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2nd Gen Shock installation write up - All four corners

Hartman

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I've had a number of people e-mailing me and PMing me asking questions about how to change shocks. I've also witnessed a few members on this board pay outrageous amounts of money to get 4 shocks installed. For that reason, I am writing this to help those that want to save a bit of money. Here we go...

Installation is on a 1995 XLT 4WD.

REAR:

Removing Old Shocks

Swapping out the shocks in the rear does not require you to lift the truck off the ground. It DOES require you to lower the spare. After the spare is lowered, you are ready to begin.

1. Remove two shock bolts on the top of the shock.

7134shockinstallation.jpg


The nuts of the bolts are on the top of the reinforcement plate, so you have to reach up and over the plates to gain access to the bolts. This is why the spare is lowered. You should have plenty of room on one side, the other side is a bit trickier because you have to reach over farther. The bolts are 13MM. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BUST ANY OF THE MOUNTING PLATES, or else you're up a creek.

7134shockinstallation2.jpg


2. Once you have the top bolts removed, it is time to remove the bottom shock bolt. This bolt may be a little tough to break loose because it may be rusted. I had to spray the heck out of mine with PB Blaster.

7134shockinstallation3.jpg


The larger bolt is 18MM and the smaller bolt is 15MM. If you are using hand tools, use a crescent wrench on the 18MM bolt with a rachet on the 15MM bolt. I used a piece of 1/2 inch of steel pipe slipped over the rachet handle for leverage. After you break the bolt loose and remove it, the shock will extend to full length, so make sure you have your body parts out of the way so they don't get crushed. Discard the shock and repeat the process on the other side.

Putting in new shocks

Most shocks come with a string or zip tie on them to keep them compressed for easy installation. If yours don't, compress them and put your own string on them. First secure them with the bottom bolt, then cut the string and guide the top of the shock into position while it is expanding. Secure the top bolts.

FRONT:

Removing Old Shocks

The front is just a tad more difficult than the rear. It can be done with the tires kept on, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you jack the front of the truck up, secure it on jackstands, and remove the front tires. It will make things a whole lot easier.

1. Remove the shroud that covers the top shock bolt. Some brisk pulling on this should pop out the clips that hold it in. Lay it aside.

2. Remove the first bolt on the top. It should be fairly easy to remove. Then, with a crescent wrench, remove the bolt after the initial one. Spray this bolt with PB Blaster or a penetrant of your choice and let it sit for a while. This bolt can be extremely tough to break loose. On one side of my truck, it was very hard to make a turn on the bolt, it took a lot of force. Just keep at it.

7134shockinstallation4.jpg


When the bolts are off, remove the bushing if it is still attached and move to the bottom.

3. The bottom bolts for the front are fairly simple, but you have to be careful. Depending on how old your truck is, this area can be very weak. If this area snaps, again you are pretty much screwed.

7134shockinstallation5.jpg


The nuts are 13MM, similar to the rear top bolts. Again, take care when removing these so you don't break the mounts. When those are removed, shimme the shock out the bottom and discard it. Put the shroud back on. Repeat the process on the other side.

Putting in new shocks

Secure the bottom bolts, cut the string and guide the top of the shock through the hole in the mount and bolt the the top down.

I hope this helps some people save some money.

Hartman
 



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Hartman

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Glad to help. :D
 






white96x

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great write up-you'll probably want to put this in the "useful threads" forum.
 






tbomb

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hartman, thats awesome. im actually installing new shocks in 2 weeks :) this procedure should be the same on a 98, right?...err, close enough anway, prolly.
 






taxx

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The front is just a tad more difficult than the rear. It can be done with the tires kept on, but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you jack the front of the truck up, secure it on jackstands, and remove the front tires. It will make things a whole lot easier.

Once you do it a couple times and feel out where the bolts are and know what size they are you can easily do it with the tires on in half the time. But yes, it is easier to change the shocks with the tires off if you have never done it before, but I find it easy with them on. Think I changed both my fronts in 20 minutes a couple weeks ago.
 






nnnick

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thank you so much for doing that. I think i may be ordering new shocks today now. :)
 






jagarundi

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Good, Cyrstal clear info

This info is right on time. I'm going to install rear shocks on my 1998 XLT AWD this weekend.


Thanks a lot.
:)
 












mikeh

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Hartman, great writeup. Just did mine this past weekend. A couple thing different on the 98.

The back were cake done in 30 minutes.

The front were a bit of a pain. On mine I had to hold the bottom with an 18mm wrench while I used a deep well on the top bolt. Only one bolt on the top on mine.

The only problem I had was getting them torqued to 35lbs. While putting them in the shock wanted to spin. On my new Monroe Sensatrac's there was nothing to hold onto to stop the spinning. I tried a pipe wrench on the first one but was tearing into the shock so I stopped. Then I put a little straight jaw pliers on the bottom and I think I got them to about 23 ft. lbs. Those little rubber pieces really compress down as you tighten the bolt.

The end on one of my shocks wasn't pressed in right and I had to return it for another new shock. Kind of irritating having to run back to the auto-parts a different autoparts store because the one I bought it at only stocked two which I bought that morning. :banghead:

By the way you really have to take the front wheels off and put it up on jack stands to do the job. I'm happy to be done with it. I figure I'll check the bolt in a few weeks to see if it needs any tightening.

mhill
 






97BlackX5.0

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how do you like the mono max shocks
 






MOUSIN

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Thanks!!! This thread was a great help!! I feel like Super Woman after installing my own shocks!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!
 






devildoy45

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i just did my rear shocks today, and it looked like the passenger side has two shocks. should i replace the other one too???
 






ExplorerDMB

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are you talking about the rear? If you are and the shock isn't exactly verical - it's somewhat diagonal and bolts to the differential and to the frame? If you are - that is your lateral shock, this is for when you put it in gear and back into park - the differntial doens't "clunk" really bad or jerk you around. It shoulnd't need to be replaced!

-Drew
 






devildoy45

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gotcha. btw, i installed pro comp es3000s and havent done the front yet. the back was pretty rusted and i was lucky nothing snapped off. does the front break easier than the rear? if it does, im probably better off taking it somewhere with a welder.

ps, i noticed that your rear sway bar is alot beefier than mine. what kind is yours?
 






gijoecam

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mikeh said:
The only problem I had was getting them torqued to 35lbs. While putting them in the shock wanted to spin. On my new Monroe Sensatrac's there was nothing to hold onto to stop the spinning. I tried a pipe wrench on the first one but was tearing into the shock so I stopped. Then I put a little straight jaw pliers on the bottom and I think I got them to about 23 ft. lbs. Those little rubber pieces really compress down as you tighten the bolt.

The perfect tool for that is one of those rubber strap wrenches. That's about the only good use I've ever found for them.

-Joe
 






97BlackX5.0

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i took mine off with wd-40 and hand tools... one of the front top studs did snap but it was on the old one... had no problem tightening the new ones down... the old shocks were oem's which meant they had been on there 133k miels
 






ions

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Is this the same on a 2001 ST? i just bought new shocks today and wanna put them on but have never tryed it. Thanks.
 






Hartman

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Yes it is.
 



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No1dan2001

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Once again awesome. I need to change my shocks, but didnt have the money to do them.. If i had money, ive give it to you for postin this....(I dont though)
 






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