How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25
Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I just replaced my front, active suspension/ride sensing/CVRSS struts on my 98 Seville SLS. I hope this howto can help ...
  1. #1
    iametarq's Avatar
    iametarq is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): None
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,289

    How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    I just replaced my front, active suspension/ride sensing/CVRSS struts on my 98 Seville SLS. I hope this howto can help some of the members here! I did not opt to switch to passive struts. If you have stock passive struts you will get to skip the step regarding the wire coming out of the strut. I used OEM struts to replace the old shot ones. It was done at 99,000 miles. Struts were purchased for $995 for both. List price is $800 a piece and gmpartsdirect.com has them for ~$400 each.

    I want to start off by saying this was my first time ever doing a repair and replace project of this magnitued on any car. I'll still call myself a novice home mechanic. This project is not for the weak at heart. Going through with this repair on your own will truly show your Seville how much you really love it. and care for it. Mostly because my hands a bit on the sore side right now. Also a big thank you to Dadillac for helping me out with this before I actually did the work.

    This HOWTO is to supplement your Factory Service Manual. I'm not a professional.

    Due to board restrictions, I had to remove a lot of the pictures. You can find the full set of pictures from the repair job here:
    http://autos.marktarquini.com/cadill...struts/.cache/

    Now down to the nitty gritty:

    Time required: 4 Hours, depending on experience (in my case 4 hours)

    Tools Required: T50 Torx that will fit on your wratchet. 2-3 wratchets will make your life a lot simpler. Sockets of sizes: 10mm, 15mm, 15/16". 24mm Box wrench, 10lb hammer, Torque Wrench, Spring Compressor Tools.

    1. Engage parking brake and block wheels.
    2. Loosen the lugs on your front wheels
    3. Remove the 3 strut mount bolts at the top of each strut (15mm socket).



    4. Raise and secure the vehicle on jack stands.
    5. Locate the electrical wire and harness coming out of the rear base of the strut and remove the wire from its 'routing blocks'. If you have passive struts you don't need to worry about this step, I'm assuming... (image removed due to board image limit, which is 10!?)


    6. Unplug your brake pad wear sensor harness and speed sensor harness and tuck them away so they do not get damged during this process (other images removed due to board restrictions).


    7. This step requires SMALL HANDS. Follow the electical wire coming out of the strut toward the engine compartment and then UP toward the top of the engine compartment. The harness is plugged in behind the 'splash guard' that is between you and the engine compartment. It is attached to the side of the wall with a plastic clip. Pull the harness and plug and clip out from the wall. It is not simple. You need very small hands to even get your arm up there. You must be underneath the vehicle to accomplish this. There is a picture below of the harness unplugged. This picture is taken from laying directly under the vehicle looking straight up.



    8. Remove the brake line bracket from the strut and tie it out of the way. I used a piece of green florists wire in this picture. Definately don't want to cut your brake line during your strut replacement (image removed). Also remove the bracket for the other sensors. Both of these bolt heads require the 10mm socket.

    9. Remove the 2 two nuts from the strut and knucle bolts. The bolts are splined so they will not turn. DO NOT ATTEMPT to turn the bolts. You will want as much leverage as possible to break the nuts off. I used a ~16" wratchet with the 15/16" socket. I also used some penetrating oil to assist.


    10. Before removing the strut/knucle bolts I supported the assembly with my floor jack. I don't know if this is necessary but I just felt better about the whole process if that was supported when I removed the strut.

    11. With your large hammer bang the bolts out. Once they get passed the ribbed section they pretty much came flying out. I also helped out the process by spraying the PB Blaster on the bolt as soon as there was room between the head and the strut itself. The bolt once it is out is below.


    12. My best 2nd friend during the process: [insert image of PB Blaster here, which was removed]


    13. Once the two bolts are removed you can remove the strut assembly! Look, Ma! No Strut!!


    14. VERY DEAD strut. I manually pulled and pushed the piston shaft and i could see the fluid from the inside bubble out from the top when the shaft was all the way down. Not good. Sorry Seville!


