In order to maintain proper suspension balance and vehicle handling, coil springs should only be replaced in axle sets.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
The following procedure requires the use of the GM Spring Remover tool No. J-23028 or equivalent.
- Raise and support the front of the vehicle on jackstands so the lower control arms hang free.
- Disconnect the shock absorber-to-lower control arm nuts, then push the shock absorber up into the coil spring.
- Secure the GM Spring Remover tool No. J-23028 or equivalent, to a floor jack, then position the assembly under the lower control arm so it cradles the inner bushings.
- Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower control arm.
- Install a chain around the coil spring and through the lower control arm for safety, then remove the lower control arm nuts and bolts.
- Raise the floor jack (with the spring remover tool) to take the tension off the lower control arm-to-chassis bolts/nuts.
When removing the lower control arm-to-chassis fasteners, be sure to remove the rear set first, then the front set.
- Slowly and carefully, lower the floor jack (USING THE SPRING REMOVER TOOL) until the tension is released from the coil spring.
When removing the coil spring, DO NOT apply force to the lower control arm or the lower ball joint. Proper maneuvering of the spring will provide easy removal.
- Remove the safety chain from the coil spring and control arm ONLY AFTER ALL SPRING TENSION has been released. Remove the coil spring from the control arm.
Before installing the coil spring, position it in the following order:
- For 1985-92 vehicles, visually identify the top and bottom of the coil spring. The spring top has a coiled, flat shape with a gripper notch at the end of the coil; the bottom has a coiled, helical shape.
- On all models, the coil spring should be positioned so the tape (on the coil) is at the bottom.
- Position the lower end of the coil spring so it covers part or all of the inspection drain hole. The other drain hole MUST BE partially or completely uncovered.
- Place the insulator at the top of the coil spring, and on 1993-96 vehicles, make sure the lower insulator is positioned onto the control arm.
- Secure the spring remover tool to the floor jack assembly, then raise the lower control arm/coil spring assembly using the floor jack and install the lower control arm-to-chassis nuts/bolts. The bolts must be installed facing the proper direction, please refer to the illustration for details. DO NOT fully tighten the nuts and bolts at this time.
- Secure the stabilizer shaft to the lower control arm.
- Pull the shock absorber down, then install the shock absorber-to-lower control arm nuts/bolts. Torque the nuts and bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the front of the vehicle, so it is resting on its own weight.
- With the suspension at normal height, tighten the lower control arm-to-chassis nuts/bolts (starting with the front nut, then the rear) to 96 ft. lbs. (128 Nm) for 1985-92 vehicles, to 92 ft. lbs. (125 Nm) for 1993-95 vehicles or to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm) for 1996 vehicles.
- Check and/or adjust the front end alignment, as necessary.