1st and 2nd gen strut question ... - First Generation Forum

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1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 9:18 AM
Before winter I swapped some spare KYB strut assemblies I had from a former 91 Sunbird onto the 86 Skyhawk wagon. Doing so lifted the front end sky high. It was pretty high even with what it had on there, but this made it worse. I took apart the old and new sets and the springs look the same, but the old struts appear to have a much lower spring perch. Now, looking at good old rockauto, the part numbers listed for the 86 and 91 for KYB are the same ... does anyone have any insight on this? I'm not sure if I can use the 91 struts with some different (or cut? ) springs or if I need to get a different set of struts...

Just finishing up replacing a cracked head on the 93 Sunbird and it's getting nice, so time to get the wagon roadworthy! Thanks for any info!


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC

Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 9:00 PM
The problem is simple! First the wagon is a completely different setup especially on the rear for SURE.The front struts should be bought specifically for your cars specs year,model,and or trim and the wagon part version especially.I will say the rear springs on your wagon are specific to your model and while unrelated to your question points out one thing.The wagon version could use a different spring and or strut design on the front end over a coupe or sedan because of the weight of the car making the fit you used (incorrect).I will check some ideas and get back.I would have never swapped struts from a coupe or sedan to wagon as the wagon J body has differences.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:12 PM
Ok I am tired but the advance auto site is useless on models specific.It only lets me choose brand,and model.Nothing showed specific to the wagon.I would choose going the advance auto route bc of returning the parts if they do match up the oem one's to make it simple.I will say using the many years newer struts and a non comforment fit I would remove those and go back to a true oem fit version year specific.I wish I had more info but,the tired is kicking me hard tonight.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 16, 2015 4:39 AM
Thanks for the reply, Ron .. I'm still looking but have yet to find anything about part numbers for wagon-specific struts. It's irritating that everywhere just lists parts as pretty much fitting any and every J.

The struts were from a sedan, by the way, and like I said I think the only actual difference is the perches are a little lower for the wagon struts. You're probably right, it would be easiest to get some that can be easily returned and make sure they match up. Thanks again.


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:07 AM
Not sure if this helps, but here are the GMPartsDirect part numbers for 1986 Buick Skyhawk Custom front left and right:

Part Number: 88945824 - Right Strut w/o Touring

Part Number: 88945825 - Left Strut w/o Touring

STRUT All Models; w/Touring Suspension; Right

STRUT All Models; w/Touring Suspension; Left

There is no wagon option when you go to select the vehicle type, so I just used "custom", not sure if that works for your car or not.

Also there are a few other part numbers on this page but they have no price, which leads me to believe that they don't have them:

Suspension Components

Maybe send GMPartsDirect an email asking if they have parts numbers that are specific to the wagon.

Anyways - you might already have all of that information! If not, hope it helps.

Also, try calling a couple Chevy dealership's parts departments, they should be able to tell you the specific wagon part GM number if the above are no good.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edited Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:30 AM


Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:47 AM
Weird - the board is changing the HTML URL link where "&" meets up to "section" to this symbol: . . . anyways - here are the links:

Just remove the word REMOVE from each link:


Part Number: 88945824 - Right Strut w/o Touring
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/1986/Buick/Skyhawk/index.cfm?action=partDetail&REMOVEsection=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&group=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&subgroup=SUSPENSION%20COMPONE NTS&component=Strut&partnumber=88945824&vehicleid=197653&siteid=214858

Part Number: 88945825 - Left Strut w/o Touring
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/1986/Buick/Skyhawk/index.cfm?action=partDetail&REMOVEsection=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&group=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&subgroup=SUSPENSION%20COMPONE NTS&component=Strut&partnumber=88945825&vehicleid=197653&siteid=214858

STRUT All Models; w/Touring Suspension; Right
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/1986/Buick/Skyhawk/index.cfm?action=partDetail&REMOVEsection=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&group=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&subgroup=SUSPENSION%20COMPONE NTS&component=STRUT&partnumber=22047911&vehicleid=197653&siteid=214858

STRUT All Models; w/Touring Suspension; Left
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/1986/Buick/Skyhawk/index.cfm?action=partDetail&REMOVEsection=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&group=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&subgroup=SUSPENSION%20COMPONE NTS&component=STRUT&partnumber=22047910&vehicleid=197653&siteid=214858

Suspension Components
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/1986/Buick/Skyhawk/Custom?siteid=214858&vehicleid=197653&REMOVEsection=FRONT%20SUSPENSION&group=&subgroup=&component=&searchText=&star tRow=51&maxRow=10






Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:56 PM
Ok I am dialed IN tonight and focused! Imo the front struts to me should be identical for any 1986 model up to 87,however wth the 2nd gen stuff 88-up the design may have mild changes based on the car's model version.I would just go simple buy some gabriels,monroes what ever you choose from your local auto store that are year specific to your ride and just forget the wagon option( as this based on my experience) is More specific to the rear end springs as they are clearly different.I am going with the quick strut deal as my car with 30 year springs needs new ones and I can attest the springs make a big change in the stance and bounce if replaced in the rear!!!! I in short restored my rear end years ago and replaced my rear springs with trw springs and new shocks and and holly moly car in the rear ride's super stupid smooth even over the big bumps in the parking lots.The downside on today's springs to me is they clearly are not the quality of spring compared to the 80's stuff.You could just reuse your old springs with new struts and do new mounts and hardware.I am going with the quick strut for 2 reasons.One you get the whole package minus the mounts and hardware,2nd cheaper to buy it packaged as a unit over buying each component separate.Btw I will keep my old springs once I tackle that as back up's if needed.I think your original fitment was wrong for 1 reason the year car you have over the swapped year model are clearly not alike in fit.Easy pleasy. I will say the Monroe sensa tracks are some super smooth riding struts!!!!!! I used these on two Hondas reusing the springs and just awesome.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Friday, April 17, 2015 5:17 AM
Thanks for all the info! After looking at some of the links and searching around some more, I'm still not really sure what the deal is with 1st vs 2nd gen, most places seem to share part numbers. Unless "touring" vs. not is the difference. As an aside, the wagon is badged as a Custom, but not sure what that means either. So, moving on - the front springs and struts have definitely been replaced, the springs look pretty new and the struts that were on there do also, except one of them is blown/leaking, hence the replacement. The 2nd gen struts, springs, mounts, etc. that I have already have barely been used also. As for the rears, I haven't really looked closely at the springs but they seem ok and will do for now. I did replace the shocks already.

I've pretty much decided I'm going to cut a coil off the set from the 91 and see if that puts it at a decent height and go from there. The only difference is the perch height, and I don't really want to A. figure out if in fact wagon parts are different (I agree, the rears are really the only thing that should be in reality) and B. if they are different, try to actually find the right ones. I'm not too concerned with it being factory or oem ride quality. Plus I already have everything, and I just want to get it to a point where I can move on to getting the rockers patched so it'll be inspectable. It runs great, so once it's at a normal height I'll be happy.

I like the Sensatracs as well. I had a set on my fox Mustang before swapping to some drag struts; they were very smooth and handled well too. Thanks again for helping guys!


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Friday, April 17, 2015 7:14 AM
One suggestion ......

``Since you tore down the old strut assemblies you could get a new pair of struts from your favorite auto parts store. When the new ones arrive take the originals with you to compare - if the length and perches are correct you can install the original springs on the new struts and install.

I have observed myself that the springs on many J-Bodies seem to hold up very well with age. I remember many a 70's model Mopar dragging the rear due to tired leafs and even my Ford Ranger of the very same era as the 1st Gens had both front coils break on it. Meanwhile all 4 of our J's are riding plumb and smooth.

Also there was a lot of wheel well space showing on those 1st gens even with the stock tall wall tires. Having to go with the 70 and 65 series rubber can only aggravate the appearance problem.



.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 10:27 AM
The wagons have the same front suspension as the coupes and sedans of the same years. The Z24s have more aggressive fluid valving in the cartridges and the coil springs are slightly stiffer, but you can use Z front struts on a wagon too. The original wagons (first couple years of production) had sedan rear springs installed and broke them because of the extra weight at the back of the wagons. Wagons with updated rear coil springs have thicker coiled rear coils but the rears shocks are all the same, except for Z24s.
I have seen people put lowering springs from regular Cavaliers on wagons with differing degrees of success. (some sit right. others sit too low). I suggest going with air adjustable rear shocks if you aren't concerned with ride height on a wagon.
The rear end on my wagon rolled and pitched all over the place in hard cornering with regular shocks and stock springs. That isn't the case with the air shocks I now have installed on my wagon (even set 4 lbs lower than the lowest suggested air pressure which I choose to run...!) I run ACDELCO Part # 504570 on my wagon and I love them! Pump them up when you are carrying a heavy load, deflate them when you want it to sit level.
I'm going to be installing front strut assemblies one of these days because my upper strut bearings are starting to get noisy, but I'm really going to have to do some research to make sure I get it right, because there is a lot of incorrect info out on the intereb in regards to front struts on Cavaliers..







~ Mike ~


Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 6:27 PM
I am kind of surprised, Mike , that if wagon rear springs were beefed up - that Z24 front springs (along with all V-6 optioned models ) weren't also beefed up as well.

Kinda the old country boy common sense thinking in my head. I know engineers don't necessarily use that kind of logic though.



.




Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:14 PM
Wagens should use the same suspension as a z24. All first and 2nd gens can use the same suspension. You might have gotten the wrong springs.




