97 Lumina Rear Strut Replacement.

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  #1  
Old 12-27-06, 08:49 PM
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97 Lumina Rear Strut Replacement.

We bought this car for our teenage sons to drive. It has about 132k miles on it. I recently noticed a small puddle/stain under the vehicle, near the right rear wheel. Fearing it may be a brake line failure, I told the boys the car was off limits until we figure out the problem. A quick shine with a flashlight up under the car shows a wet strut cartridge, it looks like the top seal is leaking. The struct still performs ok, the dampening is still good, but it's obviously on it's last legs. SO, I'm going to have to replace it, and I'll just plan on doing both sides while I'm at it.

I've never replaced a strut, however, and I'm looking for some guidance.

1. Am I going to need to get any special tools? I have the usual shade tree mechaninc tools, including compressor and impact wrench.

2. Will changing the strut require a rear alignment afterwards?

3. I've searched AutoZone, but the make/model isn't listed. Does anyone know of an online source for instructions on this activity?

Thanks in advance, and Happy New Year!
Tim
 
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Old 12-28-06, 01:00 PM
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This is not a hard job. Just take your time.

It does not require special tools. Is your shock within your spring? If so, you will need a spring compressor.

If it's a stand alone shock, then it will be even easier.

Just need your basic tools.

1/2" breaker bar (or in your case, impact wrench)

Proper socket size - usually 14-19mm

Do not jack that the car up from the axle. Find your jack points that are along the frame. Jack the entire rear end up, not just that side. Some people have issues pulling the shock out with only one side up.

Just remove the shock by removing the bolts. It will not shoot up or anything.

Replace shock.

You probably do not need a alignment after this.

Let me know if your shock is within a spring, I will give you more guidance then.
 
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Old 12-28-06, 05:32 PM
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Lumina (the CAR) has the transverse composite leaf spring, does it not????..........If so changing the strut is simple, requires a little muscle, but simple none the less.......The only thing I would tell you to beware of are the rubber bumpers at the lower strut mount........The new struts should come with an extra long bolt that doesn't seem to belong..........It does.......If you look at the rubber bumper, you'll see a hole through it.........You screw the bolt in to hold it compressed while you R&R the strut. Failure to do this will make you VERY unhappy
 
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Old 12-28-06, 06:07 PM
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I just simply have to reinforce wrench47's post about the retaining bolt throught the rubber bumper.

If you have the rubber bumper , do NOT remove the strut until you install that retaining bolt. It is a PITA if you forget it.




ps. don;t forget to take it out when you are done also.
 
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Old 12-30-06, 06:59 AM
JAB
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Help on similar issue

I'm working on a similar project right now but am at a sticking point. On the rear strut of my '98 Ford Escort zx2, the two bolts that retain the lower part of the strut to the mounting point seem to be stuck. I've removed the nuts but I was only able to move the lower of the two bolts by hammering (with the nut partially on to protect the threads) but the top is not budging. Is there tension on these bolts that is holding them in place or are they really that rusted internally to hold them that tight?
JAB
 
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Old 12-30-06, 07:09 AM
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Check the bolt you got out and see if it's splined..............Sometimes finesse gets the job done........other times a 2 lb ballpean is the ticket
 
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Old 12-30-06, 09:00 AM
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Also, make sure you did not jack your car up by the axle or control arms. Doing this will prevent strut/shock from coming out. You want that wheel to be freely hanging.
 
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Old 12-30-06, 05:29 PM
JAB
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thanks for the help

Thanks for the advice. I was able to finally get all but this one bolt out. Seems to be VERY stuck. I've actually mushroomed not only the bolt end, but the nut I threaded on the end of it as well by trying to hammer it through with a 5 lb hammer. I also tried penetrating oil, heating the part the bolt is in, still stuck. I'm considering burning or braking it off and then drilling it out as a last resort. Funny, the bolts on the right side of the car slid right out after a few taps.
JAB
 
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