Introduction

This guide will show you how to disassemble the front strut assembly on a VE or VF Commodore. This process is required when lowering your vehicle, changing shock absorbers or replacing the strut top mount. Replacement strut tops can be purchased directly from AutoInstruct. Click here to view our online store.

Tools Required

  • Adjustable Spanner / Spanner Set
  • Spring Compressors + Socket Set to tighten them
  • Two extra large cable ties

Torque Specifications

  • Upper Bearing Nut: 75nm

Video Guide:

Written Guide:
Step 1

Fit the spring compressors and evenly tighten them to compress the spring. Continue to compress until the spring is no longer pushing against the top retaining plate

Step 2

Grasp the centre shaft using an adjustable spanner. Whilst holding the centre, use another spanner turn the nut anti-clockwise to loosen

Step 3

Once the nut is loose, remove it from the shaft. Also remove the steel washer underneath.

Step 4

Remove the strut top bushing and the plastic bearing which sits underneath. Next, remove the second washer and bump stop – Take note of their orientation.

Note: You may find the bearing falls apart upon removal as the halves easily separate. If this happens I would recommend a replacement bearing.

Note 2: Examine the strut top bushing for signs of separation, cracking or collapse. Bushing collapse is very common with the VE Commodore, even with quite low mileage, in some cases as little a 10,000 km. As a rule of thumb you should replace this bushing as part of any suspension work performed on the vehicle.

Step 5

Cut the cable tie to seperate the rubber boot from the upper spring plate. You will need to replace this during re-assembly.

Step 6

Remove the upper spring plate, rubber spring seat and spring from the strut.

Step 7

Cut the lower cable tie located on the bottom of the dust boot. This will also need to be replaced during re-assembly. Remove the dust boot and rubber spring seat on the base of the shock.

The disassembly is now complete.

Re-Assembly

Step 1

To re-install the strut assembly, simply reverse the procedure. Re-attaching the cable ties can prove to be tricky, a friend can definitely help with this.

When re-installing the upper retaining plate, take note of the spring orientation. There is a ‘step’ in the retaining plate and rubber seat which MUST line up with the end of the spring coil.

Secondly, the ‘W’ shaped notch in the upper retaining plate must point towards the sway bar mount.

Tighten the shock absorber shaft nut to 75Nm.

Once completed, slowly release the spring compressors whilst ensuring alignment of the spring to spring seat as per the previous step.

Job Completed!

4 comments on “Front Strut Disassembly

  1. Don Stratford says:

    G’Day AutoInstruct,

    Great illustrated guide for both front strut removal and disasssembly.. Made the task very straight forward.

    If I could suggest one small addition to the strut disassembly procedure, it may help others from falling into the same trap that I did, which required the removal of the strut assembly to rectify along with the additional cost of purchasing another set of stretch bolts..

    ‘Step four Note 2: Examine the strut top bushing for signs of separation, cracking or collapse. Bushing collapse is very common with the VE, even with quite low mileage, in some cases as little a 10,000 km. ‘

    I picked up the problem after re-installation of the strut assemblies and subsequent test drive. The top mount plates (inside the engine compartment) were sitting up from the mount by approx 3mm which caused a knocking noise when moving over any bumps etc.. The internal ring of the strut mount should be well below the external ring, when you see a new mount next to a collapsed mount it becomes very obvious..

    Once again, thanks for the guide.. Bravo Zulu!!

    • Staff @ AutoInstruct says:

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for the feedback, I will update our guide with your suggestion. I am glad we could help!

  2. Gilbert says:

    Hi, PEASE correct me if I am wrong. you have miss a very important thing. The spring needs to be set back in the correct position. Just lining up the dip in the plate with the spring will not do it. The top bearing plate has a W shape notch in it and that notch needs to be pointing to the engine. I have to now look at maybe removing mine as I replaced the strut tops and I think the spring was a bit loose with the spring compressors on it, and it may have moved. The car seems to drive ok but it is early days yet and I have been told if the spring is not aligned correctly your camber will be out.

    • Staff @ AutoInstruct says:

      Hi Gilbert, Yes you are correct and thank you for reminding us. It’s easy to skip over things! We will update our guides and videos accordingly.

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