Replacement Guide for Shock and Strut Mounts
Cushioning the impacts that momentarily jar the vehicle is a shock and strut mount's main job. Its importance is that it keeps your car level when you drive, in turn keeping you safe from accidents. Old shocks and strut mounts don't have this kind of property anymore, and this is when you replace them. Here are a few tips to help you in replacing your old shock and strut mount. The whole job may take you around 2 to 3 hours to finish.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
Setting up shop
Use the jack and jack stands to secure your vehicle. Remove the wheels by loosening the lug nuts and pulling them off. Remove the wheel to get access to the strut and inspect the sway bar end-link in the strut. This could also be a good time to replace the end-link if it's damaged or worn.
Take everything off the assembly
Take off the two bolts holding the strut to the steering knuckle of the vehicle with the help of the ratchet and socket. Ignore the nut in the center; removing it will decompress the strut and could injure you. Pry the strut away using the pry bar, and pull it off the vehicle. Remove the strut by pulling it off by hand first, then pull the spring off the strut. Take a look at all the parts before you do anything to decide which needs to replaced and what parts you can keep.
Installation of the new strut parts
Transfer everything that you will reuse to the new strut. Afterwards, torque the strut shaft into the new strut and carefully remove the spring compressor. Place it back to the vehicle and line up the mounting holes with the studs and press. Use nuts to align everything; tighten only a few threads. After checking everything out further, tighten the upper nuts according to the manufacturer's specs. Replace the wheels, and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the vehicle from the stands using the jack, and finally tighten the wheels according to specs.
Setting up and locating the shock
Jack up the vehicle first and secure it on the stands before anything else. Locate the shock, which should look like a cylinder with two halves, one half going into the other. You can find it somewhere near the wheels and it is around 12 to 14 inches long.
Removal and replacement
Remove the upper shock and lower shock bolt using a ratchet and socket. Take the shock out using a pry bar, and put the new shock in place while pushing the shock bolt through the upper hole. Cut the strap keeping the shock compressed and guide it to the lower hole, allowing it to slowly decompress.
Finish by pushing the lower bolt through the lower hole in the shock. Afterwards, torque both the lower and the upper bolt according to the manufacturer's specs. You can also lower the vehicle and test-drive it to check for noises or a rough ride.
Tips and warnings
- Compressors can easily break and cause injury. Remember this when dealing with a spring that is compressed.