You can replace the front struts on a Jeep Commander yourself and save money on repair costs. You can change each side in about an hour and a half. The replacement process is a little different on the left than it is on the right since different components must come off to get access to the strut tower in the engine compartment. While you can do this by yourself, it is helpful if you have an assistant work with you.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Wheel chocks
- Automobile jack
- Jack stand
- Lug wrench
- Wire ties
- Ball joint tool
- Torque wrench
Open the engine compartment on the Jeep commander. Prop the lid open using the prop rod. Remove the air intake assembly using a wrench and set it aside out of the way. Disconnect the electrical wiring from the cruise control servo to gain access to the right strut upper nuts. Remove the retaining bolt from the coolant reservoir using a socket and ratchet. Move the reservoir aside out of the way.
Remove the bracket nuts from the power distribution center using a socket and ratchet. Move the power distribution center aside to gain access to the upper nuts on the left strut. Remove the mounting nuts from the upper struts using a socket and ratchet. Raise the Commander on the side that you are starting with using the automobile jack. Place a jack stand under the Jeep near the jacking point and raise it to the frame of the vehicle.
Loosen the lug nuts using a lug wrench and remove the wheel from the Jeep. Remove the bolts from the brake caliper using a socket and ratchet. Secure the caliper using a wire tie so that it is not hanging by the brake hose. Remove the brake disc from the wheel assembly by pulling it off. Remove the cotter pin from the upper ball joint using the pliers. Remove the castellated nut from the upper ball joint using a socket and ratchet.
Separate the upper ball joint from the wheel knuckle using the ball joint tool. Remove the clevis bolt from the lower control arm using a socket and ratchet. Remove the stabilizer bolt from the lower control arm using a socket and ratchet. Remove the strut-to-wheel-knuckle nuts using a socket and ratchet. When removing the strut to wheel knuckle nuts, you may find it easier to hold the bolts with a wrench so that they do not turn when you are removing the nuts with the socket and ratchet.
Place the new strut under the Jeep. Install the lower strut bolts and nuts using a socket and ratchet. Hold the bolt with a wrench while you tighten the nuts to keep them from turning. Install the stabilizer bolt on the lower control arm and torque the bolt to 90-foot pounds with a torque wrench. Install the clevis bracket and torque the bolt to 90-foot pounds. Install the upper ball joint and tighten the castellated nut using a socket and ratchet.
Install a cotter pin to the ball joint and spread it open with the pliers. Install the upper strut mounting nuts and torque them to 70-foot pounds using a socket and ratchet. Install the brake rotor on the wheel assembly. Cut the wire tie securing the brake caliper using a pair of pliers. Place the caliper on the mounting cradle. Tighten the caliper bolts using a socket and ratchet. Install the wheel on the Jeep. Tighten the lug nuts using a lug wrench.
Remove the jack stand from under the vehicle and lower it to the ground. Repeat the procedure on the other wheel. Move the power distribution panel into place on the mounting bracket. Tighten the nuts with a socket and ratchet once the project is complete. Install the coolant reservoir and tighten the bolt with a socket and ratchet. Connect the electrical wires to the cruise control servo. Install the air intake assembly and tighten it with a wrench.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear a pair of safety goggles when working under the Jeep Commander to prevent eye injuries.
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