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I have a '99 Maxima.

I am considering installing strut tower braces. In order to do so, would I need to get spring compression tools to hold the springs on the struts, or will the weight of the car be sufficient to hold it in place when I remove the bolts on the towers?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The weight of the car will be sufficient to keep the spring from decompressing fully and pulling out the bottom of the strut frame in the car.

You must be careful not to jack the car up without the bolts secured tightly though, this could produce a dangerous situation. Also if you are ever working on the 'southern' half of the spring, where it interacts with the wheel arm, you MUST use a compression tool as it is under pressure and can shoot off when the bolts holding the assembly together are loosen.

SAFETY NOTE

You must always be extremely careful when working with any system that is under pressure, whether it is from a spring, motorized or from hydraulics. Check with you vehicle's manual before performing work so that you are familiar with your specific car's systems.

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Thanks! As for tightening the tower bolts back down upon reassembly, I would assume these are ones which are specced to be tightened to a particular torque, yes? So as long as I tighten them to specs, they should be fine, correct? –  eidylon Mar 8 '11 at 5:31
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+1 for the safety point. That is worth a supervote. –  jmort253 Mar 8 '11 at 6:24
    
@eidylon yes, as long as you tighten the bolts down youth torque spec you will be fine –  Patrick Mar 8 '11 at 13:24
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+1 I'd add gravity to your list of pressurized components. –  Bob Cross Mar 8 '11 at 14:19
    
Cool, thanks for the info! @Bob - Great comment! :) –  eidylon Mar 8 '11 at 16:09
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Usually the bolts that strut braces attach to are the ones that attach the strut assembly to the car. The spring is held in place in the strut assembly by the nut in the middle, which I have never needed to remove to install any strut braces. See how the brace below has a hole in the middle for the top shock nut:

Strut brace install

This shock nut holds the upper spring perch to the shock, where the shocks have stops in them to prevent them from overextending. This holds the spring inside the assembly.

Strut

So, the assembly could fall out if the wheels are not supported. Removing the strut to tower bolts is not an issue if the car is on the ground.

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Nice pictures - they make the point well. –  Bob Cross Aug 6 '12 at 12:30
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