Replacing front shocks?

Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby mattsrevenge » May 21st 2009, 3:43pm

*bump*

searched a few and this thread seems most fitting to my situation.

front shocks.
i dont have access to air tools, nor anyhting besides a propane torch.
rears where not too bad (96 oem-ouch) i was able too complete with some nectar of the gods (oil) and 15/18 sockets, box wrenches last night in under an hour.

i have a saw-zall (or however/whatever we want to call em) but the metal blade i had wasnt long enough. i went to lowes and purchased a 8" metal blade, should be long enough. i also picked up a cheap (small) grinding wheel to place on my electric drill as a possibility (6$ so if nothing works im not out much) to get into the a arm hole (upper control). needless to say, i have yet to try out my blade/wheel today (about 530 i will be) but didnt know if there where any other tricks that one could think of w/o air or oxy/accet tools.

the top bolt spins the entire inner shaft of the oem's-

im thinking that i may need to run to sears and get a crows foot or 2 if this fails!

pre thanks,

matt
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby toddb » May 21st 2009, 4:54pm

When my mechanic replaced my front shocks he had the same problem with getting the top nut off. He fired up his torch and cut the nut off by splitting the nut vertically and then popped it off with a pry bar. HINT keep lots of water around as the plastic will catch on fire.

OH I see now that you said w/o a torch. good luck. I would imagine that cuting the rod as you suggested would work but not sure how hard the steel would be. maybe a couple of vice grips to stop the rod from spinning, but there is not much room between the springs. cutting the nut with a die grinder might work but using your drill - can you say forever?

I would suggest you take it to someone with a torch and have it done for you, you can still drive it back home with out shocks but be careful.

ok and now I read entire thread it looks like it is easy to snap it off with a deep socket and and the metal fatigue of prying it back and forth
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby mattsrevenge » May 21st 2009, 5:24pm

good point on the mobility to a torch!

i was reading other places that folks have tried snapping the bolt off the top of the shock with tools- also a good idea.
using a deep socket and a long handle ratchet.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby mattsrevenge » May 22nd 2009, 7:00pm

sucsess.

used 1/2 drive 15mm deep socket and ratchet to bend the top bolts to the point of failure.
the 1st one i tried, i must have fought it for a few mins, but once i fig it out, the driver side was 4x easier and 2x as fast to snap off.
trick is to use the angle of the ratchet to your advantage- angle the ratchet to the back of the fender well (rear of vehicle) and bend downward and somewhat to you, you will find the slot on the upper control arm is wide length ways (front to back) but narrow the other way (side to side), i was able to get a pretty good angle on it, then use the wrench to turn the nut a little until you get a different 'bent' angle on it and bend again. my 2nd one took only about 8 or 9 bends until it snapped, but the other side i had the wrench perpendicular to the vehicle and couldnt get a high of an angle until i figured this out!

anyway, this method i would recommend using old or replaceable tools (ie, craftsman) i was worried id kill my ratchet or crack the socket (but didnt, no dmg to either) but idk how other tools could fare with this method. also highly recommend using 1/2 drive, the socket and ratchet are built to take more than 3/8.

i almost replaced the front shocks in less time than the rears with this method. to re-insert the new shock i compressed the shock by hand and inserted the shock and allowed it to run its travel to find the upper bolt hole, then pushed up to insert the 2 lower bolts.

have fun, besides taking the front wheels off, very little else was needed to complete this job!

matt
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upper shock bolt.jpg
note the angle of the blue handle, aim here to bend the upper bolt from the shock, then use the ratcht to twist the bolt/shaft around 45º+ (tighten or loosen) and bend again using this angle again
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby The Mexician » June 17th 2009, 5:59pm

Hey, I'm new to the site. My 89 is on jack stands right now. I'm replacing everything that moves. I used a 90 degree drill with a cut off wheel for the the top bolt. 4 to 8 min. Done!
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby astro355 » June 17th 2009, 9:03pm

