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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: how hard is it to replace struts/springs on CRV?  (Read 319 times)

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NowhereMan

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I've got a 2004 Honda CRV and it rides like a lumber wagon. I looked into getting the struts replaced and the best price from any local repair shop was $1400. It seems that replacing just the struts is not a DIY thing (at least not for me), but the strut/spring assembly is pretty cheap---I can get all 4 for just over a little over $300---and this video makes it look like replacing these is not too difficult:



Any thoughts on whether this might be a reasonable DIY job? Spending $300 (plus an alignment) sounds way better than $1400...



I got blisters on my fingers!


mendoman

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Check reviews on the assemblies you're looking at. I've looked into this before and was discouraged after reading about the horrible ride from some aftermarket struts.


bryan

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I've done mine for a couple of cats and as long as you take the time to do it right it's not hard. Can be a pain in the ass but was able to do mine no issue the first time I did it. I've only done both replacing only strut and keeping spring and replacing both. Way easier the latter way but doable both ways I would say


Dale L

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First of all I've never done that particular job, but what i noticed is that he kinda glossed over the step where he removed the tie rod end.  As to banging on it with a hammer part, verbally he made it sound easy, visually you can see he beat the hell out if it. Also note he tapped the threaded end of the stud, that's an absolute no-no, bung up those threads in any way and you may end up with way more problems than you want to deal with.

I think the "right" way to do it is with a pickle fork tool. But the banging it works well (better) and you don't take the chance of ruining the rubber cover/seal.

The way I've removed tie rod ends is to take the castle nut off, then get a nut with the same thread and thread it on until the bottom surface of the nut and the stud are even (no stud protruding), this should leave a little gap between the nut and the surface above it, if it doesn't back the nut down until there is a gap, say 1/16 inch.  Now use a bottle jack to put a little upward pressure on the nut. Then smack the side of the casting like he did. This method usually makes it come apart easier, protects the tie rod end threads and keeps the tierod end under control when it does come apart.

Then when reassembling it make sure the shaft is clean, not greasy, its a tapered fit made to lock when metal meets metal and not allow any rotation of that shaft.

Also beware cheap parts, some are OK some are not.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 04:33:28 PM by Dale L »


bmb

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I've done it on my subie now a couple times since I bought it in 2009.  it just eats f'n struts.  I don't mess with the spring assembly.  I purchase the struts, remove the old assembly, bring it to my local suspension shop, which uses the spring compressor to take out the old strut and put it back together as a full assembly. Then just bolt them back in.  They have charged me anywhere from $50-$75 for pressing in each set of 2.  Its not an easy job since the lower bolts can be tough to remove, but not a difficult one.  It's not much different than replacing rotors since you have to unbolt the strut assembly anyways.

I need to do the rears in my subie again, and I'll likely just buy a whole new assembly this time.  Reviews are kinda shoddy though so you have to make sure to check them out.  I happen to have a lifetime alignment with firestone, so I end up just getting the alignment done afterwards. 

Also, make sure you have a decent torque wrench to ensure you bolt everything back on at the right torque levels - you don't want to overtighten them, especially the camber bolt.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 04:38:04 PM by bmb »


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I don't mess with the spring assembly.  I purchase the struts, remove the old assembly, bring it to my local suspension shop, which uses the spring compressor to take out the old strut and put it back together as a full assembly. Then just bolt them back in.  They have charged me anywhere from $50-$75 for pressing in each set of 2. 

^ this is the way to do it if you've not got the right gear/ experience to do it safely. There's a LOT of energy stored in these springs, and if you eff it up, it'll go violently projectile. Not a job for harbor freight tools, IMO.

As for cost, The full job you got the quote for sounds high, but might not be if they're using OEM (or at least quality) parts, or if getting to the mount points is difficult (on my Previa, it's a colossal bitch--you've got to remove the dashboard to get to the strut mount bolts). I think when I did the front struts on the Previa it was about $400-500 in parts (I sourced the parts and brought 'em to the shop, replacing everything: springs, insulators, mounts, etc), and around $400 in labor.

If you source your own parts, don't cheap out. Bottom of the barrel ebay parts have a reputation for breaking after a few thousand miles, at least in the Previa owners' group I belong to. Yes, that's actually a thing  :smt005
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NowhereMan

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Thanks for all of the comments and tips. Here's the parts I mentioned:

https://www.1aauto.com/2002-06-honda-cr-v-strut-and-spring-assembly/i/1assp00500?f=730451&y=2004&utm_campaign=gb_csv_br&utm_content=SSP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyrCmte6i1gIVDYFpCh156AsZEAQYAyABEgLLzPD_BwE

The brand is Monroe, and the reviews look pretty good (although not a lot of them).
I got blisters on my fingers!


DeltaYakR

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I just replaced the front struts on my Nissan truck and my wife's jeep. Took about 3hours from start to finish for both vehicles. Bought the spring compressors from Harbor freight for $30 and they worked perfect for both of my vehicles. RockAuto is the best place for parts. Got the struts for both vehicles for under $200.


bmb

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Thanks for all of the comments and tips. Here's the parts I mentioned:

https://www.1aauto.com/2002-06-honda-cr-v-strut-and-spring-assembly/i/1assp00500?f=730451&y=2004&utm_campaign=gb_csv_br&utm_content=SSP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyrCmte6i1gIVDYFpCh156AsZEAQYAyABEgLLzPD_BwE

The brand is Monroe, and the reviews look pretty good (although not a lot of them).
are you sure those are actually monroes? Monroes would be marketed as a quick-strut.


NowhereMan

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... are you sure those are actually monroes? Monroes would be marketed as a quick-strut.

My mistake---it says these are replacements for Monroe parts...
I got blisters on my fingers!


brdopry

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Monroe is garbage, i have had them back in the shop failed ina few months, spend the money on better parts, i wont even sell monroe anymore. Just my two
Cents, if you end up buying a complete strut its real easy in the driveway.


bmb

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I've gone with kyb recently for my subie and really like them so far.  the ride is stiffer so I feel like i'm floating.


Tote

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Some auto parts stores have loaner tools for what you need.
<=>


NowhereMan

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Monroe is garbage, i have had them back in the shop failed ina few months, spend the money on better parts, i wont even sell monroe anymore. Just my two
Cents, if you end up buying a complete strut its real easy in the driveway.

Thanks. What brand(s) do you recommend?
I got blisters on my fingers!


 

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