1/26/2012

Pontiac Rear Struts

Any time i had more than 2 people in my car and hit a bump, there was a loud bang from the back. I figured it was time to replace the rear struts.

I wanted to use something called a Quick Strut, which is where the strut and spring come pre-assembled. This would eliminate me having to buy and use a spring compressor. The problem is that i have a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP Competition Group. Originally the car came with special rear struts that were higher compression than the base Grand Prix or even the GT and i could not find a Quick Strut the same as my GTP.
I figured that there wasn't a huge difference installing the standard strut, nothing i would notice while driving.

So i ended up buying the left and right rear Monroe Quick Struts from rockauto.com. They were $120 each, which is about $30 cheaper than places like Sears.
Monroe Quick Strut for Pontiac Grand Prix
Monroe Quick Strut, part, spring, instructions, assemble
Several months ago i took my car to Katie and John's and John helped me fix the heads-up-display. So again he agreed to help.

The first side was awful and took 3 hours to replace. Here's a time lapse video of us trying to get the strut off.

It took a while trying to figure out how to remove some of the bolts, how high to jack up the car and what order to do things. The biggest problem we had was the sway bar link bolt was really rusted and we ended up snapping it while trying to get the nut off.
Broken bolt while replacing rear struts
So we had to go to the store and get the right metric bolt with the right size threads. When we did finally get the strut off i noticed that the spring was different. The new one looks a lot better then what was on there.
Side by Side Comparison of Struts
After learning all the steps and tricks we fixed the other side in under 45 minutes. This time we sprayed WD-40 and used a wire brush on the threads of the rusted bolt and it came off much easier.

Here's another time lapse video of us doing the second strut.

For most of the video i was in the trunk messing with these 3 bolts.
Rear Struts install instructions, bolt removal
The car rides much better now.

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