No "quick struts" for my vehicle?

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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
So I want to replace the struts on my '08 Impala SS. It has the original factory 18" rims. I will NOT compress a spring myself. Never done it before and don't feel comfortable guessing. So my only options are to use a "quick strut" or to take it somewhere. But after a few days of searching, it appears nobody makes a quick strut for my specific vehicle. I can find them for the LT and LTZ models with 16 and 17 inch wheels, and can even find them for police and taxi setups. But nothing for an 18" wheel. The strange part is some search results show an exact fit for an SS, but then say "excludes 18 inch wheels." ALL SS Impalas came with 18s. Am I crazy crzy or is there truly nothing for my application? Thanks in advance.
 
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4,597
Location
Manchester, England
just stop and think for a minute...when the car is on its wheels, the springs are compressed. undo the top mounts then lift it, decompressing tbe spring as you lift. thefloor below and the vehicle upabove are sure to stopthespring if anything sketchy happens..
 
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1,084
Location
Ontario , Canada
Originally Posted By: Olas
just stop and think for a minute...when the car is on its wheels, the springs are compressed. undo the top mounts then lift it, decompressing tbe spring as you lift. thefloor below and the vehicle upabove are sure to stopthespring if anything sketchy happens..
Not as simple as that . Do not attempt to do if you don't have the proper tools or are uncomfortable with it . Many people have been seriously injured by springs or worse .
 
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tony1679

Thread starter
Messages
1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: nitehawk55
Not as simple as that . Do not attempt to do if you don't have the proper tools or are uncomfortable with it . Many people have been seriously injured by springs or worse .
Exactly. I don't have the proper tools, therefore I am uncomfortable doing it myself. This I why I'm asking about quick struts.
 
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6,367
Location
Midwest
It's neither difficult nor is it dangerous if you use a little common sense. Since you've apparently done the research and no one makes quick struts for your vehicle, then you have two choices. Either buck up and tackle it yourself, or take the car to a shop and have it done.
 
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36,471
Location
ME
Or you can take your struts out and take them to a "craigslist mechanic" to have the springs compressed and moved over.
 
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25,962
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: Olas
just stop and think for a minute...when the car is on its wheels, the springs are compressed. undo the top mounts then lift it, decompressing tbe spring as you lift. thefloor below and the vehicle upabove are sure to stopthespring if anything sketchy happens..
This may or may not work with some struts depending on the lower control arm travel, you still have to release the leg from the knuckle. If the thing is still under any pressure you could be in a big pile of Shi. wearing open toed sandals because now the still partially loaded spring is at face level. If the strut is the type held in with a pinch bolt you are doubly worse than screwed. Been there, done that as a youngster with an old Audi 100. Then the problem is how do you compress the spring to reinstall it? It is very common to change rear springs on something like a VW by disconnecting the shocks and letting the axle down, the springs are then free. OP. The SS like the GTP has the handling package so there are no quick struts worth putting on it anyway even if they did make them. You want something like KYB AGX, Bilstein, etc. Just remove the strut and take it (make arrangements beforehand) with the new mounts, boots or whatever to them and let them swap the stuff over. It wont be a lot of $$.
 
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14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
You can remove the strut assemblies yourself and take them, and the new struts, to a mechanic and have him (or her!) swap the springs over. I did something similar recently with our CR-V, but I did it myself on the post's Auto Skills center. Rear springs on CR-Vs have a habit of sagging over time, and I replaced them. I removed the rear assemblies, which resemble coil-overs, and took them and my new springs to the Auto Skills center. They have a bench-mounted strut spring compressor that I used to disassemble my old parts and reassemble with my new springs. It was a cake walk with the right tools.
 

tony1679

Thread starter
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1,322
Location
Central Oklahoma
So I guess the next question is what brand? I am quite knowledgeable under the hood, but a complete idiot when it comes to suspension. I've heard Bilstein quit making struts for the SS, and that KYBs "keep you bouncing" lol.
 

Astro14

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13,110
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Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: Olas
just stop and think for a minute...when the car is on its wheels, the springs are compressed. undo the top mounts then lift it, decompressing tbe spring as you lift. thefloor below and the vehicle upabove are sure to stopthespring if anything sketchy happens..
No. No. No. The top of the strut will be free of the strut mount before the spring is fully extended, meaning all the tension will become an uncontrolled hazard... You can pull the strut as an assembly, then use a spring compressor or take it to a professional. Bilsteins would be my choice...if they're no longer made...then Koni, perhaps? I've had good KYBs and bad...depends on the model. A high performance version for your car would be a solid choice.
 
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Messages
25,962
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: tony1679
So I guess the next question is what brand? I am quite knowledgeable under the hood, but a complete idiot when it comes to suspension. I've heard Bilstein quit making struts for the SS, and that KYBs "keep you bouncing" lol.
Bilstein may have stopped production, i got some a couple of years ago for the GTP but see now they are discontinued, probably the same strut#. The AGX are adjustable and are a nice strut. The mistake people make is cranking the adjustment up all the way without trying them first on the stock setting. If its like the GTP there are not a lot of alternatives.
 
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6,133
Location
Texas Hill Country
When taking apart the strut from the spring, you need a wall mounted spring compressor. At a shop. Do not rent one of those cheap deals, that works with a drill. They are not safe. Get all new rubber parts and have a shop swap the spring back on to the strut for you.
 
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13,095
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Olas
just stop and think for a minute...when the car is on its wheels, the springs are compressed. undo the top mounts then lift it, decompressing tbe spring as you lift. thefloor below and the vehicle upabove are sure to stopthespring if anything sketchy happens..
I would not do that, its not safe at all. You could see if a shop would load the struts for you , if you take them the units removed. If you are mechanically inclined, its not hard to do with a good set of spring compressors ( needs 2 fingers on each end).
 
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Messages
1,797
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: JustinH
When taking apart the strut from the spring, you need a wall mounted spring compressor. At a shop. Do not rent one of those cheap deals, that works with a drill. They are not safe. Get all new rubber parts and have a shop swap the spring back on to the strut for you.
Wall mounted spring compressors are magical tools that make this job so easy anybody could do it. But the cheap ones you can borrow from Autozone are safe. Maybe I'm not listening hard enough, but I've never heard of one of these failing in a way that causes injury when you use it properly. Use a work bench of some kind and clamp the strut assembly so it's stable. You don't even need to compress the spring all that much, you mostly only need to prevent it from decompressing so you can move it from one strut to the other.
 
Messages
472
Location
IL
It's strange that there are no applications for the SS model. First time i've seen no application for a quick strut. If you are iffy with attempting to DIY, an additional option would be to put the strut completely out with the spring on there and take it to a shop and have them dismount/remount the springs for you, then you can just take them home and finish it off. It will save you labor costs plus some time. I did this once before when I was short on time, and was charged a total of $40 by a private suspension shop.
 
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4,437
Location
Guilford, CT
Originally Posted By: ronbo
The only home handyman spring compressor I like is the clam style. http://www.otctools.com/products/clamshell-strut-spring-compressor Bought one for $55 from a retired mechanic. An older model, made in USA, without the safety indents.
I have that clam shell style compressor too. It was about $70 at Harbor Freight. I didn't feel unsafe at all using it. I used it to change the rear struts on my Accord and it worked great. Then I tried to use it to change the front struts, and I couldn't use it. The front springs on my car are too tightly wound and there's not enough space in between the coils to get the hooks on the compressor through. I went to Napa and tried to use their rental compressor, which is this style: And I couldn't use that style either. So I ended up taking both struts to a local shop, which had one of those wall-mounted compressors, and had them swap the springs over to the new struts for me.
 
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