Pontiac Fiero 1984-1988 Repair Guide

Spring and Lower Control Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Typical front suspension used on the Fiero



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Fig. Fig. 2 Use a ball joint tool to separate the ball joint from the knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 3 Lower control arm location and its related components



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Fig. Fig. 4 Location of the front coil spring

  1. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise the vehicle and safely support it with jackstands under the crossmember.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the stabilizer bar from the lower control arm.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the tie rod from the steering knuckle.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the shock absorber at the lower control arm.
  12.  
  13. Support the lower control arm with a jack.
  14.  


CAUTION
This procedure must be followed because it keeps the coil spring compressed. Use care to support the lower control arm adequately because the coil spring is under heavy load, if released too quickly personal injury could result.

  1. Remove the nut from the lower ball joint, then use a ball joint separator tool J-26407 or its equivalent to press the ball joint out of the knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Swing the knuckle and hub out of the way.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the lower control arm pivot bolts. Make sure the jack is still under the lower control arm.
  6.  
  7. Install a chain through the coil spring as a safety precaution.
  8.  


CAUTION
The coil spring is under load and could result in personal injury if it is released too quickly. Be sure to install a chain and slowly lower the jack.

  1. Slowly lower the jack and remove the spring.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pivot bolts at the chassis and the crossmember and remove the lower control arm.
  4.  

Removal of the pivot bolt at the crossmember may require the loosening or removal of the steering assembly mounting bolts.

To install:

CAUTION
Any handling of the coil spring must not cause any damage to the corrosion protection coating on the springs. Hard steel contact must be avoided. Spring with damaged corrosion coating should not be used.

  1. Install the lower control arm and pivot bolts at the crossmember and body. Tighten slightly, but do not torque the bolts.
  2.  
  3. Position the spring and insulator into the upper pocket. Align the spring bottom with the lower control arm pocket.
  4.  
  5. Install a safety chain through the spring as a safety precaution.
  6.  
  7. Install the spring lower end onto the lower control arm. It may be necessary to have an assistant help you compress the spring far enough to slide it over the raised area of the lower control arm seat.
  8.  
  9. Use a jack to raise the lower control arm and compress the coil spring.
  10.  
  11. Install the ball joint through the lower control arm and into the steering knuckle. Install the nut on the ball joint stud, and torque it to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) + 3 / 4 turn (270°). Install a new cotter pin.
  12.  
  13. Connect the stabilizer bar and torque the bolt to 12 ft. lbs. (17 Nm).
  14.  
  15. Connect the tie rod and torque it to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) + 1 / 2 turn (180°), note: Maximum 1 / 16 turn to align the cotter pin.
  16.  
  17. Install the shock absorber on the lower control arm and torque the bolt to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  18.  
  19. If the bolts were removed or loosened at the steering assembly, replace them with new bolts and torque them to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Install the front wheel assemblies and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Lower the vehicle. With the car on the ground and the suspension system in its normal standing height, torque the bolt between the lower control arm and the body to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) + 3 / 4 turn (270°).
  24.  
  25. The alignment should be checked and set as necessary. Refer to the Alignment procedures in this section.
  26.  

The Do-it-Yourself mechanic should not attempt to perform any wheel alignment procedure. Expensive alignment tools are needed and would not be cost efficient to purchase these tools. The wheel alignment should be performed by a certified alignment technician using the proper alignment tools.

 
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