2000 Pontiac Grand Prix Strut Replacement
[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.]
I did the front and rear struts on my Buick Regal. If you want to see the spring compression process head over to that page
I bought this car used in September of 2008. When I shopped for it I was more concerned about the owners than I was the car. The family I bought this from were the original owners. They were very nice people who I had a lot in common with. They had good records of repairs they had done. The family lived in a rural area. The mile of washboard dirt roads to get to their house took its toll on the suspension. The struts in the rear were shot. Small bumps would send the rear wheels hopping. The whole car rattled on long after a bump. An aggressive maneuver would send the back end skipping and hopping sideways. Definitely a safety issue.
I priced replacing the struts with two garages. The first wanted $336 to replace the rear struts only. They would transfer the springs and recycle the old rubber mounts. I don't recall if they were using Monroe Sensa-Trac struts or lesser Monroe's. The other shop wanted $504 which included replacing the upper and lower rubber mounts, but reusing the springs.
I opted to buy Monroe Quick-Struts. I could have purchased just the strut and reused my springs. I didn't want to mess with the danger of compressing the springs and transferring them to the new strut. It would have cost a minimum of $40 or more to have this done at a garage. I didn't know how bad the springs were. I figured all new took away any doubt I missed something. Quick-Struts are a complete strut assembly with new strut, spring, and rubber mounts fully assembled. $133 each through RockAuto.com. The warehouse is in Iowa. They shipped FedEx ground for $15 to Ann Arbor, MI in 2 days.
Can you do this?
My biggest obstacle was fear. I was afraid to get in over my head. I did a dry run to see if I could remove the big bolts holding the strut to the wheel hub. Once I knew I could do that, I decided to buy the Quick-Struts and give it go.
Things to know. . . The struts are rather heavy. They take a fair amount of hammering, lifting, and manhandling. If you don't feel strong enough, don't try it. You need to have a hydraulic jack, jack stands and know how to use them safely. You'll need a good socket set, hammer, maybe a pipe and some wrenches. Sounds like the game Clue :-)
Measure the old strut height. I want to see if the new spring/strut changes the ride height of the car. It looks like the fender clears the tire by about 5.5cm.
This is what the Quick-Strut looks like.
Here are the labels from my boxes for your reference. My favorite part the label is the Made in USA part. It matters to me.
Here is the left strut tower inside the trunk. The carpet has been pulled away. You'll see the black rubber strut mount cover in place. I think this quiets any noises coming from the strut while the car is moving. Little rusty in there.
Here's the right rear strut tower.
This is what the rubber cap looks like inside. Looks like its supposed to absorb noise.
We'll start working on page 2