This should help you.
The purpose of a MacPherson strut, much like a shock absorber, is to dampen harsh spring movement and provide a means of dissipating the motion of the wheels. As a result, shocks encountered by the wheels are not totally transmitted to the body and, therefore, to you and your passengers. As the wheel moves up and down, the strut shortens and lengthens, thereby imposing a restraint on movement by its hydraulic action.
A good way to see if your struts are functioning correctly is to push one corner of the car until it is moving up and down for almost the full suspension travel, then release it and watch its recovery. If the car bounces slightly about one more time and comes to a rest, the strut is all right. If the car continues to bounce excessively, the struts will probably require replacement.
See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a MacPherson strut assembly
Fig. Fig. 2: Using a ratchet, remove the top strut-to-body mounting nuts
If equipped with a Tri-Pot joint, disconnect the drive axle from the transaxle before separating the strut from the steering knuckle.
Fig. Fig. 3: Before removal, make scribe marks on the knuckle along the lower outboard strut radius (view A), the strut flange on the inboard side, along the curve of the steering knuckle (view B), and across the strut-to-steering knuckle interface (view C)
Fig. Fig. 4: Use a chisel to mark the strut-to-steering knuckle interface
Fig. Fig. 5: With the use of two tools, remove the steering knuckle-to-strut bolts
The steering knuckle should be supported after removing the bolts to prevent axle joint overextension.
Fig. Fig. 6: After removing the bolts connecting the steering knuckle to the strut, the strut can be extracted from the vehicle
Fig. Fig. 7: Pontiac 6000 STE AWD strut mounting is slightly different than that of front wheel drive models
If a new strut dampener has been installed, the front end will have to be realigned.
See Figures 8 and 9
A MacPherson strut compressor tool J-34013-B or the equivalent must be used.
Fig. Fig. 8: Disassembly and assembly of the strut
Fig. Fig. 9: Special tools used by GM for suspension work
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
The following tools or equivalent will be needed to do this repair: J-33432 leaf spring compressor and J-37619 ball joint stud remover.
Fig. Fig. 1: A leaf spring compressor and ball joint stud remover are required for rear strut removal/installation
Fig. Fig. 2: The AWD rear suspension utilizes one leaf spring and two strut assemblies, rather than shock absorbers
Fig. Fig. 3: Rear strut mounting on the AWD 6000 STE