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Hey guys!

Long-time Buick Regal owner/fan/mechanic, first-time poster on this fantastic Regal board :) I hope to share a lot of my knowledge of Regals as well as learn something new from you guys!

Anywhoo, for those of you who own a '96 Regal and need to swap out the tired old struts on it, this write-up may be of assistance to you. Knowledgeable forum members- feel free to supplement this how-to guide with your own personal insights! :cool:

**Required tools and parts**
1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket set
Strut spring compressor tool- you may want to buy this tool on-line as many mainstream tool stores don't stock the compressor.
36-inch or larger pry bar
New struts- gmpartseast.com sells OEM struts for about $66 each.
Hammer
5-pound sledge or mini sledge hammer
3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set
2-ton or greater capacity jack
2-jack stands
Tire iron
Open end wrench set- Sears, AutoZone or O'Riley sell a fine wrench set

**Zee Procedure**

1. Lift the rear of the Regal on one side, using a two-ton-capacity (or greater) jack. Place a jack stand beneath the body of the vehicle, on rear lift point, allowing the rear suspension to hang freely. Use a tire iron to take off the lug nuts and remove the rear wheel. Repeat this step to lift and and remove the wheel from the other side of the Regal.

2. Remove the two large strut-mounting bolts from the base of the strut shaft, using a half-inch drive ratchet and socket set. Place an open end wrench on the nut, opposite the mounting bolt. Turn the bolts and nuts counterclockwise proportionally to separate the nuts from the mounting bolts. Gently tap the mounting bolts out of the strut shaft housing, until they are completely removed from the strut.

3. Pry the axle housing mount away from the strut shaft by pushing down on the rear suspension arm. If applying pressure to the suspension arm does not break the strut free from the axle assembly, use a five-pound sledge or mini sledge hammer. Apply the hammer downward on the rear suspension arm, until the vibration causes the axle assembly and strut to separate.

4. Open the trunk of the Regal and peel back the trunk liner. You should be standing on the side of the trunk above where you disassembled the strut from the axle. Underneath the trunk liner, three strut-mounting bolts protrude upward through the trunk body. Remove the three nuts adjoined to the strut-mounting bolts, using a 3/8-inch ratchet and socket, on the one side that you just dismantled from below. Once you have removed the upper mounting nuts, step back to the rear wheel well and pull the strut completely free of the vehicle.

5. Compress the strut spring, using a spring compression tool. Make sure the prongs of the tool are evenly distributed so that the spring compresses straight and down. Remove the large nut at the top of the strut housing, using a 1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket. Remove the bearing plate that sits atop the compressed spring. Gently remove the compressed spring from the strut. Set it no less than 10 feet away while you set up the new strut to accept the spring.

6. Remove the large nut at the top of the new strut, using a 1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket. Gently install the compressed spring. Install the strut bearing plate immediately after installing the spring. Tighten the nut back down immediately between 100 and 110 foot-pounds of torque. Gently rotate the spring into its housing slots at the top and bottom of the strut. Release the spring compressor slowly, so as not to cause any of the prongs to suddenly slip off of the spring.

7. Push the new strut assembly up through the wheel well with one hand. Align the strut at the top of the axle mount hole with your other hand. The tension of the axle mount and suspension assembly will hold the strut in place so that you can maneuver the top of the strut back into position.

8. Rotate the strut by grabbing the large nut at the top of the strut, from inside the trunk. Hold the strut steady with one hand while you start all three mounting nuts onto the mounting bolts with the other hand. Spin each nut at least three full rotations before releasing the strut. Tighten the nuts using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Tighten the nuts between 60 to 80 foot-pounds of torque. Tuck the trunk liner back into its spot below the rear deck.

9. Kneel next to the wheel well and align the axle mount hole with the strut. Roll your jack beneath the suspension arm and lift the axle and suspension arm upward until the mounting holes in the strut align with the suspension mounting holes. Insert the large strut mounting screws. Gently hammer the mounting bolts all the way into the strut, so that the splines on the head end of the bolts are no longer visible. Tighten the nuts onto the opposite sides of the mounting bolts, using a 1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket. Hold an open end wrench over the mounting bolts' heads, so that they do not spin freely while you tighten the nuts between 90 to 100 foot-pounds of torque.

10. Repeat Steps 2 through 9 above to complete the second strut replacement on your 1996 Buick Regal. Reinstall the wheels only after you have double checked the torque of your strut-mounting bolts against the rear suspension of the car.
 
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