> >> > 1. Is a special tool needed to remove the cap at the top of the strut
> >> > which holds the shock in?
> >> I've always used a large pair of Channelocks. There IS a special tool
> >> that will allow you to replace the shocks WITHOUT removing the
> >> struts from the car but unless you can borrow one from a dealer or
> >> shop, I'm not sure it's cost-effective for a one-time job.
> So, the special tool is only needed if you are replacing the shocks
> without taking the struts off the car, right?
Right. That said, though, the strut caps ARE torqued down pretty tight and
I generally have to place the strut assembly on the ground and stand on the
steering arm with my foot to get enough leverage ... even then, I sometimes
have to get someone else to stand on it so I can loosen them. Keep in mind
that I'm a pretty solid 6'1" 220 pounds and can carry around a 4-cyl engine
without help (in other words, what might be easy for me may not be easy for
> >> Lastly, if you do end up taking the
> >> struts apart, make sure you have a decent spring compressor ... my
> >> cheapo one makes the job MUCH more difficult (HINT: clamp a Vise
> >> grip alongside each of the compressors to keep them from sliding around
> >> to one side of the spring).
> Good advice for safety's sake. For years I had the cheapo one and recently
> bought a good one. It is not expensive and much safer.
The first time I did this job on a 5000, I hadn't yet figured this trick out
-- for some reason, I never had a problem with my 4000 -- and I had spent an
afternoon trying to work my way around this. If you've never had two spring
compressors end up side-by-side on a spring that's taken on the curved shape
of a Slinky, you haven't lived!
The reason I haven't bought a better spring compressor is because I only use
it once for most cars ... in my experience, I can usually remove and install
most high-performance (read: shorter) springs without using a compressor. I
CAN'T leap tall buildings with a single bound, alas...
/| | | |\ | |\ | | |\ | AudiDudi@delphi.com
/-| | | | | | = | | | | | | | Jeffrey Goggin
/ | |_| |/ | |/ |_| |/ | Scottsdale, Arizona