just got new struts for the trunk but they don't come with the ball/screw thingies. they said i have to re-use the original ones. does anyone know how to get them off the old struts? seems damn near impossible to me...
I had exactly the same problem. Mazda dealer quoted me something like $150CAN for a set of 2 -- insane!! I eventually ordered aftermarket struts from Canadian Tire... YES... crappy tire indeed! They cost something like $60 with tax or close to that. Try it out. They come as solid units, no extra add-on parts or anything like that. Hope this helps!
one of the replacement struts came with the threaded-ball-joint thingies making life quite easy. the other one was a direct replacement to the old one where the ball-joints had to be reused. one of the joints came out with little effort. the retaining ring on the other was rusted (these things are packed with grease... tell me how that happened), and it was seazed. so, with a litte effort and a dremel with a cutting wheel i managed to saw through the housing (cheap white metal) and pop the joint out.
word to the wise; if you get replacement struts from Canadian Tire (or any other aftermarket supplier for that matter) make sure you get the ones that come with the ball-screw thingies, and that have the clips that you can remove with a slot screw driver. the "ring" type are a total pain in the ass
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