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4wdHonky

Front Struts Question

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Greetings! This is my first post here and I have a question that is probably answered elsewhere but I can't seem to sort it. I just got a sweet 84 GL. My first car was an 80 GL, and I am stoked up to have this car to fool around with. I need to replace the front struts, 30 years and 200K miles has worn them out. Should I replace the coil springs? Are they even available? I found the KYB part number (Excel G 234028) from their website and they don't seem so rare that they can't be ordered, but I have no idea about the springs. Also, some advice online suggests that this is super sketchy and dangerous and some suggests that it is not that sketchy or dangerous if you have the right tools, e.g. a coil spring compressor. I am not a proper mechanic, but have replaced ball joints, control arms and that kind of stuff before. Is this going to be more involved than that?

 

I am probably not going to get started on this for a while, unless I sweet talk somebody with a garage into letting me use theirs. I lam in the interior of Alaska, and although it is only about -15 F right now, it has been -40 for a week, and working on cars in this kind of weather is awful and silly

Thanks

4wdHonky

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what you want are strut spring compressors. they are a little different from normal coil spring ones. your local parts store (if its a chain like Napa or O'rielys) will have them for rent. you put a deposit down and as long as you bring them back you usually don't get charged for the rent.

 

i wouldn't mess with springs without the proper compressor. Safety on springs is a very real concern and can easily bite you. even if safety wasn't an issue it makes things so much easier you wont want to do it another way.

 

if you can find springs then I would replace them. springs are wearable items but are rarely replaced so with 200k on it you would probably notice a difference. I wouldn't say move heaven and earth to find them though, they don't really wear completely out, but you get a better ride with ones that are fresher.

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Front struts are easy to replace. Remove the outer sway bar bolts, lower strut bolts, then the strut tower bolts. You can get spring compressors for around $50. You should be able to change them in an afternoon with plenty of beer breaks. Use a jack to raise and lower the arms while you are disassembling/reassembling to make it easier to line up the holes.

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