Question about 1998 Chevrolet Malibu

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Replace front strut

Should I attempt to replace the front strut spring assembly or take it to a shop? It looks like two bolts on the bottom and three on top of fender under hood and one in the middle of the three under hood. The spring broke so I finished cutting it off with my angle grinder, so only thing left is just the strut or shock. Do I need any special tools? Or should I drive it to an auto shop.

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  • 234 Answers

You will need a strut spring compressor. You can probably buy a cheap one for about as much as a shop would charge you to install a new spring on your strut.

Sometimes you can even "borrow" these from your local parts store with a deposit.

It is probably faster to do it yourself than bring it to a shop.

You need to compress the spring before you put it in the strut housing. Directions should be included with the spring compressor kit.

Here's the general directions:

Take the two bolts on the bottom off

There may be a bolt holding the brake line in place (remove it)

Take the three bolts on the top off

The strut assembly should be free now.

Pull strut assembly out and set it on the floor

The top nut holds the top bearing plate and that holds the spring in place.

Remove the top nut

Remove old broken spring

Compress new spring and put it in place on the strut

Put strut top plate on and secure locknut

Release spring compressor.

Reinstall strut assembly in car.


Good Luck!

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

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How do you replace front broken coil spring on 1998 ford windstar? do you have a diagram, pictures or video?


Strut and Spring Assembly Removal
  1. Raise the vehicle on a hoist.
  1. Remove the front wheel and tire assembly.
  1. ani_caut.gif CAUTION: To avoid damage to the 6mm drive hole in the front stabilizer bar link ball stud, do not use an Allen wrench to break loose or tighten to final torque the front stabilizer bar link-to-front shock absorber nut.
    Remove the stabilizer bar link retaining nut and disconnect the link from the strut.


f8740a.gif

  1. ani_caut.gif CAUTION: Do not allow the halfshaft to move outboard. Over extension of the CV joint may result in the separation of internal parts, causing failure of the joint.
    Remove the strut assembly-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt. If required, slightly spread the steering knuckle to ease the removal of the strut. Pry down on the lower control arm and roll the strut base out of the knuckle. Do not pry on the halfshaft, as damage may result. Wire the steering knuckle up to prevent the halfshaft from moving outboard.
  1. Partially lower the vehicle.
  1. Support the strut assembly and remove the top three mount-to-strut tower nuts. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle.


f9154a.gif

  1. ani_caut.gif CAUTION: The strut assembly is under spring tension. Attempting to disassemble the strut without properly compressing the spring can result in injury.
    Using a suitable spring compressing tool, slightly compress the strut spring to relieve initial tension. Loosen the upper rod nut. Continue to compress the spring until the tension is relieved. Remove the upper rod nut.


f3897c.gif

  1. Remove all upper mounting parts, coil spring, and coil spring isolators from the strut and save them for reassembly. Carefully note the position of each part during removal to ensure proper reassembly. Inspect each part for wear and damage as it is removed.
Installation
  1. ani_caut.gif CAUTION: The bearing and seal assembly is press-fit onto the upper mount. The mount washers must be installed in the correct orientation.
    NOTE: Be sure to check the spring insulator for damage before assembly. If the outer metal splash shield is bent or damaged, it must be carefully bent back, so it does not touch the locator on the bearing and seal assembly.

    NOTE: New gas struts are shipped with the rod in a locked down position. To extend the new strut, remove the external tie down and/or rotate the upper end of the rod, counterclockwise.

    Install the coil spring insulator, coil spring, and upper mounting parts to the new strut assembly. Make sure the spring is correctly seated in both spring seats.


f8737a.gif


Item Part Number Description 1 ? Dust Boot (Part of 18045) 2 N803826-S100 Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket Nut
(3 Req'd) 3 N803952-S100 Washer 4 N808625-S100 Front Shock Absorber Nut 5 18183 Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket 6 3B455 Front Suspension Bearing and Seal 7 5310 Front Coil Spring 8 5414 Front Spring Insulator 9 18045 Front Shock Absorber A ? Tighten to 35-40 Nm
(25-30 Lb-Ft) B ? Tighten to 55-63 Nm
(40-46 Lb-Ft)
  1. ani_caut.gif CAUTION: Do not over tighten the lock nut; damage to the lock nut or piston rod could result.
    Install new rod lock nut and tighten it to 55-63 Nm (40-46 lb-ft).


f3897c.gif

  1. Remove the spring compressing tool.
  1. Position the strut assembly into the vehicle. Install the three mount-to-strut tower nuts. Tighten the nuts to 35-40 Nm (25-30 lb-ft).


f9154a.gif

  1. Partially raise the hoist.
  1. Position the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 115-132 Nm (85-97 lb-ft).
  1. Position the stabilizer link to the strut assembly and install the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 90-100 Nm (66-74 lb-ft).


f8740a.gif

  1. Install the front wheel and tire assembly.
  1. Lower the vehicle.
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(1) Jack up the front of the car and remove BOTH front wheels.

