Longer Struts For Your Geo Tracker – Suzuki Sidekick

Looking for a longer strut for a 2-inch lift instead of a strut spacer?

These GM vehicles use the same rear struts:

  • 1988-1996 Buick Regal
  • 1988-1996 Pontiac Grand-Prix
  • 1988-1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass
  • 1990-1994 Chevrolet Lumina

The compressed length is 1.72 inches (almost 1-3/4″) longer than stock, so they’ll fit with a 2-inch lift, the extended length is 3.28 inches (3-1/4″) longer than stock, and they offer 1.6 inches more travel. Also remember that In stock form, the control arm hits the bump stop with 2-inches of strut travel left in the stock strut. People generally add a strut spacer to gain all of the struts travel. In this case, we’re using a longer strut instead. So don’t just assume you’re only going to gain the 1.6 inches of travel.

REMINDER: A longer strut does not lift the vehicle. You’ll need a 2-inch coil spring spacer, or longer coil springs for a 2-inch lift to use these struts.

Below is a chart that first shows the stock struts, and then lists the longer GM struts for comparison.

Stock Tracker/Sidekick
Shock Model Part Number Body Length Compressed Length Extended Length Travel
Monroe Monro-Matic 801932 8.280″ 8.780″ 15.220″ 6.440″
Monroe Sensa-Trac 71932 8.280″ 8.780″ 15.220″ 6.400″
GM
Monroe Quick Strut 171831 10.000″ 10.500″ 18.500″ 8.00″
Monroe Econo Matic 181831 10.000″ 10.500″ 18.500″ 8.00″
Monroe Monro-Matic Plus 801831 10.500″ 18.500″ 8.00″
Monroe Sensa-Trac 71831 10.500″ 18.500″ 8.00″
Gabriel Ultra G56708 10.846 18.762 7.92″
Gabriel Ready Mount G56727

What You’ll Need:

  • (2) Rear struts for one of the vehicles listed above
  • Carbide burr & die grinder for slotting out the mounting holes
  • (8) washers .07″ inches thick (May need to try 1/4″x1-1/4″ fender washers drilled out to 12mm)
  • (4) M12x1.25×80 grade 8.8 bolts and nuts
  • Slot Out The Holes in The Mounting Ears:

    The bottom of the top hole needs to be moved down .5 inch (1/2 inch), the bolts will sit at the bottom of both holes.

    Move the inner (towards the strut cylinder) edge of the holes in about 3/16 inch so that the inner edge is 1.329 inches (1-21/64 inches) from the edge of the ear on the bottom hole, and 1.397 inches (1-25/64 inches) for the top.

    The .07 inch thick washers will set between the knuckle and the strut on either side with the bolts going through them.

    Use a big C-clamp to gently pull the knuckle firmly up against the inner edge of the holes while you tighten everything down. 66 ft lbs for the knuckle bolts. 74 ft lbs for the nut on top.

    You’ll need some big washers to go on the outside of the mounting ears and cover up the over sized holes, or you can cut the ears off the old struts. This will also give you a place to weld on the brackets for the brake lines if you want.

     

    Stock Tracker / Sidekick strut with a spacer on top

    Modified mounting holes on the GM strut

    You can see the ears from the old strut bolted to the side of the new strut with a brake line mount welded to it

    GM strut installed