How to Change Struts on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The struts are a part of the Chevy Chevrolet car suspension system. They are responsible for the smooth ride you experience when driving the vehicle. When the struts go bad, you may begin to notice excessive bouncing over rough terrain, or the Chevrolet car may even bottom out if you are going fast enough. The struts not only give you a smooth ride; they are also responsible for the vehicle handling as you take turns. It is important that you change them when they go bad, for more reasons than just comfort. It takes about an hour and a half to change the strut on each side of the Chevy.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change Struts on a Ford Escape

Park the Escape on a level, paved surface. Set the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Raise the front of the Escape with a jack and support it with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and remove the wheels.

Use a ratchet and socket to remove the bolts from the bracket that attaches the brake line to the strut and the bracket that attaches the ABS wire to the strut. Remove the bolt that attaches the stabilizer bar link rod to the strut. Use a wrench and ratchet socket to remove the nuts from the two bolts at the bottom of the strut that attach it to the steering knuckle. Use a hammer and punch to tap out the two bolts.

Push the bottom of the strut away from the steering knuckle. Run a piece of wire through one of the bolt holes on the steering knuckle and tie it to the lower control arm to prevent the steering knuckle, which has the rotor and brake caliper on it, from falling outwards.

Move to the engine compartment. Paint the top of one of the four studs that hold the top of the strut onto the body with some correction fluid, and paint a mark on the metal mounting plate and the body next to the stud. When you put the new strut back in, you will want to line these marks up. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the nuts from the four studs that mount the strut to the body. Remove the strut out through the fender well.

Mount the spring compressor on the coil spring, making sure the hooks on the compressor have a good grip on the coils. The compressor is actually two parts, consisting of two threaded rods with hooks at each end that fit over the coils. One rod goes on each side of the coil. Then with a hook at the top and bottom of the coil, turn the threaded rod to draw the two books together, compressing the coil. Turn each rod little bit at a time to evenly compress the coil. Compress the coil until it is no longer touching the spring seats.

Place a wrench on the nut on top of the strut rod. Place an Allen key in the center of the strut rod. Use the Allen key to hold the strut rod while you remove the nut. Lift off the bearing plate and the upper spring seat.

Slide the compressed spring off of the strut and set it aside. Be careful with the spring; don't drop or toss it because there's a lot of energy stored in the compressed spring. Note that the upper spring seat and the spring seat on the strut curve with the shape of the spring and have a stop that the end of the spring fits against.

Pull the rubber boot off of the strut. Slide the rubber bump stop off of the strut rod.

Slide the rubber bump stop onto the strut rod. Slide the boot onto the strut. Slide the coil spring onto the strut. Slide the upper spring seat onto the strut. Mount the bearing plate onto the strut rod and tighten the nut using the Allen key and wrench.

Release the pressure on the spring compressor. Make sure the ends of the coil spring are seated against the stops on the spring seats.

Slide the strut up through the fender well and guide the studs on the upper bearing plate through the holes in the body. Make sure the stud you painted with white-out is in the same position as before. If not, lower the strut and turn the bearing plate.

Remove the wire from the steering knuckle. Pull the bottom of the strut onto the steering knuckle. Install the bolts and nuts. Use a torque wrench and socket to torque the nuts to 85 foot-pounds.

Move to the engine compartment and install the nuts on the mounting studs. Torque the nuts to 60 foot-pounds for 2003 models and earlier, 40 foot-pounds for 2004, and 30 foot-pounds for 2005 and later model Escapes.

Mount the stabilizer link rod onto the strut, install the bolt and torque it to 35 foot-pounds. Mount the brake line bracket onto the strut, install and tighten the bolt. Install the ABS wire bracket onto the strut, install and tighten the bolt.

Mount the wheels and install the lug nuts. Raise the front of the Escape, remove the jack stands and lower the Escape to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Hammer

  • Punch

  • Wrench set

  • Wire

  • White-out

  • Strut spring compressor

  • Allen key set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change Struts on a Mercury Sable

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Remove the wheels using the ½-inch air gun and the appropriate socket. Lift the hood of the vehicle.

