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Old 06-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #1
LastL4Banger
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2005 VUE 2.2L
Default worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Okay, I’m going to replace my front struts. I've never touched a suspension part in my life but once again, thanks to this forum, I feel I can do it. The strut seems to be frozen. Bumps and potholes are transmitted to the cabin as if they are solid rods. I read the Haynes manual. Makes it seem real easy. read dozens of threads here at the forum and they were really helpful.

Since I wouldn’t be surprised if my Vue had the original suspension , I know I need to replace other parts. From the threads I read, I know to replace the strut mounts, strut knuckle bolts and end links. Is there anything else I should replace while I’m at it, bushings, sway bars? any upgrades or mods that a mechanically declined person could do while I'm at it?

Also I saw Monroe made a ‘quick strut’ and I thought “great I don’t have to even mess with the spring”. Of course they don’t make a Vue quick strut. At Rock Auto they have an AC Delco strut kit for 193. As that is this is triple the price for the Monroe, does that come with the spring?

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Old 06-08-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
jimgar
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

I would also recommend doing the sway bar end links and sway bar bushings. It took me about 2 hours to do both. The bushings were not complicated to do, just a pain because there wasn't a lot of room to remove/tighten the bolts.

I have little mechanical experience too and have been learning a lot from this forum and it's members.

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Old 06-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

thanks jimgar, I'm adding them to the list. I see from searching 'strut' posts that some people dont like the Monroes. Seems that everybody likes the KYBs. KYBs are 20 bucks more but also I see some people got the wrong Monroes.

from what I read, the 2003 strut should rotate so the mounting plate doesnt have a bearing. If I get a strut that doesnt rotate and a mounting plate with a bearing then I have the wrong parts. Have I got that right?

so when I compare strut mount part numbers at Rock Auto, I see most are use the same one for 2006 and 2003. Raybestos has different #s and is a little cheaper for the 2003. which makes sense. What I am not getting about strut mounts?

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

The strut mount bearing is the same from 2002-2005...



http://www.am-autoparts.com/Saturn/V...FUZeTAodHWMDkg

The 2006-07 is different... Some users have packed this bearing with silicon grease to quieten it. It doesn't look like a high quality bearing...


...
2006 Black VUE Red Line - Now running iOS 7 Beta 7

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Old 06-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

went with Monroe to save 20 bucks. Rockauto didnt have Monroe mounts for my year for some reason. and no matter how many times I looked at it, it wasnt till I started posting here that I see I ordered only one stabilizer bushing. where do I get the 'strut to knuckle' bolts. Is that a dealer item?

MEVOTECH MK80460 Stabilizer Bar Link $ 16.48 $ 0.00 1 $ 16.48
MEVOTECH MK80461 Stabilizer Bar Link $ 16.47 $ 0.00 1 $ 16.47
MONROE 72218 Strut Assembly $ 60.79 $ 0.00 1 $ 60.79
MONROE 72217 Strut Assembly $ 62.79 $ 0.00 1 $ 62.79
MOOG K200333 Stabilizer Bar Bushing $ 9.29 $ 0.00 1 $ 9.29
RAYBESTOS 5201361 Strut Mount $ 46.79 $ 0.00 2 $ 93.58

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Old 06-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

attempt 1 is a complete failure. I used my brand new cordless impact wrench. got the wheels off no problem. I hit the knuckle bolt nuts and caliper bracket bolt with good doses of PB blaster.

I took the head right off the caliper bracket bolt with the impact wrench. It says 200 foot lbs. (reviews said it was less than that) but I dont think thats a deal breaker. I continued to blast the knuckle bolt nuts with PBB and the impact wrench. nothing. got out the torch. Heated up the several times. nothing. got out the 5 foot gas pipe. just bouncing on the pipe gently. Nothing.

what am I doing wrong. I'm using 22 mm for the knuckle nut. Is it just a matter of persistence? I dont want to round the head on the nuts. Is there a trick heating it. I was putting the heat right on the nut.

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Rust is the great equalizer. And you being from NY, I'm guessing you have a bunch of it.

When I replaced my strut bearings, I did it completely with hand tools. I used my impact only to tighten the spring compressors. But I don't have rust to deal with.

How are you heating the bolts? You should spray the nut side and heat the bolt head. The heat will draw the PB toward the bolt head.

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

I was heating the nut. so tomorrow, I'll heat the bolt head and spray the nut. I can see I was starting to round off the nut from the 5 foot gas pipe. what do they do in the shop? I know they dont take all day to get a strut nut off.

thanks for the help

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Old 06-17-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

first off, let me say thanks the help. And taking the wheels on and off was a pleasure with my new cordless impact wrench. I have no driveway so I work in the street.

I was finally able to break all the nuts. The 5 foot pipe I bought made all the difference. My first mistake was using a 22 mm for the strut knuckle bolts. its 21 mm. thats why I was rounding them. So I will consider this weekend to be 'job study'.

the strut boots are about 4 inches too short. so I need to order them. I will go to the chevy dealer and see about getting new strut knuckle bolts.

can someone tell me what the Stabilizer Bar Bushings are?

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Old 09-08-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Stabilizer bar bushings( 2) each on each stab bar( front and rear)are at the center of the pivot axis of the bar... what locates the bar to the chassis/frame

...
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

I am doing this same thing to my 2003 Vue. The stabilizer bar link nut does not want to come off with just the impact wrench. Does anyone know what size allen wrench it takes to hold it? I only have English allen wrenches and it appears to be metric.

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Old 07-06-2013, 11:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad1003 View Post
I am doing this same thing to my 2003 Vue. The stabilizer bar link nut does not want to come off with just the impact wrench. Does anyone know what size allen wrench it takes to hold it? I only have English allen wrenches and it appears to be metric.
Yes it is metric. It should have a flat type nut on the back side also. Frankly I would just buy new ones and screw the old ones. Soak everything in penetrating oil, grab hold of the back with a big vise grip and hit it with the impact.

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Old 07-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad1003 View Post
I am doing this same thing to my 2003 Vue. The stabilizer bar link nut does not want to come off with just the impact wrench. Does anyone know what size allen wrench it takes to hold it? I only have English allen wrenches and it appears to be metric.


6 mm allen wrench and a 17 mm box wrench / impact for the nut.

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: worked up the courage to replace 2003 Vue struts

Thanks.....I guess that's good enough reason to buy some metric allen wrenches.

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