Your struts and shocks make up the meat of your suspension, and if you are driving around on old struts, you could be sitting on a ticking time bomb. If you have driven for over 80,000 miles on your struts, or if you have noticed your ride becoming more bouncy, it is time to replace your struts. Old struts can cause damage to expensive components like your control arm bushings, stabilizer bar end links, and ball joints. By replacing your front struts yourself, you can easily save yourself over $300. With new complete strut assembly kits, it has never been easier to handle this project yourself. With that said, this project is not for the novice DIYer, and it will take intermediate to expert mechanics roughly 2 hours to tackle. If you are looking for all the parts you need to replace or repair your struts or any other component, come into your local U-Pull-&-Pay today.
Step 1: Assess Your Struts
In order to fully assess your struts, you will need to visually inspect them and take your car for a test drive to check for any of the following signs of old struts:
- Fluid leaking down the side of the strut
- Extreme bounce or sway on your front end
- Difficulty keeping your vehicle in its own lane on curves and bumpy roads
- Shallow craters on tires, caused by excessive bouncing
- Damage or dents to the strut boot
Step 2: Pick Up Replacement Parts
Strut assemblies include the strut, spring, spring seat insulator, strut boot, jounce bumper, strut mount, and bearing plate. If you need to completely replace your strut, a strut assembly can save you a lot of time and money. If you only need to replaceone specific part, on the other hand, you can pick up individual parts as necessary.
Step 3: Measure The Camber Angle
Lift your vehicle up on jack stands and begin disassembling the struts components one side at a time. Soak the strut flange nuts and bolts with rust penetrant. While they soak, attach an angle gauge to the top of the rotor and write down the angle.
Step 4: Remove The End Link
Hold the stabilizer bar end link with a sturdy wrench. Loosen the nut with a socket and racket and push the end link out of the strut hole. Then disconnect the wheel speed sensor wing harness and set it aside.
Step 5: Remove The Nuts & Bolts
Once the rust penetrant has soaked through, put some elbow grease in and remove the strut bolts. Don’t be surprised if this takes some serious strength.
Step 6: Separate The Knuckle From The Strut
Using a pry bar, pull the knuckle towards you until it pops out of the strut flange.
Step 7: remove The Mount Nuts
Put some plywood or soft rags under the strut flange to prevent damaging the CV boot. Use a ratcheting wrench to loosen the strut mount nuts and loosen all of them and remove three out of four of them.
Step 8: Remove The Old Strut
Reach into your wheel well and hold onto the strut as you remove the final nut. Slowly lower the strut and place it lightly on the plywood or rags underneath.
Step 9: Install The New Strut
Reverse above steps to install your new strut, being careful not to drop it or damage it while you are attaching the mount nuts. Once it is installed, reattach the angle gauge and reinsert the knuckle to the same angle it sat at initially. Tighten the nuts and recheck the camber angle.
Step 10: Align Your Wheels
We recommend taking your car in for a quick wheel alignment after you install new struts to make sure your camber angle is right on the money.
No matter what parts you are looking for or what DIY project you are looking to tackle, U-Pull-&-Pay has all the parts you need. Our expert staff can help you learn everything you need to know about any DIY project big or small.