DIY strut replacement

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Blackwing, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Blackwing

    Blackwing Junior Member

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    Hi guys I want to replace the struts on my own. I'm not sure if this is exactly the issue but my front end sounds like a basketball being dribbled at times when i go up and down bumps, or even while turning this happens too sometimes.

    Which parts do I need to shop for on eBay?

    What are all the tools I need?

    Where can i find a full video to replace 2004 prius struts?

    P.S. I have 255,000 miles


    Thanks

    Joe
     
  2. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    Have you replaced a coil spring on a car or pickup before? If not, my suggestion is that you not attempt to replace the STRUTs, because an error can and likely will, KILL you. The coil springs are under considerable pre-load and bolted to the strut, to replace a strut, you need to remove and then install the spring; a DANGEROUS proposition.

    Now, you can get "strut assemblies" for not much more than the cost of a quality strut. They are "plug-and-play", meaning you remove the strut mount bolts at the top and the two lower bolts at the knuckle and you do not risk the spring being ejected at your head.
     
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  3. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Ditto the above. I've done that job once with home mechanic tools and it scared me. Unless I can use a professional bench-mounted spring compressor, I won't do it again.
     
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  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Did another car few years back and it scared the [email protected] out of me too. Unless you use the factory service tool spring compressor that fits perfectly your putting your life on the line. Nothing else fits properly.
    As I started to crank it down only got about halfway compressed and spring came loose and flew across my patio and hit the house. I said never again. So much force with the spring compressed.

    Didn't realize then that the auto parts stores now have spring mounting services where they will swap the spring for you.

    But honestly at 255,000 miles I wouldn't bother. Just drive it till it explodes.
     
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  5. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Didn't know the parts stores would do it. Thanks.
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I had my rear struts done twice at my mechanics and both times he didn't want to do them. He insisted I get pre-installed ones with springs already mounted in a complete assembly. He said those rear springs are really tiny and hard to safely compress them.



    SM-N900P ?
     
  7. johnjohnchu

    johnjohnchu Member

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    Attached Files:

    #7 johnjohnchu, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I've posted on replacing 2G front struts and rear shocks in this forum a few years ago, and have done those jobs on three different Prius. My posts also show the spring compressor tool I used which worked well.
    Hints Regarding Replacement of 2G Front Struts | PriusChat
    Replaced Rear Shocks | PriusChat

    Hence I've risked my life a total of 14 times (according to some) but I never felt this was a concern. If you refrain from doing something stupid or using a really cheap compressor tool, you'll be fine.
    14 = (4 struts/shocks per Prius [2001, 2004, 2007] * 3 Prius = 12) + (replace rear shocks a 2nd time on 2004 Prius = 2)
     
    #8 Patrick Wong, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  9. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    Right Patrick, completely do-able for someone willing to take the care required and understanding the risks.
     
  10. jessiejosco

    jessiejosco Member

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    I just did mine in the fall. If you are comfortable working on cars and have some good spring compressors then this job is not too bad. The spring is restrained by the strut and the top seat as long as the nut is on the strut. My spring compressors have pins to lock them on the spring so I felt pretty safe.
    I used Kyb struts instead of Toyota since the Toyota struts have Kyb stamped right on them. I would get new boots and bumpers. If you want to make sure the springs are quiet you may want to get new rubber bushings for the spring seats but they are pricey (mine looked ok). You may want to do the upper strut mount but I found the bearings in mine were still in very good condition. My upper seats were rusty, but I just cleaned them up and put on rust protector.
    I would not use the preloaded struts, since you have no control over the quality of the parts they used to build them.
     
  11. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I agree with this statement.
     
  12. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    Monroe is pretty high quality and at the bare minimum and nationally recognized brand of suspension parts. You can get complete assemblies for about $100/side, compared to $60 for KYB strut inserts. My time is worth more than $40/side, even ignoring the hassle and risk.

    There is no doubt that KYB is considered a premium brand, but even they build to a PRICE and not a quality for the aftermarket.
     
  13. Blackwing

    Blackwing Junior Member

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    Hi all, Thank you for your posts! Best prius forum on the net! Wanted to update that I had a local tech install just the front strut + spring assemblies. Ordered the parts from AM-AutoParts on eBay for $114.39. Labor cost $120.00 flat rate. The feel is better, i'm not sure if I need an alignment just yet.
     
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