Remove the brake line where it is attached to the lower part of the strut. Use a wrench---this bolt is normally 10mm on all model years of the Mercury Sable.

Remove the two large bolts and nuts using an 18mm socket and the air gun. Remove the bolts by hand and separate the strut from the spindle by pushing them apart.

Remove the three 13mm nuts on the top of the fender well under the hood. These nuts hold the strut to the fender well. Use a 3/8-inch drive socket and ratchet.

Remove the strut from the vehicle--it is loose and will pull out of its cradle with your hands. Stand it straight up.

Put the strut into the spring compressor and tighten it up until the top bearing plate has no pressure on it and it turns by hand. Remove the top nut on the strut with the ½-inch air gun and socket. Remove the top bearing plate by hand and lift the spring off of the strut. Be extremely careful lying the spring down since it is under compression.

Remove the cover over the strut rod and the rubber spring seat. Release the strut rod in the new strut by pushing the strut rod down while pulling the plastic holders off the shock, then let the rod extend.

Hold the strut upright with the side away from you just the way it is to be installed into the vehicle. The strut's bracket with the holes for the spindle should be facing you. Place the rubber seat in the spring saddle, making sure that the indentations match the ones in the strut.

Slide the spring into the strut, making sure that the bottom end of the spring sits in the indentation in the rubber saddle where it sat on the old strut. Install the top bearing plate with the studs oriented in the same direction as they will be when installed. Screw on the top nut above the plate and tighten it with the ½-inch drive air gun and socket.

Loosen the spring compressor with the ½-inch air gun and socket and remove the spring compressor. Place the strut up into the fender well and pass the studs through the top holes. Screw on the three nuts on the top-side and tighten them with the 13mm socket and ratchet.

Insert the spindle arm into the recess in the strut and insert the two large bolts. Screw on the nuts and tighten with the ½-inch drive air gun and socket. Reattach the brake line to the bracket on the strut and tighten the 10mm bolt with a wrench.

Items you will need

  • Spring compressor ½-inch drive air gun Set of ½-inch set of sockets Set of wrenches Floor jack Jack stands Set of 3/8-inch drive set of sockets 3/8-inch drive ratchet

 How to Change Struts on a Dodge Caravan

Removing the Strut Assembly

Disconnect the black, negative battery cable.

Loosen the wheel lugs, using a lug wrench, on the wheel assembly with the strut you are replacing, or both, if you are replacing both front struts.

Raise the front of the vehicle using a floor jack, and support it on a jack stand or two jack stands if you are replacing both struts.

Remove the tire or tires.

Disconnect the brake hose and speed sensor cable brackets from the struts using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Disconnect the stabilizer bar link from the strut assembly. Use a backup wrench to hold the stud bolt steady as you loosen, and remove the nut with a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Remove the two strut-to-knuckle mounting bolts by holding the bolts steady with a backup wrench as you turn the nuts with a wrench or ratchet and socket. These mounting bolts have lock notches near the head and should never be turned to remove. Make a note of the location of each bolt so that you install them in their original place.

Unscrew and remove the three upper strut mounting nuts using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.

Installing the Strut Assembly

Set the new strut assembly in place. Install the three upper mounting nuts by hand to avoid thread damage. Tighten the nuts.

Install the two strut-to-knuckle mounting bolts in their original place. Hold the bolts steady as you tighten the nuts.

Connect the stabilizer link to the strut assembly. Hold the bolt steady using the backup wrench as you tighten the nut.

Install the brake hose and speed sensor brackets.

Install the tire and wheel lugs.

Lower the vehicle and finish tightening the lugs.

Connect the black, negative battery cable.

Check wheel alignment, and adjust if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack and jack stand

  • Wrench set

  • Ratchet and socket set

 How to Replace Struts on a Mitsubishi

Kick a set of wheel chocks behind the rear wheels if you're working on the front, or in front of the front wheels if you're working on the rear. Slide a floor jack under the corner of the car that you're working on and slowly raise it until the lift pad rests on the body's jack points. Lift the car until the wheel dangles about an inch off of the ground, and insert a jack stand. Remove the wheel and set it on the ground as a seat.

