DIY Strut Replacement

Status
Not open for further replies.

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: EricF
Great writeup! I like the idea of the U-Bolts for an extra measure!
Thanks! Wasn't my idea. Trav mentioned a chain and Dan55 showed something along these lines that Eastwood sells. I really wanted to use a removable chain link as HD sells those with ratings to many thousands of pounds... But the internal spacing just wasn't enough. I don't know what the rating of those u-bolts are, maybe not much. But at least they would notionally slow down any energy release.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: Trav
Nice Job! You used the best quality parts, good tools and did the job with care, it doesn't get any better. thumbsup
I agree. Excellent job. This is clearly beyond my capability. I can't do this even if I have all the tools and step by step instructions. When my E430 needed to replace shocks/struts some years ago, I bought Bilsteins online and took my car to a trusted mechanic to have it replaced and paid $300 for labor.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Fortunately MBs don't have struts (at least the older ones), so putting in bilstein shocks is easy...
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
19,565
Location
NH
That's a really good job on documenting what you did. Kudos for some foresight on the photos, and writing it up afterwards. * Man, those are some rusty rotors! I thought mine were bad after a few days of sitting, but yours take the cake. How long did those sit for to get like that? Do you plan to proactively replace at some point, since at some point I'd think they would get a bit thin, even if the pads are not worn out?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
The pads and rotors are all original at 72k. The wheel design is very open so the rotors get exposed to moisture easily and rust. These easily sat 2+ months. They stop perfect, and once the surface coat comes off, they are smooth in operation, stopping and visually. Ill be happy to replace them when they need to be... With something like a rotor that is fully painted/coated. So long as they stop well and smooth and quiet, no need.
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
838
Location
Arizona
What a fantastic "DIY" writeup! Great job on everything! This should become a stickie and an example for all others to see. Thank YOU!!!!
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
26,528
Location
CA
Excellent write-up, JHZR2. I am glad to see that the careful research paid off. Hope you enjoy the newly refreshed suspension!
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
145
Location
US, Georgia
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Excellent write-up, JHZR2. I am glad to see that the careful research paid off. Hope you enjoy the newly refreshed suspension!
Indeed! thumbsup
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I still think it would need an alignment, the toe should not change but how will the camber be the same?
How would it change? There is no adjustment on the bolts, in fact, they get hammered into place. There is zero motion in the strut/knuckle assembly when they are hammered in.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
14,671
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I still think it would need an alignment, the toe should not change but how will the camber be the same?
How would it change? There is no adjustment on the bolts, in fact, they get hammered into place. There is zero motion in the strut/knuckle assembly when they are hammered in.
not familiar at all with Saab, all the struts i have done( gm Saturn) have room to move the camber up and down before you tighten the bolts. They even make cam bolts so that you can turn the bolt and adjust the camber. Saab must be different.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
26,528
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I still think it would need an alignment, the toe should not change but how will the camber be the same?
How would it change? There is no adjustment on the bolts, in fact, they get hammered into place. There is zero motion in the strut/knuckle assembly when they are hammered in.
It depends on how loosely the bolts fit in the holes. On my old Saturn, there was a significant amount of wiggle room and this caused a major change in toe/camber during any strut replacement. On my Prius, there's some movement....but not a lot. Still, an alignment check is advised. On a PT Cruiser that I did, the bolts had to be hammered into the hole....and the alignment did not change after strut replacement on that one.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
37,685
Location
ME
Interesting that Bilstein opted to not allow camber change. If your camber changes, so should your toe. This you can figure out with a laser level on the front wheels, aimed at the rear wheels. The red dot should just barely miss.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
1,797
Location
Texas
Great write-up. That looks like a nice spring compressor. Was it as easy to use as it looked to be in the pictures?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I still think it would need an alignment, the toe should not change but how will the camber be the same?
How would it change? There is no adjustment on the bolts, in fact, they get hammered into place. There is zero motion in the strut/knuckle assembly when they are hammered in.
It depends on how loosely the bolts fit in the holes. On my old Saturn, there was a significant amount of wiggle room and this caused a major change in toe/camber during any strut replacement. On my Prius, there's some movement....but not a lot. Still, an alignment check is advised. On a PT Cruiser that I did, the bolts had to be hammered into the hole....and the alignment did not change after strut replacement on that one.
Mine is the same. The bolts are larger than the hole, thus the hammer-in aspect. There is no wiggle room that I could feel, and I can't see how this would be easily adjusted if there was. I know that off-center bolts are sold to adjust if needed, but everything Ive seen has indicated that it is not adjustable.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
Very nice write up. Did you end up using bumpstops with the new struts then?
I checked and bilsteins have internal bump stops. The OE replacements I bought never would have fit anyway. So now I need to try to return them...
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
47,845
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Mykl
Great write-up. That looks like a nice spring compressor. Was it as easy to use as it looked to be in the pictures?
Very easy. They game MoS2 grease to put on the threads, and I only ever used a stubby ratchet. Of course this is a 3500 lb car, not a HD truck or something. The worst part was finding the right spot where they were diametrically opposed and not scratching the strut too badly. Obviously I still made some scratches...
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
9,595
Location
Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
Good write up and good choice on the hardware thumbsup
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
The worst part was finding the right spot where they were diametrically opposed and not scratching the strut too badly. Obviously I still made some scratches...
I see you applied a rustproofing oil to the struts, so those scratches are well taken care of.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top