How to Replace the Struts on a Solaraby Carl PruitUpdated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
Tire tool or crowbar
Socket wrench set
Strut spring compressor
The struts on your Toyota Solara are responsible for the suspension on your vehicle and operate in the same way that shock absorbers do on a vehicle. The struts absorb the bumps and rough driving conditions on the road to provide a smooth riding experience. The struts are gas-filled and have twin tubing to provide extra suspension and more durability. You can replace the Toyota Solara struts on your vehicle yourself and save a lot of money. The project will take about three or four hours.
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.
To maintain an even suspension, always replace the struts in pairs. If replacing a rear strut, replace both of them. If replacing a front strut, replace the other front strut as well.
Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.