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Author Topic: Shocks and Struts  (Read 12478 times)
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andijm71
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« on: April 05, 2005, 05:23:24 PM »

Hiya. I have a question for all you men. How hard is it to pull and place the S & S's? I have them sitting in my house gathering the dust that countryfolk are cursed with. The worst car I ever worked on was an 83 BMW 320i. Bushings and stuff. Oh boy! Pretty scars! With the proper tools (in the lock box by a man until i can prove myself worthy) I don't see what the big deal is. Please inlighten me.  :wacko:

Andi

If there are ladies out there that have done this, whisper the easy ways to do this! Cheesy  
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Fitz-01GT
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2005, 07:45:45 PM »

I'm sure that one of our service-manual-owning tekers will have better details, but from what I've seen under the tek, the shocks and struts seem pretty straightforward.  You'll need a jack and stands, a level place to work, and some basic handtools, along with a strut spring compressor. (The front struts *may* be of the cartridge type, meaning a no-lift replacement like my GP, but I doubt it.)

Good luck!  Take pics, I wanna see.   Tongue

-Gus
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Lynne, Gus, & Sofia
Maple Red 01 GT- "BrickHouse"
3-spokes; Sunroof; Cargo Tray; Traction Control; CD/Cassette/10-speaker; Dual-Zone Climate; DIC; Steering Wheel/Cargo Area Audio; Camping Package
MODS-
Maroon/gray leather steering whl cover, red/CF pedals, door edge moldings, splash guards, MagnetBra, red cone filter, GT tail badge, red tire valve caps, black brake drums, red calipers, window VentVisors, sunroof visor
Chicago-ish, IL
andijm71
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2005, 08:01:02 PM »

Hiya! Thanks for the tips. You want picks of the actual procedures or of my bloody knuckles and the cartoonish way the springs still seem to have lots of bounce as i chase after them? Tongue I will take pics. That day (hopeing this weekend) will definately be beer day. I don't drink but I think the iced bottles will help the swelling!  Tongue
Andi
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Newfie Hauler
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2005, 05:48:45 AM »

Andi,

Unless someone here beats me to it, I can check the procedure tonight and post it tomorrow.  I know it will make a difference in the replacement procedure for the rear, is your Aztek Front-Wheel-Drive (FWD) or All-Wheel-Drive (AWD)?

Newfie
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nemesis21
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2005, 11:11:38 AM »

Are you replacing with the same OEM parts, or new performance parts? I too was wondering about replacing the Teks shocks and struts for some better ones? How long to shocks/struts usually last?
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outdoors
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2005, 11:44:16 AM »

Do check with the manual holders for the full process!
Here is what Alldata has to say minus the pictures Sad
This does require at least 3 special tools.  Don't attempt this without them!


Strut, Strut Component and/or Spring Replacement

Tools Required
J 3289-20 Holding Fixture
J 34013-B Strut Compressor
J 34013-20 Damper Rod Clamp
J34013-197 Alignment Rod
J 42991 Strut Rod Nut Socket
J 34013-971 Strut Lower Adapter (Part of kit
J 34013-970)
J-34013-972 Strut Upper Adapter (Part of kit J 34013-970)
Disassembly Procedure

Remove the strut from the vehicle.
Install the strut to the following components:
J 34013-B
J 34013-971
J 34013-972
Rotate the J 34013-B forcing screw (3) until the spring compresses slightly.
 
Use the T 45 TORX and the J 42991 in order to remove the strut shaft nut.
Install the J 34013-197 to help guide the strut shaft out of the strut upper mount.
Loosen the compressor forcing screw while guiding the strut shaft out of the strut upper mount. Continue loosening the compressor forcing screw until you can remove the strut and the spring.

Assembly Procedure
Install the strut (1) to the J 34013-B.
Install the J 34013-20 to the strut shaft (1).
Insert the spring over the strut in the correct position and move the spring upright in the strut compressor. Install the upper locking pin (2). Important: When assembling the strut mount to the strut, orient the mount such that the mount stud without the hole next to it is lined up above the opening in the strut-to-knuckle attachment bracket. This should orient the wedge/bearing/upper spring seat such that the angle of the upper spring seat is approximately parallel to the angle of the lower spring seat. If it does not, rotate the wedge on the mount (keeping the mount oriented as described) until the upper spring seat is approximately parallel to the lower spring seat.
 