Slide the jack under the lower control arm and raise it until it just takes a bit of the weight on the arm. Remove the two 19-mm bolts that secure the bottom of the strut to the top of the steering knuckle assembly. You'll need to grasp the nut with a wrench and remove the bolt with a socket; you can tap the bolts out of the holes with a screwdriver and hammer.

Remove the 12-mm nut that secures the brake line to the strut body and pull the brake line free. In the same way, remove the wheel speed sensor line bracket. Lower the jack to drop the suspension free. Open the hood and locate the three 14-mm nuts that secure the top of the strut tower to the chassis and remove them. If removing the rear struts, you'll need to pop the trunk and lift our the trim pieces covering the strut towers. After you remove the nuts, push down on the brake assembly or tap the studs with a hammer to break the strut free.

Install the new strut in the reverse order of removal. For the front struts, install the 19-mm knuckle bolts and torque them to 123 foot-pounds and install the top 14-mm bolts finger tight. Reinstall the brake and speed sensor brackets and tighten them to 20 foot-pounds. Reinstall the wheel, then lower the vehicle to the ground. After the vehicle is on the ground, you can torque the 14-mm top nuts to 32 foot-pounds and the center shaft nut (if applicable) to 45 foot-pounds. Grease the area around the strut nut and reinstall the dust cap. Torque values for the rear are 65 foot-pounds for the knuckle/strut bolts and the lower control arm bolts and 33 foot-pounds for the top 14-mm bolts.

Tow your car to an alignment shop and have the shop perform a four-wheel alignment. This is generally only necessary if you've installed shorter struts/lowering springs, but it's a good idea following any strut replacement.

Items you will need

  • Basic hand tools

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Socket wrench and breaker bar

  • Metric socket set

  • Metric wrench set

  • Anti-seize lubricant

 How to Replace the Struts on a Pontiac Montana

Remove the Strut

Loosen the front wheel lugs on the tire where the strut assembly you want to replace is located.

Jack up the front of your Pontiac Montana using a floor jack and place a jack stand under the vehicle frame to support it.

Finish removing the tire.

Remove the three mounting nuts from the wiper module on top of the strut tower you want to replace and lay the module out of the way. You may use a wrench or a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Unscrew the three strut upper-mounting nuts using a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Match mark the lower strut-to-steering knuckle bracket for rapid installation. Use a pencil or correction fluid.

Unbolt the two strut lower bolts and nuts from the strut-to-steering knuckle bracket. Hold the bolt steady with a wrench as you unscrew the nut with a wrench or ratchet and deep socket.

Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.

Install the New Strut

Set the new strut assembly in place and start the three strut upper-mounting nuts by hand. Do not tighten them yet.

Set the strut lower mounting bracket over the steering knuckle following the match marks and start the bolts and nuts by hand, but do not tighten them yet.

Tighten the three strut upper-mounting nuts using a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Tighten the two strut lower bolts and nuts on the strut-to-steering knuckle bracket. Hold the bolt with a wrench as you tighten the nut with a wrench or ratchet and deep socket.

Mount the tire on the wheel assembly and start tightening the wheel lugs.

Lower the vehicle and finish tightening the wheel lugs.

Install the wiper module and tighten the three mounting nuts using a wrench or ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wrench set

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Ratchet extension

  • Pencil or correction fluid

  • Deep socket if necessary

 How to Change the Struts on an HHR

Place a set of wheel chocks behind the rear wheels of the HHR. Open the engine compartment and disconnect the negative battery cable using a wrench. This will prevent accidental deployment of the air bags. Lift the front of the Chevy on the side that needs the work. Place a jack stand under the vehicle near the jacking point and raise it to the frame. Remove the lug nuts using a lug wrench and take the wheel off the vehicle.

Disconnect the stabilizer link from the strut assembly using a socket and ratchet to remove the bolts. Disconnect the ABS sensor from the strut and the wiring bracket using a wrench. Remove the lower bolts from the strut using a socket and ratchet. Remove the three upper nuts from the strut assembly in the engine compartment using a socket and ratchet. Lower the strut down from under the Chevrolet.

