How to Replace the Shocks and Struts in a Chevy Camaro

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Chevrolet's Camaro is known for its handling and quick acceleration. To keep your Camaro safe and handling like new, replace your shocks every 60,000 miles, which is when they start showing signs of compression without releasing the spring. Changing your shocks following this method is most effective for model years 1999 to 2002.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Ratchet set
  • Permanent marker
  • Spring compression tool
  • Torque wrench

Replace the Front Shocks in a Camaro

  • Lift your car using a floor jack, and slide jack stands under the frame to support it. Remove the front wheels with a tire iron.

  • Loosen and remove the upper shock mounting bolts and nuts with a wrench or a ratchet. Unbolt the shock assembly from the stabilizer bar, and mark the locations of the upper and lower coil spring mounts with a permanent marker.

  • Unbolt the lower mounting nuts and bolts from the shocks, and disconnect the lower ball joint stud from the steering knuckle. Take out the shocks. Use a spring compression tool to remove the springs from the shocks.

  • Compress the new springs and install them onto the shocks. Bolt the shocks to the lower control arm, and torque the bolts to 48 foot pounds. Bolt the lower ball joint back to the steering knuckle and reconnect the stabilizer bar.

  • Attach the upper shock assemblies. Torque the bolts to 37 foot-pounds and the nuts to 32 foot pounds. Put the wheels back on the front end of your car.

Replace the Rear Shocks in a Camaro

  • Prop up the rear axle with the jack stands so it's stable and won't collapse without the suspension connected. Don't jack up the rear of the car, but use the jack stands to support the axle. Fold down the back seat of the Camaro. Pull out the quarter panel trim and fold the carpet back from it.

  • Loosen and remove the upper shock nut, retainer and insulator. Unbolt the lower insulator and retainer and remove the lower shock-to-rear axle nut. With the jack stands propping the axle, it shouldn't move. If it does, run a check on all the other assemblies to the rear wheels, especially the brakes, to make sure none are disconnected.

  • Take out the shock absorber through the hole in the quarter panel.

  • Install the new shocks with the slower shock-to-axle nut. Torque it to 66 foot-pounds. Set the lower and upper insulators and retainers on the shocks. Put the upper shock mounting nut on the assembly, and torque it to 13 foot pounds.

  • Put back the carpet and the quarter trim assembly. Remove the jack stands from under the axle.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're changing the front end shocks on the driver's side, open the hood and unbolt the brake master cylinder before you touch any of the mounting hardware on the shocks. Put it somewhere solid where it can't fall. Don't disconnect the brake lines. Remember to bolt it back in when you're done.
  • Follow the instructions precisely with your spring compression tool. Improper use could cause physical damage to you or the spring.

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