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How To: Front Shock Replacement Second Generation Explorer/Mountaineer/Sport Trac


Towing Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
February 2, 2006
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City, State
North East Arkansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 F150 4x4
This is EASY! A few hours tops for a even novice. This took me less than 1 hour at no particular hurry and taking pictures as I went.

Begin by jacking up the front suspension, remove the wheels and tires, support the truck with jackstands.


With both tires removed, you'll be able to see the splash guard attached to the fender liner.


The splash guard is retained by barbed plastic keepers.


Slip your fingers behind the keepers and pull out on them.


Splash guard removed-


Now you can see the top of the shock stud. My shock stud nuts are 14mm. Hold the shock shaft with your hand and take the nut off the top.


If your nut is rusted on and won't budge, use some locking pliers and hold the top of the stud, then turn the nut.



To remove the bottom of the shock, there are two bolts. I believe the factory bolts are 10mm on top and the nut is 13mm, at least that's what mine are.

From the top:


The bottom:


With those out, the shock should come right out. You may have to compress it some to get it loose depending on how good of shape your shocks are in.

Now, some shock edumication:

My shocks have shoulders on the top studs:


Each shock came with two washers, one had a larger hole than the other. The one with the larger hole is meant to go to the bottom of the stud, then the rubber bushing with the stepped end up.

See how this washer doesn't go all the way down, but the bottom one did?


The stud goes through the shock tower and the bushings like this. Notice how the bushings have the "step" facing together so they go in the hole in the shock tower.


So assembled through the shock tower as pictured above, you tighten the nut until you can feel the washer draw up tight on the shoulder on the shock stud. Otherwise, the shock can work loose as the bushings wear.

Install the two lower bolts, I always but the bolts through the top with the nuts on the bottom. Tighten them up pretty tight.

Shock and splash guard installed:


Easy enough, right?

As always, comments/questions/improvements welcome.

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Elite In Memoriam
January 17, 2001
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT
Well done.

I have found it much easier to simply cut off the shock rather than unbolt the top nut. A Sawzall and 1 minute and its done.