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Mark 97 Cutlass Coupe

How do you replace front struts?

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It is an insert. A local part store should have a tool you can rent do to the job.

 

I use an impact wrench to get the top bolt off the strut. Makes it easy and quick.

 

Then drop in the new strut and bolt it down.

 

This is the tool you need.

 

92640.jpg

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Yes, the front strut is in insert. With car on flat level ground (do not jack the car up) raise the hood, remove strut tower brace or plates, remove nuts on strut rod as 94 olds vert says, pry rubber isolator out of pocket with a screwdriver, insert special tool (looks like long socket) over top of strut rod, engage special tool into strut housing nut, loosen nut all the way out, remove special tool, pull old strut insert out the top.

i think the instructions say to remove all the oil and put back in 50CC? It's been awhile. Insert new strut insert into strut housing, drop new strut housing nut down over the new strut rod with maybe a washer (check instructions) put special tool down over top of new strut rod. Turn the nut BACKWARDS to engage the special tool and to line up the nut (don't want to cross thread) tighten the nut and make sure there is no play in strut up and down. Reassemble the rubber isolator with the notch lined up, tighten up the strut rod nut, put the strut tower brace or plates back on, tighten nuts of course, close hood and celebrate with ICE CREAM! Cuz it's hot.

Edited by George

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I did mine with a pipe wrench through the spring, it wasn't bad. It's handy to have another person when you put the new one in so they can help get them lined up, you just push the whole car forward or backward a bit.

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So what's the real issue of the compatability of the KYB front inserts, and the strut tools?

 

I've done many exhaustive searches with Google, and I get responses ranging from "the KYB's aren't compatible with the Powerbuilt tool", to claims that the whole job can be done with a pipe wrench, and lots of things inbetween. Lots of BS, few answers.

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Lisle tools (you know, those red and white packages of specialty tools at most parts stores) makes the strut tool too! Regarding the KYBs: While I'm probably thinking of something different then you, I put a set (front and rear) of KYB Exels/ GR2 in my '92 Z and they were no different than the stockers; and installed just fine with the Lisle/ W-body strut tool.

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Holy shit that's rusty! :eek:

 

Just a little surface rust, the other one cleaned up nice with a wire wheel. No pitting, a little paint it will look like new.

They are '96 big brake strut mounts. Yes they are prepped for coil overs. I'm fabbing up some strut mounts that will use the factory rubber isolator and bump stop and will be able to change front struts from the top like factory. There will be no caster/ camber adjustment like factory, just a simple, quiet, no maintenance " adapter" to mount coil overs. The machine shop will have the first ones done mid next week. We will see what they charge, hopefully they will be inexpensive as well.

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I raise the front end of the car so both tires are just about off the ground (jackstands) and use a pipe wrench on the top strut nut thingies, right in between the spring coils. No need for special tools, just a $35 pipe wrench from Home Depot. You can later just keep the wrench in your car as an anti-carjack device. Works like a charm :thumbsup:

Edited by Miko K

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I had the same problem with finding the tool. My problem was one of the retainer nuts actually came loose and off the strut tower. Since I had the nut out, I was able to make the tool myself with a pipe, some 1/4-20 bolts, and a large hex nut on the top so I could put a socket on it and torque them down.

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Bearings and bushings shouldn't need replacement unless there's something wrong with them. A bad bearing will affect steering feel and you should be able to see if a bushing is bad when you remove it.

Bearing can't be replaced through the top with the struts, the spring will need to be removed for that.

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Got mine done today! Took a while longer than thought it would. the old struts had come apart and leaked oil had to 'rag' it out. Borrowed tool from Autozone. I did not realize that the dog bone was a part of the suspension system, Thought it was a stabilizer.

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Got mine done today! Took a while longer than thought it would. the old struts had come apart and leaked oil had to 'rag' it out. Borrowed tool from Autozone. I did not realize that the dog bone was a part of the suspension system, Thought it was a stabilizer.

 

dog bone?

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