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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It all went fairly well, but I was disappointed with the working space GM provided for R&Ring that top nut on the front shocks. On the left side, I could have used an impact wrench to remove the top nut, but there was no way to snake it through on the right side. I had to use the air ratchet, plus WD-40, plus the oxy-acetylene torch, plus a lot of alternating between CW and CCW in order to get the top nuts off. Even though the van is very clean, the threads on the shafts were rusty. The old shocks had GM PNs on them, so they were probably original from 1987.

I can't give a driving report yet because I went straight into exhaust work after shocks, then to shower and bed after that.

Highlights:

1) Removing original nuts sucked due to lack of accesss for impact tools or even a saw to cut off the shaft above the nut.

2) Front KYBs are longer in the body than the OE units. I was a little bit alarmed, so I went to KYB's website and verified that RockAuto sent me the right fronts. They did.

3) The rubber bushings that KYB provided did not squish to my satisfaction before the nut was bottomed out, so I reused the best-condition OE bushings on the top side in place of the KYB units to get more squish. That worked. I recommend doing the same, and possibly reusing all four original bushings if your situation calls for it.

4) The air ratchet was the best available tool for tightening the top nut. I still don't feel like I got that nut tight enough because I didn't get that satisfying slowing down feeling when you know that everything is tight. But the bushings are squished out to the edge of the washers and the threaded portion above the nut shows that the nut is bottomed out on its thread.

5) The KYB fronts have more droop than the originals, requiring me to use a floor jack and large socket to push the bottom flanges into place so that I could get the bolts started. I hope that these shocks have enough space for compression even though they have more droop.

6) The rears were a cakewalk compared to the fronts. On the first rear, I removed the band that compressed the shock before taking it under the van to install. Compressing it back into place requires some force. On the second rear, I took the shock with the band under the van, installed the upper bolt loosely, then removed the band and slipped the bottom bolt through when it reached that point of extension. Now, that didn't really go as smoothly as it sounds, but it is easier to hold the shock at a certain amount of compression than to compress it from full droop. YMMV, but that trick worked better than compressing manually from droop. A cleverly placed ratchet strap would probably be the hot bananas.
 

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2005 Astro Cargo 4WD
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I haven't replaced shocks on a RWD but from what I've seen on the web the best way to remove the top nut is to get a 9/16 socket and wrench on it and rock it back and forth till the stud breaks off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't replaced shocks on a RWD but from what I've seen on the web the best way to remove the top nut is to get a 9/16 socket and wrench on it and rock it back and forth till the stud breaks off.
I'm not clear on what you mean. Do you mean alternately tighten and loosen until it breaks? It seems like it would take a long time to break the shock shaft. Or are you talking about bending it forward and backward until it breaks?

The tool looks helpful. I don't recall if the KYB shock shaft has a double D or a hex. There's no way that that little double D was going to hang on during the removal process. It took a lot of fighting to remove, and that little double D would have rounded off.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Love the videos that get to the moment you'd like to see exactly how they do it.. and they STOP filming!
8:10.. "there's no real good camera angle to show you this on camera.. so we'll do this off camera".. LOL
Never fails!
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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When I did my rear KYB's... I found I could leave strap in place and jack rear to accommodate.
The other side I used a bottle jack to compress shock and line up hole.
Yes they can be pushed by hand, but difficult when you are underneath.
Always cut strap AFTER upper half is mounted
I would assume a bottle jack under front shock would make for simple install as well.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Product


Here's my non-stock length KYB rear shock install on my lifted van..
 
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Yeah, the bending the nut/bolt till it breaks off is the way I did it. Took about five minutes. Put a deep socket on there. Bend it as much as you can and then turn socket. Repeat till it finally snaps off.

Interesting take on the bushings. I started a thread wondering if I had compressed enough. At the time, I didn't know I had tightened the nut all the way down. I read that the torque spec is 15 lbs. I guessed at it. The bushings still aren't compressed out to the edges, but I will live with it. If there is any issues, then Energy has some bushings that should work.
 

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I was looking at the sway bar end links that I have. It looks like the bushings could be used on these shocks. They are roughly the diameter while being taller.
Product Bicycle part Cylinder Engineering Circle
 

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I used the sway bar end link bushings in place of the original bushings on the top side. The shocks were already installed and I didn't feel like dropping them to replace the bottom one. These pics are of the replacement Dorman bushing on the left and the sway bar bushing on the right.

Automotive tire Wood Grey Circle Gas
Automotive tire Wood Auto part Pattern Electric blue
 
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