How to Replace the Front Shocks on a Ford E-350

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The shocks on a Ford E-350 van absorb bumps in the road, giving the van a smoother ride. Replacing worn shocks will improve the quality of the ride. Removal of the shocks, located behind the back of the wheels, is straightforward. Make the task easier by soaking the mounting bolts in a penetrating oil two days before changing out the shocks to ensure the bolts are easier to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire tool
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Vise grips
  • Wheel chocks
  • Ensure the van is on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake. Chock the back wheel to prevent the van from rolling backwards when jacked up.

  • Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels with the tire tool. Do not remove the lug nuts until the van is raised up.

  • Place a jack under the front cross-member and raise the van until the wheels are off the ground. Place jack stands under the cross-member and lower the van onto it.

  • Take the lug nuts off the wheels and take them off the axles. Place them to the side.

  • Locate the shocks directly behind where the wheel is mounted. Unbolt the top mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Hold the shaft with a set of vise grips to prevent it from turning.

  • Loosen the bottom bolt with a socket wrench. Compress the shock slightly by pushing it down. Pull it away from the vehicle.

  • Place the new shock up to the mounting brackets. Start the bottom and top bolts before tightening them. Remember where the washers were located on the old shocks. Place them in the same position on the new shocks.

  • Tighten the bolts with a socket wrench. Repeat these steps on the remaining front shock.

  • Place the wheels on and tighten the lug nuts. Ensure all the lug nuts are snug before lowering the van.

  • Raise the van up with the jack and pull the jack stands out from under the van. Lower the van to the ground.

  • Ensure all the lug nuts on the van are tight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase new shocks at any automotive-parts stores.
  • New shocks will come with directions and diagrams to ensure they are mounted correctly.

References

  • "Ford Full-size Vans Haynes Repair Manual covering E-150 thru E-350"; John Haynes; 2005
  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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