Re: need new struts on my 97 Nissan Maxima . Do the
No, usually struts come without springs. Some aftermakets are available as complete assembly with strut, sping, and mount. This is the best way to buy if you doing them yourself. A little more expensive but you are replacing everything and will not have to take them to a shop to have spings changed over. I would not attempt to do this yourself even with rented sping compressor because it is extreamly dagerous. Strut spings can kill you, play it safe. Good Luck
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One is a strut assembly and the other is just the strut itself. If you know where to get spring compressors you can use those to compress your old springs and use them on the New strut, usually saves money. If you don't have those it's going to be a tough job ether way you go. Normally the new struts with springs attached are already compressed and banded together so you can remove the old unit and pop them right into place then once everything is tightened up you can cut the bands and your done. Having said all of this, if the spring is attached to the new strut and doesn't separate then you will need to get just the strut itself and that is actually the recommended solution I see in this Diagram I have provided the link to:
Raise the car and remove the wheels. Loosen the bolts holding the strut to the steering knuckle. Before removing them, remove the strut mount bolts under the hood. Then remove the other bolts, the entire strut assembly will slide out. You can either install a complete new strut and spring assembly (more expensive), or you can use a coil spring compressor to remove the spring from the old strut and install it on a new one (less expensive but you must have access to a spring compressor). Make sure when installing the spring that it is aligned correctly on the new strut. A compressed spring is very dangerous, be sure to follow the instructions with the spring compressor. Re-install the strut assembly. Make sure that the knuckle bolts are torqued to spec.
First you must remove the rear seat to gain access to the top strut mounts. The bottom of the rear seat comes out first. On the 91 model there are two tabs at the base of the seat bottm that you pull forward to release the seat bottom. I'm not sure if the 89 is the same. After removal of the rear seat bottom, you will see a bolt at the bottom of each side of the rear seat back that need to be removed. Fold down the arm rest and disconnect the vinyl cover at the base of the armrest to expose and remove two screws. Push up on the rear seat back to unhook three plastic hooks (center and one at each end) at the top of the rear seat back. Remove the seat back. Remove the large metal support panel that is behind the seat back. Safely jack up the rear of the car and support on jack stands so the rear wheels hang free. Doing one strut at a time, remove the two top strut mount bolts leaving the center strut stud nut in place. The strut and mount will lower out of the unibody. Disconnect the bottom strut mount. Remove the strut/coil spring assembly. Using a strut/spring compressor (some auto parts stores rent these) compress the spring. Carefully remove the top strut stud retaining nut, top strut mount, bumpers and strut boot. Carefully install compressed spring, strut boot, bumpers and top strut mount on new strut and install washer and retaining nut. Reinstall strut and etc. in reverse order.
you have mcphereson struts not shocks, you will need new struts, labor plus alignment, Struts will run about $130 each, labor about $100 per side, alignment about $65.00 - about $ 500 .00 bill for total job...
Make sure you get a spring compressor and I reccomend replacing both struts, dust boots, mounts and bearings. Usualyl due to age the mount/bearing will cause noise/steering issuse and the dust boots are there to help the struts last longer by not letting water/dirt ruin the strut seals