Re: Steering/front suspension noises/clunks thread.
The Monroe Quick Struts I mentioned previously arrived and I installed them today. They appear very well built and of better quality than the stockers. They are a complete assembly including a new coil spring. No special tools required. If I were to do the job again tomorrow it would take an hour but today it took about 2 hours.
The easiest way to do it is to jack up one side of the car, do that side and then move to the other side. The only tricky part is removing the 18mm nut on the tie-rod end (ball joint) of the upper control arm link. There are 3, 18mm nuts on the strut and this would be the upper one. On our '09 with 62,600 miles there was rust/corrosion on each which required a wire brush, plenty of spray lube and a few shots of air to blow away debris. The 'bolt' portion of the ball joint has an 8mm hex end on it that can be held with an 8mm 6-point socket while you loosen the nut with an 18mm wrench. It's important to hold that stud while the nut is loosened to prevent damage to the tie rod end. The bottom 2 bolts need to be driven out as they are pressed in so be sure to leave the nuts on and tap on the nut so the bolt threads aren't damaged. You may have to smack them harder than you think- I use a brass hammer. Spray lube them prior to driving them back in. Also, protecting the CV boot with cardboard or something is a good idea in case Murphy shows up. Remove all the nuts/bolts on the bottom before removing the top 3 nuts under the hood while holding the strut to keep it from falling. The torque specs for everything are listed on the included instruction sheet.
With the new struts installed, everything torqued to spec and the tires set to 44# each we went for a ride. The car is smoother and much quieter. The only time we can hear a thump now is on a big bump. All the small, washboard, stutter bumps are nice and quiet. We drove all over (it was 5 below zero) and I kept expecting an upcoming series of icy bumps to rattle my teeth but was pleasantly surprised. We are very pleased with the results.
In our opinion it's $273 well spent.