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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Assuming the parts get here in time, I'm replacing the front struts on my '12 this weekend. I'm replacing the entire assembly. I'm trying to engineer a way to make it easier to get the new struts in. On my '03 it was difficult to lift them up and see what I was doing to line the top bolts up. If I put a jack under the control arm ball joint on the wheel hub, can I lower the wheel enough to get the strut in and a bolt through one of the holes on the hub to hold it while I line up the 3 bolts on top? Once they're lined up I can jack the wheel and strut up. However, I don't want to mess up the axle or tie rod.
 

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Assuming the parts get here in time, I'm replacing the front struts on my '12 this weekend. I'm replacing the entire assembly. I'm trying to engineer a way to make it easier to get the new struts in. On my '03 it was difficult to lift them up and see what I was doing to line the top bolts up. If I put a jack under the control arm ball joint on the wheel hub, can I lower the wheel enough to get the strut in and a bolt through one of the holes on the hub to hold it while I line up the 3 bolts on top? Once they're lined up I can jack the wheel and strut up. However, I don't want to mess up the axle or tie rod.
My wingspan is not much but I was able to shove the strut into position and get one of the top nuts on but a helper would be handy. Take extra precautions not to damage the CV boot with the sharp edges of the replacement strut as you struggle to get it into position.
 

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This is one of those projects where having an extra set of hands for 20 seconds to thread the nuts on a little bit is hugely helpful. I've replaced struts on a lot of vehicles and generally I could do it myself but the couple times I was about to throw a strut across the garage I'd walk inside and ask for help.

If you insist on doing it yourself, maybe a ratchet strap or something else could be used to help pull it up? I can see trying to jack up the assembly by the LCA being fussy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's not so much insisting on doing it myself as it is lack of available help. Or rather help isn't available when I am to do it.
 

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Can you line it up and then use a second jack to hold it up? Which assembly did you get? I’m not finding any inventory
 

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Buy a pair of 24" to 36" bar clamps (ratchet or screw type) from harbor freight, grind/drill off the indent/keepers at the ends of the bar, slide off both arms and reverse install them on the the bar so the ratchet action moves it away from the fix arm. Now you have a pair of adjustable expanders/props. One end on the floor or on the lower control arm, the other end under a coil on the spring to hold the strut up in the tower while you loosely attach 3 nuts. Then a bottle jack under the lower control arm to raise/lower it so you can position the strut/hub through-bolts.
 

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The HF clamps have a removable end (the small end...) with a wing screw. Unscrew that from through the bar, then move that pad to the other end of the bar. Voila! A spreader...

I usually use the roller jack with a block under the control arm. That way I can use a foot on the handle to lift the arm while I guide the top of the strut into the holes. It gets to be fun when the top isn't indexed perfectly. Steering wheel movement will help some if the clamps bolts are already snug, else turn the assembly as needed to get things rotated for the studs.
 
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