GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Strut Cartridge



See Figure 1

On 1982-87 models only, the internal piston rod, cylinder assembly and fluid can be replaced utilizing a service cartridge and nut. Internal threads are located inside the tube immediately below a cut line groove.

  1. Remove the strut and the coil springs. Clamp the strut in a vise. Do not overtighten it as this will cause damage to the strut tube.
  3. Locate the cut line groove just below the top edge of the strut tube. It is imperative that the groove be accurately located as any mislocation will cause inner thread damage. Using pipe cutters, cut around the groove until the tube is completely cut through.
  5. Remove and discard the end cap, the cylinder and the piston rod assembly. Remove the strut assembly from the vise and pour out the old fluid.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: On 1982-87 vehicles, it is possible to replace the strut cartridge

  1. Reclamp the strut in the vise. A flaring cup tool is included in the replacement cartridge kit to flare and deburr the edge that was cut on the strut tube. Place the flaring cup on the open edge of the tube and strike it with a mallet until its flat outer surface rests on the top edge of the tube. Remove the cup and discard it.
  3. Try the new nut to make sure that it threads properly. If not, use the flaring cup again until it does.
  5. Place the new strut cartridge into the tube. Turn the cartridge until it settles into the indentations at the base of the tube. Place the nut over the cartridge.
  7. Using tool J-29778-A or equivalent, and a torque wrench, tighten the nut as specified in the kit directions. Pull the piston rod up and down to check for proper operation.
  9. Installation of the remaining components is in the reverse order of removal.