GM Cavalier/Sunbird/Skyhawk/Firenza 1982-1994

Rear Axle/Control Arm

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The control arms and axle are are one unit. The axle structure itself maintains the geometrical relationship of the wheels relative to the body. The axle assembly attaches to the underbody through a rubber bushing located at the front of each control arm. Each control arm bolts to underbody brackets.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1982-91 Vehicles
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Support the vehicle with jackstands under the axle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the stabilizer shaft from the axle assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly, then remove the brake drum.
  6.  


WARNING
Do not hammer on the brake drum as damage to the bearing could result!

  1. Unfasten the shock absorber lower attaching bolts and paddle nuts at the axle, then disconnect the shocks from the control arm/axle.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the parking brake cable and the rear ABS wiring connector and clip, if equipped, from the axle assembly.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake line at the brackets from the axle assembly. This will ensure that the axle assembly is not suspended by the brake lines.
  6.  
  7. Lower the rear axle, then remove the coil springs and insulators.
  8.  
  9. Unfasten the control arm bolts from the underbody bracket and lower the axle from the underbody.
  10.  
  11. Remove the hub attaching bolts, then and remove the hub, bearing and backing plate assembly from the axle.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Install the hub, bearing and backing plate assembly. Hold the nuts and tighten the attaching bolts to 39 ft. lbs. (53 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the stabilizer shaft.
  4.  
  5. Place the axle assembly on a transmission jack and raise into position. Attach the control arm/axle to the underbody bracket with bolts and nuts. Tighten the retainers to 61 ft. lbs. (83 Nm) with the weight of the vehicle on the axle.
  6.  
  7. Install the brake line connections to the axle assembly. Tighten the brake line-to-axle screw to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Attach the brake cable and the rear ABS wiring connector and clip, if equipped, to the rear axle assembly.
  10.  
  11. Position the coil springs and insulators in seats and raise the rear axle.
  12.  
  13. The end of the upper coil on the springs must be parallel to the axle assembly and seated in the pocket.
  14.  
  15. Install the shock absorber lower attachment bolts and paddle nuts to the rear axle and tighten the bolts to 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Install the parking brake cable to the guide hook and adjust as necessary.
  18.  
  19. Install the brake drums and the wheel and tire assemblies.
  20.  
  21. Bleed the brake system, as outlined in Brakes , then carefully lower the car.
  22.  

1992-94 Vehicles
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Support the rear axle with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake line at the brackets from the axle assembly. This will ensure that the axle assembly is not suspended by the brake lines.
  6.  
  7. Unfasten the lower shock mount bolt.
  8.  
  9. Lower the rear axle.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the parking brake cable at the equalizer unit right wheel assembly.
  12.  
  13. If equipped, detach the rear ABS wiring connector and mount clip located near the fuel tank.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the right and left brake lines.
  16.  
  17. Unfasten the control arm bolts and nuts, then remove the axle assembly.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Position the rear axle assembly and loosely install the attaching bolts.
  2.  
  3. Connect the right and left brake lines.
  4.  
  5. Attach the ABS wiring connector and mount clip.
  6.  
  7. Fasten the parking brake cable at the right rear wheel cable connector and cable equalizer.
  8.  
  9. Install the lower mount bolt. Tighten the control arm nuts to 44 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) plus a 120° rotation. Tighten the shock absorber lower attaching bolt and nut to 125 ft. lbs. (170 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Fasten the left and right side brake line bracket mount bolts to the body. Tighten the screws to 97 inch lbs. (11 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Install the tire and wheel assembly, then remove the jackstands from under the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Carefully lower the vehicle, then bleed the brake system, as outlined in Brakes of this repair guide.
  16.  

 
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