How to Remove Shock Absorber Bolts

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A vehicle's suspension controls the quality of the ride by absorbing and controlling shock from the tires, struts and shock absorbers. Shock absorbers compress various types of oil or gas in a cylinder. The fluids allow the shock absorber to compress, and then forces the shock back to its original position. The shocks wear down quickly. Removing the shock absorbers for replacement takes about 30 minutes with the proper tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack Stand
  • Lug wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Raise the vehicle by placing the jack under the frame of the vehicle and raising it until the tire is clear of the ground. Place a jack stand beneath the frame.

  • Remove the lug nuts with the lug wrench and remove the tire from the vehicle. Set the tire and lug nuts to the side.

  • Locate the upper and lower connections for the shock absorber. Shocks on the front typically connect to the upper strut housing by way of a hole in the housing, with bolts visible in the engine compartment above the wheel well. Lower connections are clearly visible near the wheel. Rear shock lower connections attach similar to the front. Rear shock upper connects the bolt to the frame.

  • Remove the lower bolts first. Use the socket wrench to remove the bolts and let the shock swing free. Remove the upper bolt in the same manner and pull the shock free of the vehicle.

  • Install in the reverse order of step 4.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bleed out the air from gas shocks prior to installation by holding the shock right-side up and fully extending it. Turn it upside down and fully compress it. Repeat the process at least three times to bleed out any air.

References

  • "Chilton Ford Ranger/Bronco II 1983-90 Repair Manual"; Todd W. Stidham; 1998
  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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