[SIZE="4"]Discovered my front left shock was leaking. Wanted to add my Eibach Pro springs to the front and cut a coil off the rear.
1. Remove wheel and then remove this anti-roll bar link. The outer nut is 15mm, the allen key is 5mm. You need to secure the inner bolt as it will spin.
3. Remove the wheel sensor cable and the tie rod from the strut.
4. Also unplug the wheel sensor from the hub.
5. Next pull off the brake lines where it is anchored to the strut. Give a shot of PB Blaster around where the strut is attached to the steering knuckle.
6. Use a 15mm socket (I think), remove the bolt behind the knuckle which secures the strut.
7. Use a screwdriver and slowly pry the strut away from the knuckle. It will come off without much effort.
8. From inside the engine bay look at the strut tower. There are three bolts surrounding a central nut inside a depression. Use a 18mm socket to loosen the spring seat nut (the one in the center). Only loosen it, do not remove the nut. (If you take the nut off, the spring will no longer be constrained and release all of its elastic potential energy suddenly, the shock and spring will be ejected (very forcefully) downwards and may damage hydraulic and electrical lines, and the whole assembly will come apart inside the wheel well. Not good!) Loosening this nut now will make it easier for you to remove it without using a special socket pass-thru tool later. A allen key is used as a counter-hold to keep the strut from spinning while you attempt to loosen the nut with your other hand. It is difficult to break this nut loose while the assembly is out of the car. So do this while the assembly is still attached to the car.
The nut in question.
9. Then use a 13mm socket to remove the surrounding 3 bolts that attach the spring seat to the body frame.
10. Remove the strut assembly from the car. The spring seat strut retention nut (the middle one on the strut piston) is still there, keeping the assembly together.
11. Empty wheel well. Check CV joints and boots for leakage, tie rod boot for cracks, as you have very good access to all these items now. I found my right side CV boot had developed a tiny crack and leaking grease.
12. Attach spring compressors and compress coil springs until the tension is off the spring seats. You'll know when you can spin the spring seats freely.
13. When the spring seat is completely unloaded, use a 6 allen wrench to hold the center of the strut while using a 18mm crescent wrench to remove the nut. I didn't have a 18mm wrench, hence the adjustable wrench. This is extremely difficult to do if you do not have the special socket pass through tool or an extra set of hands, if this nut is still very tight. The coils are also compressed so there is potential for broken fingers if you aren't careful and stripping the nut if you don't do it properly.
14. Strut assembly disassembled.
Spring seat separated from bearing.
Replaced new bearings and pressed back into spring seat. Rubber bump stop separated from bearing and dust boot. All parts washed.
15. Note orientation of spring seat with respect to the car. Arrow points to the side of the car while the three nubs along my index finger faces the inside.
16. When assembling the pieces, the bearing seat should be tapered towards the front. There is a rear tab on the bearing and should be aligned with the middle nub of the spring seat.
These two tabs must align with the metal tab on the bottom of the strut.
17. Assemble the strut and then reattach to the vehicle. If you plan on lowering the car with another set of springs, remove the spring compressor and re-compress the lowering springs now. Install the springs and secure the spring seat before uncompressing the spring.
Tighten the 3 strut mounting bolts to the frame.
18. Align the strut with the knuckle and put some anti-seize around the tubular channel so the strut can slip back in.
19. Put a jack under the knuckle and as you jack the knuckle up, grab the brake rotor and jiggle back and forth. The strut will easily slip in and fully seat with the steering knuckle this way. Feel the bottom of the knuckle to determine if the strut had passed completely through and you can feel the bottom dome of the strut protruding slightly. Reattach the securing bolt and tighten. This bolt is secured from the front (bolt head faces toward the front of the vehicle), on both sides. If you feel you need a lot of torque to tighten the bolt, you've probably passed it in from the wrong side.
20. Reverse all steps for the brake line and the tie rod bolts.
21. Tighten the spring seat nut. You are done.
Rear Springs. Top to bottom: Cut Eibach Pro, Elevate, OEM Springs.
Front Springs. Left to right: Elevate, Eibach Pro, OEM spring.
An alignment is in order with the change in geometry.