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Access To Rear Strut Mount Nuts?


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#1
NickR

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OK. I give up. How to I get access to the nuts that attach the rear struts to the frame, so i can remove and replace the rear struts? There doesn't seem to be access through the trunk. My guess is that I have to remove the rear parcel shelf, but I can't even figure out how to do that! I have popped out the three plastic clips that attach the fabric to the metal sheet behind the rear seats, but that clearly is not enough. What else do I need to remove?

I've done front struts before, but never rears; and have a spring compressor. Any other tips would be gratefully received. Thanks!

2000 LXV6 mtx 205,000kms (but driven on a lot of rough roads, so I think those rear struts are a bit soft, plus something back there is starting to rattle over bumps, and it's not the endlinks, because I've already replaced them).

#2
snailman153624

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The rattle is probably the swaybar bushings. Park on a LEVEL surface, and you can probably rattle the swaybar around....

As for the rear struts, on our '99 I had to remove to two seat bolsters on the sides. They have a single bolt on the bottom IIRC...just spread the seat cushion from the bolster and you'll see it. I don't think you need to remove the rear deck lid, but if you wanted to do that I think you have to pop off the center brake light, and release some tabs from underneath the metal deck (I think these hold the speaker grilles? it's been a while...).

#3
PrinceValorum

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The rattle is probably the swaybar bushings. Park on a LEVEL surface, and you can probably rattle the swaybar around....


x2 I start with the easy stuff first Posted Image

#4
NickR

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Thanks snailman and Prince. I will double-check the swaybar bushings, but I think I had them replaced a year back (my old memory is failing).

#5
NickR

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Just to complete this thread: to access the bolts on the strut mounts.

Snailman's memory is still working. Push the corner of the rear seat cushion down, and you will see a 12mm bolt underneath the rear seat back bolster. You will need a socket on a 12" extension for easy access. Remove that bolt (both mine snapped, due to rust!). Then push the rear seat bolster vertically upwards, to unclip it, and remove it.

Fold the rear seat backs forward, then undo the 3 plastic clips that attach the rear deck lid to the frame. Then you can lift the deck lid up enough to get access to the strut mount bolts.

You will also see a rubber cap covering the top of the strut. You can pull it off, and get access to loosen (DO NOT REMOVE, until you have the spring-compressors doing their job) the main strut bolt.

By the way, take careful note of how the strut mount is positioned relative to the strut. The mounts are not symmetric. They have a slope on them.

Now I've got to go for a drive over bumpy roads, and see if that cured the rattle!

#6
snailman153624

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Just to complete this thread: to access the bolts on the strut mounts.

Snailman's memory is still working. Push the corner of the rear seat cushion down, and you will see a 12mm bolt underneath the rear seat back bolster. You will need a socket on a 12" extension for easy access. Remove that bolt (both mine snapped, due to rust!). Then push the rear seat bolster vertically upwards, to unclip it, and remove it.

Fold the rear seat backs forward, then undo the 3 plastic clips that attach the rear deck lid to the frame. Then you can lift the deck lid up enough to get access to the strut mount bolts.

You will also see a rubber cap covering the top of the strut. You can pull it off, and get access to loosen (DO NOT REMOVE, until you have the spring-compressors doing their job) the main strut bolt.

By the way, take careful note of how the strut mount is positioned relative to the strut. The mounts are not symmetric. They have a slope on them.

Now I've got to go for a drive over bumpy roads, and see if that cured the rattle!


I don't think ours were rusted, but I often didn't put those bolts back in anyway; the clips hold the bolsters in place fine without them.

Funny you should mention the asymmetry...our '99 only had 3 mount studs; the 4th was blanked off (probably for the reason you describe)....I found a junkyard set of struts/springs that looked BRAND NEW (the car had like 50k? on it, and these looked to have been recently replaced before it got rear ended) for which I paid $20 a corner....it was on an '01 I think, and I remember that I had to pop a stud out of each mount in order for it to mate up with our '99. It was easy for me to figure out the orientation, since I had the old mounts (with only 3 studs) to use as a reference.

I hear some nuts and bolts rattling around in my skull every now and then, but I swear I haven't lost it yet...

#7
tjvjr

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good read as im going to change mine soon.;)

#8
NickR

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Well, it got rid of one rattle, but there's still a "clunk" when I go over bumpy roads. (One strut, in the corner where the rattle was, was starting to leak oil, so I think they were coming near the end of their lives.) The swaybar bushings look solid. It might be the muffler hanger hitting the towbar.

My long-term plan with this car is to aim for about 400,000kms (300,000 miles). It's just over 200,000kms now, and the engine and transmission seem very good (uses very little oil, and very smooth shifting). I think the previous owner looked after it well (oil changes, etc.). The danger, for Canadian cars, is rust. But I've been having it oil sprayed every year, and the body seems to be holding up well. So any part I think will need replacing before 400,000kms, I just replace now.

#9
snailman153624

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Well, it got rid of one rattle, but there's still a "clunk" when I go over bumpy roads. (One strut, in the corner where the rattle was, was starting to leak oil, so I think they were coming near the end of their lives.) The swaybar bushings look solid. It might be the muffler hanger hitting the towbar.

My long-term plan with this car is to aim for about 400,000kms (300,000 miles). It's just over 200,000kms now, and the engine and transmission seem very good (uses very little oil, and very smooth shifting). I think the previous owner looked after it well (oil changes, etc.). The danger, for Canadian cars, is rust. But I've been having it oil sprayed every year, and the body seems to be holding up well. So any part I think will need replacing before 400,000kms, I just replace now.


That's actually quite brilliant...why not enjoy the benefits of new parts, rather than trying to fix it right before you sell it?

#10
brian24

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well. I think it is good idea to just first replace all the parts of your car like the car struts and everything and use it for awhile before selling it again. I mean it will definitely serve its purpose.




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