1999 Buick Regal/Pontiac Grand Prix Strut Replacement with Spring Transfer
[This repair may apply to the following vehicles. 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Buick Regal, Buick Century, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Impala and other similar cars.]
This repair is a supplement to the Pontiac Grand Prix Strut Replacement. Both cars are built on the same chassis so the instructions are interchangeable. I didn't repeat the instructions from the Pontiac, I skip over a few things here. This covers the front struts with the difference being I transfer the springs to the new struts instead of using a QuikStrut with the springs in place.
Here's the front strut mount kit. Note: the stack order of the pieces as shipped is NOT the proper order for installation. (Learned this the hard way. I inverted the yellow bearing. If I left it upside down it would have had water in all the time. It groaned a bit too. I had to remove it, recompress the spring, unscrew the..... be more careful than I was.)
This is the bearing upside down. Installed the yellow ring would be on top and the black ring down below.
I went cheap and bought this at Harbor Freight. I know, I know, buy American. Well, the one I found at Sears was made in China too. I tried this compressor and it really sucked. No where in the instruction does it tell you to oil the bolts. They should. Huge forces on the bolts. I barely made it though the two struts before the threads were stripped. (You're saying to yourself, how did you strip them while doing this repair? You haven't started yet. Right you are. I did the rear struts on the Buick after I did the Pontiac. I didn't take pictures of Buick rear struts because they are the same, but I did move the springs instead of buying the QuikStrut. )
This is what happened to the bolt after the second spring. I bought a different compressor to tackle the next set of struts.
Same deal, Harbor Freight. They did take the other compressor back which I was happy about. With this compressor I oil the heck out of the single large bolt you use to compress the spring. I used regular motor oil in a squirt can. I guess there is high pressure or high friction grease which would work well too. I also got a chance to use a professional spring compressor at a local auto repair shop in Ann Arbor, MI. Steve Steeb Service. Very nice guys over there. That's where I'd take it if I wasn't doing it myself.
The strut comes compressed. You can turn the shaft with your hand and release the strut.
Mount bolts loosened. Car still on the ground.
Big strut bolts, same as the Pontiac.