Question about 2001 Dodge Stratus

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I broke my rear strut.

I need to know if I have to compress the coil spring to change the strut? And if so how do I do that? Do I need a special tool or can I do it with a jack?

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  • mike loshbough
    mike loshbough May 11, 2010

    if your not sure have a professional compress the spring so you dont really hurt your self

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  • 26 Answers

I would not recommend doing it with a jack you may get hurt try to get a spring compressor tool from a rental place
there is allot of pressure in those springs

will the spring flop around if you move it a little if the spring is allready lose and NO pressure on it you can remove it without a spring compressor

Posted on Feb 28, 2009

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The only way to do this job without spring compressers is to buy the entire assembly with the coil springs and change out the entire strut.This is NOT a job to be tried unless you have the right tools.These things can put a world of hurt on you and can send you to hospital if you don't take care! YOU MUST compress the coil springs,you will never get them on the new struts if you don't. Try your nearest rental place maybe they have a set.Please be carefull and good luck.

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  1. Remove the strut assembly.
    CAUTION Do not attempt to remove the coil spring from the strut without first compressing the coil spring with the appropriate tool.
  2. Install a suitable spring compressor to the coil spring and compress the spring until the spring tension is relieved from the spring seat.
  3. Remove the thrust bearing retainer nut.
  4. Remove the thrust bearing, spring seat and dust shield.
  5. Remove the coil spring from the strut.
  6. Remove the jounce bumper from the strut.
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To install:
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  2. Position the coil spring to the strut.
  3. Compress the coil spring if removed from the spring compressor.
  4. Reinstall the dust shield, spring seat and thrust bearing.
  5. The coil spring must seat in the notch of the spring seat.
  6. Reinstall the thrust bearing retainer nut. Tighten the nut to 44 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
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Your front suspension is a McPherson struts assembly type.
Maybe I do not have the right english wording to satisfy the purists but roughly the complete strut assembly unit at the bottom is attached to the knuckle by two strong bolts and at the top to the vehicule frame by 3 nuts on studs. The coil spring you're talking about is mounted and compressed between the strut assembly base support bracket/seat and the top plate of the assembly. By the way, the built in shock absorber is the component you see going from the bottom to the top trough your coil spring. To remove the coil spring or replace the strut itself you have to compress the coil spring using a coil spring compressor tool. It a relatively dangerous process for beginners because the coil spring is under important tension.
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If you don't plan to keep your vehicule on a long term, I suggest to get a complete used struts assembly for this side (includes struts and coil spring) at a scrap yard for $125 and less and have it installed for approx. 1 hour and less of labour time. It could be a cheap solution.

Do not have new tire installed before you fix it otherwise you will scrap the internal structure of you tire.

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The rest is opposite of removal.

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