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How to Replace Front Strut and Spring Assembly 09-12 Toyota RAV4

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What's up, guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video I'm going to show you how to replace the front strut spring assembly on this 2010 Toyota RAV4. If you need these parts or other parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description and head over to

All right. I raised and supported the vehicle. I'm going to remove the wheel. I'm using a 21 millimeter socket and an air gun. If you don't have an air gun, you can use a breaker bar. Just crack the lug nuts free while the vehicle is still on the ground. All right, now I want to take the tire off. This one is stuck on there pretty good, so I'm going to put one lug nut on and just hit it on the back side of the tire with a hammer. Break it free. Reason you leave the lug nuts so the tire doesn't go flying.

I'm going to take the lug nut off. And pull the tire off. I'm just going to take a little rust penetrant. Spray this sway bar link nut. It's a little bit rusty, so I'll let that soak for a little bit. So there's a couple of ways you can take this nut off. One, you could take a 7/32 hex key or a 5.5mm is pretty close as well. And then a 17 millimeter wrench and try to loosen it up that way. But I find it takes forever if you do that. So what I'm going to do is take some walking pliers, get behind here on the back side. This is going to prevent the stud from spinning. Just lock those in place. Take a 17 millimeter socket and an air gun and just take it off.

Generally if you just bump it a couple of times like that it'll loosen up. But I got to readjust the locking pliers. Make them a little tighter. Let's give this a try. There we go, got it off. And I can slide this up and then you can see how this was on here. Now if you weren't replacing the sway bar link, then you probably don't want to do it this way. You probably want to do it with taking the wrench and the hex key. It just takes a lot longer.

Take the locking pliers off. Now I'm going to take a 14 millimeter socket and a ratchet. Take this bolt out right here. All right and that slides this bracket out there, and that also takes this bracket out for the brake hose. Just slide this out of the way. Then there's a little wire retainer right here. Just use a trim tool. We actually sell these trim tools at Get underneath the retainer and slide it out. Now I want to remove these two nuts right here and here. I'm going to use a 22 millimeter wrench to hold the bolt in the backside and then a 22 millimeter socket and an air gun and remove the nut.

I took that one out. Same with the bottom one. I'm just going to take a punch and a hammer and just punch out these bolts. Be careful when you punch those out. This is going to move forward so you don't want it to hit you in the chest or anything. Here we go. So it will separate like that. Just be careful. You don't want the axle to pull out or anything, so you should be good like that. From up top under the hood, the first thing I want to do is take the difficult nuts off up here. These go to the strut mount. Never take the nut off in the middle. There should be a nut underneath this cover so you don't ever want to take that one off, but we'll take these outside ones off.

I'm going to use a 14 millimeter socket and a ratchet. All right. Get that one off. And this one. And this last one, I'm going to loosen it up first. And you can see it's dangling, everything's loose. Now I'm going to switch to my electric ratchet with the same 14 millimeter socket. And I'm going to reach around and grab underneath and support the strut while I'm doing this and then just loosen up that nut up top.

Take that nut off and then I can come underneath here. Grab the strut, pull the whole strut out. Here's the old part. Here's the new spring and strut assembly from As you can see the brackets are in the same positions. The spring is the same height. Comes with the strut mount already attached and the boots. Get yours at and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

The new strut assembly comes with new nuts, so take those nuts off. And there's a sticker on here, it just is a warning basically saying to not remove this nut because that would be dangerous. You never want to remove that nut if it's not in a actual holding tool. This spring compressor tool. So just remove that and then we can position this. Just try to line it up, up top. This would help if you have a have a friend to get these nuts started while we hold it underneath. All right. Once you get one or two on, then you can let the strut assembly hang and then you can get the last one in pretty easy.

Okay, so I have these all started. I'm not going to tighten these down yet. I want to do those last, it's easier to put the bottom bolts in first because you may have to move this around a little bit. Once those are in there and torqued, then you can lower the weight of the vehicle on the strut mount and then tighten these down. Now we're going to align this, the knuckle up with the strut. You may have to use a floor jack or something to raise up underneath the control arm. Then grab one of the bolts. Once you get that started, it's a little easier and they can get the bottom on in. Just push on the knuckle a little bit. You can use a hammer too. Take the hammer and dead below and just give it a tap. Put the nuts back on. Now I'm just going to snug these up with the air gun. I'm going to use a 22 millimeter socket and a 22 millimeter wrench.

Just get these close and then we can use the torque wrench and torque them. Now I'm going to use the same 22 millimeter wrench, 22 millimeter socket and a torque wrench to 177 foot pounds. There we go. Now I'm going to take this bracket. I want to get this bracket lined up, just slip it into the strut, just like that. It goes there, and then this bracket slides over it a little bit. Just like that. Take this bolt, put the bolt back in, and that's started. Then I'm going to take a 14 millimeter socket and a ratchet. Tighten that up. Just make sure it's snug. That's good. Get that retainer, and just slide that back in position. Now align the link up into the bracket on the strut. Put the nut on. So I did change the link while I was in here, but if I was reusing the link, I would need a 17 millimeter wrench and then a five and a half millimeter hex key. But because I changed it, I need an 18 millimeter ratchet wrench and a six millimeter hex key on a ratchet.

So then I'm going to just tighten this up. And then the same as the bottom. I'm going to use an 18 millimeter ratchet wrench and a six millimeter hex key in a ratchet. And tighten this up. All right, going to snug that up real tight. Then I'm going to use an 18 millimeter socket and a torque wrench and torque this to 55 foot pounds. Now install the tire. Take the lug nuts, install the lug nuts. Now I lower the vehicle down to the ground so that the tire is just touching the ground and I'm going to torque these with a 21 millimeter socket and a torque wrench to 76 foot pounds. And I'm going to do this in a star pattern. The reason you do it in the star pattern is so that the wheel gets tightened down evenly.

And then I always like to go around again just to double check. And you're good to go. I am just going to lower the vehicle just so that the top part of the strut mount is through. So that's good. Now I'm just going to tighten these bolts down. Just want to make sure the strut mount's not making any unnecessary contact. And it seems pretty good. Now I'm going to use a 15 millimeter socket and a ratchet. Tighten these up.

If there's any sand in there and just try to wipe that sand away. Then I'm going to use that same 15 millimeter socket and torque these with a torque wrench to 37 foot pounds. And this back one is really hard to get to, but I guess I can still do it. It's that easy. Whenever you do a job like the one we did today, you're going to want to go to a local shop and have your alignment adjusted because you don't want to end up with premature tire wear. Whenever you change components or even remove them and reinstall them, things change, and you want to make sure everything is lined up so you're good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Rust Penetrant

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 21mm Socket
  • 13mm Socket
  • 14mm Socket
  • 22mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 22mm Wrench

2009 - 2012  Toyota  Rav4
2006 - 2008  Toyota  Rav4
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