Shock strut install

BrianF

Well-Known Member
I installed the rear shocks last week, which made a great deal of a difference. Today I had time and the weather was right to do the front. 5 hours for set up, install, cleanup, test drive, oil change and even dump 2.5 gallons of DEF in my truck.

I disconnect the top ball joint, tie rod end, drop all 4 bolts holding up the sway bar and then disconnect the lower pinch bolt from its arm. I then spread it with a punch and hit that arm with a hammer. It eventually clears the strut and I drop the strut from the tower.

My el cheapo spring compressor works like a charm and the rest of the swap just takes time. My tie rod ends, ball joints and sway bar end links all appear to be decent shape still, which is nice.

The one shock is absolutely shot, while the other still had life left in it. Both struts were well worn and past ready to change.
 

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Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
I then spread it with a punch and hit that arm with a hammer. It eventually clears the strut and I drop the strut from the tower.
Brings back memories...lol. On my first shock, I did a LOT of hammering / swearing / rehydrating, but finally discovered that if you spread the pinch bolt enough, the shock will literally fall out of the mount. The second one was *much* easier, as a result.

Pretty sure I used a cold chisel to spread the bolt, IIRC. A pickle fork could also work - although you'd want a short-handled one, to get the maximum effect of the wedge (need to attack vertically)
 
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BrianF

Well-Known Member
HA!!! I re-read that and yes.. memories!

There was much more fighting the first time around. In fact, while it was time consuming and labour intensive, it was straight forward. The punch spreads that pinch bolt perfectly. Last time I had greased up the strut and it popped out quite easily.
 

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