Truck shocks are an important part of your vehicle. They help to keep the truck level while driving, and also absorb some of the bumps in the road. If you notice that your shock absorbers are worn out or leaking fluid, they will need to be replaced soon. This article is going to provide step-by-step instructions on how to replace a shock absorber on a truck.
Before going to step-by-step instructions let’s talk about how to identify that you need to replace your shock absorber?
You May Need To Replace Your Shock Absorbers If You Notice:
- If a Vibration comes through the steering wheel while driving and seeing that your vehicle has an unevenly-loaded cargo bed behind the cab, chances are good that you need new shocks for smooth riding.
- If your arms are sore after making frequent trips over bumps in the road with heavy loads like gravel, dirt, or sandbags on board, then it’s time for fresh dampers inside of those air springs.
- You don’t have enough clearance when driving over bumps in the road
- The truck is bouncing too much and doesn’t seem safe for the passengers inside of it.
- There are fluid leaks under or around your vehicle which could indicate a worn-out shock absorber. In order to fix this, you’ll need to take care of the leak first before replacing the shocks themselves.
The best way to know how much life is left in your shocks is when you start hearing a squeaky or clunky noise from the suspension as it cycles. This sounds like metal-to-metal contact and means that there’s not enough lubrication on the bushings anymore between the shock cylinder shafts and their corresponding mounts. You can get a similar kind of sound if the truck ball joint is damaged or worn out. If the sound comes from the ball joint you may have to replace the ball joints. You can easily replace the ball joint using a ball joint press or without a using ball joint press, either way, is perfect.
If any one of these symptoms sounds familiar then go ahead and follow our step-by-step instructions on how to replace a rear shock absorber on a truck!
How To Replace Shocks On A Truck – Step By Step
Step 1. Purchase new shock absorbers:
after recognizing that you have to replace your shock absorber first buy a new shock absorber that is compatible with your vehicle. If you are not sure it is wise to consult with an auto mechanic or your nearest local auto parts shop.
Note: You can purchase identical shocks but you also have a good option to upgrade your shock system.
There are 4 types of shock absorber upgrade options.
Coil shock absorber:
This type is best if you want to alter the height of your truck. This type of shock is designed with a coiled spring, which is wrapped around the body of the shock to support the vehicle’s weight and helps to control the movement of the suspension.
This type of shock is manufactured and designed with a single cylinder and divided into two sections. one is used for fluid and another is for gas. This type is used as OEM on vehicles such as the GMC Sierra and others. It is a good option to get an upgrade if your vehicle is equipped with a twin-tube shock.
Strut or Twin-tube shocks:
As the name implies, this type of shock is made up of two tubes – one is inner and another is outer. Inner cylinder or tube is where the piston and shafts are located and move up and down. The outer tube store the hydraulic fluid. This type is best for off-road vehicles.
This type of shock is filled with two components. One is filled with fluid and another portion is filled with air or nitrogen gas. The gas and fluid are used for a quick rebound when the shock moves up and down. When the compressed gas contacts the oil, causing resistance and dampening spring action.
Now that you know which type of shocks you need, let’s talk about how to change them.
Step 2. Process of Removing the old shocks
This can be done by jacking up the truck with a jack for lifted trucks and removing both tires that are on the opposite side of where you are working. Make sure that you are wearing gloves to protect your hands, as well as tools such as a ratchet set or socket wrench to remove bolts.
Next, take off the tire and replace it with a jack so that you can raise it up on one side of your vehicle.
Remove bolts from the old shock tower
You will find most of the vehicle bolts in the trunk area. The bolts hold the shock tower onto your vehicle. Use a ratchet wrench to remove these bolts in order to take off the old shocks and replace them with new ones. Turn counterclockwise to loosen the shocks. If necessary you can use WD-40 to loosen up the bolts so that they can be removed.
Detach the shocks from the suspension
Once you have removed the bolts, then use a ratchet wrench to loosen up the nuts on top of the suspension and disengage from the bolt. Also, Remove any brake connections to remove the old shocks.