Place the strut on a flat work surface. Attach the spring compressor to the coil spring. Tighten the spring compressor enough that you remove the pressure from the spring cap. Remove the center strut nut using a socket and ratchet. Remove the cap, spring seats and coil spring from the shaft. Install the coil spring on the new strut along with the spring seats and retaining cap. Tighten the center strut nut with a socket and ratchet.

Place the strut assembly under the HHR and loosely install the bottom bolts and nuts. Install the top strut nuts in the engine compartment and tighten the nuts with a socket and ratchet. Tighten the bottom strut bolts and nuts with a socket and ratchet. Connect the ABS wiring bracket and sensor to the strut using a wrench. Install the stabilizer link and tighten the bolts with a socket and ratchet.

Install the wheel on the HHR and tighten the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Remove the jack stand from under the Chevy and lower the vehicle to the ground. Connect the cable to the negative battery post and tighten the terminal nut with a wrench. Repeat the procedure on the other wheel.

Items you will need

  • Automobile jack

  • Jack stand

  • Lug wrench

  • Wheel chocks

  • Socket set

  • Spring compressor

 How to Replace Struts on a Datsun 240Z

Loosen the 240Z's front lug nuts, using a ratchet and socket. Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and place the jack stands beneath the 240Z's frame rails. Lower the car until its weight is only on the jack stands. Remove the front lug nuts and pull the front wheels from the 240Z.

Locate the strut, the cylinder with a spring directly behind the wheel. Trace the strut until you locate the brake line bracket. Grab the flat pin at the end of the brake line bracket with needle-nose pliers and pull the pin from the bracket. Pull the brake line from the bracket.

Loosen and remove the two bolts on the rear of the brake caliper using a ratchet and socket. Pull the caliper up and out of the rotor, the metal disc. Suspend the caliper from the vehicle's frame using a bungee strap.

Loosen and remove the two bolts at the bottom of the strut assembly using a ratchet and socket.

Open the 240Z's hood and locate the three bolts securing the top of the strut to the top of the vehicle's fender under the hood. Loosen and remove these three bolts with a ratchet and socket.

Pry downward on the lower suspension arm with a 12-inch pry bar and pull the strut downward and out of the car.

Place the spring compressor on the strut spring and compress the spring. This process varies depending on the type of compressor you are using, so refer to the compressor's instructions for specific direction.

Loosen and remove the single nut at the top center of the strut using a ratchet and socket. Prevent the mount from moving while turning the nut using a 12-inch pry bar. Pull the metal plate from the top of the strut and save for reuse.

Pull the spring from the strut.

Pull the dust cover, the accordion-style piece of plastic, from the strut's shaft and pull the strut cartridge from the strut assembly.

Place the new strut cartridge in the strut assembly and put the dust cover over the strut's metal shaft.

Put the spring round the strut cartridge. Place the metal cap on top of the new strut and tighten the center nut to 54 to 69 foot-pounds, using a torque wrench and a socket.

Place the upper portion of the strut into the holes on the top of the vehicle's fender and hand-tighten the three nuts.

Pry down on the lower suspension arm using a 12-inch pry bar and line up the lower strut mount holes with the two holes in the lower suspension arm. Hand-tighten the two bolts into the lower strut mount.

Tighten the upper strut nuts to 18 to 25 foot-pounds and the lower strut mount bolts to 53 to 72 foot-pounds using a torque wrench and socket.

Place the brake caliper on the brake rotor and tighten the caliper bolts to 16 to 23 foot-pounds using a torque wrench and a socket.

Place the brake hose back into the bracket on the strut assembly and insert the flat pin to lock it into place.

Repeat Steps 2 through 17 for the strut on the other side of the vehicle.

Raise the 240Z from the jack stands with the floor jack and pull the stands from under the vehicle. Lower the 240Z to the ground and close the vehicle's hood.

Take the 240Z to a local alignment shop to have a wheel alignment performed.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Bungee strap

  • 12-inch long pry bar

  • Strut spring compressor

 How to Change Struts on a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder

Prepare the Pathfinder for the strut installation by jacking the corner of the SUV off the ground, placing it on a jack stand and removing the wheel with a tire iron.

