Alright, well im offering this how-to as an easier alternative to lowering your car. Ive noticed a BUNCH of threads lately of ppl asking how to lower and they keep getting the same reply, “u need a spring compressor and possibly some air tools. You’re better off taking it to a shop.” Well this is totally untrue, and seems to scare ppl from doing it themselves. Ive changed the springs and made adjustments to my suspension probably 15 times and done work on other cobalts another 10-15 times. With the way I do it you do not need any special tools or training.
Breaker Bar (optional, but easier)
1. First you need to lift car using the jack and place it on the jack stands
2. Remove the tire and set it to the side
3. There is a bolt connecting the lower control arm with i think an 18mm (might be 19mm), shown here:
Easiest way to remove it is to jack the assembly up like this to remove tension. If done right it will unscrew and come off easily:
4. Lower the jack back down to let the assembly dangle freely. Now remove the two bolts shown here, i think its an 18mm, and use a small hammer to knock them out.
5. Pull the ABS sensor away from the two bolts. Pull the strut assembly away from the control knuckle, and then whole thing should be only connected by the torx bolt in the strut tower.
6. Heres the big step that is different than the other ways. DO NOT REMOVE THE THREE STRUT TOWER BOLTS. All you need to do is remove the torx bolt and leave the upper strut plate thing connected. Its a torx bolt, which means it requires a certain sudden amount of torque to allow it to unscrew. Put ur 21mm socket here:
This is where a breaker bar might come in handy. You'll notice if you try to unscrew this bolt regularly, it just spins. You have to apply sudden force to it. Do this by pushing ur wrench carefully till you feel resistance from the bolt, and then push it really quickly. IT MIGHT TAKE MORE THAN ONCE TO ACTUALLY WORK. Once it does though, you'll feel it unscrewing instead of spinning. If you're unsure if it is unscrewing then reach under to the strut and feel if it is spinning or stationary. Like I said, a breaker bar makes it much easier to do, but it is possible w/ just a wrench.
7. Once the bolt unscrews the whole assembly will fall out. As long as you have the car jacked up there will be no tension on the spring. So the spring and strut will simply drop out. Its not going to shoot out and bounce around the garage or anything like ive heard people say before.
8. Now pull the stock spring off, and install the new one. Make sure u seat the new spring correctly in the grooves on the bottom plate.
9. Next you can put the strut/spring assembly back in. Connect the two contol knuckle bolts first. DONT FORGET TO SCREW THE ABS SENSOR BACK ON WITH IT!!
10. Now use the jack stand under the wheel to guide the rod on the strut back into the strut tower hole. It helps to have two ppl for this, but it can be done w/ one person. Just slowly lift the jack from underneath the wheel and move the rod in the direction of the hole. Once its up in there you can tighten the torx bolt down regularly.
11. Now align the control arm and screw it back on.
12. Put ur wheel back on and lower the car back down.
Now you're done, and you didnt even have to leave your garage for special tools or to pay anyone. This whole thing usually takes me about 15-20 mins, but ive done it a few times. For your first time expect it to take 45 mins.