Replacing shock absorbers - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 03-15-2003, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default Replacing shock absorbers

Hi everyone.

My car, a 92 SE, at 98K miles finally needs new shocks, front and rear - its ride is real bouncy, almost uncontrolled sometimes. Well it'* still riding on the factory ones...

I'm going to do all four corners, and I was seriously considering doing the job myself. I have the Chilton'* manual for my car. The rear ones don't look too hard - actually they're pretty straightforward. The front ones are the ones I'm worried about.

My question is, do I need any other special tools other than a spring compressor, like the one in this picture?

http://www.geocities.com/uri14979/spring_compressor.gif

Second, will I need to disconnect the brake lines, which means having to bleed the brakes afterwards, or do I only need to disconnect the brake line *brackets* ? From the Chilton'* manual I figured that I won't need to disconnect the lines themselves, but I wanna be sure about this.

I'd love to hear advice from someone who'* done this work before.

Thanks in advance,

- Uri
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Image of spring compressor

For some reason the link in my previous message didn't work, here'* another one:

http://franklin-tools.co.uk/acatalog/ta30.gif

It shows the kind of spring compressor that I believe is the only special tool I'll need for this job.

- Uri
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Old 03-15-2003, 03:10 PM   #3
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You don't have to disconnect the brake lines. The only tools you should need is either a wrench or ratchet to loosen up bolts on the control arms and in the strut tower. Make sure to put some Anti-Seize compound on the bolts or anything else that is threaded. I'm probably missing something as I've never changed the shocks and springs on my car, but I've done it to plenty of others! ie:Civic, Maxima, *-10 pickup, Crown Victoria...
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Old 03-15-2003, 04:37 PM   #4
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You won't need to disconnect the brake lines and you will need the tool in your picture to get the old springs off and on to the new front struts. The rear struts and springs are seperate.
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Old 03-15-2003, 06:22 PM   #5
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Uri, keep us posted on your progress. I'll be doing my front struts soon
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Old 03-15-2003, 08:43 PM   #6
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He'* in Isreal. No autozone, no salt.
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Old 03-15-2003, 10:26 PM   #7
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I replaced all 4 struts on my 93 SSEi back in September.

As far as replacing them, it took me about 5 hours. I needed spring compressors and an offset 24 mm socket for the front ones. You have to be careful around the front because of the drive axles. Most of the eight strut-to-knuckle bolts were rusted in pretty
good. When you pull the strut out of the front, the strut plates come with it, and you can inspect them there. When you take the strut out of the assembly, that'* when you need the spring compressor and the offset socket for the top. I forgot to mention the T-50 torx socket too.

The rear struts were a bit easier.

Don't forget the four-wheel alignment when you are done. If you carefully matchmark all of the positions of the struts on the wheels, and put the new ones where the old ones were, it will keep the alignment in better shape and save you some trouble when you go to get it aligned.
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Old 03-15-2003, 11:00 PM   #8
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When you remove the struts, you might want to check to see if the strut supports at the top need to be replaced too. They have ball bearings in them. I know mine will need to be replaced when I replace the struts because they make a creaking noise when I turn the front wheels. You might want to replace them anyway if they're not too expensive as long as you have it apart. No sense having to take it all apart again a little later.
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Old 03-16-2003, 06:16 AM   #9
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Default Thanks everyone

Thanks smellbird, NVSSEI, willwren, jr's3800, fuddyduddy121, and ssewannabe for all your advice - I feel much more confident now about doing this myself.

Yes, I'm in Israel - so salt won't be a problem there'* no autozone, but there are other places around where I'd probably be able to rent that tool.

As for the ball bearings, the previous owner had replaced them, at least that'* what he said. The steering is quiet and there'* no hint of "memory steer", so I believe the bearings are good.

Maybe I'll even take pictures while doing the work and later turn it into an on-line strut-replacement guide

- Uri
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Old 03-16-2003, 11:39 AM   #10
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Uri, you BETTER take pics! I've never seen a pic of a Bonneville anywhere but Canada and the US!
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