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easiest way to take out a strut?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 turbo92subaru

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 09:25 PM

I have done this before but cant remeber which to unbolt first. The top of the strut mount or the bottom that connects to the spindle housing, I can remeber by unbolting one or the other first it is easiest. The one way which I think is when I un bolted the spindle housing bolts first with out ripping imade it complicating to keep the strut from ripping the cv. boot. But not sure. Step by step for the easiest way to do this job would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

#2 Andyjo

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 09:57 PM

i don't remember touching my cv's....
you jack up the car, put it on jack stands.
then you take your jack, and throw it under the knuckle, and take a tiny bit of preasure off of the strut to knuckle bolts, then crank those bad boys off, then you can slowly lower the knuckle assembly onto a piece of wood or something, then you can pop off the top strut mounts. and it should fall out, you might want to support the bottom of the strut so it doesn't come crashing down and break everything. remember to make the relationship of the knuckle to strut bolts so you don't mess w/ your allignment too much.
if you're going to be removing the strut mounts... be careful... or else you'll get a strut mount FLYING across the shop breaking stuff.... OOPS! :banghead:

note: this is just how i do it, i guess you could do it other ways to.

#3 Spokane-Pete

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 02:21 AM

In my experience the best approach is to place the area of the car on jack stands, then using your jack, support the bottom area of the suspension side in question. The Spindle as you call it. Just barely take the weight off is fine. Mark the camber and caster settings where possible. Trace the strut connections with a marking pen for example.
If applicable, remove any brake hoses or ABS wires and hoses from the strut, but don't disconnect them hydraulically or electrically. Loosen ALL the strut attaching bolts a turn or two but don't remove them completely. This is easier with all parts attached than fighting with one while the others offer no support. Remove the strut top nuts from the chassis (not the center large strut nut!). The weight of the strut will be held by the jack below. Remove the lower attaching nuts/bolts and lower the jack to clear the upper section and remove the strut and take to your bench vise.
The rest sounds like you already know. Suffice to say - be careful with spring compressors!

I have changed many struts. Never a Subaru however but the basics surely will be the same or similar.
Peter S


i don't remember touching my cv's....
you jack up the car, put it on jack stands.
then you take your jack, and throw it under the knuckle, and take a tiny bit of preasure off of the strut to knuckle bolts, then crank those bad boys off, then you can slowly lower the knuckle assembly onto a piece of wood or something, then you can pop off the top strut mounts. and it should fall out, you might want to support the bottom of the strut so it doesn't come crashing down and break everything. remember to make the relationship of the knuckle to strut bolts so you don't mess w/ your allignment too much.
if you're going to be removing the strut mounts... be careful... or else you'll get a strut mount FLYING across the shop breaking stuff.... OOPS! :banghead:

note: this is just how i do it, i guess you could do it other ways to.



#4 turbo92subaru

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 09:56 AM

What does taking the pressure off the strut do? And I also read something about marking the strut but I didn't notice anyother way the strut could go in. And I dont have to take off my mounts right? So do I take off the bottom two bolts first then the top one in the middle of the strut mount.? Oh and also they say the top bolt is used for camber adjusrment. I still dont undertand how you adjust camber with that. The holes were just big enough on the strut housing for the bolt to go through. No other way it seemed like that I could have put the bolt in. Thanks for your help guys.

#5 BigC

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 10:32 AM

That upper bolt for the camber adjust is offset. As you rotate the bolt it will shift the strut inside the mount. Once you get the strut aligned the way you want it when you put it back together, you have to keep that bolt head in one place and tighten the nut only else the camber will shift on you.

I just replaced a CV axle on my '93 Impreza and that's what I observed anyway.

#6 Andyjo

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 11:05 AM

You don't have to disconnect the brakes on the newer models, it's just messy, and you end up having to bleed the bugger off at the end. All the books say take off the brakes... i didn't :drunk:
oh yeah, and taking the pressure off the suspension keeps stuff from falling when you undo the bolts

#7 turbo92subaru

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 11:15 AM

hha sounds good. I ahve to un hook the brake lines cause it goes through the strut and clips on.

#8 Spokane-Pete

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 09:28 PM

The pressure underneath just keeps the unit from falling as you removed the attaching nuts and bolts. You will lower the strut finally with the jack. On some cars the swaybar will fight you some but often have enough movement to get it out anyway.
The brakes lines hopefully only hook onto the strut with clips, no need to open the hydraulics normally.
Peter S



hha sounds good. I ahve to un hook the brake lines cause it goes through the strut and clips on.



#9 ShawnW

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 09:40 PM

Yes, remove the clips, spread the opening on the strut body and pull the brake line thru the gap. Dont open the hyd system.

#10 gbrand

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 11:08 PM

Take a dremel tool and slot the clips for the brake line-then can remove without having to fart with bleeding, broken bleeder screws, etc.

Do it to the new struts too if they are closed clips.

Good luck

#11 gbrand

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 06:58 AM

oops, meant to say cut slot in the brackets for the brakelines-then the clips will still retain.

#12 turbo92subaru

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 03:22 PM

oops, meant to say cut slot in the brackets for the brakelines-then the clips will still retain.

ya struts was no problem. tokk about 10 mins to take it out look at it and put it back in. replaced the ball joints and put my swaybar links back in. noise is gone car runs good, Thanks for your help.

#13 critical_max

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 07:30 PM

The big bolt at the top keeps the spring down! Do not remove this until you have got the spring compressor in place and compressing.

For what it's worth, Chilton's Subaru manual does have a decent step by step on doing this.

#14 schspeedster

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 11:38 PM

The big bolt at the top keeps the spring down! Do not remove this until you have got the spring compressor in place and compressing.

For what it's worth, Chilton's Subaru manual does have a decent step by step on doing this.


Any list of items to check / replace with strut, so as to have new parts on hand ?

For example:
Strut mount
Boot
Spring (is there a dimensional check to see if originals OK?)

Related parts
Sway bar links & bushings
Brake lines
Drive axles
Ball joints
Tie rods

Any grinding of the mounting holes needed to give room for alignment shop adjustment?

#15 turbo92subaru

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:16 AM

Struts were relaced and followed the manual. Very Easy job. :)




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