Install the strut to the following components:
J 34013-B
J 34013-971
J-34013-972
Insert the J 34013-197 through the upper strut mount and into the strut shaft.
Rotate the J 34013-B compressor forcing screw (3) clockwise, until the strut shaft threads are above the top of the strut. Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Service Precautions. Important: This is a prevailing torque type fastener. This fastener may be reused ONLY if:
The fastener and its counterpart are clean and free from rust
The fastener develops 3 Nm (27 inch lbs.) of torque (drag) against its counterpart prior to the fastener seating.
If the fastener does not meet these criteria, REPLACE the fastener.

Install the strut shaft washer and the strut shaft nut. Remove the J 34013-20 from the strut shaft. Use the T 45 TORX and J 42991 in order to tighten the strut shaft nut to 85 Nm (63 ft. lbs.).
Remove the strut from J 3289-20,
Install the strut to the vehicle.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2005, 11:48:49 AM by outdoors » Logged
JediSkipdogg
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2005, 02:21:28 PM »

Quote
Are you replacing with the same OEM parts, or new performance parts? I too was wondering about replacing the Teks shocks and struts for some better ones? How long to shocks/struts usually last?
Shocks and struts usually have a lifetime guarantee.  Many of the ones on GM trucks use Delco shocks and struts and do carry that lifetime guarantee which means if you are out of warranty and one fails, you just have to pay for the labor to replace it yourself.

So how long are they good for?  The answer is the life of the vehicle.
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andijm71
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2005, 09:55:36 PM »

Hiya! Newfie, It's a wonderfully straight forward simple stock machine. Ok. a stock machine that has to be disasymbled to do something as simple as change 6 spark plugs!

Outdoors, gee thanks.    Cheesy  That doesn't look all that complicated!

I have 109,700 miles as of today. They are the original ones. They have been shot for a good 40,000 miles or more. My ride feels harsh. Not nice like it used to be. And, I broke down (my laziness) and went to a Midas to do my breaks awhile ago. They said I needed them. Two other places that don't do them said I needed them. But, if they are just trying to make a buck then, they are a cheap starting point in getting my blade of grass back into prime.
Andi

I have always read, depending on brand, gas or air, that shocks are 40-60,000 miles. Struts, not sure. I am a person that takes good care of my car, but I feel cheated when they say to do things at a certain mileage. That would be an oil change ever month at my old job!
 :rolleyes:  
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Newfie Hauler
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2005, 05:44:42 AM »

andijm71,

I can confirm that the procedure outdoors is what the service manual lists for the procedure to remove the front strut from the strut assembly.  You might be able to save yourself a lot of time and expense trying to track down the special tools listed by replacing the whole assembly.  If you so that, the tools are not needed and the only other tool out of the ordinary you would need is a quality torque wrench, jack stands and a descent jack.  To complete the procedure for the front, you have to remove the strut assembly anyway.  Roughly here is that procedure:
Strut Assembly Removal
1. Remove the windshield wiper module (I can supply that procedure, if needed)
2. Remove the upper strut mounting nuts.
IMPORTANT: Lift the vehicle using ONLY a frame-contact vehicle lift.  Do NOT lift the vehicle using a suspension-contact vehicle lift.  )I believe that I have a document showing where the correct lift points are, please email me if you want a copy)
3. Raise the vehicle
4. Remove the tire and wheel
5. Scribe the strut to along its mount to the steering knuckle to aid in placement of the new strut.
6. Remove the lower strut mounting bolts and nuts.
7. Remove the strut assembly.
At that point you would follow the procedure Outdoors outlined to remove the strut from the strut assembly, if that is all you have purchased.  I looked at the illustrations and I really don't see any way around not using the special tools (all 6 of them).  It appears as though a standard spring compressor will not work as you are not compressing just the spring.  Keep in mind that these springs are under a lot of pressure and should they let go or break, you could be injured.
Strut Assembly Installation:
1. Install the strut assembly to the vehicle.
2. Install the upper strut assembly nuts and tighten to 41 Nm (30 lb ft).
3. Install the wiper module
4. Install the lower strut assembly mounting bolts.  These are also prevailing torque type fasteners.  
IMPORTANT: This is a prevailing torque type fastener. This fastener may be reused ONLY if: The fastener and its counterpart are clean and free from rust AND
the fastener develops 3 Nm (27 inch lbs.) of torque (drag) against its counterpart prior to the fastener seating. If the fastener does not meet these criteria, REPLACE the fastener.
5. Align the strut to the scribe mark made on the steering knuckle.  Tighten the lower nuts to 123 Nm (90 lb ft).
6. Install the wheel and tire.
7. Inspect and adjust the camber as necessary (VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCEDURE).  Could cause abnormal tire wear if this is not done.
8. Lower the vehicle.