Open the engine hood and remove the bolt that secures the strut to the strut tower using a socket and ratchet. The strut tower is part of the inner fender well.

Remove the bolt that secures the bottom of the strut to the front brake spindle using a socket and ratchet.

Pull the strut away from the Pathfinder's suspension.

Place the spring compressors onto the coil spring, and compress the spring.

Remove the bolt that holds the coil spring cover plate onto the strut using a socket and ratchet.

Pull the cover plate and the spring off the old strut.

Place the spring and the cover plate onto the new strut. Tighten the cover plate, and then remove the spring compressors from the spring.

Place the strut into the suspension and secure the bottom of the strut to the brake spindle using the bolt, socket and ratchet.

Secure the top of the strut to the strut tower with the nut, socket and ratchet.

Place the wheel onto the rotor, secure it with the lug nuts and lower the Pathfinder to the ground.

Duplicate the process with the strut on the other side of the front end.

Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Socket set

  • Spring compressor

 How to Change the Struts on a Nissan Altima

Removal

Loosen the front wheel lug nuts partially with a tire iron. Raise the front of the vehicle up on jack stands and then fully remove the lug nuts and the front wheels.

Unclip the brake hose from the strut bracket with a pair of pliers. Detach it from the bracket.

Remove the ABS line bracket bolt and the two nuts with a nut driver or socket wrench. Detach the speed sensor wiring harness from the strut. Drive out the strut-to-knuckle bolts with a hammer and punch.

Separate the strut from the steering knuckle at the bottom. Be careful not to overextend the inner CV joint and do not let the knuckle fall outward, as it could damage the brake hose.

Support the strut and spring assembly with one hand and remove the three strut-to-shock tower nuts with a nut driver or socket wrench. Remove the assembly from the fender well.

Inspect the strut body for leaking fluid, dents, cracks or other obvious signs of damage. Check the coil spring for chips or cracks in the spring coating. Inspect the spring seat for cuts, hardness or deterioration. If any undesirable conditions exist, then proceed with disassembly and reassembly. If not, proceed to installation of the strut.

Disassembly and Reassembly

Mount the strut assembly is a vices that is lined with rags to prevent damage to the unit. Do not tighten the vice excessively.

Install a spring compressor on the spring and compress it sufficiently to relive all pressure from the upper spring seat. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the compressor.

Remove the damper shaft nut using a socket wrench. Lift the upper suspension support off the damper shaft. Inspect the bearing in the suspension support for smooth operation. If it does not turn smoothly, replace the suspension support. Check the rubber portion of the suspension support for cracking and deterioration. If there is any separation of rubber, replace it.

Lift the spring seat and upper insulator from the damper shaft at the top of the spring. Check the rubber spring seat for cracking and hardness; replace if necessary

Install the upper insulator and the spring seat after replacing any spring components. Make sure the cutout on the spring seat is facing out (away from the vehicle) in line with the strut-to-knuckle attachment points. Install the dust seal and suspension support to the damper shaft. Install the nut and tighten to the proper torque specification with a torque wrench. For a 1993 through 2001 Altima, torque to 29 to 40 ft lbs. For a 2002 Altima, tighten to 13 to 16 ft lbs. For a 2003 and later Altima, tighten to 31 to 37 ft lbs.

Installation

Insert the strut assembly up into the fender well and place the upper mounting studs through the holes in the shock tower. Once the studs protrude from the shock tower, install the nuts so the strut won't fall back through.

Verify the cutout in the shock tower aligns with the alignment mark on the body. The cutout and alignment marks should also align with the steering knuckle on the outside portion.

Slide the steering knuckle into the strut flange and insert two new bolts. Install new nuts and tighten to the proper torque specification with a torque wrench. For a 1993 through 1997 Altima, tighten to 87 to 108 ft. lbs. For a 1998 through 2001 Altima, tighten to 123 to 127 ft. lbs. For a 2002 and later Altima, tighten to 93 to 114 ft. lbs.

Guide the brake hose through its bracket in the strut and install the retaining clip. Connect the stabilizer bar link to the strut if you are working on a 2002 or later model.

