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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do I need a spring compressor to replace the front struts on my '97 Suzuki Sport JLX, 1.8L, automatic, 4x4, ABS?
 

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No - the spring sits between the control arm and the frame rail.

Place the vehicle on jack stands and then place a jack under the outer part of the control arm to prevent it from drooping - remove the bolts holding the strut to the knuckle, remove the nuts holding the strut mount to the tower and lower the strut and remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! That's a BIG help. I can't afford to have it down for any length of time so I have to be prepared to do what's needed.
 

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You can do front struts in the driveway with basic hand tools (including jack stands), in a Saturday morning - the biggest challenge is getting the nut on top of the strut loose - the way I do it is to remove the strut with the mount and then use a pipe wrench to hold the octagonal plate under the nut steady and put a wrench on the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good advice. Can I expect to have to replace the mounts at 102,000 miles?
 

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I'd have to guess and my guess is no - it could however depend on how the car was driven.

Only one of the vehicles I've owned has ever need new strut mounts, and that one uses a bearing in the mount (which the Suzuki mount doesn't have) and it was the bearing which had failed rather than the rubber mount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This was never off road -- almost always on slow local roads so there was little stress on the suspension. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No sweat swapping the first strut but I have a question. The old strut has a flange near the top which the lower end of the boot rests against making a seal. I verified the part numbers with both Rock Auto and Monroe customer service, even using the VIN, and both say the replacements are the correct struts. Did yours have the flange?

If they are really the correct fit, I can make a rubber donut to seal the boot and clamp it on but I'm still concerned about having the correct struts.
 

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I don't have a Sidekick Sport, so I can't tell you what the original strut looks like - the OE struts on my Grand Vitara have no flange and the OE boots aren't flexible, they are more of a plastic shield that slides over the strut body, than an accordion style boot.

If you're using a Monroe replacement and the part numbers match your application, I wouldn't worry about the missing flange, or the sealing of the boot against the strut - the boot isn't actually required to seal.

I took a look at the Monroe website and they list four struts for the 97 Sidekick Sport - MonroeMatic 801932 and the SensaTrac 71932 for non-ABS vehicles, and the SensaTrac 71590 & 71591 (R & L) for ABS equipped vehicles - interestingly enough the non-ABS parts are shown with the flange, the ABS parts without.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have the 71590/1 so they must be right. I don't see why the boots are accordion pleated and rested against the flange on the old ones. Also had to modify the attachment for the ABS wire anchor. Any way, I'll put the other one.

Thanks for your support!
 
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