Place the vehicle in park if it is automatic or in neutral if it is equipped with a manual transmission, set the parking brake and place wheel chucks on the rear wheels to keep the car from rolling.
Next, loosen the front wheel lug nuts as shown in the picture, don't remove them yet, just loosen them, once the wheel lug nuts are loose, lift the front end of the vehicle with a floor jack and support it on jackstands, place the jackstands under the sub-frame, don't place them under the control arms. Remove both front wheels.
The wheel alignment will be disturbed during this repair, in this particular vehicle the camber can be adjusted at the struts, the vehicle will need to be taken to an alignment shop after the struts have been replaced, to keep the alignment as close as possible to the correct position, use a level as shown in the picture, mark the position of the air bubble before you remove the strut, that way you can set the alignment with the new strut installed by positioning the air bubble in the level in the same spot where it was before removing the old strut.
Remove the clips that secure the brake hose to the strut as shown in the picture.
Hold the head of the lower strut retaining bolt with a 17mm wrench as you loosen the nut with a 17mm socket and a braker bar.
Once both bolts are loose, place a floor jack under the control arm to keep it from dropping too low, if the control arm drops too low it will overextend the axle shaft.
Next, remove the nuts that secure the strut to the body, as you do this, you will need to hold the strut by the coil spring with one hand nd remove the nuts with the other hand. Once all three nuts have been removed, remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.
Place the strut assembly on a vice, mark the relationship of the coil spring to the strut mount with white paint as shown in the picture.
Next, compress the coil spring with coil spring compressors similar to the ones on the image, do it evenly, don't attempt to compress one side at a time, you can injure yourself if you do it that way; this is the dangerous part of the job, some people call these spring compressors " widow makers".
Make sure that the locking pins in the coil spring compressors are in place when compressing the coil spring to avoid them from sliding off and injuring you.
There is no need to compress the spring all the way, just enough to release the pressure from the spring to the strut mount.
Now that the coil spring has been compressed, remove the strut retaining nut, next, remove the strut mount carefully, pay attention to the way the strut mount and bearing are mounted, they will need to be installed in the same way over the new strut, inspect the strut mounts carefully, if they show signs of excessive wear, cracks or the bearing seems worn out; the they will need to be replaced.
Leave the coil spring compressors in place and remove the compressed coil spring from the old strut .
Place the new strut on the vice facing in the same direction the old strut was to allow you to remember the direction the remaining components were facing.
Install the coil spring cushion you removed from the old assembly on the new strut, if the cushion is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Install the compressed coil spring on the new strut, note that the coil spring has only one position, there is an edge on each strut where the tip of the coil spring sits up against.
Next, install the upper strut cushion over the coil spring, make sure that it is aligned with the mark you painted earlier prior to dissasembly.
Install the strut mount making sure that the mark is aligned with the mark in the coil spring.
The new struts should come with new washers and new locking nuts, install the new locking nut to fasten the strut mount to the new strut.
The directions supplied with the new struts should specify the torque specs for the strut mount retaining nut, the OEM specs are 46-53 Ft-lbs.
Next, proceed to remove the coil spring compressors ( "widow makers" ) from the coil spring evenly and slowly, make sure that you keep the alignment on te strut mount/coil spring as you remove the coil spring compressor.
Install the complete assembly in the reverse order you took it off, ( you need to install the upper retaining nuts first ), remember to place the level against the disc brake rotor to set the wheel alignment as close as it was before you removed the old strut, the torque specs are as follows:
-Strut to body nuts: 22 Ft-lbs
- Strut to steering knuckle bolts/nuts: 72-98 Ft-lbs
Don't forget to attach the brake hoses to the new struts and install the retaining clips.
Once you are done, double check your work, install the wheels back on the vehicle, lower it to the ground and tighten the wheel lug nuts to the torque specs listed on your owners manual and test drive the car.