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Discussion Starter #1
Since I am going through my front suspension over the next few days, I wanted to post up the official 2013 GM Service Manual instructions. There are a few alternate sections referenced in these instructions - so if someone has a need for them feel free to send me a PM. I might get back to you... eventually. :D

Torque Values: NOTE AWD vs RWD on some specifications



Shock / Spring and Upper A-Arm:





Lower Control Arms:





Anti-swaybar / stabilizer bar and links (RWD only):





Steering Knuckle (RWD only):



Front Wheel Bearing and Hub (RWD only):




Wheel Stud Replacement:


 

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That 236 ft-lb LCA bolt is what cause me to take my car in 4 times to the same place for an alignment. They'd dial it in and as soon as I took one hard turn the damn thing would slide in the pocket and jack the hell out of it. You can't get an impact on it so most shops just hand tighten with a wrench or socket. They don't get close to 236 ft-lbs. I slapped a 3 foot breaker bar on mine and that thing hasn't moved a millimeter since then. Maybe I should open an alignment shop so things get done right.
 

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That 236 ft-lb LCA bolt is what cause me to take my car in 4 times to the same place for an alignment. They'd dial it in and as soon as I took one hard turn the damn thing would slide in the pocket and jack the hell out of it. You can't get an impact on it so most shops just hand tighten with a wrench or socket. They don't get close to 236 ft-lbs. I slapped a 3 foot breaker bar on mine and that thing hasn't moved a millimeter since then. Maybe I should open an alignment shop so things get done right.
Depends on the shop. I went to one recommended by my friends and made sure to reiterate the torque value multiple times. Got home and tested my own wrench on it and they did indeed get it all the way to 236.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So I swapped upper and lower control arm bushings today. Might as well turn this into a DIY thread!

I have already removed the bushings on my replacement UCA and LCA cores to make the project more expedient (
click here for link
; and getting one side apart and back together took me about 5 hours taking my time.


Suggestions:
* You do not need a ball joint separator. I used a big hammer (see below)
* You will need an assortment of hand tools, including 1/2" breaker bars and sockets, and either a large adjustable crescent wrench or, preferably, wrenches that go up to at least 21mm and/or 15/16 (~24mm).
* You do not need to remove the sway bar, end links or tie rod ends. Start by removing the UCA / bucket / spring assembly and replace it, then use the UCA-to-knuckle joint to hold the knuckle while you remove and install the LCA.

First up - and in my humble opinion - you'll want to remove and reinstall the Upper Control Arm and spring assembly first.

To do that, you need to remove the vehicle speed sensor and tuck it up out of the way. Also you'll need to pop off the ride height sensor linkage with a flat screw.



Make sure you pop the ride height sensor off with a screwdriver or similar:



Next, loosen the UCA ball joint bolt that holds the knuckle in place.



We don't want to remove it YET because this gives you JUST enough room to remove the two bolts that hold the bottom of the shock to the Lower Control Arm.



Once the shock/spring assembly is loose, remove the upper ball joint completely. You'll have to support the knuckle while doing this to avoid slamming it, but once the upper ball joint is free the knuckle and brake assembly will hang down out of the way:



Now we're getting somewhere. Time to remove the UCA and spring assembly - remember to leave one bolt on the top in by a few threads until you're ready to catch the whole thing!



Now's a good time to press out the old bushings and verify you have the right parts - and that they are orientated the right way! I bought spare suspension pieces to make this swap easier, just in case! Also remember to lube up the bushings prior to installation, and remember that the zerk fittings (if applicable) have to point towards the center, resting inbetween coil springs. They will not fit otherwise.



I am using the Creative Steel poly set and torqued the UCA bushing bolts to 70 ft-lbs - a value I felt was reasonable for the bolt diameter. HOWEVER there are no published torque specifications since the UCA / top hat are only sold as a pre-assembled piece! So be judicious with your wrenches here!



Reassembly is pretty straight forward - reference the torque specifications above for the UCA assembly-to-chassis bolts. I know you want to get that ball joint nut on there tight... but again, leave it loose - we still have to get to the lower control arm! And it should be obvious... but don't reinstall the lower shock bolts or the speed sensor either!


