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Im looking into doing front end work on my trailblazer and ive been debating on if i should buy one of the front end kits i see online. Ive done simple work but i was wondering if there are any specialty tools i should be aware of having before i order a kit.
Im looking at replacing the following
Upper/lower control arms
Upper/lower ball joints
Inner/outter tie rods
Wheel hub assembly
Struts*
*i saw a kit with struts in it but if i remember you have to compress them or something while installing.

Im new here so take it easy on me. Just looking to get some advice from people who have dealt with my type of vehicle
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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A great deal depends on which manufacturer's parts are in the kit, and what parts are in the kit. I saw one kit listed on rockauto.com, and based on what I have read on a couple of other forums, the professional mechanics did not like suspension parts made by Mevotech. ACDelco OEM parts or Moog's Problem Solver parts were preferred. Also for wheel hub assemblies, the majority recommend ACDelco OEM or SKF. Yes, you will pay more but the parts are not likely to fail prematurely. I have used SKF and Moog wheel hub assemblies on other cars with zero problems, and in the limited amount of suspension work I've done, I've used Moog or ACDelco OEM or Professional Grade parts, and Monroe shocks and struts.

Regarding whether or not one has to compress strut springs depends on if one is installing a quick-strut assembly which has a new spring already installed or just a plain strut. I do not believe that a quick strut needs to be compressed in order to remove the old one or install the new one. I've never replaced struts myself - I had a shop do those for me as I did not have the time to do them and it was winter and cold.

Regarding specialty tools. If you find that you need a specialty tool and you do not want to purchase one, you can get loaner tools from AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, or O'Reilly Auto Parts. I've done that many times. You leave a monetary deposit (or put the deposit on a credit card), take the tool home with you to do the work, then return the tool when you are finished and get your deposit back. Of course you'll need a decent socket set with 6 point sockets, some combination wrenches, penetrating oil (I recommend Kroil or AeroKroil - marvelous penetrant!!!), possibly a hammer and most importantly, a Haynes Manual.

Hope this helps.
 
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