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New struts 98 Concours


brmurph

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I have some NOS electronic (the expensive ones) oem struts that I was about to install on my 98 Concours but when I took them out of the box and released the keeper the shock piston did not shoot out like I expected. They do extend about 1/2 way (slowly) then stop. When I move the the struts by hand they seem to move amazingly free (a little better then the old ones but not much). To be fair I haven't really felt a new gas filled shock/strut in years so maybe this is normal? I hate to not use them as they are hard to find and very expensive when you can. Can anyone who is familiar with new struts give me any guidance on if I should go ahead and install them?

Thanks!

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Variable rate shocks and struts can be very stiff when pushing/pulling by hand, but can also be quite loose if you don't push hard; it all depends on the details (even new seals can be stiff when tested by hand) and it isn't important once the shock/strut is in the car. One thing that you might look at is whether the shock/strut has been stored with the upper end pointing up; if not gas might be where oil will be once the shock/strut is vertical and exercised a bit, causing the shock/strut to feel loose.

In summary, I wouldn't worry unless they don't seem to be working after they are on the car and have been driven around the block.

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-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Thats a good point thanks. Another odd thing about these struts is that the bolt holes for the brake and electrical mounts are not threaded. Probably not a big deal as I have a tap set but I am started to think these are factory seconds LOL. Anyone else had to tap their new OEM struts?

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  • 1 month later...

I am finally getting ready to reinstall the strut assembly (strut, spring, mount, basically creating a quick strut). I have never done this before, is there anything that I should be aware of so I don't screw it up (like spring orientation on the old insulators or what not)? I will be using mostly new parts where I can, I think the only old parts will be upper insulator and dust boot/bellows for the strut shaft.

If anyone happens to have the order of assembly that would be great as well.

Thanks.

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Yes, the strut mount, spring and strut have specific reference points, I believe its shown clearly in the service manual. Do you have one? I personally mark the reference points and take the assembly to a front end shop and let them do the job unless you have the CORRECT spring compressor, I would not use the old coil spring type of compressors (threaded rods with hooks), they do not work for the wider springs. If you don't have the correct compressor I would have a shop do the spring swap. I replaced my strut mounts (strut bearings) also. If you need reference points I have a 96 manual, not sure how that works for a 98.

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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BBF, you did a strut rebuild on your 1996 Deville that had excellent step-by-step photos. A link to that would be great. There was a platform change with the 1998 Deville and Seville, but I have found that my 2002 FSM works pretty well to identify the differences over my 1997 FSM (and your 1996 FSM). If anything comes up, I'll see what I can find there.

Of course, if someone has a 1998 FSM and they can step in with an occasional scan, that's best.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Yes, the strut mount, spring and strut have specific reference points, I believe its shown clearly in the service manual. Do you have one? I personally mark the reference points and take the assembly to a front end shop and let them do the job unless you have the CORRECT spring compressor, I would not use the old coil spring type of compressors (threaded rods with hooks), they do not work for the wider springs. If you don't have the correct compressor I would have a shop do the spring swap. I replaced my strut mounts (strut bearings) also. If you need reference points I have a 96 manual, not sure how that works for a 98.

I do have the factory manual but still having some trouble and of course I did not mark anything when I took the old assembly apart. I may have to take it to the shop as you suggest but that is hard for me (seems like I am giving up :-). That being said a wall mounted spring compressor sure looks easier then the one I am using http://t3.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcS_ek__N376s6OpkbvwYmjx42DokIZfudO2R5Qt43U886WcebmQ&usqp=CAY , although it did work to get the old one apart.

The only thing in the factory manual that has to do with reference is "Ensure that the flat on the upper spring seat faces out from the centerline of the vehicle. When you mount the spring seat in the strut compressor ensure the spring seat faces the same direction as the steering knuckle mounting flange. If the bearing had been removed from the upper spring seat, install the bearing into the upper spring seat in the same orientation as it had been. Also install the bearing in the spring seat before attaching to the strut mount."

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This probably wont help you but here is the link to my front strut job Jim referred to above. I dont think the photos show. I will look for the scan I have on photobucket showing the strut spring strut mount relationship

http://caddyinfo.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=9357&view=&hl=&fromsearch=1#

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I looked through my photobucket ill look at the manual tomorrow

Wednesday.....i looked through my photobucket and didnt see the photo that shows positions

I have a 24 hour virus and am too weak to get out of bed. Ill look asap

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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If the bearing had been removed from the upper spring seat, install the bearing into the upper spring seat in the same orientation as it had been.

I hate it when they do that.

I have an errand, but if I don't see a resolution on this thread later today, I'll look for something a little better in the 2002 FSM and if I find it, I'll post it here. If you DO find a solution, please post it and save me a lot of time.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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I have a 24 hour virus and am too weak to get out of bed. Ill look asap

I believe the flu is going around + allergies. My co-workers across the country are coming down with it. I had it last week. Rest is best.

