How to Change Rear Shocks on a Mustang

by Thomas West

The Mustang is a sporty five-passenger coupe or convertible that sports a front mounted V-6 or V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive. Automatic or manual transmissions are available, as well as several different option packages that group many popular options together. The rear suspension of your Mustang utilizes oil-filled shock absorbers to soften bumps and road vibrations. Shocks will eventually lose their ability to absorb road imperfections and will need to be changed.

Back your car onto a set of car ramps. Set the emergency brake and chock the front wheels.

Crawl under the car and locate the lower shock-absorber mounting bracket on the rear axle just inboard of the brake assembly.

Loosen the lower shock-retaining nut with a socket and ratchet turned in a counterclockwise direction. (Note: If the bolt turns while trying to remove the nut with the ratchet, hold the bolt on the opposite side of the shock mounting with a box-end wrench.) Slide the bolt out of its mounting hole. Place the bolt and nut aside for installation of the replacement shock absorbers. Repeat this step for the other rear shock absorber.

Open the rear lift gate. Pull up the carpet mat to reveal the upper shock-absorber retaining nuts at the front of the cargo area on each side of the car. Remove the shock-retaining nuts from inside the cargo compartment with a socket and ratchet in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat this step for the other rear shock. Remove the old rear shocks from under the vehicle.

Install new shocks by inserting the stud in the upper part of the shock through the mounting hole in the underside of the cargo floor. Have a helper thread the retaining nut to the threaded stud protruding through the upper side of the rear cargo floor. Do not tighten the nut yet. Repeat this step for both shocks.

Line up the mounting hole in the bottom of the shock with the hole in the mounting bracket on the rear axle. Insert the shock-retaining bolt through the hole and tighten the nut on the protruding threads with a socket and ratchet. Repeat for both shocks

Tighten the shock-retaining nuts inside the cargo area. Replace the carpet mat. Close the lift gate. Remove the wheel chocks and drive the car off of the ramps.


  • check Always replace worn-out rear shock absorbers in pairs, or adverse handling characteristics can occur.

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