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Old 03-22-2024, 01:24 PM   #1
johnwk
 
Drives: 2010 Yaris LB
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
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Does removing wipers/cowl give better access for changing struts?

I'm trying to decide whether I should replace my front struts myself or have a mechanic do it. Basically, if I can do it without touching the wipers, wiper motor/linkage or wiper cowl, I think I can probably manage doing it myself. I have done this job before on another vehicle with easier access.

The guide here on the forum, as well as the Haynes manual I have, both say to remove the wipers, wiper motor/linkage, and and wiper cowl, although a few commenters on that forum post say it's not necessary.

This video seems to show that removing all that stuff doesn't even help, since there's a layer of sheet metal still in the way! He says you just need a passthrough ratchet.

Details that might make a difference: 2010 hatchback; 200K miles and original struts as far as I know; I'm in the Rust Belt. Happy to hear general opinions about DIY vs. pro for this job.

Oh, and if I do it myself, I'm not expecting to be able to get a torque wrench in there for installation. Is the standard wisdom to just tighten as much as I can with whatever will reach? Thank you!
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Old 03-22-2024, 03:12 PM   #2
WeeYari
 
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Back in the good old days when members were more than just a screen name, we would host diy/bbq days at our homes. Struts were a common undertaking at these events and I've worked them both with and without cowl removal. Removing the cowl definitely makes the job easier, even allowing you to spin the top nut off with an impact driver without need for an Allen key.
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Old 03-22-2024, 08:22 PM   #3
Billiam
 
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The 10 minutes it takes to remove the cowl is absolutely worth it. I have done it both ways. There is no comparison
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Old 03-22-2024, 10:01 PM   #4
johnwk
 
Drives: 2010 Yaris LB
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Billiam, are you talking about just the plastic cowl (and wiper blades), or the wiper motor, linkage, and the sheet-metal piece below them (which the Haynes manual calls the “scuttle plate”)?

Thanks for the help, Billiam and WeeYari!
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Old 03-23-2024, 06:20 PM   #5
remcafee
 
Drives: 2007 Toyota Yaris 3 door
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removing the cowl is nice as you can clean up a lot of crap that builds up in the corners of the firewall as well ��
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Old 03-28-2024, 05:21 AM   #6
Billiam
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwk View Post
Billiam, are you talking about just the plastic cowl (and wiper blades), or the wiper motor, linkage, and the sheet-metal piece below them (which the Haynes manual calls the “scuttle plate”)?

Thanks for the help, Billiam and WeeYari!
Yes....wiper arms, cowl, cowl pan and wiper motor.
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Old 03-30-2024, 08:27 PM   #7
johnwk
 
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Thank you for clarifying. I’ve received the parts, so I’ll see what I can do and post an update.
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Old 05-10-2024, 12:35 PM   #8
johnwk
 
Drives: 2010 Yaris LB
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Okay, I'm done with the job! I did not remove the wipers or cowl or anything. I just used a Pittsburgh pass-through ratchet set and an allen wrench, following the video linked in my initial post. There isn't a ton of room, but it's totally doable, at least on my 2010.
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