I just went through something similar with my daughter's 200SX. She got
hit when pulling out of a parking place. The front strut was bent along
with a bunch of fender damage.
The struts are fairly simple mechanically, and work something like the
shock in a Midget; it acts as a damper and it locates part of the front
suspension. They're held in place by bolts top and bottom.
When you say the top part broke loose, did it break the bolts or did
they pull through the sheet metal? Look at the sheet metal around the
top of the strut. If that's bent up, you need to go see a body shop for
a knowledgeable evaluation. If they pulled through the sheet metal, you
need to go to a body shop. If the bolts pulled out of the strut or broke
off, you can replace them.
I would go ahead and replace the strut. It's probably damaged, and cheap
enough to replace.
Be sure to check the tie rod ends on that side. We replaced our bent
strut, but when we took it in for alignment, they discovered the tie rod
ends had been hosed. Those aren't too bad to replace, but check the manual.
After replacing all this hardware, you'll need to get the front end
Feel free to ping me if you have more questions.
On 11/29/2010 10:19 AM, Rick Bastedo wrote:
> My oldest daughter is an artist who is out on her own and loves her
> She is going to college and working a low paying retail job trying to save
> money and also has MS.
> I'm totally impressed by all that she is accomplishing, and the thing is she
> wants to do it herself.
> However she also knows when to call her dad and ask for help.
> Last week we had some bad weather here and she was on her way home from work
> around 10PM on a small little country road when a "big SUV" came "barreling"
> down on her with bright lights on "in her lane".
> The short of it was she took evasive action into the ditch and got her car
> out herself but had a flat tire so she called me.
> I found the tire not looking good, she had a spare and a jack which I found
> and proceeded to change the tire for her.
> When I jacked up the car it seemed the strut just dangled, no longer
> attached at the top.
> I put the spare on and then let it back down. I gave it a little test drive
> and everything felt OK but I told her to get it to the tire place in the
> morning and have them look it over.
> I talked to the tire place, the guy said the tire was destroyed and she had
> to buy a new one.
> He said the strut wasn't right but didn't know what it would take to fix it.
> I take that as - "this is going to cost you big time".
> I told him I'd take care of it.
> Please understand that I have zero experience with struts. I haven't a clue
> what to do about this or even much of what I was looking at.
> Does this happen because the top part breaks loose or does the whole strut
> need to be replaced?
> Any sort of help in that direction would be great.
> She doesn't want to pay a lot to get this fixed, but wants to do it herself
> (pay for it that is - she's happy if I do the work).
> I usually have her at least stick around while I work on her car just in
> case she might possibly learn something, but she isn't really into wrenching
> anything herself.
> I thought for a while before sending this out to the list, I'm sure there's
> a lot of you our there who have 'been there done that' with this kind of
> Rick Bastedo
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