How to Replace Shocks on a Jeep Wranglerby Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
2 jack stands
1/2-inch drive ratchet
1/2-inch drive socket set
1/2-inch drive 10-inch extension
Box end/open end combination hand wrench set
Vise grip pliers
If you have some tools and mechanical savvy, you can replace the shocks on your Jeep Wrangler. Replacing the shocks after the first 30,000 miles is usually recommended. Buying a quality aftermarket replacement can optimize the performance of the Wrangler's suspension and in most cases offer you a lifetime warranty on the shocks except for labor to install them.
How to Replace Front Shocks on a Jeep Wrangler
Park the Wrangler on a flat paved surface. Apply the parking brake. Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires.
Unfasten the hood hinges and lift the hood. Locate the top shock nuts on both the left and right sides.
Remove the nuts from the shock studs with the ratchet and a socket. Depending on the motor in the Wrangler, this procedure may require removal of the air box or other components to gain access to the upper shock stud nut. You might also have to hold the stud with a pair of vise grip pliers and loosen the nut with an open or box ended hand wrench. Remove the nut, washer and shock bushing from each of the front upper shock studs.
Lift the front axle of the Wrangler with the floor jack, one side at a time, and place a jack stand beneath each side of the front axle out of the way of the bottom of the shock absorber. Put on the safety glasses and crawl under the front of the Jeep on a creeper, if you have one.
Remove the two lower shock bolts using the ratchet, extension and a socket. Use a hand wrench to remove the nut while holding the head of the bolt in place with a box end wrench.
Replace it a new shock and refasten and tighten the bottom bolts one shock at a time.
Lower the front axle and replace the new shock bushing, washer and nut onto the studs of each front shock and tighten.
Close the hood and refasten the hinges. Remove the wheel chock.
How to Replace Rear Shocks on a Jeep Wrangler
Park the Wrangler on a flat paved surface and apply the parking brake. Place a wheel chock in front of one of the front tires.
Raise and support the rear axle one side at a time with the floor jack and place a jack stand under each side of the rear axle away from the shock absorbers. Put on the safety glasses and crawl under the rear axle on a creeper if you have one.
Remove the two upper shock bolts using the ratchet, extension and a socket. Remove and replace one shock at a time.
Remove the lower shock bolt and nut using the ratchet, a socket and a hand wrench. Knock the lower shock bolt from its mount with a hammer and punch. Install the new shock by attaching the upper shock bolts first.
Compress the shock and line up the bottom shock bolt though the shock and replace the nut and tighten.
Repeat the procedure for the other side. Lower the rear axle when you're finished and remove the wheel chock.
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.