Hi, I have never replaced struts. Do i need to take pressure off the spring before removing the unit? Can i rent a spring comp to change the strut after its off? The car is a 05 monte carlo. I have...
Chet, First of all, you don't mention if you are replacing the front or rear struts. I'll try to take you through both of them. The front struts, Jack up one side of the car and remove the wheel. Place a jack stand under the frame and lower the car on to it. Let the axle assembly hang freely. There are usually two lower bolts and two or three bolts holding the top inside the engine compartment. If the brake line is attached to the strut, remove it. Also, it may have the sway bar link attached, remove this from the strut. Take the nuts off the lower strut and as the bolts are usually splined you will have to pound the bolts out. If there is a thread all the way to the end of the bolt put the nut back on so that it is flush with the top of the bolt so as not to damage the threads when they are pounded out. Some bolts wont have the threads so you wont have to worry about thread damage. Use a screw driver to separate the two. Remove the upper nuts, being careful not to let the strut fall down and possibly damage the brakes lines or ABS wires.
Before I continue let me inform you that you can purchase struts that are complete so you dont have to remove the spring and related parts from the strut. These are called "Ready struts" or another name that escapes me at the moment. These can be purchased from most part stores. These are preferred by most people as they have new bearings, new struts as well and new springs which will return the vehicle to the normal ride height, should this be part of the problem.
If you want to replace just the strut. Yes, you can rent the spring compresser that will be needed to complete the job.
Take the spring compresser which usually comes in two pieces and put one on one side of the spring and tighten it by hand until snug. Place the other piece on the opposite side of the spring and again hand tighten it. Tighten one one side of the compresser two turns with a socket and then do this to the other side. Be VERY CAREFUL to make sure the pieces don't shift when doing this. Continue this until you can turn the upper bearing plate by hand. Place a vice grip on the highest part of the strut shaft as possible and tighten as much as possible. Remove the nut holding the upper bearing plate. Remove the upper bearing plate and the boot covering the shaft and finally the spring. Reuse all the rubber bushings for the spring and place the spring over the shaft. Once again, place the vise grip as high as possible on the new strut shaft and replace the upper bushing, boot and bearing plate on the shaft and tighten the bolt holding everything together. Making sure that the spring sits properly slowly remove the spring compresser, again two or three turns at a time, one side at at time. Replace the strut assembly back into the car.
Rear struts, The only difference here is the way the struts are mounted in the car. Upper strut mounts on some vehicles are accessible in the trunk with three nuts holding them in. Others are accessible under the panel behind the rear seats. Others still have to accessed from the wheel well. The bottom mount is usually one bolt. Again the spring removal procedure is the same as the front. Be VERY CAREFUL the compresser doesn't shift when you are using it. If it is the front struts you are doing then a wheel alignment is advised. Good luck with this.
Apr 24, 2011 |
Chevrolet Monte Carlo Cars & Trucks