Strut Replacement

Andrew Sarangan

Replacing struts is one of the simplest jobs one can do on the vehicle. The strut is a single unit that contains the suspension spring coil and the shock absorber (dampener). The spring is kept compressed under tremendous pressure inside the strut. It is like a loaded gun. Therefore, it is not worth the trouble to disassemble the strut or attempt to replace its internal components. It is much easier to buy the whole strut. The cost of a complete strut for the front wheels was only $75 each.

Assembled strut unit

Two horizontal bolts hold the steering knuckle to the strut. These are easy to remove. The hardest one to remove is the sway bar arm that is attached to the strut. It is a ball joint, and the bolt needs to be held from the opposite side with a wrench while turning the outside nut. Its a bit tricky and it is easy to strip the nut, but it does come off eventually.

Steering knuckle and sway bar attached to the strut

Next, the top side of the strut has to be removed from inside the engine compartment. The center nut should not be loosened, as it holds the compressed spring. Once the two outer nuts are removed, the strut simply falls off from the bottom. Before doing this, the brake hose and the speed sensor wire have to be removed from their harnesses attached to the strut.

Strut tower attachment inside the engine compartment
After removal of the strut

The left and right sides are different, so it is important to match them up correctly.

Old and new strut assembly

This is with the new strut installed

With new strut installed.

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