Pontiac Fiero 1984-1988 Repair Guide

MacPherson Strut

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Exploded view of the strut assembly components and their removal/installation



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Fig. Fig. 2 Scribe the strut and knuckle positions before removing the MacPherson strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 3 Remove the nuts and washers from the top of the strut tower



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Fig. Fig. 4 Matchmark the strut and knuckle, then ...



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Fig. Fig. 5 ... remove the strut mounting nuts and bolts



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Fig. Fig. 6 Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle

  1. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Mark the hinges for reinstallation. Remove the engine compartment cover with an assistant.
  4.  
  5. Remove the three upper strut nuts and washers.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  8.  
  9. Raise the vehicle and support it on jackstands under the frame members. Support the rear control arm with a floor jack.
  10.  
  11. Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.
  12.  


CAUTION
Some brake pads contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

  1. Remove the brake line clip.
  2.  
  3. Scribe the strut and knuckle as shown in the accompanying illustration.
  4.  
    1. Using a sharp tool, scribe the knuckle along the lower outboard strut radius, as in view A.
    2.  
    3. Scribe the strut flange, on the inboard side, along the curve of the knuckle, as in view B.
    4.  
    5. Make a chisel mark across the strut/knuckle interface, as shown in view C.
    6.  

  5. Remove the two strut mounting nuts and bolts and remove the strut assembly and spacer plate.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Position the strut and spacer plate assembly into the vehicle aligning the upper and lower mounts.
  2.  
  3. Install the two strut-to-knuckle bolts and nuts. Align the scribe marks on the strut and knuckle. Replace the bolts in the same order in which they were removed.
  4.  
  5. Torque the two bolts and nuts to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the brake line clip and the wheel and tire assemblies. Torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle and install the three upper strut mount-to-body nut and washers. Torque the nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
  10.  
  11. With an assistant, install the engine compartment lid in the same position as removed.
  12.  
  13. Have a Rear End Alignment performed by a qualified alignment technician.
  14.  

OVERHAUL





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Fig. Fig. 7 A special compressor tool is needed for strut disassembly



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Fig. Fig. 8 Turn the nut on the compressor tool to relieve spring tension



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Fig. Fig. 9 Loosen the nut at the top of the strut assembly ...



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Fig. Fig. 10 ... then remove the nut and washer



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Fig. Fig. 11 Remove the mount assembly from the strut



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Fig. Fig. 12 With the compressed spring out of the way, remove the washer, bumper and shield

A MacPherson Strut Compressor, special tool No. J-26584 or its equivalent MUST be used to disassemble and assemble the strut damper. Care must be used not to damage the special coating on the coil springs or damage could occur to the coils.


CAUTION
This procedure must be followed because it keeps the coil spring compressed. Use care to support the strut assembly adequately because the coil spring is under heavy load, if released too quickly personal injury could result. Never remove the center strut nuts unless the spring is compressed with a MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor tool J-26584 or equivalent.

Disassembly
  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle as previously outlined.
  2.  
  3. Clamp strut tool J-34013-A in the holding fixture J-32289-20 as outlined in the "Strut Disassembly" illustration in this section.
  4.  
  5. Place the strut assembly in the bottom adapter of the strut compressor and install tool J-26584-89 (make sure the strut adapter captures the strut and the locating pins are engaged).
  6.  
  7. Rotate the strut to align the top mounting lip with the strut compressor support notch.
  8.  
  9. Insert tool J-26584-450 top adapter on the top spring seal. Position the top adapters so that the long stud is at the high location to the strut flange.
  10.  
  11. Using a ratchet with a 1 inch socket, turn the compressor forcing the screw clockwise until the top support flange contacts the tool J-26584-430 top adapter. Continue turning the screw until the spring is compressed.
  12.  
  13. Place tool J-26584-430 top adapter over the spring seat.
  14.  
  15. Turn the strut compressor forcing the screw counterclockwise until the strut spring tension is relieved. Remove the top adapters, bottom adapter and the strut spring by removing the center nut.
  16.  

Assembly
  1. Clamp the strut compressor body tool J-26584 in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Place the strut assembly in the bottom adapter of the compressor and install tool J-26584-89 (make sure the adapter captures the strut and locating pins are engaged).
  4.  
  5. Rotate the strut assembly until the mounting flange is facing out directly opposite the compressor forcing screw.
  6.  
  7. Position the spring and components on the strut as shown in the accompanying illustration. Make sure the spring is properly seated on the bottom spring plate.
  8.  
  9. Install the strut spring seat on top of the spring. The long stud must be 180 degrees from the strut mounting flange.
  10.  
  11. Place tool J-26584-450 top adapter over the spring seat.
  12.  
  13. Turn the compressor forcing screw until the compressor support just contacts the top adapters (do not compress the spring at this time).
  14.  
  15. Install tool J-26584-27 Strut Alignment Rod through the spring seat and thread rod into the damper shaft and hand-tighten.
  16.  
  17. Compress the spring by turning the screw clockwise until enough of the damper shaft is exposed to install the washer and nut securely. Thread the nut onto the shaft far enough to properly secure.
  18.  


WARNING
Do not compress the spring until it bottoms. Damage to the spring may result.

  1. Remove the alignment rod and position the strut mount over the damper shaft and spring seat studs. Torque the damper nut to 65 ft. lbs. (85 Nm). Do not overtighten.
  2.  
  3. Turn the forcing screw counterclockwise to back off the support and remove the strut assembly from the compressor.
  4.  

 
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