How to Install Shocks on an F-250 4X4by Robert Bayly
The Ford F-250 4x4 three-quarter-ton pickup uses standard shocks at all four corners with some variation in mounting styles over the years. Over time shock absorbers can, and do, fail. A failed shock absorber is usually noticed as excessive rebound of the suspension when going over bumps. The purpose of shock absorbers is to dampen the oscillation of the suspension. Worn shock absorbers can also lead to abnormal tire wear and excessive nose dive when braking. A new set of shock absorbers can be installed in an afternoon, and you will be thoroughly pleased with the new ride.
Early-model Front Shocks
Park the F-250 on a level, paved surface. Set the parking brake. Place wheel chocks behind the rear wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels. Raise the front of the F-250 and support it with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and wheels.
Locate the top and bottom shock mounts. The top of the shock mounts to a bracket attached to the frame. The bottom of the shock mounts to a bracket attached to the drive axle. Remove the nut on the top mount by using a wrench to hold the end of the shock rod and another wrench to remove the nut. Remove the washer and rubber insulator. Note that there is another insulator and washer on the shock rod under the bracket. Move to the lower shock mount and hold the stud on the end of the shock with a wrench while using another wrench to remove the nut. Remove the washer rubber insulator and seat. Note that there is another insulator and washer on top of the bracket. Compress the shock and remove it.
Slide a new washer and rubber insulator over the top of the shock rod. Slide the shock into the bracket. Slide a new rubber insulator and washer over the top of the shock rod, onto the bracket. Install the nut and tighten by hand. Compress the shock and slide a new washer and rubber insulator onto the bottom shock stud. Slide the bottom of the shock through the hole in the bracket on the drive axle. Install the seat, a new rubber insulator and new washer. Install the new nut and tighten by hand. Tighten the top nut and compress the rubber insulators until they are the same size as the washers. Tighten the bottom nut until the insulators are the same size as the washers. Repeat this process for the other shock absorber.
Install the front wheels and lug nuts. Snug down the lug nuts. Raise the front of the F-250, remove the jack stands and lower the F-250 to the ground.
Late-model Front Shocks
Perform the procedure as in step 1 above.
Locate the upper shock mount. This shock has a nut attached to the shock on the underside of the bracket. Hold this nut with a wrench, while using another wrench to remove the top nut. Note that this mount has the same arrangement of washers and rubber insulators as the one described above. Move to the lower shock mount located side of the lower control arm. This mount uses a nut, bolt and washer to hold the shock to the lower control arm. Hold the bolt with a wrench and use a ratchet and socket to remove the nut and washer. Compress the shock and remove it.
Install a new washer and rubber insulator on top of the shock. Slide the shock up into the upper mounting bracket. Install a new rubber insulator, washer and nut over the top of the shock. Tighten the nut hand tight. Line the bottom of the shock up with a hole in the lower control arm. Install the bolt washer and nut. Use a torque wrench to torque the nut to 70 foot-pounds. Move to the upper mount and torque the nut to 40 foot-pounds. Repeat this procedure for the other shock.
Repeat the procedure outlined in step 4 above.
Place wheel chocks in front of the front wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels. Use a jack to raise the rear of the F-250 and support it with jack stands. Finish removing the lug nuts and rear wheels.
Use a wrench and ratchet and socket to remove the nut, bolt and washer from the upper shock mount. Remove the nut, bolt and washer from the lower shock mount. Pull the shock out of the lower shock mount and remove the shock. Repeat this procedure for the other shock.
Place the the shock in the upper mount and install the bolt, washer and nut. Slide the bottom of the shock into the lower shock mount and install the bolt, washer and nut. Use a torque wrench to tighten the upper and lower nuts to 60 foot-pounds. Repeat this procedure for the other shock. Note that the mounting arrangement for rear shocks is the same on all years.
Install the rear wheels and lug nuts. Raise the F-250, remove the jack stands and lower it to the ground. Finish tightening the lug nuts.
- "Haynes Ford Pickups and Expedition 1997 through 2003"; Jay Storer and John H. Haynes; 2006
- "Haynes Ford Pickups and Bronco 1973 through 1979"; Dennis Yamaguchi and J. H. Haynes; 1991
- Note that the front shock absorbers will come with new insulators, washers and nuts.
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Wrench set
- Ratchet and socket set
Robert Bayly, based in Apple Valley, California, began writing in 2010, his "how to" articles can be found on eHow. With more than 15 years in the auto industry, Bayly has been an auto and diesel mechanic, service writer and parts manager. He received certificates from Pontiac (parts system), Cat Diesel (engine service), Saab and Fiat (parts- warranty system).