I had bought these parts a long time ago and never got around to replacing them, because apparently they were worn out and had a part to play in the creaky suspension noise.
So I finally got around to doing that. This is what it looked like before:
If you look under the hood, at the upper corners on each side you'll see these, it's at the top of the strut assembly
the parts to be changed
the wheel taken off
that skinny bar to the left of the shock connects the stabilizer bar to the shock. we werent able to get that off without breaking it off, so that was replaced too.
a better shot of that skinny bar
and off it comes ...
undo everything else
then the whole shock assembly piece comes out, and you see an empty hole!
you can see into the wheel well with the shock stuff removed
what we used to squish that spring
those being put on the spring
the new skinny bar and the shock assembly put back into place
what it looks like from under the hood after new parts put in
took a little while, most of it done by my dad who was helping me. i've now ordered my timing belt kit and water pump, so i will try to take some (hopefully better) pics of that when it goes down.
it does seem to make a bit less suspension noise but it's not completely gone. it does sound like the remaining noise comes more from the back though. in terms of handling, it feels more or less the same, there could be a very slight change though.
to be honest, it wasn't really worth the work. would have been better to just replace the entire shock/spring while i was at it, but that will have to wait for another time at this point.