How to Replace the Front Shocks on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer

Front shocks are available Vehicles all types of driving. A Vehicles can use standard shocks Vehicles normal loads and highway driving, heavy-duty shocks Vehicles heavy loads and rough terrain, and off-road shocks made Vehicles 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 Vehicles.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Front Shocks on a Ford E-350

Ensure the van is on a flat and level surface. Set the parking brake. Chock the back wheel to prevent the van from rolling backwards when jacked up.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels with the tire tool. Do not remove the lug nuts until the van is raised up.

Place a jack under the front cross-member and raise the van until the wheels are off the ground. Place jack stands under the cross-member and lower the van onto it.

Take the lug nuts off the wheels and take them off the axles. Place them to the side.

Locate the shocks directly behind where the wheel is mounted. Unbolt the top mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Hold the shaft with a set of vise grips to prevent it from turning.

Loosen the bottom bolt with a socket wrench. Compress the shock slightly by pushing it down. Pull it away from the vehicle.

Place the new shock up to the mounting brackets. Start the bottom and top bolts before tightening them. Remember where the washers were located on the old shocks. Place them in the same position on the new shocks.

Tighten the bolts with a socket wrench. Repeat these steps on the remaining front shock.

Place the wheels on and tighten the lug nuts. Ensure all the lug nuts are snug before lowering the van.

Raise the van up with the jack and pull the jack stands out from under the van. Lower the van to the ground.

Ensure all the lug nuts on the van are tight.

Items you will need

  • Tire tool

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • Vise grips

  • Wheel chocks

 How to Replace the Front Shocks on a Jeep Cherokee

Park the Cherokee on a flat paved or concrete surface. Apply the parking brake and release the hood latch.

Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires.

Locate and remove the nut, washer and bushing from the upper shock studs (both sides) in the engine compartment using the ratchet, extension and socket.

Raise the front axle of the Cherokee with the floor jack and place the jack stand under the axle tube. Repeat for the other side to elevate the entire front suspension.

Put on the safety glasses and crawl under one side of the Jeep (on a creeper if you have one) and bring the ratchet and sockets with you.

Remove the lower nuts on the shock mounting axle bracket using the ratchet and a socket.

Remove the old shock.

Insert the new shock (with new lower washer and lower bushing installed on shock stud) into the shock tower being sure to get the upper shock stud through the engine compartment hole.

Replace the lower nuts to support the new shock to the shock mounting axle bracket and tighten.

Repeat Steps 6 through 9 on the other shock.

Collect all the tools and old shocks and lower the Jeep Cherokee.

Place the new bushing, washer and upper shock nut to the shock stud in the engine compartment and tighten on both sides.

Close the hood, remove the wheel chock, release the parking brake.

Items you will need

  • 3/8 inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8 inch drive 12-inch extension

  • 3/8 inch drive socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Wheel chock

  • Safety glasses

  • Creeper (optional)

 How to Replace the Front Shocks on a '98 Dodge RAM

Link/Coil Suspension

Open the hood. Remove the nut, washer and grommet from the stud on top of the shock in the engine compartment. If the stud turns while you are trying to remove the top nut, hold the stud with a vice grip.

Remove the lower shock bolt from the axle bracket. Remove the shock absorber.

Install the lower washer and grommet on the upper stud of the new shock. Insert the shock through the spring. Replace and tighten the lower shock bolt. Install the upper grommet, washer and nut.

Tighten the lower bolt to 100 foot-pounds and the upper nut to 35 foot-pounds if you are using a torque wrench.

Independent Front Suspension

Raise the vehicle with a floor jack. Place jack stands under the frame and lower the Dodge Ram onto them.

Remove the upper nut, washer and grommet from the shock through the wheel well. Remove the lower shock bolt from the lower control arm and remove the shock.

Install the lower washer and grommet on top of the shock. Insert the shock through the upper control arm. Install top grommet, washer and nut.

Tighten the bottom bolt to 105 foot-pounds and the top nut to 40 foot-pounds if you are using a torque wrench.

Items you will need

  • Rags

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrenches

  • Sockets

  • Ratchet

  • Front shock absorbers

 How to Change Front Shocks on a 2000 Blazer

Two-Wheel Drive Blazer

Crack the wheel nuts loose on one front tire with the lug nut socket wrench just enough to back them away from the wheel rim (no more than a half-turn).

Lift the Blazer with a car jack and then support it on a jack stand. Remove the wheel nuts and tire.

Spray the upper retaining nut and shock stem as well as the lower two retaining bolts on the lower control arm with a copious amount of penetrating spray. Allow five to 10 minutes for the spray to soak in.

Place a box-end wrench (ratcheting or not) onto the upper shock retaining nut. Place a smaller box-end wrench on the stem above the retaining nut. Hold the stem with the smaller wrench while turning the retaining nut counterclockwise to remove it. A non-ratcheting wrench will require you to lift the wrench off the nut to reposition it in order to completely remove the nut.

