Front shock absorbers removal

Chassis, Suspension and wheels

  1. SixBanger

    SixBanger Well-Known Member

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    Is it easy to do to replace the front shock absorbers? I have not recently been busy with the suspension, but should be loosened the torsion springs? If I look like this, the damper is locked between the hanging plates.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to remove and replace shocks without doing anything else.
     
  3. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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  4. 89.Fifth

    89.Fifth Well-Known Member

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    In theory it's very straight forward. In reality they old ones are so rusty and frozen in place that it's not worth it to do yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, remember that the new one has a strap on it (DON'T CUT THE STRAP UNTIL IT'S INSTALLED)

    Trying to compress that shock by hand to install it is damn near impossible.
     
    Justwondering and jasperjacko like this.
  5. lowbudget

    lowbudget Well-Known Member

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    Start soaking the nuts with penetrating oil a few days before you start.
     
  6. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    WINNER! lol.

    Unless you're Popeye, then you're not getting them to compress easily.
     
  7. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I’ve uttered a few, err a lot of, unmentionable words while working on those front FMJ shocks.
    Note: ’75-81 B & R body front shocks are very close to FMJ's.

    The (top) stud/nut is exposed to the elements and can be a bear to remove.

    There is an official tool that goes over top shock stud. You are to use an end wrench to twist the nut while holding the stud stationary.
    A small socket/socket wrench works OK to hold stud still (in place of the special tool) . . . but 98% of the time – the nut ain’t gowna budge (because of rust).
    When the 2% of the time doesn’t work, my go to is a nut cracker . . . but sometimes that doesn’t get the job done.
    Tool Nut Cracker.PNG

    Other methods I’ve used are:
    - Grind down one flat of nut as close to threads as possible and use a socket (doesn’t work very well).
    - Grind down the entire surface of stud and nut (takes a lot of time – not in a good working area to begin with.
    - lastly, Remove the shock with the top plate as an assembly, then either place shock in a vice and unscrew or use a Sawzall and cut end off through the rubber bushing.
    There are four bolts that hold the top place to K-frame. You can either do this with upper control arm still attached (but upper ball joint disconnected from spindle) or remove upper control arm from top plate. I think leaving the control arm attached is a lot faster.
    If you disconnect the upper control arm from top plate, the car will need an alignment.
    If you remove the plate with arm attached, the alignment will not be affected – except for torsion bar adjustment (if loosened).

    The lower nut can be a problem – but not to the extent of a problem the top nut is. Also, you can grab ahold of the lower shock part (which generally damages the shock beyond reuse, when you do) to assist loosening the lower nut. There is nothing (else) to grab ahold of on when loosening the top nut.



    I hadn’t put this to action yet, but I think I might have a cure for future front shock replacements. Once replaced, go find some rubber stud protectors and place on top both studs (upper and lower) with enough grease to coat the threads, first.
    008236714272lg.jpg
    That way rust will NOT create new curse words, the next time a person changes shocks.
    Note: I hadn’t tried this yet, but suspect it should work.
    BudW
     
  8. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    I have a inline cutoff wheel that makes quick work of rusty nuts!
     
  9. jasperjacko

    jasperjacko Well-Known Member

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    I put kyb gas-a-just on my car, and it was a pain. they didn't have straps, they had twisted like bailing wire that I couldn't leave on for fear of ruining the bushings. These guys are right, it took A LOT! of strength to compress these and get them in. The kyb's have way too much pressure in them. After install, my whole car sat an inch higher. They said that's impossible, but they're wrong, it does. Grrr!
     
  10. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I have the KYB's in my car also and they didn't have any straps. Almost killed myself putting them in WITHOUT scratching the control arms or the shocks. Kicked myself for not putting the shocks on BEFORE putting the lower control arms back on. Would have been much, much easier.

    One method that sometimes works for shocks that use studs is, put a deep well socket on the nut and a long extension on the socket and then bend back and forth a few times. In most cases, the stud will break off just below the nut and you're home free. Have used that method (where possible) for eons. One of those things I learned 30+ years ago from a veteran technician. Back then I couldn't even spell veteran technician, now I are one, lol.

    I actually put caps on the studs, but for appearance instead of rust prevention.
     
  11. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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    Usually just use a dremel and cut thru the nut if rusted bad.
     
  12. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Semi off topic but,,,,,,,,,,,you haven't lived until you've change rear shocks on a Crown Vic or Town Car (pre-parallel 4-link rear suspension). The shock stud is on top of the frame crossmember a few inches inboard of the wheel well and about an inch from the trunk floor. What the bleep were they thinking?
    th?id=OIP.jpg
     
  13. 7T8 Custom

    7T8 Custom Well-Known Member

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    Job security for you and more gray hairs for you.
     
  14. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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    Kinda like the newer ram 1500 rear shocks. You have to remove plastic wheel liners and then need a special wrench to hold the top nut on the shock. Why they didn`t use the nut with the stop on them like they did on older years.
     
  15. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    A good idea - and worthy to be tried.

    I don't know that my plan will work (grease, covered by a cap). I was only thinking out loud (but I think it will).

    That said, placing caps over shock studs, A/C evaporator case studs, etc., can save a pound of skin . . .
    BudW
     
  16. SixBanger

    SixBanger Well-Known Member

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    Guys Thanks for lots of information!

    I was thinking to order a set of KYB. I like that the KYB shocks should increase riding height. Here we have a lot of speed bumps.. But it would be nice if the installation was easier. Are there shocks available (Rockauto preference) with those straps? Or is it with KYB 'easier' to remove torsion springs?
     
  17. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    What do a set of front KYB shocks run for over there? I've got two used ones in my garage you can have for the price of shipping. If you're interested I'll pull them out and post photos.
     
  18. SixBanger

    SixBanger Well-Known Member

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    Besides the dampers I am looking for other parts for the car.

    Like some rubbers for the stabilizer bar bushing.

    The strange thing is that the measured diameter of the rod is 25.5 mm. while only 28 (1-3 / 32 ") and 29 mm (1-1 / 8") sets are for sale. Would the bar not be original. Because a rubber is currently torn and fits badly.
     
  19. SixBanger

    SixBanger Well-Known Member

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    Hey Duke5A. I am looking for KYB 343138 GR-2 / Excel-G for example. I doesn't know the condition of your dampers. But I have a prefer to fit a pare of new ones because I order multiply parts at once. Otherwise I would have to pay twice to customs fees here in NL.
     
  20. volare 77

    volare 77 Well-Known Member

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    can you post a pic of the bushings?