The rear ones have a horrible bolt on the inside on the top of the shock.Why they didnt use a captive nut i dont know,basically theres no room between the subframe and the body to get your hand up there to simply put the nut on the bolt. Ive got a 'special' bent spanner which works a treat. The front ones are ok,youll obviously need to compress the spring to remove the top mount,be aware that the bolts holding the topmounts to the body can break (id personally replace both top mounts and springs at the sametime) also the camber is adjustable on the front shocks so a wheel alignment will be needed after.
I read on another forum to take the whole front strut off the car as a unit, and then swap the the shock unit, is that the best way?? What size, shape is your special spanner, maybe I can make a replica??
There is also some info on putting it back with the correct camber angle
You were dead on the money. Just finished. The offside was not too bad, I bought a "waffer thin" 16mm Stanley spanner from B&Q and this was fine. The nearside not so easy!!! Had to spring the exhaust to one side and use a pair of surgeons "vein clamps" to get the nut on. Any thats the rears taken care of - fronts tomorrow.