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Old 06-09-2013, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Strut Replacement on my Achieva

I am needing to know is my front struts are pretty easy to replace like it was on my 89 Olds. Delta 88 or will it be a little more involved. I took a look at them and they look pretty easy to break down to replace the strut but I wanted to ask everyone here before I tackled this project. Also I will be picking up a spring compressor from my local Harbor Fright so I can do this kind of work. Also if it is a straight forward job what is the torque specs for the upper bolts that hold the strut to the body. Any and all info or advice will be helpful. Thanks.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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looks like the only difference from standard strut install is the tie rods are hooked to it, you would heave to have it aligned anyway, and if you have never done struts make sure you have an impact for the upper nut and have the new upper nuts in your hand before you start, they arent that easy to find in the middle of your project



REMOVAL & INSTALLATION


See Figures 1 through 7

From inside the engine compartment, remove the three nuts attaching the top of the strut assembly to the body.

Raise and safely support the vehicle.

Place jackstands under the frame.

Lower the car slightly so that the weight rests on the jackstands and not on the control arms.

Remove the front tire and wheel assemblies.




CAUTION
Whenever working near the drive axles, take care to prevent the inner Tri-pot joints from being overextended. Overextension of the joint could result in separation of internal components, which could go undetected and result in failure of the joint.

Some vehicles may use a silicone (gray) boot on the inboard axle joint. Use boot protector J-33162 or equivalent on these boots. All other boots are made from a thermoplastic (black) material and do not require the use of a boot seal protector.

Remove the cotter pin and nut, then separate the tie rod end from the strut assembly, using tool J 24319-01 or equivalent. Discard the cotter pin.





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Use suitable pliers to remove, then discard the tie rod end cotter pin


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Unfasten the tie rod-to-strut retaining nut


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Separate the tie rod end from the strut assembly

Disconnect the brake line bracket from the strut assembly.

Scribe a mark on the strut flange as shown in the accompanying figure.





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Scribe a matchmark as illustrated, for alignment purposes during installation

Unfasten and remove the strut-to-steering knuckle bolts. Make sure to loosen the nuts (while holding the bolts stationary) since the bolts are serrated.



The steering knuckle MUST be supported to prevent axle joint overextension.


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Unfasten the strut-to-steering knuckle retaining bolts

Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle. Be careful to avoid chipping or cracking the spring coating when handling the front suspension coil spring assembly.





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the retaining bolts, then ...


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: ... detach the strut from the steering knuckle
To install:

Move the strut into position, then install the three nuts connecting the strut assembly to the body.

Align the steering knuckle with the strut flange scribe mark made during removal, then install the bolts and nuts. Tighten the nuts to 133 ft. lbs. (180 Nm).

Position the tie rod end into the strut assembly, then secure with the tie rod end bolt and new cotter pin. Tighten the tie rod end bolt to 35-50 ft. lbs. (50-68 Nm).

Tighten the nuts and bolts attaching the top of the strut assembly to the body to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).

Install the brake line bracket.

Slightly raise the vehicle, then remove the jackstands from under the suspension supports.

Install the tire and wheel assembly.

Carefully lower the vehicle, then final tighten the lug nuts to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).



OVERHAUL


See Figures 8 through 17

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Install a suitable strut spring compressor onto the strut spring


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Tighten down the nuts on the top of the forcing screws on this type of spring compressor


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: A special set of sockets is available to remove the nut from the top of the strut assembly


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Place the larger socket over the nut and ....


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: ... install the small socket over the strut rod

Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.

Mount the strut assembly into a suitable spring compressor.




CAUTION
Do not attempt to disassemble the strut without a spring compressor! The spring is under extreme pressure; the strut components can become projectiles (causing severe injury) if the top strut nut is removed without the spring being compressed with a special tool.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Hold the small socket (strut rod) tight while loosening the larger socket (strut top nut) and ...


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: ... remove the top nut from the strut ...


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: ... then the washer underneath

Compress the strut approximately 1 /2 its height after initial contact with the top cap.

Remove the nut from the strut damper shaft using an appropriate tool and place alignment/guiding rod J-34013-27 on top of the damper shaft. Use the rod to guide the damper shaft straight down through the spring cap while compressing the spring. Remove the components.



Be careful to avoid chipping or cracking the spring coating when handling the front suspension coil spring assembly.


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Remove the strut bearing assembly ...


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: ... followed by the upper spring seat washer
To install:

Extend the damper shaft and install clamp J-34013-20 on the damper shaft.

Install the spring over the strut.

Install all shields, bumpers and insulators on the spring seat. Install the spring seat on top of the spring. Be sure the flat on the upper spring seat is facing in the proper direction. The spring seat flat should be facing the same direction as the centerline of the strut assembly steering knuckle.

Install the guiding rod and turn the forcing screw on the spring compressor while the guiding rod centers the assembly. When the threads on the damper shaft are visible, remove the guiding rod and install the nut.

tighten the nut to 65 ft. lbs. (85 Nm).

Remove the clamp.

Install the strut into the vehicle.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the helpful info but I haven't found where to get the tools you mentioned so I found a shop that will break them down for me if I pull them off the vehicle for 55 dollars. That includes them putting them back together, so all I need to do is get dropped back off at my apartment and put them back in the car and take it up to the alignment shop. I think that is a really good price to have that kind of work done plus a lot safer because they will be using a hydraulic spring compressor and have the tools to do the job the right way.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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its still sometime hard to get the bigger bolts out at the bottom, and the tie rods are normally a pain and require a impact to tighten because they dont give you a place to hold on to so it just spins in the socket
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Well I already had all that apart a month or so ago to replace both control assemblies along with replacing the outer tie rod ends with new adjusters. So I have somewhat a leg up on that part of the job. Plus my rule of thumb is keep going up in hammer size till you find the right size to do the job the right way. I always keep a 4 pound drilling sledge hammer and a 5 pound sledge hammer, also my temper is a big help to because when I get mad everybody leave me along because I start to really unleash hell upon it. When I had to replace the factory front hubs I had one that was not coming loose so I beat the crap out of it till it came off. The hub was unrecognizable but if came off and that is all that mattered in my opinion because I was tired of messing with it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Also I forgot to ask when you said to use the boot protector on the axle can I used like a bath towel or something like that to protect them. The driver side axle it the only axle I have had to replace and the passenger side one is the original from 96.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #7
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it says not to overextend the axle, i just give it a couple whacks toward the inside of the car when im taking the axle nut off. leave the axle nut on at the end so the hammer doesnt mess up the threads. that usually frees it from the knuckle
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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OK. Thanks. Also I need to know if it would be a good idea to replace the entire upper half on the strut that contains the bearing bushing etc or would mine be alright to reuse. Here is a link to what I'm trying to say . Duralast/Strut Mount - Front (142406) | 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva 6 Cylinders M 3.1L SFI OHV | AutoZone.com
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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up to you, i replace them because i drive my cay a bunch of miles and i dont want to have to take the strut out again and have the car aligned again when the mount does go. its cheaper in the long run probably because the alignments are more than the mounts
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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Ok. Then I will replace them for the incase of because I myself does a lot of driving. The most I have done in three weeks time is 1,100 miles. Now that is a lot of driving.
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