2000 Pontiac Grand Prix Strut Replacement Continued.

 

The strut is out!

Well that felt good. I like these points in a project. Kind of a point of no return. The strut is rather heavy once it's loose. Be ready for the weight of it once it's free.

struts out

 

Something's missing here...

empty wheel well

 

Looks like they changed the boot and bumper a bit, but otherwise it's a perfect match.

old vs new

 

The strut is in. Don't think I did something wrong here. I took pictures of the left side strut during disassembly, but forgot to take a finished picture. This is the right wheel finished.

One note: I was surprised by the nuts which came with the new struts. They are oval in shape. I thought they were defective. I'm sure they're not. They are hard to get started, but once they're on they'll never let go or rattle loose.

Total time was about 4-5 hours. Why? Well I was taking pictures and I spent about 45 minutes on different nuts and bolts getting stuck. In my head it was only about 12 bolts, but add up the jacking the wheels on and off, it takes time. I also bled the brakes while I had everything apart. I had a soft break pedal. My wife pumped the brakes while I worked the bleeder valve. I did see a bubble or two come out. The pedal firmed right up.

Strut in

 

Looks like the car is about 1cm higher now. Less than I though it would be. It does say in the instructions the springs will settle over time. The after was picture was taken after I had driven the car for a day. It may sit right back down to where it was eventually.

new strut height

 

Did it work?

Yes! The car rides completely different. I mean that in a good way. First thing I noticed was how quiet the back end is now. All the rattles after shocks are completely gone. I'm surprised so much noise came from the struts. If you want to fall back in love with your car, this is a good way to do it. What a great improvement.

The car is sporty again. Before, hitting a bump in the middle of a curve would send the back end skittering sideways. Now the car tracks through curves without much noise or fanfare. The car is fun to drive again. It handles so much better. It stops more quickly too. I feel safe again. I think I'm going to replace the front struts. But this time I'm going to try transferring the springs and saving a bunch of money.

Now I'm not afraid to do repairs like this. I am going to buy a new socket to get the nuts off in the trunk before I do this again.

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