So, you want to change your struts but don't want to pay expensive labor?  You've come to the right place!  Why throw away your hard earned money when you can do it yourself!

    This vehicle in the guide is a Volvo 850, but any cars with MacPherson Struts will have similar setups.


Equipments you need:

Socket set - It depends on your car, if you can get your hands on a set for both SAE and metric that would be great!
Socket wrench
Torque Wrench - you need one to properly torque the nuts back to specs.  Borrow one or buy one on ebay, I got one for $30 USD, not expensive considering all the things you can do with it.
Pipe Wrench or Volvo strut nut tool - to grab hold of the struts and take off the cross shaped strut retaining nut.
WD-40/Liquid Wrench - Some of the bolts will be on very tight or rusted.
Floor Jack and 2 Jack Stands - Never work on the car not supported by jack stands, you're just looking for trouble if you do!
Quality Strut Spring Compressors - Very Important!  The springs contain enough energy to kill you.  You can usually rent them at you local auto stores for a few days.  With good strong compressors this job is not as dangerous as it seems.
Repair manual - get a manual for you car, Haynes is a good source for quality manuals.
New strut mounts (2, Volvo part # 3546189)
Updated: The strut mounts I bought off FCP Groton failed in another 50000kms.  However, I do push the car into corners much faster than most of the sane Volvo drivers would do, so your mileage will probably be slightly better.

spring seats (2,
strut-to-steering knuckle nuts and bolts (4 ea. Nuts #
948645 Bolts # 965194 )
suspension strut upper mounting nuts (6,

Updated: According to FCP Groton the part numbers are as follows:
948645 Strut Mount Lock Nut (6 req) $1.25 OEM Picture
965194 Bolts (4 req) $1.50 Genuine Volvo Picture
971099 Lock Nut for above bolt (4 req) $2.00

6 hours - if its your first time, it will take that long (or even longer, if the bolts are rusted)

Buy your parts at usually have the cheapest prices for Volvo parts. 


To Step 1


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