My method to change rear shocks

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Nov 11, 2017
So I thought I would do a little write up on how I changed my rear shocks without breaking anything.

97 with 172,557 on it.

This truck has lived most of its life in New Jersey so the underside is not pristine. I had read multiple threads on people breaking the bottom bolts on the shock mounts. I didn’t want to deal with this hassle so this is what I did

#1 Mapp gas is your friend. I heated the top shock plate mounting bolts one at a time till they started smoking, I would guess about 1 minute each. Immediately after heating one bolt get a socket wrench on there and give it a sharp turn to break it loose. Both of mine came out with no trouble. No breaker bar was necessary for me.

#2 I used a Dremel tool with a cut off wheel to cut the bottom half of the shock eye off. I was then able to remove the shock without touching the frozen bottom bolt.

#3 use a razor to cut off the remaining rubber bushing around the lower shock mount sleeve, thus exposing the metal sleeve with bolt still frozen inside.

#4 Using the mapp gas torch heat up that metal sleeve. I hit it for around two minutes just to be sure. Same as before, give it a sharp turn to break it loose. It came out easily with no trouble.

#5 I used a sawzall to cut the top bolt off the old shock to remove the shock mounting plate. Reused the OEM washers and used the new rubber bushings and bolt that came with new OEM shocks.

#6 reinstall everything using anti seize, torque to spec and have a beer if nothing broke. :beer::beer:

For those of us in the rust belt it’s a little more work but a good piece of mind that you may not break anything.

Sorry, no pics. I didn’t think to take any when I did this.
Occasionally work on rigs with a snowy background. Mild rust, but enough to cause 2-3 broken suspension bolts on every stocker that gets turned into a trail rig. I may use your handy technique to get a few of those bastard bolts to let go. Neat idea. Thanks.
Love my MAPP torch. That coupled with my Milwaukee high torque impact gun have been an unstoppable duo against any and all bolts.

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