: 98 catera front end parts



retho78
01-13-11, 01:27 AM
Hi,

I have decided to fix the front a little bit so ordered two lower control arms (Quinton Hazell) and stabilizer bar links (Deeza) from rockauto.com, should I change anything else or is this good for now? The reason I'm changing these is that I can hear a noise, like somthing is rubbing against each other. This only happens when driving over speed bumps, pot holes and some bad roads. While driving on nice paved roads there are no noises.

Installed new rotors and pads 6 months and there is no shaking at all while driving or braking, other than the rubbing feeling and noise over certain roads! Please let me know if I need to change anything else.

Thanks.

retho78
01-13-11, 11:15 AM
Has anyone bought or know anything about the Monroe Sensa-trac struts? Are they any good? I'm not sure if I need to change the struts on my catera and how do I check to see if it needs replacement?


Thanks.

retho78
01-14-11, 01:14 AM
Anybody?

mdksupra
01-14-11, 03:51 AM
Are both your springs in tact? Either of them broken? Does it feel very rough if you hit a pothole? If you press down on the hood by the wheel the car shouldn't bounce, it should be stiff.

I'm also fixing up the front end on mine and was gonna buy those cheap-o monroe's to see if they were any good along w/ springs and tie rods.

(edit) mine is very floaty/bouncy when you press on the hood. strut is shot, makes this whooshy clunking noise instead of a fluid movement. driver side spring has a small broken part so sits a bit lower.

mdksupra
01-14-11, 03:55 AM
Hi,

I have decided to fix the front a little bit so ordered two lower control arms (Quinton Hazell) and stabilizer bar links (Deeza) from rockauto.com, should I change anything else or is this good for now? The reason I'm changing these is that I can hear a noise, like somthing is rubbing against each other. This only happens when driving over speed bumps, pot holes and some bad roads. While driving on nice paved roads there are no noises.

Installed new rotors and pads 6 months and there is no shaking at all while driving or braking, other than the rubbing feeling and noise over certain roads! Please let me know if I need to change anything else.

Thanks.

if you do the struts, make sure you do the mounts too. Check your tie rods to make sure neither of them "wiggle".

retho78
01-14-11, 01:24 PM
I don't think the springs are broken and I checked the struts by pressing on the hood (both sides) of the car and the front goes up and down. I thought that was normal. It does feel rough when the tires hits a pothole, but depends on the size of the pothole. Also, I hear a strange sound on the passenger side only, when I press down on the hood. It feels like something is hitting or popping.

Any special tools required to replace the struts?

I haven't checked the tie rods, but how hard is it to replace them?

mdksupra
01-16-11, 01:25 AM
I don't think the springs are broken and I checked the struts by pressing on the hood (both sides) of the car and the front goes up and down. I thought that was normal. It does feel rough when the tires hits a pothole, but depends on the size of the pothole. Also, I hear a strange sound on the passenger side only, when I press down on the hood. It feels like something is hitting or popping.

Any special tools required to replace the struts?

I haven't checked the tie rods, but how hard is it to replace them?

Inspect your passenger side spring. The noise you hear could be either the strut is shot and bottoming out or the spring is broken and being compressed makes it move quickly/jarring into position. Jack up the car and visually inspect the spring. If it looks okay, buy your struts and rent a spring-compressor from autozone to get the old spring off and onto the new strut. Make sure you do both driver and passenger if you replacing with a new strut.

DO NOT try to do the rear springs on your own, you could ruin the self-leveling air-based suspension in the rear. The front's are okay to do.

I haven't done the struts yet but will be doing within the next week or two so I can't give you instructions but googling or searching the forums might help. Maybe someone on here has the repair manual and can scan it for you if they're nice.

The tie rods are fairly easy to replace but you'll need to get an alignment done afterwards. Just wiggle them back and forth, if they're stiff and dont wiggle easily then they are NOT broken.

elvin315
01-16-11, 11:03 AM
DO NOT try to do the rear springs on your own, you could ruin the self-leveling air-based suspension in the rear.

Says who? The rears are very easy to replace.

Chock the front wheels.
Jack up the rear of the car and place on jack stands.
Support the differential with your hydraulic jack.
Take wheels off and undo the bottom shock bolt and anti roll bar bolt.
Lower the diff to release springs.
Pull the springs out with your hands and replace the same way.


NOTES: Lift the car as high as you can to relieve the springs of their load when you lower the diff. Replace the spring seats, top & bottom, as they're probably cracked or broken. Good time to replace the anti roll bar links and shocks if they're worn.

mdksupra
01-16-11, 03:12 PM
Says who? The rears are very easy to replace.

Chock the front wheels.
Jack up the rear of the car and place on jack stands.
Support the differential with your hydraulic jack.
Take wheels off and undo the bottom shock bolt and anti roll bar bolt.
Lower the diff to release springs.
Pull the springs out with your hands and replace the same way.


NOTES: Lift the car as high as you can to relieve the springs of their load when you lower the diff. Replace the spring seats, top & bottom, as they're probably cracked or broken. Good time to replace the anti roll bar links and shocks if they're worn.

