Never done this on my own...help?

DKVL

New Member
Oct 12, 2008
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I dont have any tools, but i dont mind buying them. Is it easy for me to replace the struts and shocks my self?

What do i need as a tool? What are the sizes? What special precautions must I take? This will be the first time i do this and so any detail instructions will be greatly appreciated.

I heard the front end is harder then the back end is it true?
 
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Jbauer

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Jan 20, 2008
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You do NOT need an impact for the fronts. From my experience, its impossible to use the impact unless you have a special socket. The fronts are stupid easy. Just shove a screw driver in the slot and turn it with a wrench. Have a friend hold it if you want. Then remove the sway bar holding bolts and tilt it away. Remove the little brackets that hold the brake lines. there are 2 brake lines and one bracket for each line..they come off very easily with i think it was a 10 mm socket on a 1/4 ratchet with a long extension. Put a jack under the LCA and raise it just just enough to support it. Then take off the 2 strut bolts (use a breaker bar if you don't have a impact. They're not hard at all to get off unless they are rusted) lower the jack and THATS IT.

the backs are very easy. about 3-7 minutes a side. just take the covers and carpet off the trunk. Take the shock nuts off ( 1 per each side, 2 in total duh) raise the car, support the diff. with a jack just enough to support it's on weight. take the bottom bolt for the 2 struts out. The strut literally falls out. re installation is even easier than removal.. just shove the new shock back in there, put the bottom bolt on and tighten the top.

All these links show hard ways to do springs and stuff, i can do the whole suspension including springs and shocks/struts in no time. Just gotta ignore all the stupid stuff on all the popular sites.. i've seen sites that want you to take the rear sway bar off, etc. etc. just stuff that isnt neccessary at all.
 

Rusty67

15 Year Member
Dec 3, 2002
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Seattle area, WA
You do NOT need an impact for the fronts. From my experience, its impossible to use the impact unless you have a special socket. The fronts are stupid easy. Just shove a screw driver in the slot and turn it with a wrench. Have a friend hold it if you want. Then remove the sway bar holding bolts and tilt it away. Remove the little brackets that hold the brake lines. there are 2 brake lines and one bracket for each line..they come off very easily with i think it was a 10 mm socket on a 1/4 ratchet with a long extension. Put a jack under the LCA and raise it just just enough to support it. Then take off the 2 strut bolts (use a breaker bar if you don't have a impact. They're not hard at all to get off unless they are rusted) lower the jack and THATS IT.
Sway bar and brake lines ? Why the hell do you need to disconnect those ?

Also, not all aftermarket struts have a slot in the top of them like the stock ones, especially adjustable ones.

Last time I did fronts it took me 45 minutes to do the hole job, both sides including taking off and puting the wheels back on. Using an impact makes this job FAST.
 

Jbauer

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Jan 20, 2008
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well your car may be diffrent, but on my car, the brake line is attatched inside the wheel well with a bracket and its been like that on every mustang i've ever seen from 99-04, id ont know about earlier models but something tells me its the same. the bracket is held in with a bolt. You must remove that bolt and loosen the bracket or you will tear that brake line into a million pieces and you will be in a world of crap.

The sway bar LINK must be loosend and the bushing pulled out. I couldnt get the LCA low enough to remove the strut without removing the nut for the sway bar link. it takes literally 5 seconds to remove that nut.. OP it looks like this link over here, you need to remove that nut the guy on that link has on his hand.
http://www.jrfarrar.com/jeep/xj/roughcountry/brokenswaybarlink.jpg

As far not all aftermarket struts not having the slot on top, i didn't think about that. All the ones i've seen always have a slot on top, including, to my knowledge all the performance ones that are sold. I tried to impact mine, but it just spun and spun for minutes..i ended up having to do it the old fashion way.
 

Rusty67

15 Year Member
Dec 3, 2002
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Seattle area, WA
I have never needed to take the sway bar end link off. Not when I did it on my dad's Bullitt and not when I did it on my old daily driver even after I lowered it.

As far as unbolting the breakline, its a safety precaution for sure but you could also just pop the calipers off and stuff them to the side on the k-member. I don't bother, I just do it with everything in place. As long as you are careful with the spindle, the brake hose wont break. Just gota make sure the spindle is supported properly.
 

Jbauer

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Jan 20, 2008
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The sway bar wouldn't let the LCA drop down far enough with the end link bolt installed in my car and i've done springs/shocks over 3 or so times (cutting, etc. trying to get my stance flawless) i've never been able to let the LCA go down far enough with out stretching the brake line, and i'd rather take a 10mm bolt off the well instead of removing a caliper.

Anywayz, every car is a little diffrent i guess, but its better to play it safe then sorry. i hate it when things go wrong
 

Rusty67

15 Year Member
Dec 3, 2002
3,749
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109
Seattle area, WA
If you are doing the springs with the struts then you are absolutely correct, you need to take off the swaybar end link and the brakes to do that.
 
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