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I have an 89 Escort GT. I'm having trouble getting the struts out (front). After I took the wheel off, I took the pinchbolt out of the steering knuckle and tried prying down on the knuckle to free the strut, but there is between 1 and 1 1/2 inches of the strut that needs to be pried out. It seems like that's too far to pry without putting too much pressure on the other components ( tie rod end, cv joint, lower control arm ). Do you have to compress the spring before you can take the strut out ? I tried but the bolt of the spring compressor kept hitting the bottom of the mount. So I can't even use it ( spring compressor )while the strut is still on the car. The repair manual mention's nothing about compressing the spring for model years 85-91, until you have the strut out where you can work on it. It just says to pry down on the knuckle with a prytool. I'd rather not take the whole knuckle off the car if I don't have too. Can anyone help ?
 

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That's pretty much it, maybe try a longer prybar. They are a pain. Coilovers are so much easier in that respect.

You could stand on it but do risk damaging things.
 
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