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DIY video: Front Strut & Strut mount replacement, with spring compressors

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DIY video: Front Strut & Strut mount replacement, with spring compressors

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Old 04-03-18, 06:45 PM
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speedkar9
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Default DIY video: Front Strut & Strut mount replacement, with spring compressors

Here's how to replace the strut or strut mount using spring compressors on a Toyota or Lexus with MacPherson strut front suspension. I made a short DIY video on the process:


While quick-struts are available for these cars, not all of them are made to the same quality and specifications as the OE spring or strut mount. Depending on which component you want to replace, using spring compressors to take apart the strut is an effective way to save some money and maintain the spring/strut/mount combo you want.

In my case, the struts were already replaced at some point, but the bearing in the strut was binding, so I opted to replace just the strut mount.

I diagnosed the bearing was bad by turning the wheel, and noticed the spring was sticking and clunking. I also had an alignment issue with the vehicle pulling to the left and having memory steer:


Here are some of the bolts you need to loosen up, sway bar link nut, two knuckle to strut bolts, and the ABS/brake line bolt.




Also helps to remove the ABS sensor out of the way so it doesn't get damaged, if yours isn't rusty:


Next, reach under the hood and unbolt the three top strut mount bolts and remove the strut:


Next up, you'll need spring compressors. Make sure you get the ones with the locking pins and not some cheap ones that will slip.


Install the spring compressors at 180 degrees apart. Compress each one a little at a time so the spring compresses evenly. If it does start to slip, back it off and try again. Keep the strut pointed sideways away from your body in case the pretension in the spring suddenly releases.


Remove the strut and bellow from the assembly. Check that the strut rebounds when compressed. If its very slow, it needs to be replaced:


My strut mount bearing was mangled, there was no grease, and the bearing plate had a hole in it:


I installed a new Mevotech strut mount:


When assembling the mount, ensure the spring seats properly in the bottom and top seats when releasing spring tension. Tighten the strut mount center bolt (loosely, not crazy tight). Final torque once installed on the vehicle:


I hope this helps someone, enjoy!
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Old 04-03-18, 07:06 PM
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What brand of impact gun is that? Would you recommend it?
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Old 04-03-18, 09:33 PM
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That rust is terrifying.

Is that typical for that many years in Toronto? Wow...

But seriously, thanks for posting this. I agree w/you on the reasons it sometimes makes a lot more sense to do this than quick-strut. Hopefully this will make some people consider that when the situation is right for it.
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Old 06-12-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DJPsystems View Post
What brand of impact gun is that? Would you recommend it?
It looks to be a Mastercraft. It is a Canadian Tire brand in Canada. They normally are rebranded tools from other manufacturers.
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Old 06-12-18, 06:42 PM
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Thanks for the video. I have to replace all of my struts soon and this is invaluable.
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Old 06-13-18, 03:05 PM
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Compressing the front springs is one of the scariest and sketchiest things Iíve ever done in my life. Itís up there with skydiving and learning to ride a motorcycle.
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Old 06-14-18, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MrBooby View Post
Compressing the front springs is one of the scariest and sketchiest things Iíve ever done in my life. Itís up there with skydiving and learning to ride a motorcycle.
I always keep a spare set of underwear readily available. I have two sets of beefy compressors which I use. It takes longer but I feel much safer with a belt and suspenders.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MrBooby View Post
Compressing the front springs is one of the scariest and sketchiest things Iíve ever done in my life. Itís up there with skydiving and learning to ride a motorcycle.
Have you NEVER been to Tijuana? Or Bangkok?

because I've been skydiving and had more motorcycles than I can count, but those places can get you into sketchier things faster than you can say "Visa Problems."

But seriously, a 2nd set of compressors (or just a 3rd, really) can take away any anxiety about it. I've never used a pair with the locking pins like illustrated; I imagine those would help solve the slip problem entirely. Nice looking feature.
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Old 06-14-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Oro View Post
Have you NEVER been to Tijuana? Or Bangkok?

because I've been skydiving and had more motorcycles than I can count, but those places can get you into sketchier things faster than you can say "Visa Problems."

But seriously, a 2nd set of compressors (or just a 3rd, really) can take away any anxiety about it. I've never used a pair with the locking pins like illustrated; I imagine those would help solve the slip problem entirely. Nice looking feature.
Haha, I have been to Bangkok. It seems we have a lot in common
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