    15. Time for what I thought was the hardest part. To remove the spring...honestly i was fearing for my life if something went wrong during this stage. I took me 2 attempts to get them on correctly to actually compress the spring. Either way, I got it compress and removed without killing myself. Put on your spring compressor tools to the farthest rings you can from the middle. compress evenly, do not do all one side at a time. It is time consuming. if you can put the strut in a vice on a work bench to hold it so it wont move. I had to do mine on the floor.


    16. I forgot pictures of this step but here it is. Once the spring is compressed and you can see that the large rubber gaskget at the bottom is 'free', to remove the nut at the top of the strut you will need your T50 Torx on a wratchet and your 24mm box wrench. You will use the Torx to prevent the shaft from rotating while you remove the nut. It is very important that the spring is compressed enough so that when the nut comes off the entire assembly doesn't come shooting off and hurt you. Once the nut is removed the Strut mounting piece will come off the top, then the boot assembly, then the spring coil and rubber gasket. Parts are seen below.




    17. Now that you have removed all parts from the strut, put the gasket pack on the new strut. NOTE: I could not tell any difference between my two struts. The only way i put the 'left' on the 'left' and 'right' on the 'right' was on the originals the electrical cable coming out of the strut pointed to the rear of the vehicle, if it is to point forward it will not reach the plug behind the splash wall. So make sure you install the correct strut on the correct side. Re-Assemble the strut and torque the top nut down to 55lb ft. Make sure the "washer" under the bolt is set like a bowl, as it was originally.

    18. Once the strut is reassembled slowly remove your spring compressor tools from the spring coil.

    19. Reinstall the strut assembly into the vehicle. The FSM says to install the 3 top strut mounting bolts first then install the lower 2 bolts. I'm not sure which method is easier, the FSM way or installing the lower 2 first then the top 3. I tried both ways. You will need to hammer in the bolts once they are aligned (which my 2nd strut was a royal pain to get the 2 lower bolts to line up after i had installed the top 3 bolts (image removed due to restrictions).


    20. Alight the top mounting bolt hols with the help of the 2 plastic guides at the top of the strut. Tighten the top 3 bolts to 35lb ft.


    21. Tighten the lower 2 nuts to 125lb ft (refer to image above if you forgot where the 2 nuts are).


    22. Plug the strut electrical harness back into the plug behind the wall. the first one I got on the 2nd try, the 2nd one took me about 15 tries.

    23. Insert the cables back into their mounting bracket holders if they came out, or need to be reinsterted like the one coming from the strut will need to be.

    24. Attacht the brakets back to the strut and tighten the bolts to 13lb ft.

    25. Double check all of your connections, bolts, and cables before doing the other side of the vehicle / finishing your work.

    26. Check over everything one more time.

    27. Put wheels back on, hand tighten lugs.

    28. Lower the vehicle.

    29. Start the engine, check for any codes, in case you didn't do something right or the computer didn't like something you did.

    30. Shut off vehicle, tighten lugs on wheels to 100lb ft.

    31. You should now take the car in to have an alignment done.

    32. Once you have assured that the vehicle is 100% safe, drive down and pick up your best girl and take her out for a ride on the town.

    I am not responsible for any mishaps or injuries, bodily or to the vehicle incurred during this procedure. I'm not a professional, only a home mechanic. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, have a professional do it for you. Thank You.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    JSMeloche is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2005 SRX V6 AWD
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    429

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    You should get a proper front end alignment before picking up your girl

    Nice write up! Been there done that and its pretty much complete Removing the 2 lower bolt might require the BFH, dont give up!

  4. #3
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '98 STS (RIP @ 206,xxx miles)
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta area
    Posts
    4,810

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    Quote Originally Posted by iametarq
    I just replaced my front, active suspension/ride sensing/CVRSS struts on my 98 Seville SLS....
    31. You should now take the car in to have an alignment done.
    ....
    Depending on how the vehicle 'feels' on the road in addition to observing tire wear over a period of time, the alignment step is probably not necessary. The suspension geometry is a 'what you get is what you have' kind of situation.

