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How to Change Your Truck Shocks

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Whether your rig is equipped with an air or spring suspension system, shocks play an essential role in creating the smoothest ride possible by absorbing and dissipating the energy caused by uneven pavement and other imperfections in the road. Over time, the piston in your shocks and its springs, washers, and sealing rings wear down, forcing your vehicle to take those dips at full force. When the bumps in the road start to hit harder or your truck rocks when you stop or accelerate, it’s time to replace those shocks with performance parts like those found in Jeep Wrangler shocks, Ford F150 shocks, Toyota Tacoma shocks, Suburban shocks and Silverado shocks.

Luckily, replacing shock absorbers is a straightforward process that is easily accomplished with a few simple hand tools. The one exception here is a suspension system with coil-over struts. Due to their complexity and potential for danger if installed incorrectly, vehicles with coil-over struts should be taken to a professional when it’s time to replace the shock absorbers.

Another bit of helpful advice: always replace both shocks at once or each side of your rig will respond differently. In addition, most shock absorbers, like Toyota Corolla shocks, Chevy Corvette shocks or Ford Focus shocks, come with fresh hardware, locknuts and rubber bushings. Use the new hardware, even if the old hardware still looks good.


First, block the wheels. Then loosen the lug nuts on whichever end of the vehicle you're doing – just loosen, don’t remove them yet.


Jack the truck up and secure it on stands, making sure it’s secure and won't fall off since you’ll be working underneath. Lift the rear axle with a floor jack positioned under the lower shock mount and place the jack stand in its 3/4-highest adjustable position (and as close to the rear wheel as possible). Repeat this process on the other side so the entire rear axle is elevated.


Next, put on some safety glasses and slide under the truck. Remove the two upper shock retaining bolts using a ratchet and socket.


Remove the bottom shock bolt using a box end wrench to hold the bolt head and the ratchet and socket to loosen the nut. Give the bolt a few taps with a hammer to knock it free after you make sure you can turn it with the wrench.


Attach the new shock to the truck, starting with the upper shock bolts and washers. Then remove the shock retainer to allow it to expand. Compress it slightly to line it up with the bottom shock bolt and secure the bolt with the nut. Tighten it securely.


Repeat this procedure for the other side of the vehicle.


Remove any tools, packaging and other debris out from under the vehicle. Then lower the vehicle, remove the wheel blocks and go for a test drive.


These instructions are intended for general installation and may not be complete for every make, model and year. Consult your owner’s manual and the specific instructions included with your shock absorbers for further detail and additional safety precautions.

Truck shocks, like Ford F250 shocks and GMC Sierra shocks are one of your rig’s most important components. Greatly improving on stock parts, aftermarket shocks provide a noticeably higher level of performance for those looking for the smoothest ride possible, whether you're barreling over rugged trails or just navigating city streets.

Please feel free to call toll-free 800.874.8888 or e-mail with any questions. We are delighted to be of assistance in finding the right auto parts for you, be they car parts, truck parts or SUV parts.
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