- to be continued -
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Alright - so now that the Upper Assembly is in, we again will leave the upper ball joint nut just flush with the end of the bolt so that the joint is loose. We also do NOT want to bolt in the lower shock assembly bolts or the speed sensor, obviously.

First, we need to break the lower ball joint. You may use a fork or other tool, but I found that backing the nut down flush with the ball joint stud - along with a big fucking hammer - was plenty to pop the ball joint free.



Again, don't remove the nut YET. Let's make sure we can get those @#$%&ing LCA bushing bolts free! The "big" bushing actually uses a smaller diameter bolt and you'll need a 21mm socket for your breaker bar (and either a crescent wrench or preferably a 21mm open-ended wrench). Similarly, the "little" bushing uses a larger bolt and 15/16" socket.


I found that sitting in front of the knuckle / brake assembly and then pulling (or kicking with my leg on the opposite side) made it relatively easy to break both free.


With the bushing bolts removed, it is very straight forward in removing the LCA without any need to remove the swaybar, end links or tie rods from the knuckle.



Now's a good time to either press out your shot OEM bushings, or make sure your replacement is correct. Reassemble your new bushings.



Next, install the lower ball joint and thread the nut first, but don't tighten it down. Then, using the ball joint to help support the LCA, you can line up the bushings and reinstall both bushing bolts from under the car. If you're using Creative Steel bushings - oh wait, they're the only game in town for these right now - you'll want to make sure both zerk fittings are facing to the REAR of the car.



Once the Lower Control Arm is in place, you need to reinstall the two 13mm lower shock bolts BEFORE tightening down the lower ball joint. Check your torque specs! The lower shock bolts are easily sheared, and you will have to replace the entire LCA if you break one - because they're almost impossible to get out without destroying the LCA in the process.


Now, reinstall the speed sensor bracket and go back over your work and re-torque ALL fasteners for the upper and lower control arms (or make sure they're reallyfuckingtight if applicable). Please reference the torque specifications at the top of this thread. No warranty is expressed or implied, my shop doesn't carry any liability insurance so you're fucked, etc.


All finished up and ready for an alignment:

(yes, I snapped the ride-height sensor back on...)
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Did you grease up the bushings before install? And what grease you using?


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Also i commend you on your detail. You have a superhuman capacity for picture taking and documenting. Well done!


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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I need to start posting my paypal account for donations! :D Thanks for the kind words nonetheless!


I used the grease supplied with the bushing set by Creative Steel. It's not a lot, but it's enough to get the contact points and inserts pretty well lubed up. I need to buy a new grease gun and get the "marine" grade grease. BUT, I might add those details, along with a "review" of the Creative Steel product, into the third post.

ETA: I called creative steel and they tell me they are using Amsoil Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease NLGI #2 Heavy Duty, Commercial (Red) for their kits:


Amsoil product # GLCCR
 

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A few additions, if I may, sir:

First step should be popping off the ride height sensor rod on the UCA :p

All nuts/bolts are metric as far as I know, and I had great success using a thin-walled 18mm deep socket to get the spring hat nut out. As for the large LCA bolt, 24mm fits perfect (not 15/16). I was able to torque it down to 236 ft-lbs without stripping it.

Overall, great write-up. I'll be doing the LCA bushings next year when I do a bunch of other changes.

-suggestions from someone who has had the front suspension apart about 12 times :p
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Youre probably right on everythinf being metric! 15/16" was all I had in that size, but yes it's equivalent to 24mm.

I also made a note about the active forward light sensor (but erroneously called it a ride height sensor?).

I had to grind my 18" socket down but it's easier to remove with the shock off the car (if using an impact socket). But I'd recommend tightening it with load on the suspension once everything's back together.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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I need to start posting my paypal account for donations! :D Thanks for the kind words nonetheless!


