struts, and a few other things.

If you ARE good at mechanical things, get a manual, get good tools, follow the manual, and get the alignment done after.

If you regularly do your own car repair work then doing DIY strut removal; then having someone else actually mess with the springs & strut replacement; and the DIY reinstallation of the units makes perfect sense. (Though as moutainbike noted you do need an alignment after that).

As CSA mentioned, you could also look into various pre-assembled new strut units in which case everything is new (bearing plates, springs, struts). (I think “quick struts” is the name brand used by Monro). I have these all around on my car and buying them & installing myself cost me roughly half of what basic strut replacement would have been at the shop.

It all depends on your mechanical ability and tools you have whether you want to do the struts yourself or pay someone to do them for you. I always change my own struts and I don’t use quick struts. You want to be sure to use good quality spring compressors when removing the strut from the spring or the job can get very dangerous very quickly. If there’s any part of the job you don’t understand I’d suggest getting your friend or a mechanic to do the work for you.

I’ve replaced struts before and did it (the first time) without prior experience. It’s not really that difficult, just time-consuming since I could only work on one corner at a time. But you are not asking about this project as a DIY job, are you.

In your case, kmjones, you have a simple solution. Go and discuss this job with the fellow who will do the work for you. Listen to what he says, take his advice.

Looks Like Monroe Quick Struts Are 182 Bucks Each At Advance Auro Parts. A Search Can Get You A 20% To 35 % Discount. It Shouldn’t Cost More Than $150 Per Assembly. You May Have To Order Online To Qualify. I Do It All The Time.

Link for fronts:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Quick-Strut-Monroe_99985250-P_49_R|GRPSHOCAMS_1822378890____BBV

Link for rears:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Quick-Strut-Monroe_99985254-P_50_R|GRPSHOCAMS_1822378571____BBV

The Quick Strut is great. No dangerous spring work and you need to replace the top bearing/mount anyhow.

CSA

Go to rockauto.com, Monroe Quick Struts are $120/$132 front/rear each plus shipping, and you get a $125 rebate if you buy 4. What a deal!

That is a good deal. I don’t need struts but almost want to buy them for a rainy day.

Amazon sometimes has them for the same price as rockauto but will give you free shipping.