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Jaxer Smith
Jaxer Smith, Auto Mechanic
Category: Car
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Experience:  17 yrs experience and currently own and operate an Auto Repair Center
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2001 buick lesabre: It needs shocks/struts

Resolved Question:

I have a 2001 buick lesabre. It needs shocks/struts. I want to replace them myself. I need instructions.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Jaxer Smith replied 9 years ago.

You may want to try and purchase "Quick Struts" that do not require the removal of the spring and an added benefit is they come complete with new rubber mounting.

Strut

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION

Front
Fig. 1: The strut assembly is mounted between the steering knuckle and the body - front strut shown

WARNING
The steering knuckle must be retained after the strut-to-steering knuckle bolts have been removed. Failure to observe this may cause ball joint and/or halfshaft damage.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2. Matchmark the strut-to-steering knuckle location.
  3. If equipped with electronic ride control, detach the electrical connection.
  4. Remove or disconnect the following:
    • 3 strut-to-body nuts and allow the control arms to hang free
    • Anti-lock Brakes System (ABS) front wheel speed sensor
    • Wheel speed sensor bracket from the strut
    • Brake line bracket from the strut
    • Strut-to-steering knuckle bolts and the strut
  5. Disassemble the strut as follows:
    1. Step 1: Place the strut assembly into compressor tool J 34013-B or equivalent, to compress the coil spring
    2. Step 2: Compress the spring slightly.
    3. Step 3: Hold the strut shaft from turning using a No. 50 Torx® socket and remove the 24mm nut on the top end of the strut.
      Fig. 2: Use a Torx® socket to keep the piston rod from turning while removing the upper nut - front strut shown

       

    4. Step 4: Install Rod tool J 34013-38 or equivalent, to help guide the strut shaft from the upper mount assembly.
    5. Step 5: Loosen the spring compressor tool until the coil spring and mount can be removed as an assembly. Remove the lower spring insulator, if equipped.
      Fig. 3: Install the strut assembly into a suitable compressor such as compressor tool J 34013-B to safely remove the strut from the coil spring - front strut shown

      Fig. 4: Install Rod J 34013-38 or equivalent, to help guide the strut shaft from the upper mount assembly - front strut shown

      To install:

  6. Assemble the strut as follows:
    1. Step 1: Strut into a spring compressor.
    2. Step 2: Lower insulator, coil spring and upper mount.
    3. Step 3: Compress the coil spring while guiding the strut shaft through the upper mount, using tool J 34013-38 or equivalent.
    4. Step 4: Upper nut. Torque the nut to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm) while holding the strut shaft with a socket.
    5. Step 5: Strut assembly from the spring compressor
  7. Install or connect the following:
    • Strut. Torque the 3 nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (24 Nm).
    • Electronic ride control electrical connector, if removed
    • Strut-to-knuckle bolts. Torque the bolts to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm).
    • Brake line bracket to the strut
    • Wheel speed sensor bracket to the strut
    • ABS front wheel speed sensor connector
    • Front wheel. Torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  8. Check and adjust the wheel alignment.

Shock Absorber

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION

Rear
Fig. 1: Remove the cover to gain access to the upper shock absorber mounting components - rear suspension

Fig. 2: Exploded view of the lower shock absorber mounting to the knuckle assembly - rear suspension

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2. Remove the trunk side cover or the rear seat cushion and seat back, as required, to gain access to the upper strut mounting nuts.
  3. Using a floor jack and a block of wood, support the lower control arm.
  4. Remove or disconnect the following:
    • Rear wheel
    • 2 upper shock absorber mounting nuts
    • Electronic Leveling Control (ELC), if equipped
    • Air tube from the shock absorber
    • Lower shock absorber bracket-to-knuckle bolts
    • Computer Control Ride (CCR) electrical connector, if equipped
    • Shock absorber

    To install:

  5. Install or connect the following:
    • CCR electrical connector, if equipped

    NOTE: As the shock absorber is positioned, be sure the CCR wiring is routed properly.

     

  6. Shock absorber and loosely thread the upper shock absorber mounting nuts
  7. Sway bar bracket and the lower shock absorber bracket-to-knuckle bolts
  8. Upper shock absorber mounting nuts. Torque the nuts to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm).
  9. Strut bracket-to-knuckle bolts. Torque the bolts to 140 ft. lbs. (190 Nm).
  10. ELC, if equipped
  11. For ELC equipped vehicles, lightly pressurize the ELC system by momentarily grounding terminal "B" at the height sensor connector before lowering the vehicle.
  12. Install or connect the following:
    • Air tube
    • Rear wheel. Torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  13. Check, if necessary, adjust the wheel alignment.
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