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How to Replace Shocks on a 1998 Jeep Cherokee

by Justin Cupler; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Socket extension (12 inches)

  • Combination wrench set

  • Torque wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

The shocks in a 1998 Jeep Cherokee are designed to absorb the impact created by potholes in the road. When these shocks go bad, you may experience a harsh ride, loud noises or an uneven ride. The 1998 Jeep Cherokee has four shocks: one on each corner, directly behind the wheel and tire. Shocks are large cylinders about 12 inches in length that connect between the wheel assembly and the chassis of the vehicle. On a 1998 Jeep Cherokee, the shocks are relatively easy to repair with a few tools.

Front

Lift the hood of the vehicle and locate the upper locking nut. It will be on the vehicle's inner fender well attached to the upper shock stud.

Loosen and remove the locking nut from the upper shock stud on both sides of the vehicle, using a wrench. You may need to use a smaller wrench to prevent the top of the shock stud from turning.

Pull the two washers--one metal and one rubber--from the upper shock stud on both sides of the vehicle. Make certain to remember the order in which they came off and save these components.

Jack up the front of the vehicle and support it with jack stands.

Trace the shock to its bottom where it meets the lower control arm.

Remove the lower shock nut on both sides using a ratchet and socket. You may also need to use a combination wrench to prevent the stud from moving. The nut is reached from below the control arm, whereas the stud is between the control arm and the shock.

Pull the rubber and metal washer from the lower shock stud on each side of the vehicle. Make certain to remember the order in which they are removed. Save these components for replacing the shock.

Pull the shocks from the vehicle. You will have to pull the top of each shock out first and then the bottom, as both studs will not clear at once.

Place the new shocks on the vehicle.

Install the rubber and metal washers on the lower shock studs on both sides, then install the nuts, turning it only a few threads.

Guide the upper studs through the holes in each fender well. Place the two washers on the upper stud on each shock. Hand-tighten the upper nut.

Torque the lower nuts to 14-foot pounds using a torque wrench. Use a wrench to hold the lower studs from turning.

Lower the vehicle to the ground.

Torque the upper shock nuts, on both shocks, to 11-foot pounds with a torque wrench.

Rear

Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it with jack stands.

Loosen and remove the lower shock bolt. This is where the shock meets the large beam that runs the width of the vehicle.

Loosen and remove the two upper mounting bolts from the shock using a ratchet, socket and extension.

Pull the shock from the vehicle.

Place the new shock on the vehicle.

Hand-tighten the lower shock bolt and washer.

Guide the upper shock to the mounting point, place the washers and bolts in the upper holes, and hand-tighten them.

Torque the all bolts to 44-foot pounds using a torque wrench.

Repeat steps 2 through 8 for the shock on the other side.

Lower the vehicle to the ground.

About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.

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