Strut / Sway bar or Both? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-27-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Strut / Sway bar or Both?

97 Park ave Mainly in front :
In cornering feel like it does a little dance (jump) over bumps or small potholes.
Front end seems to move a bit in an unnerving manner!
So Monroe Strut assembly recommended & what about sway bar?
Any bushings up front I should be checking etc?
It just had a recent alignment and at that time nothing was noted as a problem.
How difficult is it to replace the struts? I assume the only air ride is for rear ??
(soft ride suspension) has air compressor that I thought was for rear only.
Rock Auto lists a few choices including KYB,Monroe,Delco..
Thoughts appreciated THX ...
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:37 AM   #2
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My 96' pretty much does the same thing, of course I had several issues, I had one inner tie rod bad, and the other stating to fail, it still does it afterwards though, so I am pretty sure my struts have had it, they have 134k on them, so they are due to be replaced, the rear are really easy to replace, the front are harder, and take a little longer if you do not get "quick struts".
You are correct on the air ride, only the rear has it, a tip I got from a friend on that system, every time you change your oil it would be good to take a little machine oil and lubricate the compressor, look under the upper right rear of your car and see if you see something that looks like this., ignore what I circled in red, see the T fitting at the lower nipple on the compressor,, you want to remove the hose from the nipple, or just remove the hose that goes from the T to the lower nipple, and drop just a couple of drops in there, it should prolong the life of the compressor.


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I'll get my info I saved from my AllData manual.
Attaching the pics from the manual.


Not sure what struts to suggest, are you trying to keep that OE oft ride feel?
Or do you want a bit more stiffer shock for hauling heavy loads, or towing like those monroe max air shocks.

I'd probably go with the KYB'*, or get AC Delco'* if it were me, because I too like that soft ride I once had.
If you get KYB'* or AC Delco your going to need a spring compressor.


I'd look at your front ball joints and see if the boots are dry-rotting any, as well as look at your stabilizer links, mine are a bit worn so I am replacing them with these from RockAuto, AC Delco 45G0068, they should fit your ride as well.
Check your control arm bushings, and sway bar bushings, mine are a bit worn, so since they have so many miles on them I plan to replace them all.

If you do the struts and shocks you are going to need another alignment done when you are finished.
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Strut / Sway bar or Both?-rear-struts.jpg   Strut / Sway bar or Both?-front-struts-1of2.jpg   Strut / Sway bar or Both?-front-struts-2of2.jpg  
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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struts are worn out, like he said check everything over while in there. i dont like the quick struts, you know your springs came with your car and are worn the same as the rest. so you wont have anything odd like getting the wrong one for your trim level. i always use kybs. the excel-g'* or gr2'* they used to be called are designed to give you the oem ride, ive always found them to be better and never have had to replace one. you can get the compressor tool for free from the parts store.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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William, Thank You! for all the good info & diagrams, most helpful!
Ok On the next oil change I am going to get these wheels up on lift and have a closer look at the front suspension for starters. Tie Rods & bushings going to see how tight everything is and how much slop is in there.
Justin thanks too, one thing is for sure something is not right. I agree that new strut assembly would probably be a good start. At 88k miles I am sure those shocks & springs are pretty much toast. I also believe that finding the Delco spring & then KYB shock would be best, as I am not sure the quick strut is a long term quality that is any good.
Oh ya & William marked with X is this where you want me to drop oil in? WD-40 ok?
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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You are very welcome.

When you jack the front end up give each front tire a good tug back and forth at the 3-9 o'clock position, and at the 12-6 o'clock position.
If you hear any noise from the 3-9 o'clock position your tie rods will need replacing, if they are fine I'd grease the zerk fittings on each outer tie rod, don't over-grease them though, you do not want grease flying out all over your wheel well, don't ask me how I know :o , but it can happen, when you do that it becomes easier for the boot to let contamination in, which could lead to premature outer tie rod failure.
If you get any noise from the 12-6 o'clock position then your wheel bearings may need to be replaced, I am betting they are fine though.

If you find your ball joints, or struts are bad, and you want to get a better idea of what you are doing let me know, I have some youtube videos bookmarked from a guy working on a 98' PA.

KYB'* with AC Delco Springs sound good, your soft ride springs are GM 22197212
http://www.gmpartseast.com/parts/gm-...12_spring.html

That red X is where the nipple is that you want to put a little light machine oil in, wd-40 is a penetrating catalyst, it won't stick and lubricate as light machine oil would.
While oiling that nipple examine those soft hoses and make sure they are not dry-rotting, mine were so bad one had become disconnected.


