My next DIY project... or not

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I'm a little lazy to research this for myself, so I'll understand if you don't want to do the work for me :laughing:

I just needed to know, is it a DIY project to repair/replace the struts, coil, and um... ball joint, I think it was, for the front driver's side of a car ('96 Camry LE), if damage to these parts is preventing the wheels from being aligned?

Basically there was some damage to the car following a minor accident a good while ago. This damage has been ignored so far. The steering wheel is... um... kinda turned to the side. :oops: And I was told that the parts I listed were the problem by the mechanic who attempted to align the wheels.

posted by  JaneiR36

With a good manual, a decent selection of tools and some determination it's a job you can probably handle. Be aware you'll probably want remove the strut assemblies and take them to a repair shop to have the springs and strut bearing transfered to the new struts.

Keep in mind that if you hit something hard enough to bend/damage/whatever your stuts and a ball joint you probably have a bent lower control arm or two. Still doable by you and will need repair as it will also keep the car from being properly aligned.

posted by  vwhobo

Awesome! :smoke:

I'll start doing some reading next week to get all the details and hopefully will decide if I want to go ahead and do it myself or take it to the shop for repairs.


Muchas gracias, amigo :thumbs:

posted by  JaneiR36

Did you just call me a nasty name? :laughing:

posted by  vwhobo

lol...

posted by  JaneiR36

I like VWHobo's idea of removing the strut as an assembly.

Compressing the springs can be a dangerous operation if one does have a good spring compressor and follow the appropriate safety practices. A car spring becoming suddenly uncompressed un-leashes a lot of energy and become hazardous to your health (or deadly)

One can rent/borrow the spring compressor for dis-assembly/re-assembly and any other special tools (if needed) for the work. However, I find the $20/ strut to have a local shop dis-assemble and re-assemble the strut assebly and replace the strut cartridge is a good investment.

One can sometimes buy the entire strut assembly (including springs) ready to install for some cars for between $100 and $170 each.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Wonderful. I will take all of those into consideration.

posted by  JaneiR36

You mean to say four friends on the fender while you use fencing wire to tie the compressed spring is dangerous? :mrgreen:

posted by  Wally

dont forget to have the car aligned after you put the strut on!

posted by  jnemeth

i would not suggest messing with the front end of the car unless you really have a good idea of what you are in for.first of all,it has to be duplicated what you do from one side to the other,or the car is not balanced.by the time you buy all the proper tools,you could pay someone to do it.if you are going to work on it ,make sure that you torque all the nuts and bolts.check the other side for reference(mirror image of course)you might find when you get into the job that the inner axle seals or the cv boots or joints or the transmission side gasket is no good and end up with a towing bill on top of the repairs.by the time you pay for all the stuff.........

posted by  the lobster

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