How to Replace Dodge Dakota Shocksby Chris Moore
Its shock absorbers keep your Dodge Dakota truck riding smoothly. If you feel excessive banging while driving, you likely need to change the shocks, and it's a good idea to change them on both wheels at the same end. The shock absorbers used on the front wheels are slightly larger than the ones on rear wheels. The exact method of changing the front and rear shocks can also vary.
Raise either the front or rear end of the truck--whichever end you're changing the shocks on--and remove the wheels on that end.
Support the control arm at the outer end--if you're removing the front shocks--by raising a floor jack under it. Use the floor jack under the axle tube to support the rear axle for a rear shock; support the axle's weight without raising the axle.
Remove the fasteners connecting the shock's upper end with a wrench, then the lower fasteners. On a front shock, disconnect the stabilizer bar link from the lower control arm by removing its nut before removing the shock's lower fasteners.
Remove the shock absorber from the vehicle. Given its size, you may need an assistant to help remove a front shock absorber.
Extend the replacement shock absorber (rear shocks only) as far as it will go and install new rubber grommets into the shock's eyes if it does not already have them installed.
Install the new shock absorber in place and apply the fasteners. Tighten the bolts for a rear shock absorber to 75 foot-pounds.
Reconnect the wheels and lower the truck once you've changed the shocks on both wheels. Tighten the mounting fasteners for the front shocks, tightening the upper nuts to 75 foot-pounds, the lower nuts to 60 foot-pounds and the stabilizer bar link to 125 foot-pounds.
- When installing the front shock, be sure to install the fasteners so that the bolt head faces the rear of the truck.
Items you will need
- Jack stands
- Tire iron
- "Dodge Durango & Dakota: 2004-2006 (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual)"; John Wegmann; 2008
- suv suspension image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com