argh!!! Can't get front strut out?!?! 03 zx5 - Focus Fanatics
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
lbrowne
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argh!!! Can't get front strut out?!?! 03 zx5

I've done this before but I dunno what the heck I'm doing wrong.

I have the swaybar end link let go, hoses removed from the clips, strut bottom bolt is out, tie rod end is let go...

I can get the knuckle to slide down the strut shaft almost to the bottom of the strut but not quite all the way. It moves freely. Everything I watched for clips etc, the control arm just goes down and you can move the knuckle out of the way. Then let go the three nuts on top of the strut and voila it's out.

I have new LCAs, I wouldn't think that would matter, but I can't see a way to get good leverage to force the control arm even lower. It really seems like the LCA is not pivoting low enough.

GRRRRRRRRRRRR these normally would take me 30 mins a side.


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Old 02-27-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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In the arms there is a hole to get a big pry bar in to pull it down. Did you install the strut looseley in the strut tower 1st? Get the 3 struds thru the strut mount holes at the top & get one stud bolt & thread it 3 or turns just to hold it up there loosely so you can line up the strut into the spindle. Get another pry bar to open up the pynsers= the slot on the inside of the spindle to make it easier to slide the strut down if nessary.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by felixthecat View Post
In the arms there is a hole to get a big pry bar in to pull it down. Did you install the strut looseley in the strut tower 1st? Get the 3 struds thru the strut mount holes at the top & get one stud bolt & thread it 3 or turns just to hold it up there loosely so you can line up the strut into the spindle. Get another pry bar to open up the pynsers= the slot on the inside of the spindle to make it easier to slide the strut down if nessary.
Yeah I got the bottom pinch bolt out - the strut moves in the knuckle easy just can't get control arm low enough to clear bottom of strut. I'll try the prybar. thnx

*edit: I haven't got the old one out yet - just got home and going to try the prybar. (I seen that you were saying how to install the new one) Cheers
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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I just whack the top of the knuckle with a lead hammer, it smacks it down that last 1/2" and the strut pops out.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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I just whack the top of the knuckle with a lead hammer, it smacks it down that last 1/2" and the strut pops out.
Did that on the passenger side didn't work, I eventually put a bottle jack on top of the knuckle and let it cradle into the bottom of the spring and worked it out.

All that chaos with the passenger side - I did the driver side in 25 mins if that. The knuckle and arm gave way easily with little prying at the end to clear bottom of strut.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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^mine was the opposite - passenger side fell out like a turd and the drivers side was, eh, constipated.

I used a prybar gingerly - I've always heard that forcing the knuckle assembly thru too large an angle can damage the CV joint.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Did you have a new control arm on the pass side? it could of been that.

I had that problem on monday when I was installing my axle the control arm wouldn't go down far enough.
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