I used the grease supplied with the bushing set by Creative Steel. It's not a lot, but it's enough to get the contact points and inserts pretty well lubed up. I need to buy a new grease gun and get the "marine" grade grease. BUT, I might add those details, along with a "review" of the Creative Steel product, into the third post.
I got the green grease from autozone. The bummer about it is it’s too thick for the design of the bushings to disburse it properly. It just squeezes out around the bolt head to washer/nut to washer. So grease the shit out of them at install to avoid any squeaking is my $0.02

And no, I ain’t donating to you :p

This little one came today so I’m the one who needs donations :)

Thread hi jack much? :D

 

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I also made a note about the active forward light sensor (but erroneously called it a ride height sensor?).

I had to grind my 18" socket down but it's easier to remove with the shock off the car (if using an impact socket). But I'd recommend tightening it with load on the suspension once everything's back together.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Pretty sure it's tied to the headlights? https://www.gmpartsdirect.com/auto-parts/2009/cadillac/cts/v-trim/6-2l-v8-gas-engine/electrical-cat/electrical-components-scat
Looks like part #2 and 3 in the top diagram: Headlamp Leveling Sensor and Front Link Assembly.

As for the socket I used on the spring hat nut: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019YWRZ8O/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This guy requires no grinding and is plenty strong. I haven't experienced any clunking or any indication of a loose spring hat after hitting it with my 1/4" hex impact (rated at ~50 ft-lbs) for a couple sec.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
FYI: Use Amsoil Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease NLGI #2 Heavy Duty, Commercial (Red) for their kits:


Amsoil product # GLCCR

It's held up very well on my front suspension bushings.
 

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I have to concur with random84 in that improper torque specs after a alignment is causing the bolts to slip. I ruined a pair of Michelins because of it and it probably cause my upper control arms to take a shit also.

I got my CS bushings and Nordlocks ready to alleviate this problem.
 

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Alright - so now that the Upper Assembly is in, we again will leave the upper ball joint nut just flush with the end of the bolt so that the joint is loose. We also do NOT want to bolt in the lower shock assembly bolts or the speed sensor, obviously.

First, we need to break the lower ball joint. You may use a fork or other tool, but I found that backing the nut down flush with the ball joint stud - along with a big fucking hammer - was plenty to pop the ball joint free.



Again, don't remove the nut YET. Let's make sure we can get those @#$%&ing LCA bushing bolts free! The "big" bushing actually uses a smaller diameter bolt and you'll need a 21mm socket for your breaker bar (and either a crescent wrench or preferably a 21mm open-ended wrench). Similarly, the "little" bushing uses a larger bolt and 15/16" socket.


I found that sitting in front of the knuckle / brake assembly and then pulling (or kicking with my leg on the opposite side) made it relatively easy to break both free.


With the bushing bolts removed, it is very straight forward in removing the LCA without any need to remove the swaybar, end links or tie rods from the knuckle.



Now's a good time to either press out your shot OEM bushings, or make sure your replacement is correct. Reassemble your new bushings.



Next, install the lower ball joint and thread the nut first, but don't tighten it down. Then, using the ball joint to help support the LCA, you can line up the bushings and reinstall both bushing bolts from under the car. If you're using Creative Steel bushings - oh wait, they're the only game in town for these right now - you'll want to make sure both zerk fittings are facing to the REAR of the car.



Once the Lower Control Arm is in place, you need to reinstall the two 13mm lower shock bolts BEFORE tightening down the lower ball joint. Check your torque specs! The lower shock bolts are easily sheared, and you will have to replace the entire LCA if you break one - because they're almost impossible to get out without destroying the LCA in the process.


Now, reinstall the speed sensor bracket and go back over your work and re-torque ALL fasteners for the upper and lower control arms (or make sure they're reallyfuckingtight if applicable). Please reference the torque specifications at the top of this thread. No warranty is expressed or implied, my shop doesn't carry any liability insurance so you're fucked, etc.


All finished up and ready for an alignment:

(yes, I snapped the ride-height sensor back on...)
Random84, thank you for the write up... I love the way you did it (pics w/ comments and extra detailed)! Question...I want to change my front shocks, is a spring compressor needed? If so why and any recommendations would be helpful!


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