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How To: Change Springs/Shock

Discussion in 'Holden Commodore How-To's' started by VN_Luke, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. VN_Luke

    VN_Luke ƃuoɹʍ ʇsnɾ sı sıɥʇ

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    Okay so i figured i'd do a quick write up on how to change your shocks/springs as i did this the other day and took some pics.

    Things you will need:

    - Socket set
    - Spanners
    - Spring Compressors
    - Big heavy hammer
    - Rattle gun
    - Some way to lift the front of the car up
    - Random items you could find handy.

    Lets get right into it:

    1) Put the front of the car in the air (safely) ... this has been repeated many times but DO NOT WORK ON A CAR ONLY SUPPORTED BY JACKS

    2) Take off the front wheels

    3) Remove the brake calipers (there are two bolts on the inward side of the brake claipers to remove) and support them (hang them up with zip ties or something) so that you don't damage your brake lines
    [​IMG]

    4) Have a good look under your car and find fascinating things that you never knew were there. This is a good time to spot oil leaks to worry about in the future.

    [​IMG]

    5) Remove the tie rod end from the thing that it's connected to (not pictured). There will be a castle nut with a pin through it. After this nut is removed, bash the side of where the tie rod end is sitting, and it will pop out.

    6) Remove the sway bar link pin from the strut - 14mm nut and use a spanner on the groove on the pin to stop it from turning.

    [​IMG]

    7) Remove the ball joint from the strut. This could be a bit of a bitch depending on how firmly it's been sitting there. The trick is to undo the nut, then once again bash the side of where the ball joint sits really hard with a big hammer. If this fails, hit harder, or find abigger hammer.

    [​IMG]

    8) Now, unless i've forgotten something, you should be able to remove the sway bar link pin from the strut, and the only thing holding the strut in the car shold be the three bolts up in the engine bay

    [​IMG]

    9) Undo the 3 bolts and hold that strut, they're pretty heavy when you're doing it by yourself. Remove it from the car

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    10) Have a beer.

    11) Get out your spring compressors and get them around as much of the spring as you can... then tighten away on both of them until you can feel that the spring is jiggling around inside the strut and there is no load on it.

    [​IMG]

    12) Rattle gun off the bolt at the top of the strut - i'm sure there are other ways around this, but this is nice and easy and works good!

    13) Remove the bearing blate and spring retainer plate thing and now you can remove the spring.

    14) Remove the rubber dust boot (it just slides off) gently so that you don't damage it.

    [​IMG]

    15) You can now get to the nut that holds in the shock absorber, and undo it. (if you have a big enough spanner).

    16) Once this nut is off you can take out the old shock absorber.

    17) Have another beer.

    Installation is pretty much reverse of removal - just make sure the springs are lining up right and that kind of stuff.

    Make sure you torque up all bolts that should be torqued and locktite all bolts that should be locktited

    Enjoy the procedure it's really not that hard!

    If i've forgotten anything please let me know! If you want to see more pics let me know also, I'll be doing this procedure again tomorrow.

    p.s. I claim no reponsibility if you manage to blow yourself or your car up, spill your beer, or do any other kind of damages to yourself, property or other persons.


    UPDATE:

    The upper spring retainer has a notch in it - when re-assembled, this should be facing outwards of the car, to the side when the wheels are straight.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
    azkwazere and greenfoam like this.
  2. mouce

    mouce Physics Geek

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    Lucky you even had a hoist to do it on. I've decided when I become rich and famous I'm going to have a garage with a 4-post hoist in it just for working on cars.

    Good write up.
     
  3. redcedar

    redcedar workaholic

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    i don't think having a couple a beers is such a smart thing to do while playing with springs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    wait till your finished and then get oiled !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. fitzy2005

    fitzy2005 New Member

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    lol couple of beers dont harm us commodore enthusists (however its spelt), if anythign helps us along :)
     
  5. jacksien

    jacksien New Member

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    Any advise on what to do if the shock turns when you try to loosen the nut at the top of strut????? How do you hold shock so that you can loosen the nut????
     
  6. beefcream

    beefcream Lethal LOKKA

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    great work mate.. very handy guide
     
  7. greenfoam

    greenfoam New Member

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    Someone give this guy a medal and sticky this thread
     
  8. mouce

    mouce Physics Geek

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    Anyone else think this should go "Sticky"?
     
  9. beefcream

    beefcream Lethal LOKKA

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    yep................
     
  10. VN_Luke

    VN_Luke ƃuoɹʍ ʇsnɾ sı sıɥʇ

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    yay!
    Are you using a rattle gun? if not, start...
    if that's impossible and you're going to chuck the shocks anyway, try grip then with vice grips and a towel or something? But if you don't want to butcher them you'll need to get creative.

    try 'rattle gunning' the ratchet, if you're using one... just give it quick sharp hits to break the nut loose....?

    mmmm beeer.
     
  11. greenfoam

    greenfoam New Member

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    Vote 1, for sticky of this thread please
     
  12. jack.mc

    jack.mc Nothing witty to say :(

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    you are awesome. STICKY

    I'm even adding this thread to my favourites, the first time a JC thread has ever been added... You should be proud
     
  13. VN_Luke

    VN_Luke ƃuoɹʍ ʇsnɾ sı sıɥʇ

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    if it goes sticky, make sure the title typo is "shanged"
     
  14. Doctor Sodways

    Doctor Sodways Legendary Baby!

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    Yeah, agreed sticky, this thread will come in handy when i decide to change my front springs to match the lowered rear, if i ever get around to it.

    And mouce, agreed, everyone needs a hoist, i prefer the 2 posters but each to their own, all i have to do now, is talk mum into raising the roof on the garage that my folks are looking at so i can get one, im crossing my fingers they agree
     
  15. bush_basha

    bush_basha New Member

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    Make it a Sticky
     
  16. chromic

    chromic Donating Member

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    Nice write up. How good are hoists! Wish I had one.
     
  17. Vs_sharlene

    Vs_sharlene Beats a Kick in the Face!

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    OMG!! That was so good even I understood it!!
    Whats a "sticky"?
     
  18. jack.mc

    jack.mc Nothing witty to say :(

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    It means It will always be at the top in the VN-VP section.
     
  19. 90VN55

    90VN55 New Member

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    what do u mean by torque up

    sticky!!!!!
    i always wanted to no how to do this. and what do u mean
     
  20. MarzVP

    MarzVP I now own a TARAGO!!!

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    umm who defouled this topic and made it STICKY ohh yeah that would be me !!!! hahahaha
     

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