GM Malibu/Cutlass 1997-2000

Macpherson Strut and Spring Assembly

Print

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the front strut (1), strut-to-steering knuckle mounting bolts and nuts (2), steering knuckle (3), and lower control arm (4)



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the two strut-to-body nuts and the strut-to-body bolt



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Using a sharp tool, scribe or mark the knuckle along the outboard strut radius, on the inboard side along the curve of the knuckle, and across the strut/knuckle interface



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Loosen the strut-to-steering knuckle mounting bolts



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the strut-to-steering knuckle mounting bolts . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . then separate the strut from the steering knuckle . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . and remove the strut from the vehicle


WARNING
Whenever working near the drive axles, use care to prevent damage from over-extension of the driveshaft joints. When either end of the shaft is disconnected, over-extension of the joint could result in separation of the internal components and possible joint failure.

  1. From inside the engine compartment remove the upper strut-to-body nuts and bolt.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the wheel lug nuts, then raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Place jackstands under the front subframe. Lower the vehicle slightly so the weight of the vehicle rests on the jackstands and NOT the control arms.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  8.  


NOTE
Before removing front suspension components, their positions should be marked so they may assemble correctly.

  1. Remove the brake line bracket.
  2.  
  3. Mark the position of the strut-to-steering knuckle fasteners, as follows:
    1. Using a sharp tool, scribe or mark the knuckle along the outboard strut radius.
    2.  
    3. Scribe the strut flange on the inboard side along the curve of the knuckle.
    4.  
    5. Make a scribe mark across the strut/knuckle interface.
    6.  

  4.  
  5. Unfasten and remove the strut-to-steering knuckle bolts and carefully lift out the strut.
  6.  


NOTE
The steering knuckle MUST be supported to prevent axle joint overextension.

  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle. Be careful to avoid chipping or cracking the spring coating when handling the front suspension coil spring assembly.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Move the strut into position, then install the nuts and/or bolts connecting the strut assembly to the body.
  2.  
  3. Align the steering knuckle with the strut flange scribe mark made during removal, then install the bolts and nuts. Tighten to 133 ft. lbs. (180 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Tighten the nuts and/or bolts attaching the top of the strut to the body to 18-20 ft. lbs. (25-27 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the brake line bracket.
  8.  
  9. Slightly raise the vehicle, then remove the jackstands from under the suspension supports.
  10.  
  11. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  12.  
  13. Carefully lower the vehicle, then final tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  14.  

OVERHAUL





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Install a suitable strut spring compressor onto the strut spring



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. On this type of spring compressor, you must tighten down the nuts on the top of the forcing screws



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. A special set of sockets is available to remove the nut from the top of the strut assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Place the larger socket over the nut . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . then install the small socket over the strut rod



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Hold the small socket (strut rod) tight while loosening the larger socket (strut top nut) . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . then remove the top nut from the strut and . . .



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. . . . also remove the washer from underneath the nut



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the strut mount and bearing assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the upper spring seat washer



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the coil spring assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the strut

  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle, as outlined earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Mount the strut assembly into a suitable spring compressor.
  4.  
  5. Compress the strut approximately 1 / 2 its height after initial contact with the top cap.
  6.  


WARNING
Never bottom the spring or dampener rod!

  1. Remove the nut from the strut dampener shaft using an appropriate tool and place an alignment/guiding rod on top of the dampener shaft. Use the rod to guide the dampener shaft straight down through the spring cap while compressing the spring. Remove the strut components.
  2.  


NOTE
Be careful to avoid chipping or cracking the spring coating when handling the front suspension coil spring assembly.

To install:

  1. Extend the dampener shaft and install clamp on the dampener shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install the spring over the strut.
  4.  
  5. Install all shields, bumpers and insulators on the spring seat. Install the spring seat on top of the spring. Be sure the flat on the upper spring seat is facing in the proper direction. The spring seat flat should be facing the same direction as the centerline of the strut assembly steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Install the guiding rod and turn the forcing screw on the spring compressor while the guiding rod centers the assembly. When the threads on the dampener shaft are visible, remove the guiding rod and install the nut.
  8.  
  9. tighten the nut to 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Remove the clamp.
  12.  
  13. Install the strut into the vehicle.
  14.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo