johnhenrydale wrote: I'm A bit confused - what did you mean by "have a shop swap the springs for the new struts" - aren't those separate parts of the front suspension assembly? are you also replacing springs as well as struts?
In a standard automotive strut design (the MacPherson strut), the damper (the part that you think of as "the strut") has a perch around the center cylinder where the coil spring sits, and a mount plate on the top that attaches to the car, with the damper (piston/hydraulics) in the center. In this design, the spring is under compression between the perch on the bottom of the strut and the mounting plate on the top, even when the full strut assembly is completely removed from the vehicle.
If you are reusing the existing springs (and stops and mounts), the strut must be carefully disassembled using proper tools to safely compress and decompress the coil springs during the replacement process. An automotive coil spring is several pounds of steel, and is under significant force. If the assembly were dismantled without properly securing the spring with an appropriate tool, a person can be seriously injured or killed when the tension is released and the spring flies off uncontrolled. This work is most safely done in a shop where they have an appropriate heavy duty spring compressor just for this purpose.
For many vehicles, manufacturers make "quick strut" assemblies of some sort which have the whole works entirely assembled including a new damper, coil spring, and mount. This allows a home mechanic to safely replace the strut assembly, as the spring never needs to be compressed or released if the full assembly is changed as one unit. Given the very low production numbers, as far as I can tell nobody has bothered to make an assembly of this sort for the Kizashi.