building up struts
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, building up struts in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; 1994 Deville I am trying to build up struts with all new parts. So my plan was to leave old ...
  1. #1
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    building up struts

    1994 Deville
    I am trying to build up struts with all new parts.
    So my plan was to leave old struts intact to be placed in a spares pile.
    My problem is none of the parts diagrams match what I have to work with or the order of the parts.
    They claim it should look like this
    BA94290.gif
    I see no bearing or the thick rubber piece also they have the bump stop at the bottom everywhere else shows top of dust boot.

    The one from the service manual.
    They have the bump stop way up above the upper spring seat and I guess the bushing is the bearing.

    Here is an old strut big gap filled with rubber between spring seat and strut mount.
    7-5-2014027_zps49bda296.jpg
    Worthless picture of bump stop; But I guess it does show about the only place the bump stop can go.


    So I have an order that I think is correct.
    I would hope someone can confirm my order of things.
    See next post

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  3. #2
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: building up struts

    So here is the order I have.

    This must be the bearing it has a plastic side and a rubber side.


    The only way the parts make sense: upper seat - then that rubber piece - then bearing rubber side down (the bearing locks into the rubber piece)



    Then the strut mount.

    The problem I see is the bearing works good in this order; until you load the strut mount then the rubber starts to overcome the bearing and it starts to bind.

    I think I have the correct order and orientation but that binding at the end is throwing me.

  4. #3
    limo1's Avatar
    limo1 is online now Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: building up struts

    Looks to me like the bearing black side goes face down onto the spring mount plate then the rubber insulator goes down with the hole that has tab marks onto the yellow bearing facing up then last goes the strut mount with the 3 studs.
    bearing should be the first onto the spring plate with black side down. I did this already and that is how my struts went together. works great.
    also put some waterproof grease into the bearing race to keep out the water and rust you will notice the offset in the rubber mount angle lines up to the wheel spindles. when all together.
    the spring mount plate has the notch that should face out to the fender and spring coil should start at the notch.
    The stresses have to be absorbed by the rubber parts before they hit the bearing.

  5. #4
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Thread Starter

    Re: building up struts

    Confusing to subject
    Deleted

  6. #5
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Thread Starter

    Re: building up struts

    Confusing to subject
    Deleted

  7. #6
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Thread Starter

    Re: building up struts

    Confusing to subject
    Deleted

    ----------

    I talked it over with the lady of the house.
    She says this orientation is correct.

    That is where I started

    Finally called Moog and got them to clarify.
    Upper spring plate
    Then the bushing (big rubber piece) flat side down.
    Then the bearing rubber side down locked into the big rubber piece.
    Then the strut mount sits on the plastic side of the bearing.

    She is so smart

  8. #7
    rayjuswa is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: building up struts

    I have a picture of the correct way to assemble your strut
    But I don't know how to upload it on this site
    If you want me to e-mail it to you from my AOL account send me an e-mail at


    Ray J

  9. #8
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Thread Starter

    Re: building up struts

    received your pm rayjuswa
    you may wish to edit your email from your post.

  10. #9
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: building up struts

    Ok I get it.
    The upper spring plate that comes in the strutmate mounting kit 903974 is incorrectly sized for the bearing.
    I took the old strut apart and found the upper spring plate works as
    limo1 and rayjuswa pointed out.
    upper spring plate
    bearing plastic side down
    rubber bushing
    then strut mount
    That is how the strut I took off was arranged also.
    Looks like I am the first one into the struts on this 130,000 mi DeVille and they were shot.
    So were the upper and lower spring insulators.

  11. #10
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: building up struts

    I got the Monroe Sensa-Trac struts done finally.
    The upper spring plate with its spring isolator and those wiring/hose guides that bolt on the bottom were the only parts re-used.
    The lower spring isolators (dealer item) were both rotted.
    The upper spring isolators after further inspection and comparing thickness with the new parts were deemed suitable.
    Changing the springs added a problem but with more tools (That added two weeks waiting on the delivery trucks) I was able to survive it.

    Took it to the alignment shop today.
    It was a mess.

    All four corners needed adjustment. The drivers side front gave them a fight.
    The guy running the alignment station was doing good but began struggling with the problem.
    They finally asked if they could put one of those cam bolts in the strut to get one more degree.
    Towards the end one of the shop monkeys came to help
    He mounted the drivers side fender with a four foot pry bar and a sledge hammer.
    It was all I could do to keep quite.
    Finally it was over.
    There is a bashed spot on the strut mount and one paint chip; but that's usually the way it goes when you hire help.

    The steering wheel is still not exactly centered and the wheel feels heavier.
    I guess I will run it like this for awhile to let everything get settled in, then take it back to an alignment shop (maybe not that one)
    And see if I can get it dialed in to near perfection

    A big thanks to all that helped me with this.

  12. #11
    reppinshadyvill is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    You could rent a spring compressor from auto zone and do it yourself.

  13. #12
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: building up struts

    If you are only going to change the strut a normal spring compressor can do it.
    I had the old cheap type that are to thick to get onto the coil where it needs to and bit the springs so bad I had to file off the burs.
    sort of like this


    The type with thin metal fingers work better and do not cut into the springs.
    like this

    I found a 14" set that worked well.

    To change the springs takes a different setup with a lot more working length.
    Then I ran into the problem of there is nothing straight about the strut and spring relationship when it goes back together.
    The big tool I ended up with could not overcome that and struggled with the diameter of the coils.
    So I could not get the upper spring isolator into the correct position.
    Ended up using the big tool to get the new spring compressed enough to get the strut mount bolted on.
    Then the regular affordable two piece spring compressors to compress the spring until loose so I could get the spring isolators correctly positioned.
    And get the alignments correct.

  14. #13
    tj86cimarron is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: building up struts

    Quote Originally Posted by amunderdog View Post
    Confusing to subject
    Deleted

    ----------

    I talked it over with the lady of the house.
    She says this orientation is correct.

    That is where I started

    Finally called Moog and got them to clarify.
    Upper spring plate
    Then the bushing (big rubber piece) flat side down.
    Then the bearing rubber side down locked into the big rubber piece.
    Then the strut mount sits on the plastic side of the bearing.

    She is so smart
    I am going to do this on my 95 Eldorado. So, if the spring plate in the picture was the right one - you would simply flip the insulator along with the bearing in this picture, right?

  15. #14
    amunderdog is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Thread Starter

    Re: building up struts

    that is correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by amunderdog View Post
    Ok I get it.
    The upper spring plate that comes in the strutmate mounting kit 903974 is incorrectly sized for the bearing.
    I took the old strut apart and found the upper spring plate works as
    limo1 and rayjuswa pointed out.
    upper spring plate
    bearing plastic side down
    rubber bushing
    then strut mount
    That is how the strut I took off was arranged also.
    Looks like I am the first one into the struts on this 130,000 mi DeVille and they were shot.
    So were the upper and lower spring insulators.
    tj86cimarron likes this.

  16. #15
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    Deleted

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