great write up man! One big question/problem ...I did my springs this weekend (a job I've done many times on previous cars), and the strut master bolt is giving me problems. How did you tighten yours down on the re-install? On other cars I've done, the top of the strut right below the threads has a square end that is meant to seat in the top piece, but on these struts it's completely round. When I installed the master bolt with the strut assembly outside the vehicle, it spun the strut shaft and I was not able to tighten it. This would happen after a couple turns once the nylon locking inserts in the nut would grab. I got it on as far as I could thinking that once I put the strut back in the car, the weight of the car or something would hold it in place and enable me to torque it down. Not so. my struts bang like hell b/c the master bolts cant be tightened down any more. BTW- they are not cross threaded.
I was thinking to just cut out the nylon locking inserts, which should eliminate my binding issue, but the same issue will play out once the nut is fully threaded on and needs to be torqued down; it will spin the shaft. Did this happen for you? Anyone else have a similar problem? I've never seen a strut that doesn't have a flat or square area on the shaft.