An impact socket and hammer is what I use. Those rusted studs are pretty weak and break when to put the socket on the nut and hit the socket on the side with the hammer.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby bkzxclusive » January 23rd 2010, 9:31am

This might be a dumb question but, after breaking the top nut, i will need another bolt to bolt it up correct? If so where do i get this bolt from?
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby Astroplane » February 1st 2010, 8:39am

That's a reasonable question. The replacement shock includes a new nut. The 'bolt' is actually the top of the new shock.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby jeff's93astro » February 1st 2010, 9:15am

i've never had to cut the top bolt off. all i do is the day before spray bolt with PB blaster nest day break the nut loose then it'll come off by hand and thats 3 different sets on 3 different vehichles. if it means anything they where all :chevy:
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby aztecemperor » February 21st 2010, 5:14pm

i have a 95 astro van awd. thankfully i just have to remove one bolt from the bottom and one from the top and walah shock is out and in goes the new one. I have monroe shocks in the front with sensatrac technology and monroe shocks in the rear and they come spring loaded. great suspension. onyl bad thing is that rear shocks make a bit of noise but no biggy.. suspension feels great




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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby workinVan » February 28th 2010, 9:41pm

thank god for oxy-acetylene
no room for cutoff wheel and no sawzall on hand
and bending stuff till it breaks is boring
i had fun starting my truck on fire, but my shocks were so old and rusted there was no other way
monroe sensatraks are quite nice
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby astroturf » March 1st 2010, 12:19am

workinVan wrote:thank god for oxy-acetylene
no room for cutoff wheel and no sawzall on hand
and bending stuff till it breaks is boring
i had fun starting my truck on fire, but my shocks were so old and rusted there was no other way
monroe sensatraks are quite nice


Glad it went well. What kind of shocks did you use? Jim
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby Leeann_93 » March 1st 2010, 2:49am

astroturf wrote:
workinVan wrote:monroe sensatraks are quite nice


Glad it went well. What kind of shocks did you use? Jim
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby astroturf » March 1st 2010, 3:08am

Leeann_93 wrote:
astroturf wrote:
workinVan wrote:monroe sensatraks are quite nice


Glad it went well. What kind of shocks did you use? Jim


Thanks Leeann. Jim
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby rccorwin » March 1st 2010, 3:10am

I have a '99 GMC Safari AWD.

What did you use to get to the nut and bolt on the top of the shock on the front axle? It looks pretty tight to get in there with any air tools and mine are pretty rusty.

I changed my 2000 Safari RWD. The fronts were not to bad, just cut the shock rod and out they come. The AWD is not as easy looking.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby Big_kid » March 1st 2010, 3:21am

Nice timing on reviving this thread. I ordered a set of Monroes all around last night. I'd never heard of the faigue trick before, I'll keep it in mind.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby ihatemybike » March 1st 2010, 12:56pm

rccorwin wrote:I have a '99 GMC Safari AWD.

What did you use to get to the nut and bolt on the top of the shock on the front axle? It looks pretty tight to get in there with any air tools and mine are pretty rusty.

I recently swapped Grumpy's stock 314k mile front shocks with some JY ones. I accessed the top bolt by dislodging the splash shield in the wheel well. A combo wrench and socket/ratchet were used and it came apart quite easily.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby astro355 » March 5th 2010, 4:07pm

They do make a shock nut removal tool also.

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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby Astroplane » March 6th 2010, 7:28am

astro355 wrote:They do make a shock nut removal tool also.

I've used these for years and they work well. The ones in the pic and mine are made in U.S. and hold up to shop use. The 2 inserts have different configurations on either end to fit most applications.
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Re: Replacing front shocks?

Postby astroturf » March 6th 2010, 3:39pm

Astroplane wrote:
astro355 wrote:They do make a shock nut removal tool also.

I've used these for years and they work well. The ones in the pic and mine are made in U.S. and hold up to shop use. The 2 inserts have different configurations on either end to fit most applications.


Duly noted. On my list of must haves. Never liked the idea of putting a socket on the nut and smacking it back & forth. Thanks Guys. Jim
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