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

Rear Axle

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1

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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

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