On the weekend I got stuck in and replaced the tired, old front struts and all their components as well as the tie rod ends. I read that the KYB struts were good so I went with those and just got some tie rod ends from eBay. Didn't have any dramas except for one nut that I couldn't get undone for ages (always the case) and now the car feels much nicer to drive! It's nice and solid in the front end instead of clunky and harsh. Here are some photos anyway:
Old Monroe strut
Old strut mounts and bearings. All the ball bearings were basically just floating around in the mounts.
New KYB shortened struts. My springs were still loose enough in these struts to not need spring compressors haha. Not sure if that's a bad thing...
New tie rod end. The old ones may as well have not had a rubber boot on them at all.
My steering isn't too badly out but I've got it booked in for a wheel alignment today so hopefully that only further improves the ride! Overall it was a successful weekend working on the old girl. Got to use my new torque wrench too!
After having terrible slop in my already sloppy Getrag gear stick, I got under the car to see if I could figure out why. As it turned out it was only a matter of two loose bolts and a sheared rubber mount on the "gear shift mounting beam". I tightened the bolts and then drove it with the sheared rubber mount for a while as I tried to track down a new mounting beam. Apparently Holden don't make them anymore so I thought I'd be off to the wreckers, but then I looked through a bag of stuff I got from a gearbox replacement I did on my old ute and I had one! With a bit of panel beating it was as good as new, so I whacked it in yesterday and all is well again.
This weekend I set out to replace the springs and rear shocks in the ute with some success. I should have done the springs when I did the front shocks last time but oh well. I went for Lovells and ordered through eBay. I was happy with the price and everything until I received a set of lift kit springs for a 2008 Ford Territory instead of lowering springs for a VS Commodore ute haha. But not to worry, the shocks were fine and the front springs were too. Rear springs are easy to change so I can do that later. So out with the old rear shocks, in with the new:
The condition of the rubber bushes probably didn't help my ride quality:
Then I was all excited to do the springs and realised I had the wrong ones, so I went to do the front and the mechanic had decided to test the tensile strength of my wheel studs with the nuts so I was ruining all my tools trying to get them off. I was fuming but one of my mates had a good 1/2" drive breaker bar which got them off. This is my wheel brace now:
Anyway, I replaced the front springs (new ones are the blue Lovells. Part no: HFL-78):
Here are some before and after ride height photos:
Eyebrow height before:
Eyebrow height after:
I'm pretty happy with it, however I noticed something strange at the top of the strut: when I assembled the top washers/nuts etc and lowered the car off the jacks onto its own weight, the strut covers were sticking out of the tower. I took a washer and a nut out which isn't ideal but I couldn't see any real need for them other than saving wearing out other parts. But has anyone had this problem or knows why? Is it because I've got the lowered KYB struts and the shock doesn't have enough thread at the top to screw down? I'm not really happy because they don't bolt down tight onto the top side of the strut tower. Here is how it is now with the nut and washer that I left out in the picture too:
Is the washer underneath the correct way round.
Should have that washer in the photo installed.
That nut looks like one of the original ones and probably would have originally been two of them to lock against each other.
Now you have what looks like a nylock nut so as long as threads protrude to allow nylon in top of nut to engage and do it's job.
I've got bilsteins inserts in struts and mine only has about 11/2 threads protruding.
What were your strut top mounts like, they compress and can look alright until you compare them with new ones.
You need it to be bolted down tight, with weight on wheels shouldn't be able to turn that large disc on tower top.
If struts lose in tower will where out strut top mounts quickly and put pressure on strut bottom mount which if it starts moving and put even more pressure on everything.
You'll soon know if this starts happening as you'll feel movement and hear knocking noises.
Yeah it's all the same way as the Gregory's manual and how I had it before. I put the bolts and washers back on how they're supposed to be tonight but I still can't get it to sit tight onto the top of the black strut support plates. It got me thinking; could the support plates be bent from my old suspension bottoming out? I know they've got a bulge around the hole, but are they usually completely flat elsewhere?
Edit: I might just be imagining things. I've just ordered some superpro top mounts and bearings because my rubbers ones don't look that crash hot after the 2 1/2 years they've been in there.
Wasn't happy with the way the top of the struts went back together so I decided to replace the rubber mounts I put in in 2015 with some Superpro ones which were 3x as expensive so hopefully they last. You can see how much the rubber ones had been crushed here:
Also decided to replace the stabiliser bar links and the bushes. I went for polyurethane as well.
Took me 45 minutes from start to finish to do the driver's side now that I've done it so many times. Passenger side took longer because the old stabiliser link nut refused to come off without a fight. Got it eventually and this is the setup I've got now:
It all went back together nicely and drives well too.
Yeah gtrboyy I'd definitely be interested if it's in good condition! Send us a message if you want. The wheels aren't heavy although I've never really weighed them. They seem a reasonable weight for their size and design. They haven't buckled on me although I also haven't hit too much other than a few harsh bridge joins etc which have definitely rattled the bump stops. I'd recommend them if you were looking for a cheap alternative to Simmons.
And yeah the engine bay has been neglected haha. I need to repaint the engine covers and clean it up but it's my daily so it is impossible to keep clean!