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(5) Spray some penetrating oil on the nuts and bolts that connect the strut assembly to the suspension (one nut at the top center of the strut, three nuts at the top of the strut connecting the strut to the suspension, and one nut at the bottom of the strut).

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(8) Now remove the three nuts holding the strut to the suspension at the top of the strut. Note that one nut is actually the third point of the triangle and is out of sight and located "behind" the center strut nut. Although not visible from sitting in the wheel well, you can reach around the opening between the top of the strut and the body (into the engine compartment) and feel the nut and you can get a wrench on it to facilitate removal. Once these nuts are out you can remove the strut by lowering it and feeding it out between the suspension components. I actually had to move the wheels back and forth to maximize the removal space, plus rotate the entire strut several revolutions (basically "unscrew" the strut) to get it out.

(9) Once the strut is out, use coil spring compressors (purchase some from Harbour Freight or rent from a car parts store) and compress the spring until it is loose enough to rotate inside the strut.

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NOTE that I purchased Monroe struts and the instructions were missing from the box. The directions on the outside of the box were worse than useless, and the struts did not seem right as any combination of the washers and bushings provided in the box did not allow proper fit as the spring was loose after removal of the spring compressors. The monroe www site did not have downloadable instructions, and Monroe failed to return my emailed requests for technical advice. I wound up returning the monroe struts and purchased from Toyota (at three times the price). Would recommend Blisteins (sp?) or some other brand other than Monroe.

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1 Answer

Removed old strut last night Today can't get new


Installation
  1. sww~us~en~file=ani_caut.gif~gen~ref.gif CAUTION: The bearing and seal assembly is press-fit onto the upper mount. The mount washers must be installed in the correct orientation.
    NOTE: Be sure to check the spring insulator for damage before assembly. If the outer metal splash shield is bent or damaged, it must be carefully bent back, so it does not touch the locator on the bearing and seal assembly.

    NOTE: New gas struts are shipped with the rod in a locked down position. To extend the new strut, remove the external tie down and/or rotate the upper end of the rod, counterclockwise.

    Install the coil spring insulator, coil spring, and upper mounting parts to the new strut assembly. Make sure the spring is correctly seated in both spring seats.


a1048fe.gif


Item Part Number Description 1 — Dust Boot (Part of 18045) 2 N803826-S100 Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket Nut
(3 Req'd) 3 N803952-S100 Washer 4 N808625-S100 Front Shock Absorber Nut 5 18183 Front Shock Absorber Mounting Bracket 6 3B455 Front Suspension Bearing and Seal 7 5310 Front Coil Spring 8 5414 Front Spring Insulator 9 18045 Front Shock Absorber A — Tighten to 35-40 Nm
(25-30 Lb-Ft) B — Tighten to 55-63 Nm
(40-46 Lb-Ft)
  1. sww~us~en~file=ani_caut.gif~gen~ref.gif CAUTION: Do not over tighten the lock nut; damage to the lock nut or piston rod could result.
    Install new rod lock nut and tighten it to 55-63 Nm (40-46 lb-ft).




  1. Remove the spring compressing tool.
  1. Position the strut assembly into the vehicle. Install the three mount-to-strut tower nuts. Tighten the nuts to 35-40 Nm (25-30 lb-ft).




  1. Partially raise the hoist.
  1. Position the strut assembly to the steering knuckle. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 115-132 Nm (85-97 lb-ft).
  1. Position the stabilizer link to the strut assembly and install the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 90-100 Nm (66-74 lb-ft).




  1. Install the front wheel and tire assembly.
  1. Lower the vehicle.

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1 Answer

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There are three bolts under the hood, then two bolts at the bottom of the strut assembly holding it to the steering knuckle. You may have another bolt holding the brake hose to the strut.

After the strut assembly is out, you MUST use a spring compressor to hold the springs before removing the top bearing nut. DON'T try this without one, you can be seriously injured!

Apr 02, 2009 | 1996 Toyota Celica

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