Edit: Andrew H successfully used this method to disassemble and reassemble his coils. If you re interested in more information. Perhaps you could contact him. This method, like any method of coil compression has potential risk. Do so at your own risk.
I've never tried it on a Tacoma but I've seen it done on other vehicles. I can't see why it wouldn't work on ours too. I forgot the trick when I did mine. I may be helping a guy install a lift in the near future and I might try it on his. I'll post pictures and commentary if I do.
It disassembles the struts while removing them. Potentially saving an hour of labor.
What do you think?
1. Frame on jack stands/tires chocked.
2. Front tires removed.
3. Jack under lower control arm just touching it.
4. Loosen and remove nuts/bolts to brake lines as you would for standard disassembly. I also like to unplug the wheel speed sensor at the front of the spindle here to prevent breakage of the sensor or the wires.
5. Disconnect sway bar.
6. Remove three nuts at top of strut.
7. (Here is the big difference) Remove the single nut at top of strut that holds it all together. It is safe at this point because the upper an lower arms are holding it all together.
8. Loosen castle nut from ball joint about halfway and BFH the top elbow of the spindle to break it loose from the ball joint. Carefully remove the castle nut the rest of the way and support the now dangling spindle as necessary.
9. (With bolt still in bottom of strut/ lower control arm. This will keep it from slipping and flying) The strut should now be disassembled but still under pressure and trapped between UCA and LCA with the jack supporting the lower control arm
10. Lower the jack. This will allow the coil pressure to release. When you get low enough, the coil will be "relaxed". Remove the lower strut bolt and pull the pieces out
11. You've both removed and disassembled your strut!
12. Repeat on other side
I've actually even seen this process reversed to re-assemble and re-install the strut but I personally would use a coil compressor to load the strut and re-install it the "standard" way
Anyone who has done this job the standard way before knows the coil compression for disassembly and re-assembly is the bulk of the project. This method could potentially cut an hour off the work time. Not to mention the headaches and busted knuckles. It could also potentially be safer to release the pressure of the coil while still in the truck vs. the standard way using coil compressors.
Questions? Comments? Can you see why this wouldn't work on our trucks? Feel free to tell me I'm insane.