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Home MR2 Turbo Procedures / Pics / Notes Replacing Struts and Springs

Replacement of Struts on the MR2 Turbo

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Here I am replacing a very used set of Tokico Illuminas with KYB AGX struts.  The old struts were shot due to a poor choice of boots.  These are just notes and pictures and not all the information you need to safely remove and replace the struts.  It should help though.
New struts and boots

You may want to attempt to loosen the top strut bolt before jacking up the car.  This is the bolt located under the strut tower cover and is a 19mm bolt.  If the assembly moves when you turn the bolt, it can be removed later.  Only loosen this bolt a small amount, under no circumstances should you remove this bolt at this time.  Jack up the car, and remove the wheel.

Rear Struts:
Rear strut assembly (spring, housing and strut) before removing:


Start by removing the anti-roll bar that connects to the strut housing.

Then remove the brake line 'C' clip, and brake line from the caliper.  Hang the brake line out of the way.

Remove the speed sensor cable, but do not remove the speed sensor.

Loosen the top four bolts that hold the strut in place, and then remove the large lower bolts.

The assembly can now be removed after removing the top four bolts.  You will have to push down on the rotor/hub to get enough clearance to remove the strut housing assembly.  It's a good idea to put some sort of rag (underwear) to protect the CVT boot.

If you loosened the top strut bolt (19mm) before, it will make the next step easier.  If you are removing stock springs, you will need a spring compressor.  Please be careful as there can be a large amount of energy stored in the spring!  With the spring compressor installed, remove the top 19mm bolt and spring.  
Removing the gland nut can be difficult.  Soaking it in WD40 or other penetrating lubricant can help.  Then a pipe wrench and vice can be used to remove the nut.  I choose to paint the old components, and then install the new strut.
Pour a small amount of oil into the housing, and install the new strut.  The oil should take up the space between the strut and the housing.  Make sure not to over-fill it since you will need some space to tighten down the gland nut.

Then install a new boot.

Next the spring.

Lubricate the top piece.

Install the top using the 19mm bolt and spring compressor (if necessary).  Make sure to point the top mount piece toward the large bolt holes on the strut housing.  Tighten the bolt using a torque wrench and vice to hold the top.

Install the rear strut by pushing down on the hub/rotor and move the assembly into place.  Hand tighten the top four bolts.

Install the anti-roll bar to the strut housing.

Install the brake line and speed sensor line.

Don't forget the 'C' clamp on the brake line.  Tighten the large bottom two bolts to 180ft-lb.  Tighten the top four strut assembly bolts to specification.

Front Struts:
Here is the old assembly in place.

The first step is to remove the anti-roll bar hook up to the strut housing.  This can be done in two places.  I found it easier to reach the bottom location.  You will most likely need a hex driver and 14mm wrench to remove this bolt.

Next remove the brake line.  You must remove the 'C' clip on the strut housing and the bolt on the caliper.

Then hang the brake line up with a string or wire so that it is out of the way and not dripping.

Next remove the speed sensor bolt.  You do not need to remove the sensor itself, there is plenty of slack in the speed sensor cable.

The four top strut bolts can now be loosened.

The large bottom bolts can now be removed.

Now the hub can move out of the way.

The top strut bolts can now be removed, and the whole spring/strut/strut housing assembly can come out.  
If there are stock springs installed, you will need to use a spring compressor to compress the spring so that it doesn't fly off when you remove the strut bolt (19mm) at the top of the strut bar.  If you have loosened this bolt earlier on, great!  Otherwise you will have to hold the assembly in a vice while removing this bolt.  I've found that the Eibach springs I had installed didn't need to be compressed.  Please be careful as there can be a large amount of energy stored in the springs.
Now comes the hard part.  Removing the gland nut can be somewhat difficult.  I recommended soaking it in WD40, or some other penetrating lubricant.  Then remove it with a pipe wrench.  If this doesn't work, you can try to put the assembly in a vice, with the vice holding the gland nut.  Then use some extensions to twist the assembly.

Pour a small amount of oil into the housing, and install the new strut.  The oil should take up the space between the strut and the housing.  Make sure not to over-fill it since you will need some space to tighten down the gland nut.

Install a new boot.

Install the spring.  Line up the 'larger end' with the bottom.

Clean out the bearing and re-lubricate them.

Line up the top strut mount so that the 'OUT' faces the part of the strut housing that points toward the outside of the car (the part of the strut housing with the large bolts).  It also must be lined up with the top of the strut bar as shown.

You may need to use a spring compressor in order to tighten the 19mm bolt.  If you cannot tighten the 19mm bolt to the torque specifications, you can install the assembly, lower the car down, and then tighten the bolt.  Point the top piece (four studs) with cut-out toward the back of the car.

Install the assembly and just hand tighten the top four bolts.

Tighten the lower two bolts to 180ft-lbs.

Re-install the brake line, C-clip, and bolt for the speed sensor line.  Tighten the top four strut assembly bolts to specification.

Adjustable KYB AGXs: