How to Change Front Shocks on a Dodge RAMby Don Bowman
Front shocks are available for all types of driving. A Dodge Ram can use standard shocks for normal loads and highway driving, heavy-duty shocks for heavy loads and rough terrain, and off-road shocks made for severe duty. Modern shocks are nitrogen filled, unlike the older shocks that were filled with air on top of the hydraulic fluid. The older shocks worked well until they heated up from overwork and failed. With nitrogen, they do not heat up and consequently do not fail when severe duty is called for.
Raise the front of the truck and support it on the jack stands. Install the floor jack under the lower control arm slightly to one side so as not to restrict the accessibility to the bolts for the shock. The bolts are on the bottom center of the control arm. They run up on the inside of the coil spring. Remove the top nut, which is on the head of the shock. It protrudes through the top of the upper control arm. In order to remove this nut, the Allen socket should be placed on the top stud to keep the shaft from turning with the nut. Remove the nut with a wrench, then remove the steel washer and the rubber bushing.
Remove the bottom shock bolts holding the shock to the lower control arm and remove the shock through the bottom hole.
Install the new shock by first installing the metal washer on the top stud followed by the rubber bushing. Insert the shock through the bottom hole in the lower control arm and up through the top hole in the upper control arm. While holding the shock up, install the rubber bushing and the metal washer followed by the nut to the stud. Put the Allen socket on the shaft to hold it from turning while the wrench is used to tighten the nut.
Lower the floor jack and move it out of the way. Install the two bottom bolts through the mounting brackets on the shock and into the lower control arm and tighten. Do the same to the opposite side of the truck.
Things You'll Need
- Set of 3/8-inch drive sockets 3/8-inch drive ratchet Set of Allen sockets to fit the top of the shock Set of metric wrenches Floor Jack 2 jack stands
Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).