On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:17 PM
Wagons, base models, and z24s had different spring rates from factory but now most stores only carry one spring rate for v6 and one for 4cyl.

http://www.v6z24.com/jbodyforum/suspension-brake-faq-read-this-first-update-30-jan-13-t78514.html




On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:05 AM
Thanks for the updates, that confirms for sure that I'm not going to be looking for some different struts anyway...


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 5:23 AM
Rob Dotterer wrote:

Wagens should use the same suspension as a z24. All first and 2nd gens can use the same suspension. You might have gotten the wrong springs.


Rob I pulled a nice set of strut assemblies off an 4cyl. '86 Hatchback last year to put on the 4 cyl. '86 Wagon. So is this a bad idea?



.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 7:10 AM
Rob Dotterer wrote:

Wagons, base models, and z24s had different spring rates from factory but now most stores only carry one spring rate for v6 and one for 4cyl.

http://www.v6z24.com/jbodyforum/suspension-brake-faq-read-this-first-update-30-jan-13-t78514.html


Seems odd to me that there would be a big difference in V-6 or inline four spring rates because a 2.8 GM engine weighs 350 lbs, and a 2.0 GM engine weighs 302 lbs.
Engine weights







~ Mike ~


Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 7:13 AM
Well looks like I struck gold at my local pick N Save as I will soon have a proper source for those Wagon special-springs ! I also want those Wagon-only rear doors too! An '84 has just popped up on the inventory list but usually they have a couple to 3 month lead time before it is placed in the yard to be picked on. Also they are going to be placing a run of the mill '86 Sedan in the yard soon too - as this one is an '86 I am so hoping I can get the engine out of the Sedan for a future core rebuild for the Wagon. I am so overwhelmed this year - feel as though as I have a tiger by the tail - of sorts. Remember at the 1st of the year I was able to score a bunch of parts via Ron for the Pontiac. At least I am very fortunate to have the type of vehicles that I have plenty of parts for










.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:14 AM
I'd be wary of those rear springs on that wagon, Orlen.
I read about that spring upgrade back when I first bought my wagon 3 plus years ago (can't remember where I read it, grrr...), but GM didn't update the rear springs until some time in mid/late 1984. I don't honestly know if the rear springs on my car are the updated ones as mine was built around the cutoff date as I recall...




~ Mike ~


Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:53 AM
I got thinking about this and I decided to do some old school research.
I got into my old parts books I have and found in the Moog catalog:
1985 Cavalier Sedan, Coupe, Hatchback part # CC643 (standard spring ?)
1985 Cavalier Convertible, Type 10 part # CC645 (sport springs, perhaps ? )
1985 Cavalier Wagon base, CL, CS part # CC647 (cargo springs? )

TRW Catalog:
85 Cavalier 2 door, 4 door - CC622
85 Cavalier converible manual tranny - CC624
85 Cavalier convertible auto tranny - CC625
85 Cavalier Notch, Type 10 Convertible auto tranny CC626
85 Cavalier wagon - CC647

And for info purposes, TRW calls for an '87 Z24 to use CC642 or CC645 (variable rate) rear springs

AND, '82 Cavaliers have as follows:
ALL (except notch, sedan and wagon) - CC616 / variable rate - CC643
Notch and sedan - CC618 / variable rate- CC645
Notch (with A/C) and Wagon - CC618 / variable rate - CC647

It truly looks like wagons (for the most part) have their own, specially designed set of rear springs for them.

ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT REAR SPRINGS ON OUR CAVVYS !!!!






~ Mike ~


Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:12 PM
Thanks for this information Mike!

Great stuff here!!!

So I can hold off on the rears till I see an '86 or later float through my way. I was simply thinking about some spares anyways since so much new stuff sold is getting generic. I'm feeling the vibe the the front springs on the struts are pretty much standard across the spectrum. Agree with you Mike that 48 lbs. added to the front of a V-6 ( 24 lbs./ side) is extremely negligible numbers. Probably the big difference is the struts and sway bars?


.



Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:34 PM
If your really worried about it you should message crashdummy over at v6z24. He may even be on here. He has about 15 1st gens I believe and a few wagons he has built and 3400 swapped. He also wronte the digital dash swap. He may have the info you need.




On the inside my car looks like a fighter jet.

Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 11:43 AM
So I spring chopped and it'll work for now

Hey Orlen, are the tail lights on that wagon in the yard any good? I'm having a really hard time finding any. A matching set of anything would be good... The last owner pieced the driver side back together like a puzzle .. it works but is really ugly.


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 1:17 PM
Re: 1st and 2nd gen strut question ...
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 4:01 AM
I've seen those but unfortunately I need a driver side; my passenger is ok. Plus I'd rather have a set instead of a mismatch. Thanks anyway!


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
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