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2017 DGC SXT
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That’s a clever idea. I didn’t remove the cowl either when I did the front struts. However I was careful not to spread the cowl too much or it may be damaged or could cause damage.

I just took off the clips holding the cowl down and spread the cowl open enough to get my ratchet in. Either way, both methods seem to work but I’d be careful about spreading the cowl that far apart or it could crack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Actually the cowl could be lifted completely without removing windshield wiper arms. There is 1 plastic pin each on driver/pass side, and 2 clips on the center section of cowl front edge. Remove both pins, then slightly pull cowl forward to engine side, make the cowl separating from windshield, then the cowl can be lifted without bending. See the pix.
 

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A simple wiper puller tool from Amazon they are about 15$ and you can remove them, take the cowl off, clean it as well as the area under. Thats my approach on it.

Question is when you take the strut bolts to the knuckle does the knuckle want to fall out? I am afraid it will pull the axle out of the trans.
 

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2008 Dodge GC SXT, 3.8L 2020 Dodge GC SXT Blacktop 3.6L 328 miles
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I did mine a few years ago, and the axle pulling out was not a problem at all. I don't remember all the details, but that was not a concern.
 

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I have a wiper puller, but it wasn't big enough to fit the arm when I was doing the strut job. Don't know if our wipers are extra big or what, but keep that in mind that you might need a larger puller tool.

I just lifted the cowl by hand after removing any fasteners I could find. It worked ok.
 

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A simple wiper puller tool from Amazon they are about 15$ and you can remove them, take the cowl off, clean it as well as the area under. Thats my approach on it.

Question is when you take the strut bolts to the knuckle does the knuckle want to fall out? I am afraid it will pull the axle out of the trans.
Yes, after you remove the strut to knuckle bolts, the knuckle does want to fall outwards. Do not let this happen. It could damage the brake hose, cv axle, or other joints (ball joint, tie rod end).

The best thing would be to have someone hold the knuckle up while you undo the strut mounting nuts. I didn’t have someone to help me so what I did was wedge a dead blow hammer (something soft to not damage the threads) between the ground and the wheel studs. This kept pressure on the knuckle to keep it upright. It’s not very stable but it works.
 

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I have another set of jack stands that were perfect to prop the loose knuckle up by the brake rotor hub.
 
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