2000 Grand Am GT front end work [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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01-31-2014, 07:02 AM
Hello, I am going to be replacing some of my front end components in the coming weeks and I have a question about replacing my control arm.

I'm going to be replacing the drivers side control arm and both front strut assemblies. I replaced the passenger side control arm last summer, and when I did it was a PITA getting my ball joint in. I ended up puncturing the boot and sealing it with super glue, so I may change it again as well. My question is, would it be much easier or more difficult to get the arm and ball joint in with the strut assembly removed? Im thinking that with the strut removed the pressure on the spindle will be minimal, allowing me to freely move the spindle into position over the new ball joint, possibly without the need of a pry bar. Does this sound logical or am I being too hopeful in this conclusion? Would it make thing more difficult possibly?

Also when installing the strut assemblies, what is the correct way to align the studs if they are not in the correct position? I don't want to twist the mounts and mess them up by some taboo practices of realigning them.

Thanks in advance for replies!

01-31-2014, 07:37 AM
Yeah, getting the ball joint back in with the strut connected to the spindle can be a pain. I usually have someone help me do it. I step on the control arm to push it down while they push the spindle inward and guide the ball joint into the hole. With the struts removed it would be easy to do. Just remember that there will be nothing supporting the spindle then though. If your brakes are still attached you'll need to support it with something, or take the brake caliper off first so you can set the spindle aside. That's how I would do it, and hang the brake caliper with a bungee cord to keep it out of the way and keep stress off the rubber brake line.

Not sure what you are referring to as far as aligning studs on the strut. Can you be more specific?

01-31-2014, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the quick reply! I've read that when swapping a complete assembly, sometimes the upper mount stud bolts may not be lined up with the holes. I've heard some people use a bar or large screwdriver between the studs and twist the mount into position. I'm not sure that's the best idea though.

Also, the installation instructions for my assemblies say to disconnect the tie rod end from the knuckle, but I really see no need for that.

01-31-2014, 04:25 PM
oh okay... yeah that's not a problem at all. The mounts are made to pivot. The whole strut turns when you turn your front wheels after all.

As for disconnecting the tie rod, it really depends on what you are doing. If you are just replacing the strut assembly, you should be able to do that without disconnecting it. For the side you are replacing the control arm though, you'll want to disconnect it. It will be in the way, plus if you take out the strut and control arm both it won't be hooked to anything but the tie rod.