Installing Monroe Quick Struts on my Grand Am

Apparently, the Boston area is notorious for having bad roads and huge potholes. The other day I was driving my 1999 Pontiac Grand Am around here, and I hit some pothole or something really hard… didn’t notice anything wrong though. So a few weeks later when it started really acting up, so I brought it somewhere and appearantly I totally snapped one of the springs in my front left tire, and my struts were bad in the front. With how expensive things are here, they wanted $430 * 2, plus labor costs to fix it… and no, that was not going to happen. Heres a picture of the broken spring/strut next to a new one:

So I found these parts called a quick strut — I got the parts from, and they were around $170 each. They come with the strut, springs, and everything you need, and they’re extremely easy to install! Even though they come with decent instructions, heres a quick howto in case you ever want to do this yourself:

Disclaimer: I am definitely not a mechanic, so don”t take my advice. The springs on a car can be extremely dangerous, so ensure that you know what you’re doing. Additionally, these instructions are for my 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, so other cars will probably look a lot different than this.

ABS Sensor

First, you should jack the car and remove your tire… after all that is done, then you should disconnect the wire for the ABS sensor, which is shown to the left (the plug with the blue thing on it). This is so that you don’t break that wire while removing stuff…

Next, you need to remove the lower part of the strut, on my car there are two screws and bolts that need to be removed… they’re quite tight.

After you get the bolts off, just knock out the screws and it should all fall apart (the thing with the brakes on it stayed up for me)

Then the strut should come off of that quite easily, so you can just push it away.

Next remove the screws from the top of the strut. DO NOT REMOVE THE CENTER SCREW!!!! If you remove the center screw, then bad things will probably happen, given that the spring will go crazy and take out anything in its path, including body parts and sheet metal in the way. So don’t do that.

After the screws are gone, then you can pull the strut assembly out and away, and then you can dispose of the old strut.

Remembering how you took the old strut out, you can twist the new strut into place quite easily… just make sure you move the brake rotor and the other stuff there out of the way.

Once you get it back in there, then you should line up the screws on the top and hand tighten them back in so that it holds.

This is probably the most difficult part: you need to align everything together so that the lower screw holes line up properly, then you can tighten them and you’re pretty much done. We found that by guiding the strut with a hand while pushing down on the brake rotor with a foot, that it was easier to manipulate the pieces that way. However, your milage may vary.

When you get the screws back in, they should slide back in relatively easily. There are grooves in the screws however, so you need to make sure that the screws go in correctly otherwise the screw will be allowed to move around, which would be bad. After you get it in, then tighten the bolts back on.

The directions said to put 133 lbs of torque on the screws, so we used a tool to ensure that we got pretty close to that. Ignore the reading on the picture. 🙂

Finally, tighten the bolts on the top back in, and reconnect the ABS sensor. The picture to the left shows what it looks like when you’re done. Took around an hour for us to do it with two people, so very simple to do indeed. Many thanks to my roommate for helping and providing tools to do all of this. Hope you found this useful!