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


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Old 06-04-2006, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Replacing struts

How hard is it to replace the front struts? what tools are needed? I assume I need to either buy or rent a spring compressor, but I have heard horror stories about putting struts in. Any tips or tricks?
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:04 PM   #2
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struts come off easy. 2 bolts on the bottom, 3 nuts on top. bolts on bottom are 22mm heads and the nuts on the bottom are 24mm. nuts on top are 10mm I believe. Jack up front of car, support control arm, remove tire, remove top nuts, lower control arm, remove bottom bolts.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:09 PM   #3
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cool so like a 30min per side job right? cuz i have to new ones to put on.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit
cool so like a 30min per side job right? cuz i have to new ones to put on.
I didn't say it was a quick job depends on how stubborn the bottom bolts are. I had to replace 3 of the 8 on mine because they didn't survive to removal.

You will also need an alignment when you are done.
this process removes the whole strut assembly, if you are replacing with new struts, the coils will have to be transfered to the new strut. Coil compressor time.

You could buy whole new strut assemblies. they include struts and coils.
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:20 PM   #5
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hmm, i just did my struts...

as for spring compressors, if you don't put them on right, they can release the coil and im pretty sure that would hurt, so you have to make sure you a have a quality pair and that they are spaced 180 apart.

it is so much easier with an impact wrench, i hope you have one. I used an electric impact, it definitely helped with those lower mounting bolts, those things are insane.

now what kinda struts are you putting in? These gabriels' that i put in are really good, i do reccommend them.

If you put these in, there must be a trick to it because where the nut goes on the top of the piston rod, there is a thing where you have to hold the rod so it does not turn while you are turning the nut to 44 ft/lbs...what i ended up doing (yes this is a little archaeic because i could not find the special tool for doing it right, but this really works) i took a pipe wrench and a piece of old serpentine belt, but the piece of belt inside the teeth of the wrench and adjust it around the piston rod from inbetween the coil with the compressors still on. and then did the top nut with the impact. It actually worked perfectly. I should have doculmented all the size sockets I used but you can figure that out.

then we just threw them back in and bolted them up, and went to get them aligned.

Here are a couple installation pics











there, those might help!
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandit
cool so like a 30min per side job right? cuz i have to new ones to put on.
no definitely not that quick....

took me like a total of 5 hours...and i felt like crap afterward.

also, you might need another person to help right around when you have to put the strut assemblies back in..they are not light and require someone to get them up there and fit them in the holes and someone to bolt them in at the top

EDIT: also remember about those bottom bolts...they sometimes can REALLY be in there, i mean like, you have NO IDEA. On one I had to take the breaker bar and put the jack handle on the end of that and lean ALL my weight on one of those bolts. Yeah, thats alot of leverage. MAKE SURE you have some penetrating oil handy.

AND something I did not mention, make sure you have some grease handy, because the bearings in the strut bearing plate will most likely be dry and have to be regreased. IT FEELS way better afterward!
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:14 AM   #7
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so where do I buy the whole assembly? I want this to be as easy as possible....anyone have p/ns or whatever.

From what it sounds like they sell assemblys that include the springs, that makes life a whole lot easier?
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:21 AM   #8
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
so where do I buy the whole assembly? I want this to be as easy as possible....anyone have p/ns or whatever.

From what it sounds like they sell assemblys that include the springs, that makes life a whole lot easier?
Considering you have FE2 springs, you better measure the new spring diameters to make sure you don't downgrade during your upgrade.
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
so where do I buy the whole assembly? I want this to be as easy as possible....anyone have p/ns or whatever.

From what it sounds like they sell assemblys that include the springs, that makes life a whole lot easier?
Considering you have FE2 springs, you better measure the new spring diameters to make sure you don't downgrade during your upgrade.
no I have FE1 in the car in question
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