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dont know if your changing front or rear but i suggest buying the struts as an assembly. this way you get everything new. rock auto just got a new listing for these. you dont need any special tools to install them. i drive an 03 r/t myself.
Hello! The best thing to do is go to a well know junkyard that have good condition items. And you need to look at your car to see if you have tools that you can take them off. Don't forget to ask your friends if they have tools and if they can help you.
Go to Autozone and buy 2 front strut "cartridges". Then rent their strut cartridge installation tool from their loaner tool program. You can change both sides in about an hour without even jacking the car up-be sure to have a 15/16" wrench on hand for the nut and follow the directions that come with the loaner tool. Also spray a little penetrating oil on the nut a few days before you do the job. There is no reason to change the entire strut assembly unless something has failed.
Parts houses sell a complete assembly now,(spring and strut W/bearing) Much easier to replace the assembly,that way you don't have to compress the spring. Plus that way the factory ride height is restored.Just the 2 bolts at the lower mount and 3 nuts inside the rear cargo area.
The problem is that the springs have to be compressed. Its a dangerous job to do yourself for obvious reasons. I'm pretty sure you could rent a spring compressor from an auto parts store. The strut assembly is attached to the tie rod ends. You will need an alignment for sure.
Personally, I'd be hesitant to do it for those reasons. I'd say if you do it, please be careful that those springs are compressed properly and that you get that alignment after.