GM Grand Am/Achieva/Calais/Skylark/Somerset 1985-98

Rear Axle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the rear suspension components, including the coil springs

  1. Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle securely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheels.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake hoses. This will ensure that the hoses and lines are not damaged by the weight of the axle.
  6.  
  7. Using a jack, support one spring perch while removing the lower shock absorber bolt. Repeat this procedure with the other side.
  8.  
  9. Lower the rear axle, and remove the coil springs.
  10.  


CAUTION
The coil springs are under tension. Use extreme caution when lowering the axle with the jack after the shock bolts are removed.

  1. Disconnect the rear parking brake at the equalizer.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, remove the ABS wiring connector(s).
  4.  
  5. Remove the axle-to-body pivot bolts.
  6.  
  7. Remove the axle assembly from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the axle into the body mounts and install the pivot bolts with the washers and nuts. Do not tighten the bolts at this time.
  2.  
  3. If equipped, connect the ABS wiring connector(s).
  4.  
  5. Connect the rear parking brake at the equalizer.
  6.  
  7. Install the coil springs and insulators.
  8.  
  9. Using a jack, support one spring perch while installing the lower shock absorber bolt. Repeat this procedure with the other side of the axle. Tighten the lower shock absorber bolts to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Connect the brake hoses.
  12.  
  13. Bleed the brakes as necessary.
  14.  
  15. Adjust the parking brake as necessary.
  16.  
  17. Install the rear wheels.
  18.  
  19. Lower the rear of the vehicle from the jackstands.
  20.  

Tightening the rear axle pivot bolts with the rear of the vehicle suspended will cause the axle bushings to prematurely fail. The vehicle must be at curb height.

  1. Tighten the rear axle pivot bolts to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm). Then, turn the bolts an additional 120 degrees clockwise.
  2.  

BUSHING REPLACEMENT



See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Rear axle bushing replacement requires a variety of special tools

A number of special tools are required for this procedure.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheel and tire assemblies.
  4.  

Be sure to remove and install the axle bushings one at a time.

  1. If the right side bushing is being replaced, disconnect the brake lines from the body. If the left bushing is being removed, disconnect the brake line bracket from the body and parking brake cable from the hook guide on the body.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut, bolt and washer from the axle bracket attachment, then rotate the axle pivot arm downward.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bushing by performing the following:
    1. Install receiver J-29376-1 on the arm over the bushing and tighten the attaching nuts until the tool is securely in place.
    2.  
    3. Install bolt J-21474-19 through plate J-29376-7 and install into receiver J-29376-1.
    4.  
    5. Place remover J-29376-6 into position on the bushing and install nut J-21474-18 onto bolt J-21474-19.
    6.  
    7. Remove the bushing from the arm by turning the bolt.
    8.  

  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the bushing by performing the following:
    1. Install receiver J-29376-1 onto the control arm.
    2.  
    3. Install bolt J-21474-19 through plate J-29376-7 and install into receiver J-29376-1.
    4.  
    5. Install bushing onto the bolt and position into the housing. Align bushing installer arrow with the arrow onto the receiver for proper indexing of the bushing.
    6.  
    7. Install nut J-21474-18 onto bolt J-21474-19.
    8.  
    9. Press the bushing into the arm by turning the bolt. When the bushing is in proper position, the end flange will be flush against the face of the control arm.
    10.  

  2.  
  3. Raise the arm into position, then install the bolt, washer and nut. Do not tighten to specification at this time.
  4.  
  5. Repeat the bushing removal and installation procedure on the other side of the axle.
  6.  
  7. Connect the brake line bracket to the frame. Tighten to 8 ft. lbs. (11 Nm).
  8.  
  9. If the left side was disconnected, reconnect the brake cables to the bracket and reinstall the brake cable to the hook. Adjust the parking brake cable as necessary.
  10.  
  11. Install the rear wheel and tire assemblies.
  12.  
  13. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  14.  

Tightening the rear axle pivot bolts with the rear of the vehicle suspended will cause the axle bushings to prematurely fail. The vehicle must be at curb height.

  1. Tighten the suspension pivot bolts to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm), plus an additional 120 degrees of rotation.
  2.  

 
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