Install the wheel and tighten the lug nuts using a tire iron. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and fully tighten the lug nuts

Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Jack stands

  • Pliers

  • Nut driver

  • Socket wrench

  • Hammer

  • Punch

  • Vice

  • Rags

  • Spring compressor

  • Torque wrench

 How to Change Struts on a Honda Civic

Jack the front of the car up with the jack and remove the lug nuts from the front wheel with the lug nut wrench. Pull the wheel off and then use the socket wrench to remove the lower mounting nut on the bottom of the A-arm.

Pop the hood of the car and use the socket wrenches to remove the mounting bolts for the top of the strut in the corner of the engine compartment above the A-Arm. Slide the old strut out of the bottom of the A-arm and set it aside.

Slide the new strut in place and reattach the top of the strut in the engine compartment. Then mount the bottom of the strut back to the A-arm with the mounting bolts. Reattach the wheel with the lug nuts and then lower that side of the car.

Repeat the process for the other front side strut of the car. There is no need to worry about the rear as there are not actual "struts" mounted for the rear wheels, only a straight axle, coil springs and shocks.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrenches

  • Jack

  • Crescent wrenches

  • New struts

 How to Replace the Struts on a Solara

How to Replace the Struts on a Solara

Put your car transmission in park and set the emergency brake, and then locate the strut that you need to replace on your Toyota Solara. Loosen the bolts on the tire with a tire tool or crowbar by turning the nuts one complete turn counterclockwise. Use a car jack to raise the car so that you can get a jack stand under the axle near the tire you are removing. Check to verify that you have raised the car high enough so the tire will still be off the ground when you lower the axle onto the jack stand.

Place the jack stand under the car axle, and lower the car onto the jack stand. Remove the tire by unscrewing the bolts with a tire tool, and set the tire off to the side. Detach the anti-sway bar that is attached to the strut on your Solara with a socket wrench, and move it out of the way.

Detach from the strut the ABS clips that are holding the lines in place. Be careful not to pinch or damage the lines. You just need to remove them from the strut. Locate the bolts that attach the bottom of the strut to the axle, and remove the bolts using a socket wrench.

Detach the upper strut bolts with a socket wrench, but leave the center strut shaft nut in place. Notice the way the strut is connected so that you can reattach it the same way. Place the strut spring compressor on the strut to take the pressure off the strut as you remove it. Detach the entire strut assembly from the vehicle, and then use a crescent wrench to remove the upper and lower shaft nuts from the vehicle.

Transfer the brackets and hardware from the old strut to the new one, and then place the new strut into place and reattach the upper and lower shaft nuts with a crescent wrench. Connect the ABS clips to the new strut, and then reattach the anti-sway bar to the strut assembly. Lift the car with the car jack and remove the jack stand from under the axle, and then reattach the tire to the vehicle and tighten the bolts. Lower the car off the car jack. Repeat this process for each strut.

Items you will need

  • Tire tool or crowbar

  • Car jack

  • Jack stand

  • Socket wrench set

  • Strut spring compressor

  • Crescent wrench

 How to Change Struts for Toyota Tacoma 4 Wheel Drives

Lift the Tacoma on a car lift at the desired height.

Remove the lug nuts with an impact gun and a socket, then remove the wheels.

Remove the lower strut retaining nut from the bolt. Hold the head of the bolt with a closed end wrench and use the impact gun and a socket to remove the nut.

Use a punch and hammer to dislodge the lower strut bolt from the lower strut bracket on the knuckle.

Remove the three upper strut retaining nuts from the top of the strut tower.

Remove the strut assembly and bring it to the strut compressor.

Support the spring in the strut compressor and slightly compress the spring.

Loosen the 17-millimeter spring top plate mounting nut slightly with an impact gun and a socket. Compress the spring to take tension off the spring plate and remove the spring top plate mounting nut.

Release the compressor enough to remove the spring top plate, rubber spacer, and strut cartridge. Insert a new cartridge into the spring, then replace the rubber spacer and the spring top plate. Compress the spring again and thread on the nut and tighten with the impact gun and a socket.

