1) Raise hood of car. Remove the strut top dust cover, and loosen
the 22mm bolt holding the strut in place. Do NOT remove the nut, just loosen.
This will help you later on.
2) Loosen lug nuts on front wheels.
3) Raise and support front of the car. Remove wheels.
4) Long step. Take a look at the brake line and how it is attached
to the strut assembly.
There is a clip holding it in place below the tab. Pull this
out with a pair of pliers.
Quick pic of the clip out:
Now, to avoid having to remove the brake line from the caliper,
and having to refill the brake fluid, you should be able to bend the tab out
of the way. On mine, the tab already had a slit in it to make this possible.
I'm not sure if this is how it is stock or not, so you may have to cut at
it with a dremel tool.
You can easily move the line out free from the strut assembly.
5) Remove the sway bar end link. I chose only to remove it from
the bottom, as the top nut/bolt is a pain to get to. So I didn't remove it
completely until the strut assembly was off the car. (I have aftermarket adjustable
endlinks, so the stock ones won't look like this.)
6) Remove the three 14mm bolts holding the strut top to the
frame of the car.
7) Support the control arm, under the ball joint with a jack.
8) Scribe a mark onto the lower strut bracket, so that when
reinstalling the camber will be fairly accurate. (Ignore the bolt being loose,
that's the next step)
9) Remove the two 17mm nuts/bolts holding the strut assembly
to the steering knuckle.
10) It may take some working of the strut assembly and wheel
hub to get it loose. Once it does, be prepared as the hub will fall toward
11) Remove the strut.
12) Disassemble the struts. Unfortunately, I do not have any
pics of this part of the process, as I did this over at a friend's house who
has a vice. I'll try to go through the steps though. It's fairly straightforward.
Take a look at my rear strut disassembly write-up
for some pics of this part of the process.
Take spring compressor to the springs, to relieve pressure from
the top spring perch. Remove top 22mm nut from the strut top. It should be
easy to do, if you loosened it back on step one while the car was on the ground.
If you didn't happen to do this step for some reason, you can put the top
spring perch in a vice (need 6+" vice) and then loosen the nut. The strut
insert may eventually begin to turn with the nut. If so, grab the very top
of the insert with a pair of vice grips. Since you are replacing these it
shouldn't matter too much.
Ok, now that you have the strut top off remove the spring from
the assembly, and release the spring compressor. You now will have the shock
absorber held into the strut assembly. Put the assembly in the vice, and go
at the nut with a monkey wrench or channel locks.
Here's a picture of the strut assembly & the nut.
Here's everything all laid apart, excluding the dampener, as
I threw that thing away immediately...
Goto Page 2 for the install.