Question about 1995 Pontiac Grand Am

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I am replacing the strut/spring/bearing housing on the front end of my '95 grand am. Having trouble removing the large BOLTS that connect the entire assembly to the spindle. Are these bolts fully threaded? or just threaded on the ends and pins in the middle.

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HI, you almost figured it out. Those two bolts have splines on the upper portion of the bold shank. Once you have the nuts removes you can take a small 2 or 3 lbs. hammer and give the bolts a couple quick hard hits that should drive them out. Its a good idea to hang a shop rag or old towel from the strut down over the bolts to keep them flying out. Good luck

Posted on Aug 28, 2010

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daley smiths, Before I take you through the procedure keep in mind that you can purchase what are called easy struts or quick struts. These units have the spring and upper bearing plates already installed and are quicker and much safer than just replacing the strut itself. So instead of just getting new struts, you are getting the whole assembly new. If you want to replace just the struts you will have to rent a spring compressor. Procedure for just the struts follows:
You don't mention whether you are replacing the front or rear struts but the procedure is pretty much the same for both. This is the procedure for the front struts. Jack up one side of car and remove the wheel. Place a jackstand under the vehicle frame to support it. Sometimes there are brake lines, sway bar links and ABS wires connected to the strut. Remove anything attached to the strut. You will see two large bolts holding the bottom of the strut. Remove the nuts only. The bolts are usually splined to keep them from moving so you will have to pound them out with a hammer. If the bolts are threaded all the way to the end then put the nut back on so it is flush with the end of the bolt.. This is so the threads are not damaged as you will need to reuse them. Some bolts are not threaded all the way so you wont have to worry about damaging the threads here. With the hood open you will see three nuts that are holding the top of the strut. Remove them one at a time. Hold the strut when removing the last one so it doesn't drop and damage any break lines or ABS wires. Remove the strut. Place part of the spring compressor on one side of the spring as close to the top and bottom as possible and hand tighten it. Do the same on the other side of the spring with the spring compressor part. Tighten the spring compressor one side at a time two turns at a time. BE VERY SURE THAT THE COMPRESSOR DOES NOT SHIFT WHEN DOING THIS. Keep doing this one side at a time until you can turn the upper bearing plate easily. Place a pair of vice grips as close as possible to the top of the strut shaft and tighten as much as possible. Remove the nut holding the upper bearing plate and remove the plate. Remove the vice grips and any rubber bushings and finally the spring and lower rubber bushing. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH SPRING AS YOU SET IT ASIDE. Place the lower bushing on the new strut and be sure that the spring seats properly on the strut. Replace the upper bushing and finally the bearing plate. Once again place the vice grips as high as possible on the new strut shaft and tighten as much as possible. Making sure the upper plate is properly aligned for reassembly to the vehicle tighten the upper bearing nut. Take the spring compressor off the spring using the same method of two turns at a time. Once again be sure it doesn't shift on you when doing this. Replace the strut back to the vehicle by reversing the procedure. One thing I forgot to mention. Because of the connections of the sway bar links and brake lines there is a right and left side strut so be careful when choosing which strut to put in.
The only difference for the rear struts are the way they are connected to the vehicle. The bottom will have one bolt and the top will have either one bolt accessable from inside the wheel well or have three nuts accessable from inside the trunk or under the panel in the rear window behind the rear seat. Good luck with this.

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  • 3

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  • 4

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