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

by Arthur Heberger

If your 1998 Dodge Ram bounces excessively after a dip or bump in the road, it might be time for new shock absorbers. A light film of oil around the seal is okay, but if there's a lot of oil running or dripping from it, the seal has failed. Push down on the corner of the bumper. If there's not much resistance and the body moves up and down past its rest position more than three times, that's a sign of worn shocks. In 1998, the Dodge Ram had two types of front suspension: the link/coil suspension and the independent suspension.

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.

Tips

  • Shocks should be replaced in pairs. Replace both front shocks.
  • New shocks come with new washers, grommets and top nuts, but don't lose the lower bolt.
  • You do not have to remove the upper shock bracket on models with link/coil suspension.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Born in Connecticut, Arthur Heberger started writing how-to articles and reviews in 2009. He has over 20 years experience in the automotive field, is a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certified automotive technician and a Hunter Engineering certified alignment technician. Heberger received his automotive training at Technical Careers Institute in West Haven, Conn. and Hunter Engineering in Springfield, Mass.

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