You don't need to be a Tech School graduate to replace the struts on a Mitsubishi, but a little bit of mechanical know-how is helpful. Most Mitsubishi cars use the same basic MacPherson strut arrangement; the strut itself acts as a combination spring/shock absorber/upper control arm. Front and rear removal and installation are very similar, regardless of year and model. What follows applies specifically to the Lancer Evolution VIII, but you can apply the basics to most vehicles in the Mitsubishi line-up, including the Eclipse, Outlander and Pajero.
Things you need
Basic hand tools
Socket wrench and breaker bar
Metric socket set
Metric wrench set
Kick a set of wheel chocks behind the rear wheels if you're working on the front, or in front of the front wheels if you're working on the rear. Slide a floor jack under the corner of the car that you're working on and slowly raise it until the lift pad rests on the body's jack points. Lift the car until the wheel dangles about an inch off of the ground, and insert a jack stand. Remove the wheel and set it on the ground as a seat.
Slide the jack under the lower control arm and raise it until it just takes a bit of the weight on the arm. Remove the two 19-mm bolts that secure the bottom of the strut to the top of the steering knuckle assembly. You'll need to grasp the nut with a wrench and remove the bolt with a socket; you can tap the bolts out of the holes with a screwdriver and hammer.
Remove the 12-mm nut that secures the brake line to the strut body and pull the brake line free. In the same way, remove the wheel speed sensor line bracket. Lower the jack to drop the suspension free. Open the bonnet and locate the three 14-mm nuts that secure the top of the strut tower to the chassis and remove them. If removing the rear struts, you'll need to pop the boot and lift our the trim pieces covering the strut towers. After you remove the nuts, push down on the brake assembly or tap the studs with a hammer to break the strut free.
Install the new strut in the reverse order of removal. For the front struts, install the 19-mm knuckle bolts and torque them to 123 foot-pounds and install the top 14-mm bolts finger tight. Reinstall the brake and speed sensor brackets and tighten them to 20 foot-pounds. Reinstall the wheel, then lower the vehicle to the ground. After the vehicle is on the ground, you can torque the 14-mm top nuts to 32 foot-pounds and the centre shaft nut (if applicable) to 45 foot-pounds. Grease the area around the strut nut and reinstall the dust cap. Torque values for the rear are 65 foot-pounds for the knuckle/strut bolts and the lower control arm bolts and 33 foot-pounds for the top 14-mm bolts.
Tow your car to an alignment shop and have the shop perform a four-wheel alignment. This is generally only necessary if you've installed shorter struts/lowering springs, but it's a good idea following any strut replacement.
Things you need
- Basic hand tools
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Socket wrench and breaker bar
- Metric socket set
- Metric wrench set
- Anti-seize lubricant