Chevrolet Citation/Omega/Phoenix/Skylark 1980-1985 Repair Guide

MacPherson Strut

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Fig. Fig. 1 Exploded view of the MacPherson strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 2 Front Suspension Components

Front Suspension Components
  1. Steering knuckle
  2.  
  3. Frame (Cradle)
  4.  
  5. Lower control arm
  6.  
  7. Halfshaft
  8.  
  9. Steering gear
  10.  
  11. Stabilizer bar
  12.  

The MacPherson strut is a combination coil spring and shock absorber (damper) unit. The strut is removed as an assembly from the car. A special strut compressor must be used to disassemble the strut and coil spring.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 3 Matchmark the camber eccentric before removal, for installation purposes



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Fig. Fig. 4 To remove the MacPherson strut, loosen the three strut-to-body nuts from the engine compartment



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Fig. Fig. 5 Remove the three strut-to-body nuts, then raise and safely support the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 6 Location of the two strut-to-steering knuckle bolts (see arrows)



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Fig. Fig. 7 After unfastening the strut-to-steering knuckle bolts, remove the strut assembly from the vehicle

  1. Remove the three upper strut-to-body nuts.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the wheel nuts, raise the car, and remove the wheel and tire.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake hose clip-to-strut bolt. Do not disconnect the hose from the caliper.
  6.  
  7. Mark the camber cam eccentric adjuster for assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the two lower strut-to-steering knuckle bolts. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the strut to the body. Tighten the upper nuts hand-tight.
  2.  
  3. Place a jack under the lower arm. Raise the arm and install the lower strut-to-knuckle bolts. Align the camber eccentric cam with the marks made during removal. Tighten the strut-to-knuckle bolts to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm), and the strut-to-body nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the brake hose clip on the strut.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and lower the car.
  8.  

If a new strut damper has been installed, the front end will have to be realigned.

OVERHAUL





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Fig. Fig. 8 A special tool is available from GM to disassemble the strut



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Fig. Fig. 9 To disassemble, clamp the strut in a vise, then install a spring compressor and compress the spring



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Fig. Fig. 10 Loosen the strut shaft top nut, an impact gun makes this alot easier



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Fig. Fig. 11 Now remove the strut shaft top nut and the top mount and bearing from the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 12 Disassembled MacPherson strut components



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Fig. Fig. 13 When assembling the strut, make sure to use an alignment rod

A MacPherson strut compressor tool, GM part J-26584 or the equivalent must be used.

  1. Clamp the strut in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Install the compressor on the strut. Install the compressor adapters, if used.
  4.  
  5. Compress the spring approximately 1 / 2 in. Do not bottom the spring or the strut rod.
  6.  
  7. Remove the strut shaft top nut and the top mount and bearing assembly from the strut.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the compressor until all spring tension is relieved. Remove the spring.
  10.  

To assemble:
  1. Place the strut into the compressor. Rotate the strut until the spindle mounting flange is facing out, away from the compressor.
  2.  
  3. Place the spring on the strut. Make sure it is properly seated on the strut bottom plate.
  4.  
  5. Install the strut spring assembly on the spring. Install the compressor adapters, if used.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the strut compressor until it just contacts the spring seat, or the adapters if a tool with adapters is being used.
  8.  
  9. Thread an alignment rod, GM tool J-26584-27 or the equivalent, onto the strut damper shaft, hand-tight.
  10.  
  11. Compress the spring until approximately 1 1 / 2 in. of the damper rod can be pulled up through the top spring seat. Do not compress the spring until it bottoms.
  12.  
  13. Remove the alignment rod and install the top mount and nut. Tighten the nut to 68 ft. lbs. (90 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Unscrew the compressor and remove the strut.
  16.  

 
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