Monroe Quick Struts Install

A quick summary of some of the things i've fixed on the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP in the past couple years:

Back in 2013 John and i  replaced the struts on my 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix.  The rear suspension of my car rode like it needed to be replaced, it was scraping the ground and I heard banging noises when I hit potholes.  I ordered the Monroe quick struts through the website Rock Auto.  It seemed like the QuickStruts were the way to go for me, it meant that i didn't have to use a spring compressor.

Back then the struts were $120 each and shipping was another $20 each.  I did notice at the time that the new spring was different to the spring that originally came in my car.  The new spring had several additional coils which were variable in space. I thought that this must be a new and upgraded spring and installed them on my car. 
factory struts, monroe struts, compare

I won't get into the details, if you want to see all the pictures of that first time installing the new struts, click on Replace Pontiac Rear Struts from 2013.  It was quite an ordeal which involved snapping a rusty sway bar link bolt. 

During the past year I haven't really noticed that much of an improvement with the new struts.  It seemed better at first, but after while the car was still bottoming out, maybe even worse than it was originally.  If I put any weight like luggage in the trunk there would be a banging noise when I went over any bump.

Fast forward to a month ago.  I tried contacting Monro, the company who made the QuickStruts.  I sent them an e-mail saying that the struts i bought had collapsed and asked if they would replace them under their warranty.  I waited a few weeks but did not hear any reply. So I decided to contact Rock Auto, which is where i actually bought them through.  Luckily they responded that same day saying the parts were under warranty and they would facilitate the replacement through the manufacturer.  Rock Auto was great.  

The process worked where I would order the new parts, replace them on my car, and ship back the old ones.  The only minor downside is that I had to pay for the $40 to ship the parts back and forth. But I figured I was getting off cheap since I was getting brand-new struts on my car for the cost of shipping.

How to Install Car Struts - Monroe Quick Strut


When the new struts came I was glad to see that the spring which was used, was this same spring which was on my car originally.  Not that variable height spring which they shipped me the first time.
repair struts on pontiac grand prix, 2005, monroe

You can see from the picture that the spring on the left is the part which is less than a year old.  The gap at the bottom of the variable spring when on the car was even closer than it is shown here.  At some points the spring coils were touching each other.
compare monroe struts, quick strut, shocks, old, new, rusted, collapsed

So I went to work removing struts by myself in the garage.  One big advantage I had was learning from the lessons that John and I went through the first time.  I knew that using the jack stand to lift swing arm at the knuckle helped to remove strut bolts at the top.  It applied just enough pressure on the spring so that the bolts wouldn't bink.   Also this time around i remembered to spray lots of WD-40 and JB Weld thread loosener on the sway bar link bolt.  Then I also used a wire brush to clean off the threads.  When it came time to remove the bolt, I was able to remove one side with the air impact wrench, but the other side required the big breaker bar.
how to remove rusted strut bolts, shocks, suspension, large,

Here's a picture of the two large bolts which hold the strut in place.  These both support the entire weight the rear of the car.  It took a big hammer to loosen them to where they could be removed.
how to remove rusted strut bolts, shocks, suspension, large,

It is nice having air tools to do this type of job.  I didn't have all this nice equipment a year ago and we had to do it all by hand.  It just makes it a lot easier removing rusted on bolts and getting into tight places.  Although for most of this job I did use basic hand tools.

Here's what the new strut look like after it was installed. You can see that with the new spring there was plenty of space in between the coils.
install new struts, pontiac grand prix, rear monroe struts, shocks

To attach the top of the strut to the car i needed to climb into the trunk and access the 3 bolts which were under the carpet covering.  It's definitely bit of a tight squeeze to get in there.  This picture doesn't do justice to how type of fit it really is. Using a 90° impact, wrench, and socket wrench it was a bit of work to remove the three bolts.
trunk access bolts, struts, shocks, springs

Even this picture makes it look like there is plenty of room.  But a normal socket wrench doesn't fit over the nut and clear the metal frame.
how to remove rear car struts, bolts, trunk, 3 bolts

Here's another picture of the new strut and old one that i removed.  It's amazing that they look this bad after less than one year.  The coils are all rusted and collapsed.
worn struts, car, monroe quick struts, rusted, warranty

The new struts went one on the same way as before.  Although I did make a big screw-up when I was reinserting those two large bolts.  I was using a big hammer to drive them in and I accidentally hit and cracked the ABS sensor on the hub.  I was hoping it wasn't broken but when i started the car some warning lights appeared.  It's annoying when you set about to fix something on the car and end up breaking something completely different.  One bad swing of the hammer and i had to replace the rear hub.  It was completely fine, but the ABS sensor was cracked and the warning light wouldn't go away.

I'll have to write up everything that went into replacing the hub and put a link to it here.  I've replaced the front hub and wheel bearings on the front tires of my car.

Anyway the ride is much better with the new struts on,  Now it's not bottoming out like it did before. Once I get the new hub in the mail I have to post more pictures of how I installed that. 

One last thing is that i found out later that after replacing the struts and hub i did cause the rear tires to be out of alignment.  It's not serious, just that your tires will wear unevenly and possibly wear out sooner.  So there's another $70 to get an alignment that you need to spend.  I saw online that you could sort of do it with a piece of string, but the camber and heel/toe part seemed too complicated for me to do myself.

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