REPLACING REAR STRUTS ON 1991 CHEVY LUMINA

  • Tiny
  • Pilotbill
  • 1991 Chevrolet Lumina
  • 280,000 miles

Yesterday (6 Dec. 11) I asked the following question - I have a 1991 Chevrolet Lumina Car. I need to replace the rear struts. I have a Haynes Repair Manual for the car. In the manual it says that the Rear Transverse Spring must be removed from the car before replacing the rear struts. It states that the transverse spring must be removed with a factory tool (which I don't have). I took the car to a garage to see much it would cost me to have them replace the rear struts, they gave me a price of $800.00 dollars. I think this is way to high for a 1991 Chevy Lumina with over 280,000 miles on it. I couldn't even sell the car for that price. My Question, is their a way to replace the rear struts without removing the Rear Transverse Spring? I don't have the kind of money that the garage want to do the job. I am retired and on a fixed income.

I Received the following reply - Replied on December 06, 2011
Just one more "got'cha" GM designed in to cost us money. The struts can be replaced but there is a rubber insert that will make the spindle pop out under a real lot of pressure, and pushing it back in is almost impossible. There is a place to run in a long bolt to hold the spindle in place while the strut is removed but the threaded hole is usually rusted. This is one car where the struts are definitely not a do-it-yourself project, both for safety and frustration reasons. If you plan on keeping the car, cost of repairs should not be determined by what you could sell it for. It should be determined by how much you like it and want to keep it. If you plan on selling it, you're better off letting the next owner decide if they want to go through the expense of the repairs or if they have the tools to do it them self.

800 bucks is the equivalent of about two monthly payments on a new car which we KNOW is going to cost a lot more for repairs thanks to all of the unnecessary, unreliable, expensive computers.

Answered by caradiodoc (expert)
7,345 answers provided

Could you tell me where the "PLACE IS TO RUN IN A LONG BOLT TO HOLD THE SPINDLE IN PLACE WHILE THE STRUT IS REMOVED"? I looked at my rear hubs today and I couldn't find any bolt holes, am I looking in the wrong place?

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 AT 1:56 AM

3 Replies

  • Tiny
  • ASEMaster6371
  • Expert
  • 25,556 posts

Most new struts have the bolt in the kit. There is an instruction sheet that shows where the bolt need to go.

I do them without the bolt and not removing the spring. I have done them for years unlike yourself. It is a tricky job and the estimate you got is right in line for this repair.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the design was not a very good one for the time.

Roy

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 AT 2:00 AM
  • Tiny
  • homer1967
  • Expert
  • 902 posts

Really man this job can go wrong very fast and you could be seriosly hurt. Leave this to someone with the equipment and training to tackle this job. Please.

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 AT 2:02 AM
  • Tiny
  • Donald Sharrer
  • Member

I just replaced my rear struts on my 1991 Lumina Euro and paid a whopping $81.00 including tax for the parts. I am 73 years old and have a bad back. It took me about 3 hours and about a third of that was for fabricating dust covers from the old ones. Those covers are real expensive if bought with the upper mounts. The tension on the hubs is not that great that you can use a long socket and extension on a wheel nut (fully screwed onto the stud) to lift it into place. Just make sure the socket has a snug fit. If you are careful, the bolts going through the strut can be used over again with no problem. $800 to do this job is robbery, legal or not. Use plenty of penetrating oil on the upper screws that hold the mount. Make sure they are started properly or your job can get a lot longer. Yes, there is a danger of something going wrong, but no more than any undercar repair.

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Saturday, July 9th, 2016 AT 5:28 AM

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