Remove the assembly from the spring compressor and reinstall onto the Tacoma by reversing steps 3-5.

Repeat the procedure for the other strut.

Replace the wheels and lug nuts. Torque the lug nuts to recommended specifications.

Items you will need

  • Car lift

  • 1/2 inch drive impact gun

  • 1/2 inch drive metric socket set

  • Closed end metric wrench set

  • Hammer

  • Long-stemmed punch

  • Wall-mounted spring compressor

 How to Replace Struts on a Hyundai Elantra

Park your Elantra on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Raise the front of the Elantra with a jack and support with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and wheels.

Use a ratchet and socket to remove the bolt from the brake hose bracket and ABS wiring bracket -- if equipped -- where they attach to the strut.

Use the ratchet and socket to remove the two nuts from the bolts at the bottom of the strut that attach it to the steering knuckle. Use a hammer and punch to tap out the bolts.

Have an assistant hold the bottom of the strut while you move to the engine compartment and remove the three nuts that hold the strut onto the strut tower, on the body. You may have to tap the bottom of the strut off the steering knuckle. Lower the strut out through the fender well. Run a piece of wire through one of the bolt holes in the steering knuckle and tie it to the lower control arm, so the knuckle does not fall outwards.

Mount a spring compressor near the top and bottom of the spring. The spring compressor consists of two threaded rods with hooked fittings at each end that fit over spring coil. One rod goes on each side of the spring. Tighten the nuts on the rods to evenly compress the spring.

Use a screwdriver to pry off the dust cover on top of the strut. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the nut from the shaft in the center of the strut. Lift off the top mounting plate, spring seat and rubber insulator. If the rubber insulator is cracked, replace it. Note how the spring sets in the bottom of the strut. The mount in the bottom of the strut actually curves down. The end of the spring sits in the bottom of the curve. Carefully lift the spring off the strut and set it aside. Do not drop or throw the spring, because there's a lot of energy stored in it and you can be injured if it slips off of the compressors.

Remove the rubber spring seat from the bottom of the strut and place it on the new strut. If the rubber seat is cracked or excessively worn, replace it. Make sure it is properly positioned with the downward curve for the spring. Carefully lower the spring into position on the strut with the end of the spring seated in the bottom of the curve.

Mount the upper insulator, spring seat and top mounting plate. Install and tighten the nut on the center strut shaft to 45 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and socket. Slide the strut a assembly into the fender well and guide the three mounting studs at the top of the strut into the strut tower. Install the three nuts on the studs finger tight.

Remove the wire from the steering knuckle and have your assistant hold the knuckle in place while you slide the bottom of the strut onto the knuckle. Line up the holes and install the bolts. Install the nuts and tighten them to 90 foot-pounds. Tighten the three nuts on top to 30 foot-pounds. Mount the brake line bracket and ABS bracket to the strut and tighten the bolts.

Install the wheels and lug nuts. Raise the front of the Elantra, remove the jack stands, lower the Elantra to the ground and finish tightening the lug nuts.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Hammer

  • Punch

  • Assistant

  • Wire

  • Spring compressor (can be rented from parts store)

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Struts on a 2001 Ford Taurus

Replecement of the Front Struts

Remove the center nut from the top of the strut under the hood and loosen the three surrounding nuts. Do not remove the three nuts.

Loosen the front lug nuts, then raise the vehicle and support it on a jack stand. Remove the wheel. The lift point is on the frame rail, about a foot behind the front wheel. Refer to you Taurus owner's manual for a diagram, if you are unsure of where to support your car.

Unbolt the brake caliper and slide it off the rotor. Suspend it with a piece of wire to prevent strain on the brake hose. Slide the brake rotor off the hub.

Unbolt and remove the tie rod end. Do not use power tools.

Disconnect the stabilizer bar link from the strut. The link is a metal bar connected on the rear of the strut, just below the spring. A nut holds it in place.

Separate the lower control arm from the steering knuckle by removing the pinch nut and bolt then spreading the joint.

Bolt a hub remover to the hub and press the axle shaft out. Suspend the shaft with a length of wire. Do not let the shaft pull outwards.

