Spring/ strut replacement tips

Paul’s question:

Another question about the struts on the 1993 Pontiac Sunbird. Never worked on struts before… is it smarter(easier)to replace the spring/strut as a unit, or replace just the strut(car does bottom out pulling into driveway)? How hard to take them apart? Will I need special tools? And finally, do I need to purchase new bearing plates and/or strut cushion/mounts (if I just replace the struts), or do the new ones units come with new bearing plates? Thanks for all of your GREAT advice!!! Paul”


Basically, you should just replace what’s worn out. If the bearings are broken or their rubber mounting torn, replace them. If not, use them over. And there’s no sense replacing the springs if they aren’t cracked. Most stores don’t sell the entire unit with springs anyway, and those that do generally charge a small fortune for each one. You can either rent a spring compressor tool to do the job, OR, if stores like Auto Zone do the same in Buffalo as they do here in Houston, they will loan you the tool if you buy the strut replacements from them (not a bad deal.) With a spring compressor, it’s a pretty easy job.

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