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Trouble Changing Shocks


New Member
October 24, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Milwaukee, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Ford Explorer
After looking at guides here and other websites I decided to try replace my shocks my self.

On the front one I was unable to remove the inner mud guard. They appeared to be held in be nuts attached to screws. Turning the nuts causes the screw to turn along with it.

With the mud guard in the way I can't get a wrench around the top mount nut.



I also tried to see if I could loosen the bottom mount nut, but it seemed rusted on.


The nuts for the bottom mount for the back shocks also seemed rusted on.


The only nuts I could loosen were the the top ones for the back.

I sprayed PB blaster on all the nuts and let it soak for at least 15 minutes.

Any tips or suggestions?

It also would be helpful to know what size wrench is required for each nut.

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The nuts for the lower front mount is 18mm. At least it is on our X. Im betting you will break the front lower mount trying to get the nuts off. They do make bolt on lower mounts. They are in the help section. You jist drill/knock out the broken lower mount.

I always use air tools now. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway.


wow that's in sad shape, yeah the front lowers are likely to sheer right off as soon as you try to loosen them. You can try to heat them with a propane torch. The rear lowers are pretty stout even rusted like that, you will need air or a large breaker bar to break them loose.
As for the splash shield, you should be able to get the front top nut with it on. I have. If you can't try pulling the down with vise grips as you try to turn them. Again a large breaker bar & heat will help.
Here's the thread for the lower shock mounts. As stated in autozone or advanced or whatever in the help section....

Keep us posted. I am watching this thread closely because I will be doing my shocks soon. And Jason...that's what our northern trucks look like underneath after so many frigid, snowy winters. I think Noah's looks better than mine!

i just did mine today impacts make world of difference on shocks... more then likely your bolts/nuts will break during removal but anyways only thing i can say is lots pb blaster and just keep cranking the f*** out of it maybe try and find short peice of exhaust pipe or hollow pipe as breaker bar thats the next best thing

Mine look the same way that I just replaced. I was able to spray them down let them sit for a little while. then I heated them with a little hand torch and was able to break them free. if that don't work take a die grinder and cut the heads off and beat the bolts out

You should be able to get the top mount nut loose on the front with the fenderwell in there, just use an allen/hex key to hold the stud (there's a little hex recess in the top of the stud for an allen key) while turning the nut with a wrench, either open end or put the closed end on first before using the allen key.

Keep using PB Blaster on the lower front nut, and only use a 3/8" breaker bar with an 18mm to keep decent but not hard torque on it, and it will eventually come loose without breaking. You can always force it and snap it and then just buy the replacement mounts and drill the arm out to install, but it's less hassle to just take your time and loosen the nut without breaking it to keep the original stud.

The rears are Class 9.8/10.9 bolts so just use the biggest tools you can and they'll come off.

You might want to hit those front arms with a scraper and some sandpaper, and then some rust-preventative paint, before the rust gets any worse and eats them away.

I broke off both front lower studs. In retrospect, it seemed like they actually broke loose but snapped when I went further. I wish I had wirewheeled the exposed threads and put a ton of pb blaster on it... might have made the difference. If you have to do the replacement stud deal, be sure to use locktite. The arm side includes a nylon lock nut, but I'd suggest the locktite anyway. You should never have to undo this one.

i look at pictures like these and realize how nice the underside of mine is. good luck man!

Yea, you southern guys have no idea. Pretty sure mine is as rusty as the OP's, if not worse. Makes working on them a nonstop adventure.