You need to get a copy of the manufacturer's service manual because there are many pages of instructions. Drawings are included too that do a much better job than anything I could describe. EBay is a good place to look. You can also get a subscription to an online manual under "Repair and Service" at the top of this page.
I haven't worked on one of these models, but if it's like other GM front-wheel-drive cars, you have to mark the bolts for the cross member so you can install it in the same orientation, then you drop it with the engine and transmission on it as an assembly. If you slide it to either side a little when you reinstall it, that will move both lower control arms and ball joints to one side. At first that would appear to change "camber" which is one of the three main alignment angles, but simply readjusting that during an alignment will not solve the problem. A less-known angle called "steering axis inclination, (SAI), will be off. That is the inward tilt of the steering pivots as viewed from in front of the car. In this case that would be between the lower ball joint and upper strut mount, (essentially the tilt of the struts). There is no spec given for SAI. All that's critical is SAI is equal on both sides within about 0.2 degrees.
Even though camber may be made adjustable, unequal SAI will cause horrendous handling over even the slightest bumps in the road, and no predictability. When you take the car for the alignment, be sure to specify the cradle was removed and SAI needs to be checked. Most alignment specialists won't check it if they don't have a reason to, but it gets measured automatically by most newer alignment computers. Readjusting it isn't very difficult.
Thursday, May 14th, 2015 AT 7:39 PM