Shock Absorber Upgrade

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David Vinson

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Jul 23, 2001
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Keller, TX
I decided to begin with the front since they require a little more work to change. First and foremost, be sure to chock the tires if you plan to do any jacking. I jacked the front left up and placed a jack stand to hold the vehicle up. Then I removed the wheel, which I highly suggest that you do to make this easier. The lugs are 3/4". Remove the wheel to expose the splash guard behind it. Pull the three push fasteners located closest to the front of the vehicle and pull it back to expose the shock. At the top mount, there is a nut that fastens the shock to the mount and another nut-shaped piece located at the top of the shock body that you can use a wrench on to keep the shock from spinning as you loosen the top nut. The nut at the top is 15mm and the other is 18mm. Put your wrench on the holder and remove the nut from the top.



The bottom of the front shocks are fastened with two 13mm nuts. Remove these from the bottom surface of the bottom mount.



Now, compress the shock by lifting up on the bottom part of the shock and slide it down and out. Replace with the new shock by putting the top of the new shock into the top mount, slightly compressing the shock, and moving the bottom into mounting position. Tighten all fastening hardware. This is what the front driver's side shock looked like after it was removed. Notice that it is fully compressed. This shock had leaked all of the oil and was completely useless.



Use the same procedure to complete the other side. This is what the completed installation of a front shock looks like.



After finishing the front shocks, move to the rear. I would highly suggest that you remove the spare so that you have plenty of room to work. the tops of the shocks are fastened to crossmember and the nuts are located between the crossmember and the bottom of the bed. The driver's side is harder to get to because of the location of the spare tire carrier. The fasteners at the top are 13mm. Remove the two nuts for the top shock mount. The bottom shock mount consists of a 15mm bolt with an 18mm nut. Remove the nut and tap the bolt out as far as you can. The bolt can be removed the rest of the way by pulling on the bolt while wiggling the shock around to relieve the pressure on the bolt. Once the bolt is out, the shock can be removed.



To reinstall the replacement shock, I chose to attach the shock at the top first by lifting it into place and hand tightening the fastening hardware. Then, I compressed the shock enough to get the bolt through the shock mount and the shock at the bottom. Tighten all fastening hardware and use the same procedure for the other rear shock. This is what the final result looked like with the new shocks installed.



 
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