Step 1 Pop hood, Straighten front wheels, raise vehicle off ground and support with jack stands.
Step 2 Remove wheel. (3/4” deep well socket)
Step 3 Mark top position of lower struts bolts. I may be paranoid on this one as they don’t appear to be camber corrective, but better safe than sorry I suppose.
Step 4 Use your penetrating oil on the two strut to knuckle bolts/nuts, three upper strut mount nuts, brake line bracket bolt/nut, and most importantly the sway bar end link nut and give it time to work.
Step 5 Place jack under control arm careful not to hook it on the dust shield, just enough to remove tension on bolts.
Step 6 Remove brake line bracket nut (10mm deep well socket).
Step 7 gently pry bracket away from strut body, just enough to get bracket pulled away; shouldn’t take much force. Bracket and bolt slide into strut body and when tightened there is a little tang that keeps it in place is reason to not pull it all apart.
Step 8 Remove sway bar end link nut. (18mm deep well socket) Impact gun works great here and should help you stay away from the following problem. Also use the pry bar/screw driver between the sway bar and the lower control arm if only jacking one side up at a time as the sway bar is going to push up hard with the suspension at these angles.
*If you have my luck get ready for a little bit of work here as it was a big PITA. Use the 18mm ratcheting box wrench on nut and 8mm socket on ball stud. Plenty of pb blaster here as well. You may be able to get away with a standard box wrench here and spin the stud with the socket, but this was not the case for me. Stay with it though, it can be done.
Step 9 Use pliers to gently push in tabs then push down on abs connector mount. Pull two spots where rubber protector of abs line is attached to mounting bracket.
Step 10 Remove lower strut nuts (18mm deep well socket) remove abs line bracket and replace nuts until the end of the nut and the end of the bolt are flush. The bolt shoulder is ribbed (for her pleasure) so there is no worry of them spinning.
Step 11 Use hammer to knock bolt out past ribs, undue nuts as needed until things are loose. This ensures you don’t damage the threads when removing the bolt. Remove bolts and nuts fully; if needed use a slightly smaller sized bolt or equivalent object to punch the bolts all the way through.
Step 12 Lower jack a little bit so knuckle/brakes etc. are still supported but so you can still get strut assembly out.
Step 13 Go topside for some back relief and loosen the three strut mount nuts (1/2” deep well socket)
Step 14 Remove two of the nuts and then while supporting and pushing up on the strut assembly with one hand remove the last strut mount nut.
Step 15 Remove strut assembly, coming down first into the empty area between the abs line, the lower control arm, and where the sway bar curls from under car. Then carefully tip top of assy. Outwards from wheel well and pull out.
Step 16 Note the relation of all parts here. There is a flat spot on the edge of the strut mount, and the spring perch and strut bearing assembly has a little tang as well. Remember or write down these positions for reassembly on strut.
Step 17 Compress spring until there is no pressure on the strut mount.
Step 18 Use caution when removing strut top hat nut. (13/16” deep well socket) Impact gun is the best way to do this, but you may be fortunate if you are using just a hand wrench. All the parts are a bit unwieldy and once the nut if off everything is going to want to move. Try to keep the assembly straight up and down when you do this so you don’t lose the strut bearings. They are held in place by a little plastic dust cap. This is also seems a likely spot where a lot of front end clunks originate, as I’ve had both mine replaced already, right side twice; solves for a time then comes back after 15,000miles or so. Sometimes just tightening the top hat nut will quiet things down, but it’s only a matter of time before they go again. Set things aside and out of the way.
Step 19 Remove spring and uncompress.
Step 20 If your new springs came with shorter bump stops, remove old and install new and replace dust boot. Alternately you can also cut the factory bump stops. (removing lower rung or 2 should be plenty)
Front Comparison: factory left, Eibach right
Step 21 Your new springs may be short enough on their own but if not compress and rebuild strut assembly. Lower plastic isolator has little tangs to keep it in place just make sure spring ends in the little notch formed on the spring perch. Try to get the rubber isolator to sit on the new spring the way it did on the old where there’s a little pressure point in the rubber. Strut bearing next with the tang pointed in the correct position from before, and finally strut mount on top making sure to align that white dust cap into notched part underneath mount with the flat edge in same position as it came out.
Step 22 Use impact gun on top nut (13/16”)
Step 23 Decompress spring
Step 24 Replace strut assembly leading with bottom first into the same little empty space as before taking care not to hit any body work or brake lines on its way in.
Step 25 Push up with one arm trying to align the studs with the holes and finger tighten a nut up top. Replace and tighten all three nuts
Step 26 Turn strut and get the knuckle between the strut brackets. Raise jack and move things around until the holes line up again. Push bolts through (in their marked upright position if you decided to do it) and replace abs line bracket and then tighten (18mm) nuts down.
Step 27 Use pry bar to position sway bar end link back into position, replace and tighten 18mm nut
Step 27 Push rubber abs line back into its two notch’s, and pop the abs clip back into place.
Step 28 Slide brake line bracket back into place with tang fitting into its little hole and tighten (10mm) nut.
Step 29 Spray brake rotor off if any grease happened to get on it.
Step 30 Replace wheel and repeat for other side.
Step 31 Lower vehicle and retighten strut top hat nuts, now that there is a good amount of pressure they will be less likely to spin.
Step 32 Retighten lug nuts.
Should have a gap like this +/-
Step 33 Test drive, and enjoy.