Changing shocks on your truck is a fairly simple process, but it can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this article, you will learn how to install shocks yourself and avoid common mistakes. Not only will changing shocks save you money, but you will also learn a great deal about how to maintain your vehicle. The following steps will walk you through the process step-by-step.
To begin the process, lift the rear axle with a floor jack. A jack stand can also be used. Next, remove the upper shock retaining bolt using a ratchet and socket. Depending on the shock, you may need a separate tool for threaded rod tops. Using a jack stand, lift the rear of the truck, then remove the old shock bolt. Be careful not to damage the threads on the bolts when you remove them.
Shocks absorb energy from bumps and uneven pavement. When worn, the piston inside the shock breaks, causing the vehicle to bounce. This makes the bumps on the road hit harder and the truck to rock. Hydraulic shocks may also be prone to weeping, which is the leakage of hydraulic fluid around the base of the piston. Then, you should get professional help to replace the shocks.
Related Questions / Contents
Can I Replace Shocks Myself?
If you’ve ever wondered, “Can I replace shocks on my truck myself?” you’ve come to the right place. Although a little experience and training are needed, replacing shocks and struts can be done by yourself in a couple of hours. The process is fairly straightforward and should save you a lot of money. Just be sure to follow these steps carefully. These will prevent further problems and ensure you get the best results possible.
To replace shocks on your truck, you first need to disconnect the suspension and the shock. To do this, you can use a socket set or a nut splitter. Next, you’ll need to remove the shock bolt from its nut. Using penetrating solvent, remove the bolt from the shock. Then, you can replace the shock tower nuts in the trunk. Finally, you can reinstall the anti-roll bar and hand-tighten it.
Before replacing the shocks, you need to lift up the suspension on both sides. Be sure to place the jack stands underneath the side of the vehicle you’re working on. Use a socket and wrench to remove the mounting bolts on both sides. Next, remove the shock from its mounting bracket. Discard the old shock. When you’re finished, you can put the new shock on top.
Do You Have to Jack up Truck to Change Shocks?
If you’re planning to change your shocks, you should first determine the exact location of them. Generally, shocks are located behind the rear tire. Then, you should jack up the vehicle evenly. To access the shocks, you can unscrew the rear wheels. This will give you more room to work. Next, loosen the top and bottom bolts with a socket wrench. After loosening these bolts, pull the shock out of its mounting bolt.
A new shock will lift the vehicle about half an inch. However, this lift is temporary, since the pressure is gradually reduced over time. If you’re planning to change shocks on a truck, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the right ones for your model. The pressurized ones may last longer, but the pressure will be reduced as they wear down. If you’re not sure which shocks to buy, you can search for them online.
How Do You Install Rear Shocks?
Before installing a new shock, make sure that the car is jacked up evenly on all four corners. If the rear wheels can be removed, do so. This will free up more room. Next, remove the two bolts at the top and bottom of the rear shock. Pull the shock out using the stud end. If the bolts are threaded, a separate tool may be necessary.
First, unscrew the bolt holding the new shock to the frame. Most shocks are installed using studs. Some shocks have nuts that are hard to thread. You can try penetrating oil or using a thread-locking compound. Once you have loosened the bolt, thread the new shock hardware into place. Make sure not to distort the shock bushings as this can lead to a poor fit. Also, be sure to check that all four shocks are in a pair.
After you have loosened the bolts on both sides, remove the shocks from the suspension. Usually, the shock tower bolts are located under the fabric of the trunk. To remove the shock, use a socket set or nut splitter to loosen the bolts. Use a penetrating solvent to loosen the bolt. Once the shock has been removed, use the torque wrench to tighten it properly.
Should I Replace All 4 Shocks at the Same Time?
Should I replace all four shocks at once? That question depends on a few factors. Generally, shocks should be replaced every ten years, but that number is often underestimated. Changing one shock can significantly affect the ride quality, even if it is safe. Likewise, replacing all four shocks at once ensures that you’ll get the most benefit from the process.
While it may be easier to replace just one shock at a time, most vehicles have four shocks. While replacing all four shocks at the same time is more costly, the added peace of mind comes with knowing that all four shocks are replaced at once. The same goes for struts. Removing a strut will also improve the handling of your vehicle. And if your car has worn-out shocks, replace them all at once.
Besides replacing all four shocks at once, your vehicle’s suspension system should be checked regularly. A faulty shock or strut can make driving a challenge. You may lose control of the vehicle and end up in an accident with another car. In that case, it’s better to replace the entire suspension system than one component. The best solution is to get them checked by an expert.
Do You Have to Take Tires Off to Replace Shocks?
It’s not always necessary to take the tires off of your truck to replace the shocks. Depending on how you drive, your shocks can last for tens of thousands of miles. You can check the shocks yourself by bouncing the car up and down. A good shock should stop bouncing after two up-and-down movements. A car that bounces too much is likely in need of shock replacement.
If you have a shop nearby, the jack must be set to level. Before you remove the jack, it is important to loosen the lug nuts on both sides of the vehicle. The jack may need to be positioned horizontally or vertically. Make sure to use the correct jack for your model and make sure to read the owner’s manual to make sure you’re positioning it correctly.
If your shocks are beginning to feel unresponsive, you should consider having them replaced by a qualified technician. They can check the suspension and replace the worn components. Shocks and struts should be replaced in pairs. This will ensure a consistent response and reliable handling. If you replace only one or two shocks, you risk damaging the rest of the suspension. It is also a good idea to take the tires off while replacing the shocks.
Do You Have to Compress Shocks For Installation?
After you’ve removed the old shocks, you must install the new ones. Most shocks are mounted on studs, but some shocks may be held on the upper mount by an extra bolt or stud. You can loosen the upper mount by prying it away evenly and completely. After the shock is detached from the bottom mount, install the new shocks. If you have gas shocks, you may have to compress them a little before installation.
The reason that shocks are sometimes hard to install is because they’re designed for vertical operation. This means that nitrogen gas can push into the hydraulic working area. When you install new shocks, it’s important to prime them properly. Doing so will ensure that they operate at their peak performance. You should also prime shocks to reduce foaming. A little bit of nitrogen gas can help prevent this from happening.
How Long Does It Take to Fit Shock Absorbers?
When replacing the shocks on your truck, you’ll need to consider two important factors: time and mileage. A high-quality shock can last for a few years, but it can be shortened quickly by using salt and urban roads. Also, heavy loads and a full complement of passengers will shorten the life of a shock. As soon as you notice that your truck’s shocks are showing signs of premature wear, it’s time to replace them.
Before you start fitting the shock absorbers on your truck, you’ll need to measure the height of your vehicle. This measurement will help you choose the correct type of shock. For your reference, a typical shock absorber contains a reservoir filled with pressurized air or nitrogen. As the vehicle moves and rebounds, the fluid comes into contact with the gas, causing resistance and thereby dampening the shock’s effectiveness.
Whether you want to replace your front or rear shock, make sure to have a wheel alignment done before you install the new ones. A front shock replacement isn’t necessary, but replacing the rear shock will make your truck handle bumpier and may cause side-to-side bouncing. If you’re buying a used truck, a single shock may be sufficient if it’s not damaged.
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