How to Install Air Shocksby Russell Wood
Whether you want a little extra lift in the rear end of your truck or a little more carrying capacity, air shocks are a cheap and easy solution. These pneumatic devices replace the stock shock and require just a bit of plumbing to make work perfectly. Follow along as we install air shocks on a truck.
Installing air shocks
Crawl underneath the rear of the truck and locate the rear shocks. Generally, they're located inboard of the leaf springs and frame, but on some vehicles they're on the outside of the frame.
Unbolt the stock shocks. The rear of a truck is held up by leaf springs, so don't worry about jack stands or a jack. You can undo the lower bolt using a 3/8-inch ratchet on one end, a wrench on the other, and the top bolt is usually undone with a wrench.
Install the new air shocks in place of the stock shock. Make sure the new shocks are oriented so the bladder of the air shock points toward the bottom of the shock.
The air shocks come with a set of rubber O-rings and some airline. Undo the air-fill cap on the air shocks and place two O-rings over the end of the airline. Push that combination into the fill cap so that the O-rings are under the screw-in cap. Screw in the cap to secure the line. Do the same on both shocks.
Run the airlines to the rear of the truck, preferably to the bumper, securing them along the way with zip ties.
Locate the fill valve that comes with the air shocks onto the bumper. You may need to drill a hole for the valve to poke through. You want this to be accessible because this is how you will put air into the shocks.
Take the airlines you ran from the air shocks and install them onto the T-valve the same way the airline was installed into the shocks. Use two O-rings and tighten the cap down.
To fill the air shocks, go to a gas station and use the air nozzle to pump up the shocks. Alternatively, you can use an air compressor at your house or a portable unit.
Things You'll Need
- 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
- Drill and drill bits
- Wrench set
- Zip ties
Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.