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I have looked around here and not found a how to for changing all four struts, and the mounts. Anyone have any pictures or a step by step?
 

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I have the service manual with diagrams, but I too would like to see if anyone has a write up on changing the struts.
 

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It depends on if you are going to buy the replacement struts or the whole kit with the spring and plate. If that is it all you need to do is after jacking up and installing stands and removing the tires is to remove the steering tie rod and sometimes that can be easy by just loosening the bolt and hitting the side where it mounts with a hammer and it will come loose or use a pickle fork. Remove both bolts that hold the spindle to the strut and the 3 top nuts and it will come right out and do the reverse to install. If you are just buying the struts and plates you will need a spring compressor for the removal that will compress the spring and them you remove the center bolt on the top and then release the compressor and remove the strut and plate and replace both of them and recompress the spring and reinstall the center bolt making sure you have the spring in the right location as ther usually is a notch for the end of the spring and do the install after that. Get the alignment done after that. Look over the steering and suspension parts for wear during the replacement.
 

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struttin'

I see some lucky Element owner got their letter published in Popular Mechanics April 2010! Their question was basicaly how to remove the lower bolts on the rear knuckles.
I had good luck soaking them overnight with PB Blaster which works with capillary action so it will even draw itself up into bolt threads from underneath. I use cases of it at work on bolts up to one inch, anything bigger that won't budge gets the torch!
I did have to apply heat to the knuckle for one bolt on the driver's side and when it still would not move more than half an inch I opted for the trusty zip disc cut off tool.
 

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Service Manual?

I'm in the same boat here... after replacing the rear sway bar bushings this week, I realized just how much noise my passenger-side shock was making. Upon closer inspection, it's clear it needs replacement.

I've never replaced a shock/strut before - but I'm sure it's not rocket science. If anyone has a step-by-step or a copy of the service manual (2003-2006), it would be MOST appreciated!

Cheers all - hope you're enjoying the weekend.

-D
 

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Shock Replacement Walkthrough?

Just trying to keep this thread alive.

Does anyone have a walkthrough of a shock replacement for a 2003 EX AWD? I've looked all over the forums and have come up with nothing.

Thanks in advance!

-D
 

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The suspension section in the manual is actually quite short, which was disappointing. They basically tell you to replace everything, but give no detail about only replacing say a compliance bushing, it simple shows how to take off the LC arm and replace it.
 

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Thanks - but some Q's

Thanks for posting your lift pictures, Slimerdogs - they really give me a good idea how to tackle this project. Just a couple of questions...

1) Do you need to compress the spring to reinstall the shock assembly?
2) How exactly does the bottom bolt fit in? Is a floor jack needed to help align the holes?

Think I'm just going to go with the KYB replacements - I don't tow or haul anything other than my kids and their cargo :)

I appreciate the help!

-D
 

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I just did my struts (well, 3 of them...) last week and can help out those finding this thread

1. You have to compress the spring to disassemble/reassemble the strut. The rears are tiny and no problem for a rented compressor set but the fronts are a tad beefy. I personally have access to a full garage with a wall mounted compressor press, which makes this about as easy as it can be.

2. The rears were actually more difficult than the fronts, which has never been the case on the other 5 makes I've done struts on. I got hung up trying to get the strut back in the flange to align the hole for the bolt. I had another set of hands available but it took me (180 lbs) hanging on the lower arm and my buddy using a huge punch as a wedge/guide to align the hole for the bolt. If I had been solo, I would have started removing the tie rod links to drop the rear arm down lower.

I used Monroe only because they had a buy 3 get 1 free deal and I don't tow or haul heavy. Oh, my left rear flange nuts were so corroded that the bolts were 80% powder. It will have to be cut out professionally in case the flange is toast, too.
 

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What are the symptoms with struts that need to be replaced? I've never dealt with these in any car I've owned and am not sure I'd know if mine needed replacement or how to go about assessing their condition.
 

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can anyone post torque specs for all points that need to be done for front and rear strut/shocks replacement? I'm also getting all 4 Monroes, and I'll have to swap in the springs from the originals. Please torque specs would be really appreciated.
 

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What are the symptoms with struts that need to be replaced? I've never dealt with these in any car I've owned and am not sure I'd know if mine needed replacement or how to go about assessing their condition.
I was taught to bounce your full weight on each corner of the car and if it bounces like a water bed, they're bad. However, I think the low weight of the Element makes this difficult. I noticed mine slamming roughly on bumps and would skip slightly sideways over on/off ramp seams.
 

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Exactly my symptoms, too. My front strut is leaking a bit. Only 28K miles on the car. I'm changing the entire suspension to Monroe.
You just missed the buy 3 get 1 free deal on Monroe's unfortunately. Man, 28K is very premature for a blown strut - unless your jumping parked cars or aiming for every pothole.

If you have any sliver of a warranty left I would take it in and butter up the service counter.
 

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:) who said I missed it. That's why I bought the whole set. Got it from Just Suspension over a week ago. Unfortunately, it takes them very long to process... still didn't arrive.
Well, the car has 28K, but it has 6 years by now, so there's no warranty.
The car was not abused by any means - normal driving, occasional pot hole just like in any car.
Although, the last jump I made was over 10 cars - beat my record from all previous weekends of jumps... lol ;-)
 
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