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Old 12-11-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
FrankT
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Pfadt spring install how to with pics

I thought I'd do a write up on replacing the stock springs with the new Pfadt springs and show everyone contemplating doing this themselves what is involved. You will need a way to raise the car and a floor jack or other adjustable support. A strut spring compressor is needed as well as a torque wrench with angle gauge, assorted metric wrenches and sockets (10mm, 15mm, 18mm, 21mm, 24mm) and torx bits (T30, T50), inverted torx (E10). This is the spring compressor I used.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:41 PM   #3
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First, raise the car and remove the wheels. Remove the stabilizer shaft link (15mm and E10 socket). Remove the wheel speed sensor from the front of the strut.You do not have to remove it entirely, just slide it out of the bracket. You can tie it back out of the way, I just used the stabilizer bar link to hold it out of the way. Remove the front disc brake hose from the strut (10mm).
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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Next, you need to mark or paint a reference mark of the strut on the steering knuckle so you can assemble it back in the same location. I used a sharpie marker and traced around it. Support the steering knuckle with a floor jack or adjustable support.
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Last edited by FrankT; 12-11-2009 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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Remove the front strut nuts and bolts (24mm, but a 15/16 works also). Remove the front suspension nut and washer (T50 torx and 24mm). This is under the hood, unscrew the dust cap from the top of the strut first. Then, remove the strut.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:16 PM   #6
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Now comes the fun part. Place the strut/spring assy on the workbench (a strut vise would be optimal, but I put some shop rags in my bench vise and clamped it loosely). Position the strut spring compressor and compress the spring until it moves freely on the strut. Remove the top strut nut (24mm and T50 torx), mount retainer, strut mount, and strut insulator from the strut. Remove the spring and relax the tension on the spring until you can remove the compressor from the spring.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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Remove the plastic dust cover/boot to reveal the strut bumper. You need to trim one inch off of this (measured from the bottom) and reuse the top portion of the bumper. Reinstall the dust cover/boot. Then, install the new Pfadt spring (you don't need the spring compressor) along with the components previously removed. Make certain the end of the spring is indexed in the lower spring isolator properly. Tighten the front suspension strut nut. The torque spec is 52 lb ft, but I just tightened it as tight as I could.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:38 PM   #8
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Now, reinstall the strut assembly into the vehicle. Install the strut bolts, but don't tighten completely until you align the strut with the alignment mark previously made. Install the front suspension mounting plate and strut nut. Tighten the front strut bolts and nuts to 59 lb ft plus an additional 180 degrees. I used new bolts and nuts. Tighten the top nut to 52 lb ft. I needed a wrench like the one in the picture to be able to tighten the nut. Screw on the dust cover, and reinstall the wheel speed sensor cable into its bracket, front brake hose and stabilizer shaft link.
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Last edited by FrankT; 12-11-2009 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:46 PM   #9
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Now on to the rear! Support the knuckle with a floor jack or suitable support. Remove the stabilizer shaft link from the lower control arm (T30 and 15mm). Remove the lower control arm bolt from the knuckle (24mm or 15/16). Remove the lower rear shock absorber and nut. Remove the four upper shock absorber bolts (15mm). Remove the shock assembly from the vehicle.
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Old 12-11-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:10 PM   #11
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Again, place the spring/shock assy on your work surface. Install the spring compressor and compress the spring just enough so the spring moves freely on the shock. Loosen the top nut (18mm and T40). Remove the washers and isolators and remove the spring. Remove the compressor from the spring. Again as on the front, remove the dust boot/cover from the shock and the jounce bumper. Trim one inch measured from the bottom of the bumper and reinstall the top portion of the bumper onto the shock shaft. Reinstall the dust boot/cover and the new Pfadt spring. Again, you won't need the spring compressor. Reassemble the shock assembly silver washer goes on top of the dust boot, then the mount, and gold washer on top, then the nut. Install into the vehicle. Install the four upper bolts and tighten (15mm) to 43 lb ft. Install the lower control arm bolt and torque to 30 lb ft plus 120 degrees. Install the lower shock absorber bolt and tighten to 59 lb ft, plus an additional 120 degrees. Once again, I used new bolts. Install the stabilizer shaft link.
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Last edited by FrankT; 12-12-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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An alignment will probably be required after doing this. I've probably left something out on this, so post any questions and I'll update as necessary.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:46 PM   #13
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awsome man thanks!!! looks easy enough
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #14
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thanks!! i'll hopefully get this done during the winter!
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:12 PM   #15
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Do you have pictures where you use the spring compressor?? I am assuming you use them only during removing and on all 4 struts?


