I decided to replace the front strut assembly on my 2007 GMC Envoy, while I had the front end apart for the wheel bearings. I had already replaced the air springs and shocks in the rear so I figured it was time to replace the front assembly as well.
This job requires just basic tools; there is that 24MM bolt that holds the bottom of the mounting arm so you will need a 24MM socket to complete this procedure, but everything else is standard tool kit fare.
You will need the strut assembly as well; I decided to replace the springs because the rear air springs were replaced too.
There is nothing fancy about this job, unbolt the two bolts on the top of the strut assembly. I believe they were 15mm.
Upper strut mounting bolts
I was able to access one of the bolts from the top, i used a regular wrench to unbolt the second one. On the passenger side, the easiest was was going underneath for both like in the picture
Unbolt the lower arm mounting bolt; this is the 24MM one.
You will need to get the arm off of the tapered mount, I have seen a couple of different ways to do this online but I chose to hit the end of the bolt with a hammer until it popped off. It popped off for me with 3 good hits. I wouldn’t hit the bolt too many times in fear of damaging it, but 5 or so times shouldn’t be a problem. When it pops off the entire assembly will come down so be careful! If you are worried about it, keep the top nuts on until this part is done.
Now you will need to unbolt the compression clamp on the upper arm, both ends of the bolt are 18MM and you will need to hold one end while you unbolt the other. Once it is out, you can take the bolt out. The pictures of this part of the job are taken with the assembly still on the truck. If I had to do it again I would wait until the entire assembly was removed before taking it out.
Removing the strut assembly from the compression clamp is the most difficult part of this job! I used a ball joint splitter to get the compression released from the bottom of the strut assembly; you will just be prying them apart. Then I held the bottom of the arm and hit the old strut with a hammer until it fell out, I tried a couple of other things but that worked the fastest.
To put the new strut assembly in, just keep whatever you used to split the compression clamp in place and slide the new unit into the bore. Make sure that you line up the upper strut assembly bolts the proper way before you bolt the compression clamp back up.
When putting the entire assembly back on the car I slid the upper mount bolts into their respective holes and pushed the lower mount onto the tapered bushing. I just used the 24MM bolt to push the arm back into place. It worked fine as I found out below because I needed to hit the bolt again to get it out!
This job ended up taking a little longer form me because my torque wrench decided to go on the fritz and I over tightened the upper strut bolts and snapped one off! This is why I am not putting torque specs in this write up. Tighten the upper bolts by hand and don’t break them!
The broken bolt!
So I needed to use my spring compressors to take the upper mount off and replace it with a new one. No special tools are needed to accomplish this except for the spring compressors. On some models of vehicles there is a special tool needed to remove the shock but that is not the case with the Envoy.
To get the old one off I used vice grips on the old strut to keep it from turning and I loosened the top bolt. Once it was removed the upper mount came right off and I was able to replace it.