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How-to » Steering & Suspension » Suspension » How to Replace a Strut Assembly
 Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Replace a Strut Assembly

PARTS
  • Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly
TOOLS
  • Floor Jack
  • Coil Spring Compressor
STEPS
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Moderate
Safety Tip: Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

1
Park the vehicle on a solid level surface. Set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels.
2
Remove the front hub caps if necessary. Break loose the front wheel lug nuts but do not remove.
3
Using a floor jack, raise up the front of the vehicle.

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4
Secure the vehicle with jack stands on both sides for safety before starting any work. The pinch welds or the frame rails are the two best locations. Do not rely on the jack to hold the vehicle up while working.

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5
Remove the front wheel lug nuts. Remove the front wheels.

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6
Remove the top nuts that secure the strut assembly to the frame mount inside the engine compartment. Do not remove the center nut.
7
Mark the lower strut mounting location on the hub for installation reference. The alignment will be close if the new strut is installed in the same position.
8
Remove the bolts that hold the strut assembly to the hub.
9
Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
10
Mark the top mount for installation reference. Using a side mounted spring compressor, compress the spring and remove the top nut and retaining washer. Pull strut assembly out from the bottom of spring.

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11
Slide the new strut assembly up into the spring and reposition the top mount onto the spring in the same position that it was removed. Install the retaining washer and top nut.
12
Tighten the top nut to the manufacturer's specifications and carefully remove the spring compressor.

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13
Place the strut assembly back into the vehicle.
14
Loosely install the nuts on the top of the strut assembly to hold it to the frame in the engine compartment.
15
Line up the bottom mount to the hub marks and torque the bolts to manufacturer's specifications.
16
Torque the top nuts to the manufacturer's specifications.

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17
Reattach any clips (like the brake lines) to the strut assembly.
18
Mount the wheel and torque the lug nuts to the manufacturer's specification in a star pattern. Repeat for the other side.
19
Road test vehicle to ensure that everything is mounted correctly and working as designed. Visually inspect the strut assembly after road testing.


Tip: After lowering the vehicle back onto the ground it is a good idea to bounce the vehicle up and down lightly to let the shocks settle. Then check to make sure ride height is even and the vehicle is not leaning to one side.
20
It is strongly recommended to have an alignment performed on the vehicle after this job is completed to ensure all alignment angles are correct.
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