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1982 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Front Shock Absorber Replacement

Front end shock absorbers provide vehicle stability while the vehicle is mobile. Wear and time will eventually cause the shock absorbers to fail and need replacing. Both front end shock absorbers on the 1982 Oldsmobile Delta 88 should be replaced at the same time so that stability can be maintained and the automobile's alignment isn't affected.

Tools Used: Lug wrench, Jack, Jack stands, Socket wrench, Wire, Flathead screwdriver, Spring compressor, 2 shock absorbers, Pipe wrench

Replace Front Shock Absorber

Park the Delta 88 on a flat, level surface and set the parking brake. Shut off the engine.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel with a lug wrench. Place a jack under the front-center of the frame and lift the vehicle until jack stands can be placed under both front axles. Finish removing the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Remove the wheel.

Remove the two bolts holding the caliper in place. Take the caliper off the hub and hang it from the steering knuckle with a piece of wire so it doesn't get damaged. Remove the rotor retaining bolt with a socket wrench. Grab the rotor firmly with two hands and pull it straight off the hub.

Remove the stabilizer bar retaining nut with a socket wrench. Slide the stabilizer bar toward the middle of the engine compartment so that it comes free of its mounting.

Remove the steering arm from the strut assembly by unbolting the three retaining bolts. The steering wheel may need to be turned slightly to provide access to all the bolts. Pry the plastic cover off the strut tower with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the bolts from the strut tower.

Pull down on the strut so that it comes free from the strut tower and then remove it from the vehicle. Compress the spring with a spring compressor until pressure is taken off the top plate, then remove the bolt from the top of the strut. Pull the black rubber cover and rubber boot off by hand.

Remove the retaining collar from the top of the strut with a pipe wrench. Remove the strut insert by pulling it out from where the retaining collar was removed.

Slide the new strut insert into the strut and replace the retaining collar. Reassemble the hub in the reverse order it was disassembled but don't replace the wheel on the vehicle yet.

Repeat the process with the other front wheel.

Place the wheels back on their hubs and tighten the lug nuts as much as possible by hand. Remove the jack stands and lower the Delta 88 to the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts with a lug wrench.

Tips & Warnings

Be very careful when handling the spring compressor. The springs on a vehicle's shock assembly have a huge amount of tension, and mistakes while working on them can cause serious harm.

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