Now the rear shocks (not struts) are a lot easier to replace, particularly if you don't have the Automatic Load Leveling Suspension (You will have that suspension type if you have the air compressor in the rear of your Aztek).
Rear Shock Removal
1. Raise and support the vehicle.
2. They don't suggest it, but it might be helpful to remove the wheel and tire.
2. Use a utility stand to slightly compress the coil spring and relieve tension on the shock absorber.  A second jack can also do this.
3. If the Tek is equipped with the load leveling suspension, disconnect the air tubes from the shocks (special procedure to do that, pictures are really needed to illustrate that.  If needed, email me and I can get them to you).
4. Remove the shocks upper and lower bolts and nuts.
5. Remove the shocks
Rear Shock Installation
1. Install the shock absorber.
2. Install the upper and lower nuts and bolts.  Tighten the nuts to 85 Nm (63 lb ft).
3. If the vehicle is equipped with the load leveling suspension, install the air hoses to the shocks (again I can supply the pics and procedure for that).
4. Remove the utility stand from the under the suspension.
5. If you removed the wheels and tires, install them now.
6. Lower the vehicle.


Whew!  Sorry for the length.  Personally, I would do the rear shocks myself and take the vehicle in and have them do the fronts, unless you buy the whole strut assembly, then it is a lot easier.

Newfie
 
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TekInDaBurg
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2005, 06:41:02 AM »

so from what is being said..  the Tek has struts on the front and shocks on the back?  
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Newfie Hauler
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2005, 10:00:57 AM »

Quote
so from what is being said..  the Tek has struts on the front and shocks on the back?
Yes.  In the front the struts are surrounded by the front coil springs.  In the rear, the shocks are attached either between the body and the twist axle beam on the front-wheel-drive or between the body and the lower control arm on the all-wheel-drive.

Newfie
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TekInDaBurg
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2005, 10:54:28 AM »

so with that in mind, shocks being used on the rear end of an awd tek..  What is GM's interpretation on warranty?  I have seen that on their extended major guard warranty that shock absorbers are not covered.  there is something not right in the back end of our tek as it makes thumping noises when it hits a bump..  so that still leaves me in a dilema..  I can take it to a GM garage and pay them to tell me what is wrong and roll the dice to determine if it covered under warranty or not.  
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andijm71
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2005, 02:25:33 PM »

Hiya! Newfie, you are just as full of good news as outdoors! Tongue  I'm a girl guys, you were suposed to make it easy!! HAHA. Thanks for talking me into letting somebody else do the front. I could just see the look on the tow truck driver when I have to be towed out of my place to a shop because I got one off and oops...it'll still be cheaper than both.

Berg, it sounds just like mine but I'm not that far gone. I especially like when you load something slightly heavy and the front end is up higher than back. And it's always great when you get on the freeway bridge that makes you feel like you're on a small boat in a big storm!
Andi
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Newfie Hauler
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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2005, 02:41:29 PM »

Andi,

I wish there was a way around it, sorry that is just how they "engineered it."

TekInDaBurg,

Normally, a shock or a strut is considered a normal wear and tear item.  However, I and am sure that a few others have had some that have failed and are covered under the regular 3 Year/36,000 mile warranty.  I can't speak for the extended warranties.  Keep in mind that based on your description there could be a number of things there in the rear of the Aztek that could be making noise.  Some of them I believe that I listed recently on another post.  They range from such things as a loose spare tire or jack, to worn rear axle bushings.  I think in fact that someone posted a copy of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that they found.  I will try and see if I can find the post and copy the link.

Newfie
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TekInDaBurg
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2005, 06:42:40 AM »

well a couple months ago, I thought that our tek was fixed with the replacement of the rear knuckle assembly.  but noticed this past week a spot of oil on the floor of our garage.  Started checking around and it appears that the rear passenger side shock is shot.  looks pretty wet and had a drip on the end of it.  

so has anyone replaced the shocks on theirs?  Per newie's procedure he posted in the past, this doesn't appear to be too difficult.  I don't have the air load leveling option, so I would assume that that would only make the chore a step quicker.  
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