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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:22 am
Posts: 973
Location: Niagara, ON
Year and Trim: 1993 SSEi, Red Bonnechetta
2003 GMC Envoy SLT
Could a Mod please review this thread and make it a Sticky in Tech Info?

The author is Mike, 95naSTA. He did a great job writing this up and was kind enough to PM me with this guide. It's well written, and just look at Mike's car! Obviously it comes from a qualified source:

Mike wrote the following:

An impact or solution to getting the top strut nut off needs to be figured out. See below.

-Break front lugs, E-brake, rear tire chucks
-Jack up the front of the car even both sides(the higher the better but keep it safe)
-Place on jack stands
-Remove wheel
-Remove caliper (3/8" allan)and either support or tie up out of the way (don't want to damage the brake hose) and unbolt brake hose holder(s) at are attached to the strut
-Remove rotor
-Mark outline of where the strut is bolted to the knuckle so you can try and match it up later.
-Unbolt 2 bottom strut nuts/bolts. (this could potentially be really hard.. it depends on corrosion) The strut should separate from the knuckle.
-Remove 3 nuts holding the strut top making sure not to let the strut assembly drop
-Remove strut being careful not to damage CV boots
-Remove swaybar endlink
-Remove tie-rod pin/castle nut.
-Remove pin/castle nut from ball joint
-Bang on the bottom/side of the knuckle hard where the ball joint goes through with a hammer to try and break it loose front the ball joint. You're not actually banging anything through. The vibrations help to break the tension.
-Pry between the knuckle and the control arm section of the ball joint to break the ball joint loose (this is where the height comes as an advantage, to get room for the pry bar) You can also use a pickle fork here.

The knuckle should be free at this point and you should be able to lift it up off the balljoint. It might take a bit of banging and prying but it should come loose. You may need something to support the knuckle out of the way of the balljoint since it's still connected by the axle.

From here you can use the thread I made, in drilling out the rivets and bolting in the new one: ... ent#p28906

With the one strut out, you'll need to use a Macpherson spring compressor, compress the spring and use an impact to get the top nut off. If you can't borrow or gain access to an impact, you may want to bring the strut to a shop and try to get them to impact it off for you. IIRC, and assuming you have OEM struts, they have a torx bit up top of the strut shaft. So, you could try to loosen the top nut with the correct torx bit, and an open ended wrench. You can tighten it back down via this method. Replacing the bearing is easy as it sits right under the top mount. When you put the top mount back on, tighten down the top nut, be sure to seat the spring the same way it was originally.

Then reassemble in reverse order but before the rotor and caliper go on, grease the balljoint through the zerk fitting until the ball joint boot swells. Also make sure that the zerk fitting is not pointed at the rotor if it's angled. Also try to line up the strut to the markings you made just to get the alignment close.

1993 SSEi "Red Bonnechetta" COTM July 2014
2003 GMC Envoy SLT

Last edited by labonnevillastrangiato on Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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