Remove the shocks from the bolts
Next, loosen all of the bolts holding down each shock absorber with an adjustable wrench so that they will come off easily. You will want to support the weight of your vehicle while doing this as well as prevent it from rolling off onto one side or another. After loosening all bolts, use a screwdriver for leverage to pry them out and pull them away from their brackets one at a time. Once all the bolts have been removed, use either your hand or another tool (such as pliers) in order to push down on the spring while at an angle when pulling out each shock absorber.
Install the new shocks in reverse order of removal:
Once all four old shock absorbers have been removed from the vehicle, it’s time to install the replacement ones. The process is basically a repeat of how you took them off except that this time when loosening and removing each bolt, make sure they are all facing upward so as not to obstruct the new shocks and make it difficult to remove them.
To install the new shock you may need another person to lift the suspension back up so that you can place the new shock in the right place.
The installation of each shock absorber is done by first aligning one end with a slot in the suspension control arm, then pushing or pulling on that side until you can get it into place so both ends are firmly seated inside their slots. Now use your hands or pliers if you need to, to twist the other end of the shock absorber into its slot.
Once all four shocks are in place and firmly seated, you can start tightening them with your ratchet wrench just like when removing them.
But before tightening the bolts, recheck the specifications for torque settings to ensure they are all secure. The torque specifications for replacing shocks on a truck vary depending on what type of vehicle you have.
Tighten each bolt a little at a time going back and forth from one side of the vehicle to the other until they are all as tight as they can be.
Once all of these steps are completed, you will have successfully replaced your truck shocks.
Now enjoy driving in smooth comfort with every bump smoothed out by a set of well-maintained shocks!
Brief of How To Replace Rear Shocks on a Truck
The process of replacing truck rear shocks starts by removing them with an 18mm socket wrench. Remove any mounting bolts while holding down pressure on top of each bolt head so they don’t fly off into another part of the engine compartment (or worse yet, injure someone!). Be careful not to use too much force here because you’re flirting with danger if one falls through some sheet metal – which can happen very easily!
Drive the bolts out of their mounts with a punch and hammer, then unscrew them completely. The shock should now drop to the floor without being held in place by anything. You could also use an impact wrench if you have one handy – but be careful not to strip any threads on your mounting bolts!
After removing all four shocks from the truck’s frame, it will need some time for “recovery” before new ones can go back on (to let metal parts cooldown). Whenever possible, try to avoid driving after you’ve removed old shocks because this puts more strain on other suspension components that are still good. If someone has driven around already since you replaced or installed new rear shocks though, don’t worry: just make sure to jack up the back of your truck and let it sit for a few hours before driving again.
The new shocks go onto the mount points exactly like how you removed them, using care not to over-tighten or strip anything in the process. If they didn’t come with their own mounting hardware (bolts, nuts), then use what came off when you took out the old ones. When installing shock absorbers on rear mounts there are usually two bolts that attach each one – so make sure not to mix these up! Once all four new shocks have been mounted securely, start tightening everything down and replace any other parts as needed until your suspension is ready for another mile-long journey around town!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a truck shock absorber?
A shock absorber is one component of an automotive suspension system that cushions springs from along travel over bumps and uneven surfaces by dissipating energy (kinetic) through hydraulic fluid as it moves through valves within the device. Shock Absorbers dampen vibrations caused when large forces act perpendicularly to the direction of travel.
How long will it take to replace the external and internal rear shocks on a 2003 Dodge 1500?
It will take about an hour to replace the shocks on a 2003 Dodge 1500. It’s important that you do not try and shortcut these instructions or risk damaging your vehicle even more than it already is.
How often should my truck shock be replaced?
According to most experts, there are two main things that contribute to how long a set of shocks last: what type they are (gas-charged vs. air) and how much weight it carries over time. Generally speaking, gas-charged shocks can last as many as 50,000 miles before needing replacement while some types of air shocks may need replacing after just 15,000 miles if they carry heavy loads all day every day. The best thing for drivers who want their vehicles to feel like new is to replace shocks at least once every 50,000 miles.
This article provides step-by-step instructions for replacing truck shocks. We recommend replacing your truck’s rear shocks as soon as they start feeling worn out or the ride height changes significantly from what it was when you first installed them. It is always important to tighten all bolts and recheck torque settings before proceeding, as doing so will ensure your project has been completed successfully!
Last Updated on May 27, 2022 by Rifen