Had a long night and need sleep, I'll come back and see if I missed anything when I get up.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Recently Checked Wheel Bearings all good there.
Actually this car went under a complete inspection, and lots was fixed based on it.
Zerks were greased recently, but Not all was checked/torqued down on subframe (next)

Re the oil into compressor, maye my 97 is a bit different, I don not know but...
There is a steel cover plate and the 3 or so bolts holding on a in an SOB location. I is above the muffler in the middle! (wow)
I manged to get somewhat of a photo of the area and all I can say is that my hands are not getting in there even if the green X line at nipple is the one, LOL,
The only way is to drop the muffler down or better remove it(might as well replace it while there) to access this compressor cover...
Notice the rust at bolts..PB blaster time!
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soft Ride View Post
Recently Checked Wheel Bearings all good there.
Actually this car went under a complete inspection, and lots was fixed based on it.
Zerks were greased recently, but Not all was checked/torqued down on subframe (next)

Re the oil into compressor, maye my 97 is a bit different, I don not know but...
There is a steel cover plate and the 3 or so bolts holding on a in an SOB location. I is above the muffler in the middle! (wow)
I manged to get somewhat of a photo of the area and all I can say is that my hands are not getting in there even if the green X line at nipple is the one, LOL,
The only way is to drop the muffler down or better remove it(might as well replace it while there) to access this compressor cover...
Notice the rust at bolts..PB blaster time!
Your 97' is definitely a bit different, at least in how easy the lower nipple I am talking about is to access, I'm attaching a exploded view of that compressor, the red X is the nipple I am talking about, I'm pretty sure that hose your X (#5 in pic) is on goes to the T, that T goes up to the HEAD. Air Suspension Compressor, and down to the nipple on the compressor that needs a few drops of light machine oil on occasion.
That compressor may not fail if you never oil it, as I am sure for the most part is was designed to be a oil-less compressor, but considering they are hard to find used, and brand new the compressor is almost 662.00, an occasional light machine oiling to help extend the life of the unit is worth it in my opinion.

That cover plate looks like #16 in the pic, you may be able to remove it to access that nipple.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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Thanks Again William for your valuable input. That diagram is most helpful!
Hope you got some rest.
I should be able to use an inspection mirror and hope to see below the cover plate to the compressor body.
I then may be able to conform the input line for the oil, with any luck.
The only thing close to machine oil I could find around here was gun oil !
I bet that will quiet down the noisy compressor. At least it will blow air, not rounds!
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soft Ride View Post
Thanks Again William for your valuable input. That diagram is most helpful!
Hope you got some rest.
I should be able to use an inspection mirror and hope to see below the cover plate to the compressor body.
I then may be able to conform the input line for the oil, with any luck.
The only thing close to machine oil I could find around here was gun oil !
I bet that will quiet down the noisy compressor. At least it will blow air, not rounds!
Very welcome, always happy to help.
I got rest finally, I'm just going over a lot of parts I'm ordering soon, I am doing a suspension overhaul, rear brakes/drums, cv axels, and new wheel bearings, mine are not bad, but I have 1 new timken I just put on the front, and it was really rusty, so I'm sure I'll have to beat the other to death to do the CV Axel.
Going to end up spending around 2k, but in the end I should have a smooth riding car once again.



I'm not sure the gun oil will work as good as light machine oil would, I'm not an expert on guns or gun oil, but I am pretty sure gun oil is more for penetrating & maybe mild short term protection, not so much oiling/ long term protecting, I could be wrong though...
If you can find some sewing machine oil you could use that, here is some on Amazon, it looks like the tip on it may be small enough to help you use that to get the oil in the nipple.
Amazon Amazon

This may be even easier to use if it will fit in there enough to let you use it, the nipple'* hole is pretty small, so that would have a better chance of fitting in the hole.
Amazon Amazon

If that won't work you could put a few drops in a small syringe, and attach a soft evap hose ans squeeze it in there, just be careful not to over lubricate it.

Here is the oil I plan tog get, I need it for other things as well, so I may as well get plenty.
Amazon Amazon
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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1998 Pontiac Bonneville SSE - I have a compressor that had the hoses deteriorated and fell off, in the rear passenger side under the vehicle...I replaced them, but I don't think the compressor works. I had no idea this was the compressor, I thought it was in the trunk behind the matting on the wall behind the rear seat....?
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