Remove the two lower retaining bolts at the bottom of the lower control arm with the ratchet and socket.

Allow the shock to drop down through the fork of the control arm. You may have to compress the shock (by hand) in order to remove it.

Place the lower washer and bushing, which should be supplied with the new shock, onto the stem of the shock and then place it through the fork of the lower control arm and up into the shock mount. Place the upper bushing and washer onto the stem and then thread the replacement upper retaining nut onto the stem, but do not tighten it yet.

Push up on the bottom of the shock and align the bolt tabs to the retaining bolt holes in the lower control arm. Thread the bolts back into the lower control arm and then tighten them with the ratchet and socket.

Tighten the upper retaining nut by reversing the removal procedure.

Replace the wheel and snug the wheel nuts tight to the hub. Lower the Blazer slowly and then re-tighten the wheel nuts in a crisscross fashion with the torque wrench set at 100 ft-lbs. and a socket. Repeat the procedure for the opposite front shock absorber.

Four-Wheel Drive Blazer

Perform steps 1 and 2 as outlined in Section 1.

Spray the upper and lower retaining nuts and bolts with a copious amount of penetrating spray and then allow the spray to soak in for five to 10 minutes.

Remove the lower shock retaining nut with a ratchet and socket while holding the bolt head with a box-end wrench and then use a hammer to strike the bolt out through the lower shock mount. Repeat for the upper shock retaining nut and bolt. Remove the shock.

Replace the shock by reversing the procedure.

Replace the wheel and snug the wheel nuts tight to the hub. Lower the Blazer slowly and then re-tighten the wheel nuts in a crisscross fashion with the torque wrench set at 100 ft-lbs. and a socket. Repeat the procedure for the opposite front shock absorber.

Items you will need

  • Lug nut socket wrench

  • Car jack

  • Jack stand

  • Penetrating lubricant spray

  • Box-end wrench set or ratcheting box-end wrench set (two-wheel drive)

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet and socket set

  • Hammer (four-wheel drive)

  • 2 replacement front shock absorbers

  • 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench

 How to Change Front Shocks on a Dodge RAM

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.

Items you will 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

 How to Change the Front Shocks on a Tundra

Loosen the lug nuts on the tire with the tire iron. Raise the front end of the Tundra on each side with the jack and remove the tire completely. Place the jack stands under the Tundra at the support point. Now the front end should be off of the ground for you to access the underside of the Tundra.

Place the jack under the lower control arm and raise slightly. Remove the nut that connects the shock to the lower control arm with the wrench. Remove the washer and the rubber brushing.

Remove the upper nut connecting the shock to the upper control arm, placing the allen wrench into the top stud to keep the shock from turning while using the wrench to remove the nut. Remove the washer and the rubber brushing from the upper control arm. Pull the shock from the control arms.

Insert the new rubber bushing and the new washer into the upper fitting. Replace the shock with the new one and replace the nut to the upper control arm. Replace the lower washer and brushing. Replace the securing nut to the lower control arm.

Tighten the nuts and remove the jack from under the lower control arm. Replace the tire and use the jack to remove the jack stands and lower the Tundra to the ground.

Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Metric wrench

  • Allen wrench set

 How to Change Front Shocks on a Ford Crown Victoria

Park the Crown Victoria on a flat, level paved or concrete surface. Apply the parking brake and release the hood latch.

Lift the hood. The top shock mounting nut is located in the engine compartment. If you locate the shock absorber behind the front wheel, you'll be able to follow its track upward and locate the mounting nut in the engine compartment. It will have a large washer below the nut and then a black rubber bushing below that washer.

Place an appropriately sized closed end hand wrench down onto the mounting nut. The top threaded shaft of the shock absorber that the nut threads onto will need to be held with a hand wrench or socket and ratchet. Otherwise, it will spin when you try to loosen the mounting nut. While holding the wrench or socket on the shock shaft, remove the mounting nut by turning left, lifting the closed ended wrench, and relocating it for more room to loosen again. Remove the washer and bushing.

Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear wheels.

Lift one side of the car with the floor jack and place the jack stand on the frame rail in a safe and secure location.

Crawl under the vehicle (on a creeper if you have one) and locate the bottom of the shock absorber. Using the ratchet and appropriate sized socket, remove both mounting bolts at the bottom of the shock absorber. You will now be able to pull the shock down and set it aside.

Insert new shock into the shock tower. Thread both bottom bolts in a few threads to hold it, but go back up into the engine compartment and replace rubber bushing with the one most likely supplied in the box. Place the washer on top of the bushing thread the mounting nut onto the shock shaft. Again, hold the shock shaft with a wrench while tightening the mounting nut with the other wrench.

Go back under the vehicle to the bottom of the shock absorber and tighten the bottom bolts with the ratchet and socket.

Replace the opposite side shock absorber following the same steps.

Remove wheel chock and release parking brake when you're done.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack Jack stand 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket set Closed/opened end combination hand wrench set Wheel chock Creeper (optional)