strut spring removal on corolla

Messages
449
Location
panhandle of florida
I just bought a couple of struts to replace the worn out ones on the back of my 97 Corolla. I need to buy a strut spring compressor tool to remove the springs from the old struts but I'm not sure what to get. I found this, http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3980, tool at harbor freight and another one for 40 dollars. Would the cheaper one be adequate to remove the springs? I've never done this before and I've heard that some spring compressor tools can slip. I can also take the struts to a shop here and they will switch them out for 30 bucks a piece.
 
Messages
35,998
Location
ME
I have that $13 bad boy and it did fine on my saturn and taurus. You should find the spring rate pleasingly low on a corolla rear. Make sure the threads are well lubed & it'll go easier.
 
Messages
7,742
Location
MI
I have used the ones from Autozone with good success. They have a pin that locks the compressor to the spring. I always wear a clear face shield just in case the something lets go. Do you have Autozone down there, or other places that loan tools for free?
 
Messages
10,008
Location
Upstate NY
X2 on the AutoZone spring compressor. I did some Buick springs with it, and it worked just fine. Advance also rents tools.
 
Messages
16,150
Location
Silicon Valley
Both should work fine for a corolla (I used it to replace mine before). On something with a metal dust shield for the strut/shock, like my Integra, the Autozone type was interfering with the clearance of my dust cover/shield and won't clear. Corolla has a rubber dust cover so it should be all good.
 

brian12

Thread starter
Messages
449
Location
panhandle of florida
I'm trying to remove the nut from the piston right now and both are spinning. The piston doesn't extend out far enough from the nut to grab on to with a pair of vice grips. Is there some way to get it off without an air gun?
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
Air gun is best. Since you have to drive somewhere to get tools, bring it to anybody's shop and have them spin them off. A few seconds apiece.
 
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