    Design folks use the term 'net build'.

    Notice the strut to steering knuckle bolt holes have zero tolerance. And the upper strut mount holes have zero tolerance. Net build.

    If or when a camber or caster adjustment becomes necessary, the appropriate bolt hole must be enlarged / elongated to permit the adjustment.

  5. #4
    csason's Avatar
    csason is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Winter Haven, Florida
    Age
    57
    Posts
    79

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    very nice, excellent write up..Thanks.

  6. #5
    Dadillac's Avatar
    Dadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 2011 Kia Optima SX 2013 Kia Optima SXL
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Woodbridge NJ
    Age
    48
    Posts
    2,779

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD
    ....
    Depending on how the vehicle 'feels' on the road in addition to observing tire wear over a period of time, the alignment step is probably not necessary. The suspension geometry is a 'what you get is what you have' kind of situation.
    Design folks use the term 'net build'.
    Notice the strut to steering knuckle bolt holes have zero tolerance. And the upper strut mount holes have zero tolerance. Net build.
    If or when a camber or caster adjustment becomes necessary, the appropriate bolt hole must be enlarged / elongated to permit the adjustment.
    100% correct! When I changed my struts, I also noticed that there were only round holes for the mounting bolts. Nonetheless, I took it for an alignment after the swap. It came back dead on perfect. No need for an alignment, and they didn't charge me.

    Don

  7. #6
    mtflight's Avatar
    mtflight is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1999 White Diamond ETC
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,531

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    This is a great post. We should "sticky" it, IMO. Thanks!

  8. #7
    sjpi1954's Avatar
    sjpi1954 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): None
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pensacola
    Age
    60
    Posts
    49

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    Excellent Job Mark,

    Well written and good photos. Good follow up advice on the alignment.

    Never give up, Never surrender

    JP

  9. #8
    Camuchi is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1999 Deville Concours
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    LA (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    28

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    How do you get access to the pictures? Great write up BTW.
    thanks, Matt

  10. #9
    krimson_cardnal's Avatar
    krimson_cardnal is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 96DeVille
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NY Capitol District
    Age
    67
    Posts
    962

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    can't get to the pics - need username/password ????????

    great write-up

  11. #10
    iametarq's Avatar
    iametarq is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): None
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,289
    Thread Starter

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    username: public
    password: nostalking

    enjoy!

  12. #11
    krimson_cardnal's Avatar
    krimson_cardnal is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 96DeVille
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NY Capitol District
    Age
    67
    Posts
    962

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    well done
    this should be placed in TECH TIP for sure. great write up!

  13. #12
    krimson_cardnal's Avatar
    krimson_cardnal is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 96DeVille
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NY Capitol District
    Age
    67
    Posts
    962

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    silly me - just saw it's there I'll get the hang of this soon enough.............

  14. #13
    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '02 Escalade
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    201

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    Great post. I'm assuming the ride is back to the original feel? I had a '96 STS that rode like crap. Now I have a '97 SLS with similar problems and need to do something about it, but I don't like lining the dealer's pockets.

  15. #14
    iametarq's Avatar
    iametarq is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): None
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Petoskey, MI
    Age
    33
    Posts
    3,289
    Thread Starter

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    The ride quality was dramatically improved! I also do not like lining the pockets of anyone, except for my own.

  16. #15
    HUF's Avatar
    HUF
    HUF is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 1995 FWB 100,*** miles CURRENT. 1991 Seville 175,000 SOLD
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    MA
    Age
    55
    Posts
    2,007

    Re: How To: Replace front Struts: Documented with photos

    Thanks for sharing. Pictures are incredible! BTW, the bedding procedure as far as I know results in pads material transferred to the surface of the rotors under certain crazy conditions. LOL I have a couple of questions/conclusions concerning that procedure.
    1. How long does that layer on the rotor last? 2. Should one repeat the procedure from time to time?

    Looks like rear brakes never have a chance to get bedded because they do only about 20% of braking. In other words the pressure with which rear brake pads grab the rotors is less than necessary for the bedding.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting