Chevy HHR Struts Removed And Replaced



chevy HHR noseThe Chevy HHR struts were removed and replaced with the help of the “OEM/MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor” tool I purchased. I will be making a review on this tool in the future. There is also a “strut rod socket” that I wish I had used, but didn’t have one. If you can find one, it will make the job much easier.  This is a dangerous procedure—follow proper safety procedure. You do not want a spring flying out at you. I used a bench vice to hold the strut assembly during spring compressing and removal, as well as the re-installation of the spring and compression tool removal.

Strut, Strut Component, and Spring Replacement

Step 1

strut with attached compressor

  • Remove the strut from the vehicle, mark the components (spring and upper strut mount) so that they will be re-assembled properly, and then install the strut spring compressor tool. Position the two parts of the tool opposite each other on the spring, and use the safety lock features of the particular tool. The OEM tool I used has slide pins that sort of lock in place, thereby holding the tool on the spring. Click here for the review I did on this tool.
  • Now tighten each screw shaft on each tool equally, alternating from one to the other until the spring is compressed. You will know the spring is compressed when the strut moves freely. Some people use an impact wrench on the screws in order to speed up the compression process. I like to manually tighten the screw shafts in order to get the feel of the tightness. I rarely go past compressing the spring just enough to remove the strut.

Step 2

strut in vise

  • Now use the strut rod socket (24mm check size for fit) or the OEM shock absorber tool or equivalent to remove the upper strut mount nut. I used a pair of vice grips to hold the strut shaft and then I loosened the nut with a wrench–I believe it is a 15/16. It worked, but I only recommend this as a last resort, as there is a chance of scarring the strut shaft, and lowering its useful life. Try to use proper tools if you can.

Step 3

compressed strut spring

  • Notice how the coil spring fits into the upper and lower portion of the strut mounts. You should have the upper one marked.old strut The lower one you just have to remember or use your camera and take a picture. You can now remove the upper strut mount and the coil spring—leaving the old strut naked looking. Now it is time to install the spring and upper strut mount on the new strut.


The Assembly Procedure

Step 1

old spring on new strut

  • Now install the coil spring and upper strut mount to the new strut. I leave my spring compressor on the spring, and still compressed. Install the coil spring and upper strut mount to the new strut. Make sure the bottom and top of the spring and their dampening parts are correctly positioned as they were on the old strut. Install the strut retaining nut finger tight.
  • Use the shock absorber tool to hold and tighten the strut shaft nut to 75 NM (55 ft. lbs.).

Step 2

  • It is now time to remove the strut spring compressor tool from the spring. Loosen slowly, alternating turns on each side of the spring until the spring is un-compressed. Remove the spring compressor tool.
  • Install the strut to the vehicle.

Step 3

  • Do the other side. Install the struts. Test drive. Go have a couple beers or whatever. Congratulations!—You did it! 😀