About 1.5 years ago, i somehow did my passenger side strut mount. I used 2 spring compressors - It was scarry, and that night i threw out my underwear.

At least on the '96, it was common for the originals to creak. My right side was replaced years ago, so now i think they match. That rubber bushing becomes squished and hard.

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Thanks guys, feeling stronger today 8 out of 15 people at Easter dinner came down with this. We were only together 3 hours. Compared to others I didnt get it as bad, yesterday I spent in and out of bed. Thanks

I looked at my manual and now maybe I am thinking that my memory came from my 91 seville. The 96 manual is vague at best so it must be obvious. The vague statement is "spring over strut in correct position" They specifically say, flat on upper spring seat must face out from the centerline of the vehicle, same direction as steering knuckle mounting flange.

20160331_105551_zpsxhk5ugcw.jpg

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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The 2002 FSM has very similar text. The special tool is a bench-mounted or wall-mounted strut spring compressor. I would recommend that you have this done, or rent a bench-mounted spring compressor. The warning text:

Important:

• The tab on the upper spring seat must face in from the centerline of the vehicle, or when mounted in the strut compressor, the spring seat must face the same direction as the steering knuckle mounting flange.

• If the bearing had been removed from the upper spring seat, the bearing must be installed into the upper spring seat in the same orientation as it had been. The bearing must be installed firmly in the spring seat before attaching the strut mount.

I can provide pictures from this page of the 2002 FSM and such but, if you need that, I think the information from the 1998 FSM is preferable.

CTS-V_LateralGs_6-2018_tiny.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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OK I had to use two sets of spring compressors but I think I have it all back together. The spring is still mostly compressed and now I am wondering the best way to tighten/torque the top strut nut without the shaft spinning? The manual states to hold the shaft with some sort of t50 torx tool but I don't see how you could get a socket on it to tighten it. Any suggestions?

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What you are going to need is the correct tool, or you need to improvise. You probably can improvise with a pass-through socket. Sears sells them, they have a metric set that I want. They are very low profile, but they also will allow you to put an allen or a torx down the middle to hold the shaft from turning. See this socket

http://www.sears.com/gearwrench-1-2-inch-drive-pass-thru-ratchet/p-00960393000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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I started looking at something like that but there is still no way to set the torque spec on the top strut nut. I finally was able to get this completed by wrapping a piece of rubber around the strut shaft and hold it with 2 vise-grips then hold the strut mount so it would not turn all while using the torque wrench :-). So now everything is back together hopefully the way it is suppose to be.

I do still have one concern though, when I try and turn the strut mount it takes a bit of force (can't do it by hand) and it squeaks. Does that sound normal? I had to have a strut mount replaced years ago because of squeaks going over bumps so I might just be paranoid.

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Oh I am sorry, I would have used the through socket with a crows foot and torque wrench, while it is offset the small distance would not matter. But I am glad you found a way to get it done. The strut mounts are very tight, I am surprised you could turn it at all, it wont squeak when used. I have seen them squeak when they are worn out also. I wouldn't worry about it

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-10-pc-fractional-crowfoot-flare-nut-wrench/p-00942049000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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By the way, with the crows foot, as I noted there is a small offset, that impacts torque accuracy. If you measure center to center distance, you can estimate the impact adjustment here, I had this page saved, and used it before. You end up with slightly more torque due to the leverage affect, if I am not mistaken.

http://www.freeinfostuff.com/TorqueExtension/TorqueExtension.htm

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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Oh I am sorry, I would have used the through socket with a crows foot and torque wrench, while it is offset the small distance would not matter. But I am glad you found a way to get it done. The strut mounts are very tight, I am surprised you could turn it at all, it wont squeak when used. I have seen them squeak when they are worn out also. I wouldn't worry about it

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-10-pc-fractional-crowfoot-flare-nut-wrench/p-00942049000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

Yeah that should work then as some guys were saying this is the tool to use http://www.autotoolworld.com/Kent-Moore-J35669-Strut-Rod-Nut-Remover-and-Installer_p_148759.html which sounds pretty much like what your suggesting.

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Oh I am sorry, I would have used the through socket with a crows foot and torque wrench, while it is offset the small distance would not matter. But I am glad you found a way to get it done. The strut mounts are very tight, I am surprised you could turn it at all, it wont squeak when used. I have seen them squeak when they are worn out also. I wouldn't worry about it

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-10-pc-fractional-crowfoot-flare-nut-wrench/p-00942049000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

Yeah that should work then as some guys were saying this is the tool to use http://www.autotoolworld.com/Kent-Moore-J35669-Strut-Rod-Nut-Remover-and-Installer_p_148759.html which sounds pretty much like what your suggesting.

Exactly!

Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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