Strut replacement...easy or hard?



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Thread: Strut replacement...easy or hard?

  1. #1
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    Strut replacement...easy or hard?

    I'm considering changing the front struts on my '01. New Monroe quick struts, which seem to include springs and everything, run about $300 for the pair. By looking at the part, it seems like its no more than taking off the wheels, removing some bolts, installing the new struts, then taking it to an alignment shop. It may also involve borrowing a spring compressor from an auto parts store. Anyone have experience doing this or have instructions?

    2005 Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L (100K miles and running strong)
    2001 Chrysler Voyager 3.3L Flex Fuel (220K miles and running strong)

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  3. #2
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    you don't need a compressor with the quick struts.

    They are pre-assembled with the strut & spring included,

    the compressor is if you want to keep your springs & replace just the strut

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    Quote Originally Posted by sselander View Post
    you don't need a compressor with the quick struts.

    They are pre-assembled with the strut & spring included,

    the compressor is if you want to keep your springs & replace just the strut
    That's correct. And if you take some real careful measurements, where the strut fastens to the steering knuckle, and put the new strut back in the identical location, you may get away with no alignment problems. Worked for me.
    You can find some info as follows. Auto Zone will likely have replacement info on their site as well.
    Library Information (ARRC):
    - Go to http://www.oplin.org/databases/proxy...mber=123456789
    - Go to the following Library from the drop down list and submit it.
    Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
    - Go to ALL EBSCOhost Databases and click on it.
    - Go down to Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC) and click on it.
    - Submit your "year" and take it from there.
    Note: If info isn't there for your year / model, try another year or similar model.

    Here's a quote for your vehicle from that site:
    NOTE: Make sure to install the correct spring on the correct side of the vehicle. Springs on the left side of the vehicle have a left-hand wind top-to-bottom while springs on the right side have a right-hand wind top-to-bottom.
    So the Quick Struts should have a left and right designation.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

  5. #4
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    I read the instructions on the Library website. It provided a picture. It looks pretty easy. Thanks!
    2005 Grand Caravan SXT 3.8L (100K miles and running strong)
    2001 Chrysler Voyager 3.3L Flex Fuel (220K miles and running strong)

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    Talking

    I replaced mine (re-using original springs). They were very easy to do.

    If you intend on putting wider tires on your van, and they didn't quite fit previously (rubbed against the struts), now is the time to get them on. On the GEN1, I found the "camber" determines the tire width I can go. Don't tighten the bottom bolts until after you have re-installed the wheels/tires. Use your finger (width) for a minimum measurement, or a 1" piece of wood to slip in between the sidewall and the strut, before tightening the bottom bolts on the struts. Take it to a good alignment shop to get the final adjustments made, so you don't trash a new set of tires.
    1990 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE 3.3L LWB-- 222,222 miles and counting ......
    Still Going Strong


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    For those that read this ye be warned that replacing struts with a spring compressor while easy if all goes well it can be very dangerous to do.

    There is a pretty high risk for serious injury when replacing struts. If a spring clamp where to slip and say a persons head was over the unit one could lose their head. These springs are under a lot of pressure.

    So if you are on the fence on doing it by all means just buy the complete assembly. It will also save you a lot of time not having to get any extra tools as well. At least that way you are also getting a new upper bearing as well which has been shown to cause problems down the road for noises.

    If you are doing just a strut replacement then make sure you mark where the the location of the spring relation to the strut placement as this sometimes can cause noise down the road if not lined up properly.
    2002 Chrysler T&C bought new end of 2001.
    3.8 L 108,000 avg. fuel eco. 22.4

    2009 Pontiac G8 GT fuel economy not determined yet, currently 22 mpg

  8. #7
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    I replaced my struts a year or so ago. Replacing them was pretty simple and straighforward. The bolts take some muscle to remove. A breaker bar helps. I'd also suggest you get quick struts, so you don't have to mess with removing the spring.
    Current Cars:
    2004 Chrysler Town and Country 3.3, 227,000 miles
    2004 Chrysler Concorde 90,000 miles
    2008 Chevy Malibu 79,000 miles

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    I remember when I had my struts replaced on a Dodge Aries, the factory manual said that if you mark with a pencil the two bolts on the bottom of the strut, the two through bolts that hold it to the wheel, making a line on the frame of the strut and the bolt, and line them up when you replace the strut, you don't need an alignment. I did that and sure enough, it went back perfectly. I think only one, the bottom one I think, is a cam bolt, that is why the mark is needed. But not being sure, if you mark them both and label them upper and lower when you take them out, you should not have any problem. Of course, if you replace the whole thing and do not reuse the spring housing, that won't work, but noting the angle that the bolts came out (like marking them at 9:00 o'clock" might give you a good reference point for reassembly, to get it close. That is not to say that you won't need an alignment, but the strut replacement won't cause it, according to the book on the Aries. Someone out there must know if the same applies to these later Dodges.
    tcwagner1
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 69k
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    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
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    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
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    I went on Rock Auto web site and could not find the complete strut assembly for LXI, 3.8L, 2001.

    I want ot replace the struts on our Van and avoid compressing springs and have issues. Can you tell me if the part # of the ones you purchased and if they fir my Van?

    Thanks
    Moe

  11. #10
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    The trick with RockAuto, is not to drill down to the specific model

    Just go to Town & Country, suspension, strut assembly and you will find it.

    You can look up by part number also

    Monroe Sensa-Trac 171572L for the left & 171572R for the right

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