****EDIT**** i know i know, sorry about that. So you only have to use the compressor when the strut is already completely off the car, for whatever reason i thought that i should use it while it was installed on the car....
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:51 PM   #16
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Great write-up, thanks! The steering knuckle mounts to the front strut with 2 bolts. The upper bolt location is slotted for alignment adjustment. I've read that there's a threaded hole that you can screw a bolt into to capture the stock alignment setting. I realize this will probably need to be changed once the car is lowered but you can at least get this adjustment back to the stock setting until you get to an alignment shop.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #17
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No before and after pictures? We will likely be doing this soon and I'd love to see some pictures of the car. I know I scanned the thread quickly but did you mention how you're overall satisfaction is with the kit and results?

TIA
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obe1 View Post
Great write-up, thanks! The steering knuckle mounts to the front strut with 2 bolts. The upper bolt location is slotted for alignment adjustment. I've read that there's a threaded hole that you can screw a bolt into to capture the stock alignment setting. I realize this will probably need to be changed once the car is lowered but you can at least get this adjustment back to the stock setting until you get to an alignment shop.
You could use the bolt method. A 10 mm bolt is required. It would be installed in the open hole at the top of the knuckle. The reference mark you are told to make on the knuckle (see post #4) is GM's method as per the service information.
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Last edited by FrankT; 12-12-2009 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:26 PM   #19
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Spring compressor pics...
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popy's VT View Post
No before and after pictures? We will likely be doing this soon and I'd love to see some pictures of the car. I know I scanned the thread quickly but did you mention how you're overall satisfaction is with the kit and results?

TIA
I haven't taken any after pics, but will post them here when I do. The quality of Pfadt's parts appears very high. The only problem I have is their lack of instructions. I think they are meant to be installed by a professional shop.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:34 PM   #21
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maybe im blind but where did you make the mark?
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top 10 reason why real men drive stick.

10. A manual transmission is the ultimate in control
9. You can use automotive jargon and not sound like a total tool
8. You can't spell "manual" without "man"
7. Manual transmissions prove you can do more than one thing at a time
6. You can't drift in an auto
5. You can't pull fancy moves in an automatic
4. You get better fuel economy with a stick
3. You’ll never look like a chump if you can drive stick
2. Manual transmission cars are faster
1. Women like a guy who is good with his hands.

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Old 12-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #22
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I traced around the strut onto the aluminum knuckle. Unfortunately, I did it in silver sharpie which didn't show up too well in the picture. I could see it fine when I was reassembling it, though.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #23
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Great job Frank. Thanks a bunch for posting the procedure and pictures.

I have a set of Eibachs I was planning to do today, but it's raining and cold out (OK for So Cal) in the garage. So maybe tomorrow. I copied your text and pictures into a WORD file for reference since Eibach didn't have any instructions either.

Thanks again,
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:56 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT View Post
I traced around the strut onto the aluminum knuckle. Unfortunately, I did it in silver sharpie which didn't show up too well in the picture. I could see it fine when I was reassembling it, though.
i got ya=but what im tryin to figure out is what all that stuff is lmao= ima install this but i dont know the names of the pieces-like where or what is the th knuckle? sorry if thats a stupid question
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top 10 reason why real men drive stick.

10. A manual transmission is the ultimate in control
9. You can use automotive jargon and not sound like a total tool
8. You can't spell "manual" without "man"
7. Manual transmissions prove you can do more than one thing at a time
6. You can't drift in an auto
5. You can't pull fancy moves in an automatic
4. You get better fuel economy with a stick
3. You’ll never look like a chump if you can drive stick
2. Manual transmission cars are faster
1. Women like a guy who is good with his hands.

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Old 12-12-2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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No problem. The steering knuckle (on the front suspension) is the silver aluminum piece that the strut bolts to. It has the brake rotor mounted to it also.
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