Separate the steering knuckle from the strut (it is attached the same way as the lower control arm was). Remove the steering knuckle. Remove the upper nuts from the strut and pull the strut out of the vehicle.

Install the replacement strut by reversing of the removal procedure. Tighten connections in the following order, to the listed torques:

Strut to steering knuckle: 72 to 97 ft-lbs Lower control arm to steering knuckle: 72 to 97 ft-lbs Stabilizer bar to strut: 57 to 75 ft-lbs Tie rod end: 35 to 46 ft-lbs Upper support nuts (not center): 39 to 53 ft-lbs Caliper: 18 to 25 ft-lbs Center nut (tighten with vehicle on ground): 170 to 202 ft-lbs

Replacement of the Rear Struts

Remove the rear parcel shelf. Loosen the lug nuts and raise the car with the jack. Support the vehicle with a jack stand and remove the wheel. The jack point is on the frame, just ahead of the rear wheel.

Unbolt the brake valve from the control arm, then suspend the arm with a length of wire. Remove the bracket that mounts the brake hose to the strut and move it out of the way.

Separate the stabilizer bar link from the strut--it is located behind the strut and connected with a U-bracket.

Remove the nut from the rear end of the tension strut. The tension strut runs forwards from the bottom end of the suspension, crossing the frame rail. Pull the wheel spindle rearward, separating it from the tension strut.

Unbolt the strut from spindle. Pry the joint with a pry bar to remove the strut from the joint.

Remove the three bolts connecting the strut to the body. They are located under the shelf that you've just removed. Remove the strut, taking care not to damage the brake lines.

Install the replacement strut by reversing the removal procedure. Tighten connections in the following order, to the listed torques:

Stabilizer link to strut: 60 to 84 in-lbs Strut to spindle: 35 to 46 ft-lbs Tension strut to spindle: 35 to 46 ft-lbs

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set, metric

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Hub remover

  • Torque wrench

  • Pry bar

 How to Replace the Struts on a 2002 Saturn L300

Park the L300 on a level, paved surface and set the parking brake. Move to the front wheels and loosen the lug nuts. Raise the front of the L300 with a jack and support with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

Place a jack under the lower control arm and raise it until it just makes contact with the arm. Use a ratchet and socket to remove the bolt from the brake hose bracket on the strut.

Use a wrench and ratchet and socket to remove the nut and bolt from the stabilizer link rod where it attaches to the strut.

Move to the engine compartment and remove the three nuts that attach the top of the strut to the strut tower. Move back to the fender well and use a wrench and ratchet and socket to remove the nuts from the two mounting bolts on the bottom of the strut at the steering knuckle. Remove the bolts. Push the strut off of the steering knuckle and lower the strut out through the fender well.

Attach a strut spring compressor to the strut spring. Use a ratchet and socket to tighten the compressor until the spring is no longer touching the spring seat on the strut.

Use a ratchet and socket to remove the damper shaft nut from the top of the strut. Lift off the upper mount and spring seat. Lift off the spring. Slide the rubber bump stop off of the damper shaft.

Slide the rubber bump stop onto the damper shaft on the new strut. Mount the spring on the strut. install the upper spring seat and mount. Install the damper shaft nut. Use a torque wrench to torque the nut to 63 foot-pounds.

Loosen the spring compressor. As you do this, make sure the ends of the spring fit into the notches in the spring seats at the top and bottom of the strut. Remove the compressor.

Slide the strut up through the fender well and guide the three studs on the upper mount into the holes in the strut tower. Mount the bottom of the strut onto the steering knuckle and install the bolts and nuts. Torque the nuts to 133 foot-pounds. Move to the upper mount and install the three nuts. Torque them to 18 foot-pounds.

Line up the stabilizer bar link rod with the strut. Install the nut and bolt. Torque the nut to 48 foot-pounds. Remove the jack from the lower control arm. Install the bolt in the brake line bracket where it attaches to the strut.

Mount the wheels and lug nuts. Raise the L300 and remove the jack stands. Lower the L300 to the ground and tighten the lug nuts.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Wrench set

  • Strut spring compressor