I said that Cus I wanted him to get an opinion from someone wig more experience than me. Last thing I want is him to ruin his suspension Cus of something I didn't clarify on. If you say it's easy to replace the rears then I'm downright happy to hear that because I've also got to do my rear susp

elvin315
01-16-11, 05:20 PM
Anyone looking to repair or upgrade their suspension should read my write-up. No step by step how2 but a lot of good info regarding Catera's suspension weak points and where to find parts to fix what GM didn't.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

retho78
01-16-11, 11:19 PM
I'll check and see if the springs are broken or the struts are bad. The car looks levelled on both sides, so I'm think it could be the struts. I might have to get a set, maybe the monroe sensa trac...due to the price and coupon codes can be used to buy from advance auto. I think one strut after coupon code will be like $55 plus the mounting kit, plus free shipping.

retho78
01-17-11, 08:35 PM
Don't worry, I'm not going to do the rears now.

mdksupra
01-18-11, 12:58 AM
Anyone looking to repair or upgrade their suspension should read my write-up. No step by step how2 but a lot of good info regarding Catera's suspension weak points and where to find parts to fix what GM didn't.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

Chiltons has instructions if someone needs. This write up is good info

elvin315
01-20-11, 04:58 PM
Revised to include a step I missed. You must undo the differential bolts to lower the diff.


Says who? The rears are very easy to replace.

Chock the front wheels.
Jack up the rear of the car and place on jack stands.
Support the differential with your hydraulic jack.
Take wheels off and undo the bottom shock bolt and anti roll bar bolt.
Undo the diff mounting bolts.
Lower the diff to release springs.
Pull the springs out with your hands and replace the same way. No tools required.
Reverse steps to finish.


NOTES: Lift the car as high as you can to relieve the springs of their load when you lower the diff. Replace the spring seats, top & bottom, as they're probably cracked or broken. Good time to replace the anti roll bar links and shocks if they're worn.

elvin315
01-20-11, 05:07 PM
Has anyone bought or know anything about the Monroe Sensa-trac struts? Are they any good? I'm not sure if I need to change the struts on my catera and how do I check to see if it needs replacement?


Thanks.

The Monroes aren't bad as OEM replacements go but not a performance upgrade is that's something you're interested in. Unfortunately they and the ACDelcos are your only choices if you want to keep your self-leveling feature. Any other shock and you'd have to disable it. The ACDelcos come in 2 flavors. One for the base Catera and the other for the Sport. See my write-up for part numbers and other options.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

mdksupra
01-20-11, 09:36 PM
The Monroes aren't bad as OEM replacements go but not a performance upgrade is that's something you're interested in. Unfortunately they and the ACDelcos are your only choices if you want to keep your self-leveling feature. Any other shock and you'd have to disable it. The ACDelcos come in 2 flavors. One for the base Catera and the other for the Sport. See my write-up for part numbers and other options.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

Do you think I could put "sport" catera ACDelcos in my "Base" catera?

AHazzardToAll
01-21-11, 12:40 AM
Yes.

retho78
01-21-11, 04:01 PM
I'm not worried about sport performance right now, just want the ride to be better. So, I'm going to stay with the standard ones for now.

retho78
05-30-11, 10:32 AM
okay folks...had the new lower control arms for a while.....finally getting a chance today and going to replace them today...wish me luck!

retho78
05-30-11, 11:54 AM
Anyone know what size wrench socket to use for the horizontal and vertical bolts/nuts? Also, i'm online now...so waiting for a quick reply.


Thanks.

c0op3r
05-30-11, 02:07 PM
The Monroes aren't bad as OEM replacements go but not a performance upgrade is that's something you're interested in. Unfortunately they and the ACDelcos are your only choices if you want to keep your self-leveling feature. Any other shock and you'd have to disable it. The ACDelcos come in 2 flavors. One for the base Catera and the other for the Sport. See my write-up for part numbers and other options.

http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t108-catera-suspension-upgrades-part-1

What are the best OEM 'style' replacements? The Monroes? I have a 2000 Cat, and the leveling feature does the standard stays lit for a little while then goes to flashing, I checked Pump and the Lines and everything looks OK, so I have to assume Shocks are shot (it is an 11 year old car!).

I am not looking to up performance, but want to keep all original functioning.

Model Numbers of shocks and possible best price place to order from also appreciated.

MoistCabbage
05-30-11, 03:07 PM
The sensa trac struts are not OEM style. They're designed to have a slightly softer ride when on relatively smooth, flat surfaces, and then act as OEM when cornering. Not a bad thing, just a matter of taste. If you want a more OEM style, get the standard Monroe struts. The quality is the same, they just don't have the softer smooth road ride.

retho78
05-30-11, 10:00 PM
Update, replaced the lower control arms and the stabilizer bar links. The driver's side control arm was the hardest to take out...especialy where it connects to the spindle / hub area. The bushing end was really rusted and stuck to the spindle...anyways after several rounds of PB blaster and some hammering it came out. The pasenger side was very easy it just slid out. Anyways I think I might need to replace the outer tie rods too...and do a complete alignment.

Thanks.

retho78
05-30-11, 10:04 PM
Do you have advance auto parts near your area? If so, they sell the struts and use coupon codes (google the coupon code) and then choose pick it up from store or free shipping to your house.


Thanks.