When you tell your friend they are silly for going to a mechanic - you get roped into helping them out! I got new struts and mounts to put in a 97 station wagon. However I can't get the old struts out of the top of the knuckle - they are too long?! The shop manual says to just undo the pinch bolt and they should come out. However, even when I put a pry bar on the control arm and lever it down so it's at the absolute bottom hitting the subframe, the strut is still in the knuckle about an inch even though it is nice and loose. Not enough clearance to get the rental spring tool around a set of coils and try to compress the spring. No way to jack the strut out of the knuckle because there's a fat control arm in the way. So then I decide to pull out the knuckle to get the job done. The tie rod end took a torch and a beating to get out. The 30mm hub bolt breaks loose fine (although the axle is probably going to be stuck in there...). Then we get to the control arm, which is different than gen2, it's all one stamped piece with no strut rod. The ball joint bolt on the bottom must have been about 300 ft/lbs to break free on this rust bucket. Then the final step - get the ball joint out of the knuckle. Nope to hammering; torched until ball joint boot was smoking, nope. Tightened the strut back up, and pretty much jacked up that corner of the car by the ball joint bolt and it still doesn't come out. You guys have any ideas, or is this going to be like others have done - get a new control arm and knuckle and cut out the old one? Pic found on the internet for reference: I just had a bit of inspiration; maybe by driving the opposite tire up on a ramp (instead of the opposite side also jacked up and hanging free) and leaving the sway bar end link connected, the sway bar will compress the strut enough to get the strut out of the knuckle. I anticipate it being troublesome to finish removal and get the new strut in that way though.