Changing out the struts on your car might sound like a professional job only, but it is not so hard to do with the help of a friend. With some simple tools, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing this repair yourself.
· Socket and ratchet set (size may vary by model)
· Jack and jack stands
· Spring compressor
· Replacement struts
Start by jacking the vehicle up by using the correct jack points on your vehicle. Place the front end on jack stands to properly secure the vehicle. Never work on a vehicle solely supported with a jack only. Always use jack stands. Once this is done, remove the front wheels.
You will see a “fork” which the bottom of the strut sits in. Remove the fork pinch bold and the bottom fork bolt. The pinch bolt is on the top of the fork directly where the bottom of the strut sits. Follow the fork down and you will see a bolt that goes through the whole fork assembly at the bottom. These are the two bolts to remove. You can now remove the fork to get it out of the way. The strut assembly is now only being secured by the flange bolts bolting it to the engine bay.
Remove the two flange nuts holding the top of the assembly in place. Do not touch the center bolt. This will release the spring and can cause serious injury. Once the two flange nuts are removed, take the whole strut assembly out. Check out here at https://prtautoparts.com/.
Compress the spring with the spring compressor at this time. Get a good three inch compression of the spring to relieve pressure. If you do not get enough compression, the spring will have enough force to pop when you remove the center bolt. Three inches is recommended to release enough pressure.
With the spring properly compressed, place the correct size allen wrench inside the center of the bolt holding the center nut on. You will use this to hold the strut piston in place while you remove the nut. Do not remove the nut with it facing towards you. Place the assembly on the ground in case there is still enough pressure to shoot the nut off.
With the center nut off, you can now remove the old strut from the spring. Remove the bump stop and all other hardware to transfer it to the new strut unit. Place the new strut unit back in the spring. Do not tighten the center nut yet.
You will see an aligning tab on the bottom of the strut. The two mounting bolts on the top of the strut plate need to be 59 degrees +/- 3 degrees from this aligning tab. With the aligning tab facing you, the two top bolts should be somewhat in this direction: ( \ ). This is so the strut assembly will mount back up in the proper location when placing it back on the vehicle. Place the center bolt back on, while also assuring the base of the shock is properly seated on the strut base before completely tightening. Once tight, remove the spring compressor from the strut assembly.
With the new strut assembly complete, you can now place it back on the vehicle. Put the fork back in its place and put the bottom of the strut back into the top of the fork. Make sure the aligning tab is in the center of the pinch gap. Loosely place the fork pinch bolt back in place, along with the bottom fork bolt. You will also loosely place the top mounting flange nuts on at this time.
Place your jack under the front knuckle of the fork. Jack the vehicle up until it slightly comes off of the jack stand. This is to ensure proper seating of the strut into the fork. Now completely tighten all hardware and replace your wheel. Repeat for the other side.
It is recommended that you get your vehicle aligned after working on your front suspension.
You have now successfully replaced your front struts on your Honda Civic.