Struts are not something to mess with if you are not familiar with the things that can kill you. Springs must be compressed with a special compressor. If they slip out, things will not be pretty. If you're lucky, you will only lose one finger! I saw one take out an overhead light fixture. This happened to me once and I ended up chasing the spring out of the shop and downhill through the parking lot. The office manager was behind two closed doors. She came running out to see what the noise was all about!
When the struts are removed, the upper mounts must be inspected. If the bearings are rough or tight, they must be replaced. A safer and more reliable way for you to do this yourself is to buy complete assemblies with the strut, spring, and mount already assembled. The danger is gone, and the new springs insure the front at least will be at the proper ride height. Replacement struts will usually have one mounting hole that is slotted so it can be aligned. It is impossible to set it perfectly to specs and to eliminate tire wear. It will be necessary to drive straight to the alignment shop.
Rear shock absorbers are not so serious but there are things professionals do to prevent future problems. One thing that is overlooked is it is important to not tighten the mounting bolts until the car is sitting on the tires, preferably after driving around the parking lot a little. If you tighten the bolts with the car jacked up, the bushings will be caught in a permanent twist when you let it down. This can lead to early bushing failure.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 AT 3:52 PM