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 97 Riviera Strut Replacement

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The Roadmaster
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Name : Carl Alexander
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PostSubject: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:59 am

117,000 miles and near 19 years the front suspension is getting a little too spongy. I 94 East near Harper there is a tight curve left and it felt as if the driver front tire left the pavement after a small pothole (missing pavement)

I've read through the write-ups and opinions on different applications. Lots of experience to draw from and I've learned plenty from reading this board.

So, I have the oddball it seems. Another one year wonder that doesn't have a QuickStrut application. I've decided to build them ahead of time then do a swap out. Not 100% committed yet but it is the direction I'm most likely to go. Not looking for any performance upgrade other than upgrading from original equipment.

Taking the schematic from my Factory Service Manual it appears it's a fairly simple concept to construct a ready made strut replacement. (Text will continue in a new post after the graphic)


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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:09 am

I'm hoping to restore my car to its original ride height as well as improve handling. I'm the type that likes original restoration and not much of a modder so I'm leaning on AC Delco where I can. If anyone has thoughts contrary to my thinking I welcome them before I begin.

Here are the parts that I have identified for purchase, using the same schematic: (text cont'd next post)

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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:27 am

removed to save space


Last edited by The Roadmaster on Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:27 am

Thoughts on cost, parts, process???

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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:37 am

You should be able to reuse the original springs. Some people have complained about tall ride height with new springs (could just be bringing the car back up to the original height). You might want to get a pair of camber bolts so the person doing the alignment can really dial it in. You also might want to get KYB-GR2 struts, they're a bit firmer than OEM and better quality. The new struts should come with the top nut that holds everything together.
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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:43 am

The Roadmaster wrote:
Thoughts on cost, parts, process???


All of my suspension parts are Delco, except for the Lower Control Arms. You can't go wrong IMO.
The price is about right. Yes, you could get that stuff cheaper using "aftermarket" parts, but you get what you pay for.

If you take all that stuff to a shop, you can have them assemble the struts for you, and you can put them on. It's not a hard job at all on the Riv. You'll just have to have it aligned when you're done.

FYI, the strut bearing needs to be indexed properly when it's installed. It's tapered, and is only meant to "lean" a certain direction. The fat part of the bearing needs to face the car, and the thin part needs to face the fender. Someone who doesn't know this will just put them on the car. Doing so will cause premature bearing failure. If you get a flashlight and look up at the strut currently on the car, you'll see what I'm talking about (having the new parts in your hands for reference doesn't hurt either).
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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:30 am

Abaddon wrote:



All of my suspension parts are Delco, except for the Lower Control Arms. You can't go wrong IMO.
The price is about right. Yes, you could get that stuff cheaper using "aftermarket" parts, but you get what you pay for.

If you take all that stuff to a shop, you can have them assemble the struts for you, and you can put them on. It's not a hard job at all on the Riv. You'll just have to have it aligned when you're done.

FYI, the strut bearing needs to be indexed properly when it's installed. It's tapered, and is only meant to "lean" a certain direction. The fat part of the bearing needs to face the car, and the thin part needs to face the fender. Someone who doesn't know this will just put them on the car. Doing so will cause premature bearing failure. If you get a flashlight and look up at the strut currently on the car, you'll see what I'm talking about (having the new parts in your hands for reference doesn't hurt either).

Matt, thanks for the tip on the camber bolts. Excellent idea. I'll pass on the KYB's though. Good shocks, just a USA kinda guy.

Abbadon ... that's a great heads up on indexing. Inexperience would have surely bit me in the arse on that one. Thank you.

I agree with the Delco thinking. Plus, for a few $$ extra you're pretty sure the job will only have to be done once. Since it's rained so much this year I have the money for this project ... golf sucks but my car will benefit.

My experience as a consumer with aftermarket parts has always been when someone else did the repairs. I buy oil and wax at Autozone.
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The Roadmaster
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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:38 am

So, I decided to go with Amazon for the parts instead of Rock Auto. Difference of $533 including shipping for Rock vs $374 and FREE Shipping. (The lower insulators I picked up locally).

Put the order in July 12/15 and am waiting on one part ... one freaking part! No estimated time on shipment except between Aug 7-29. So much for Amazon's DIY in July Sale. Jackasses! These are stock parts! (Strut Mount and Bearing 901-031 - $54 )

NE wayz ...

Here is the strut schematic with the ACDelco part numbers added, all stock replacement stuff:




Last edited by The Roadmaster on Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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PostSubject: Re: 97 Riviera Strut Replacement   Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:57 pm

Update

Still waiting on the strut mount.
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