Instructables

How do I replace worn out front struts on a 98 Honda Accord; and how much would it cost me?


How do I replace worn out front MacPherson struts on a 98 Honda Accord; and how much would it cost me?Note; it seems I can use pre-assembled Monroe "Quick Struts"; would I still need the spring clamps if I us a quick-strut?

I've heard this could be potentially dangerous; how would I minimize danger?

Other things; would I need to bleed the brakes after? ( I assume yes) What's the basic idea behind that?

I would need an alignment I'm going to assume, from what I hear, I can't do that at home - but can I get it "semi-right" to drive it to the shop?

I have most of the tools available aside from a torque wrench. If I get a Monroe quick-strut, what other things would I replace? Any bushings/bearings/stuff that would be good to change at the same time?

Personal experience, Changing oil/fixing radiator leaks/doing basic maintenance on cars (brake pads/rotors, spark plugs/ distributor cap etc) The easy stuff basically. Honda quoted me at 800, and independent quoted me at 600. I can buy those quick-struts for 180 a pop.

caarntedd3 years ago
Phill, you won't need to undo the centre bolt to remove the suspension unit from the vehicle. If your replacement struts come complete with a spring it is a simple swap. If the spring needs to be transfered from the old unit to the new, you will need a spring compressor to squash the spring and allow the centre nut to be removed safely.
If the new struts come without springs and you purchase new springs instead of using the old ones, you will still need to compress them to fit them to the new struts.
Using a store bought handyman type spring compressor or one that you make yourself is a little slow and time consuming, but necessary for safe removal and easy reinstallation of the springs. You may get the spring off without one but you will never get it back on.
A workshop has a machine which does the job in seconds, but a store bought tool should be pretty cheap as it is a very simple device. ( I bought one about 25 years ago so I don't remember how much it was) but I guarantee you will still save hundreds of bucks doing this yourself.
Plus you get the satisfaction.
Phill (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
In your opinion, if I'm about to sell this vehicle; and there are no other significant mechanical problems; would it be worth the money to repair it myself? Or sell it as is?

I can get a torque/impact wrench to help me out on this.

The only other problem is a cosmetic paint problem; on the top and back where the paint has washed away but it tends to match with the primer. (Silver 98 LX 4drSedan) 110k miles.
caarntedd Phill3 years ago
I can't tell how bad your front suspension is, but if you say the car is otherwise mechanically sound there are a couple of ways to go about it.

Sell it as is and tell the buyer what you think will need replacing. This may get a quick sale if you are pressed for time, but will give the buyer a good bargaining chip to knock your asking price down. They may knock down your price by 800 or more to cover the cost of repairs and then do the job themselves (or not at all) saving money that could be in your pocket. Although the problem would be out of your hands and you could get on with your life.

Repair the suspension and tidy the car up as much as possible. This will get you more cash, especially if you can manage the work yourself. You can point out the new struts and anything else you have done to the buyer, and show that they are purchasing a reasonably maintained vehicle. Also you will know that you haven't sold someone a deathtrap.

I would do the repair if there is not much else wrong with the car, but I am confident that I could do the job.Either way if you are honest to the buyer, everyone will be happy. I guess it all depends on how much you want for the car. I would say that you would make a lot more money selling a car in good repair rather than a car with a list of repairs needed. People like to get in their new car and just drive off into the sunset.

Of course you can do what many people do and just sell it without doing any repairs or saying anything to the buyer, take the money and run so to speak. I wouldn't do that, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Phill (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
I'm going to try and go through with the repair; and just for advice, what/where should I buy the quick-strut? And how much would a front-end alignment cost?
caarntedd Phill3 years ago
? I live in Australia. I believe you live somewhere spiffy, so I don't know what to tell you.

Last wheel alignment I paid for was on my wife's car back in Feb. this year. It was $38.
The struts are available for about $80 to $100 each, without the springs.
A cheap spring compressor is about $20.

Shop around, you could probably do a lot better than this, and if you can't you're looking at about $230 to $250 compared to the $600 you were quoted.

Also look on youtube and see videos of how NOT to get the springs off, different methods to get them on and off safely, and how to make your own spring compressor.

You can do it! Good luck.

Phill (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
Thanks! And you were right, I live in the U.S. Wheels Alignments tend to cost us 50+. You're saying I can buy the struts without the springs, does that mean that I should just re-use my old springs?

Also; I found some of the monroe quick-struts from amazon; since I lifted the part numbers - I can buy them for 125 dollars each; that's pretty damn cheap. 250 + 100 dollar alignment would run me at 350 - and I can borrow a torque wrench from a friend. This is looking good man! Thanks!
caarntedd Phill3 years ago
Yes you usually buy the struts without springs, you can re-use the old springs if you want to, but at $125 bucks a pop you should go with the complete quickstrut units.

That makes the job simpler, and I only use a torque wrench on motor internals. But that's just me.
caarntedd3 years ago

Do it yourself.
If you buy the complete unit you wont have to remove the springs. That is the dangerous part you mentioned.
In the engine compartment you will see the top mount points for the struts. There should be a number of bolts (usually 3 to 6 but could be any number) arranged in a sort of circular pattern. You will need to undo the outside bolts but NOT the centre one. The centre one holds the unit together under tension, and should be released after the unit is removed from the vehicle. You will need specialised tools and skills to do this part. Dangerous if you don't know how, and if you get it apart without using a spring compressor and not hurting anyone as the tension pops the unit apart, you wont be able to get the spring back on
easily. Look up spring compressor.
If you have complete units with springs fitted it is a simple change over job.
I don't know if you will need to dismantle the brakes on your car to do this, but if you do they will need to be topped up with fluid and bled to remove air from the system. Air compresses reducing the efficiency of the brakes.

This is a pretty simplified explanation, but it is a fairly simple job. Look around this site or google to get more info on strut replacement, brake bleeding etc. Or get a shop manual. I tried to attach a pic, but I don't know if it is any good. I googled front strut images and it was one of the first hits.

The wheel alignment will be okay to drive to a workshop and have it done professionally.
Hope this helps.
diagram_front_strut.jpg
Phill (author)  caarntedd3 years ago
Alright, Just to be sure, will I ever need to take off the center-bolt?

"You will need to undo the outside bolts but NOT the centre one. The centre one holds the unit together under tension, and should be released after the unit is removed from the vehicle ."

That statement is confusing me?



+1
The most dangerous part is compressing the spring.
Phill (author) 3 years ago
Did it! Wasn't that bad, all I have to do is realign it! Thanks for your help!