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Installing new struts/shocks..Is it a do it yourself project or professional only?

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Installing new struts/shocks..Is it a do it yourself project or professional only?

Old 02-28-2005, 06:21 AM
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Installing new struts/shocks..Is it a do it yourself project or professional only?

How many of you guys have installed your own shocks and struts? From what I've heard, the shocks install is not too bad, but I've heard that the struts are much more difficult. Just wanted to see what ya'lls experience was. The cheapest I've found for a shop installation was $200 and I have the lifetime alignment package there so there would be no charge for it. The dealer that I use for my service wants $315 for the install plus $59 for the alignment. No way!! I'll buy the shocks either locally or online, but I need some advice on the install. Thanks guys. Later.

Matt
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by LSUMatt1514
How many of you guys have installed your own shocks and struts? From what I've heard, the shocks install is not too bad, but I've heard that the struts are much more difficult. Just wanted to see what ya'lls experience was. The cheapest I've found for a shop installation was $200 and I have the lifetime alignment package there so there would be no charge for it. The dealer that I use for my service wants $315 for the install plus $59 for the alignment. No way!! I'll buy the shocks either locally or online, but I need some advice on the install. Thanks guys. Later.

Matt
The rear shocks you can do yourself no problem.
The front struts are doable but take them to a garage to have the springs installed on the new strut....that's the tough part.
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:47 AM
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I did mine. I have had relativley little mechanic experience but I researched here, bought a compressor, ordered the parts, got a spring compressor and did it! Just be vigilant with the spring compressor which you can rent at an auto parts store.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:36 AM
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Whether you or the shop does the spring compression, make sure the shock eye lines up with the 3 top studs in exactly the same orientation as when the strut came off. That will make the re-install go much smoother.
If it is just a *little* bit off you can probably hammer in the lower shock bolt, but any more and you will have to re-compress the whole assembly again to line it up.

Rears, if you're dumping the olds anyways, just hook up a 14?mm box-end wrench to the top bolt so that it doesn't move, then take a pair of vise grips to the shock body and turn. There are writeups by others who have done this.

Lift pics
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:44 AM
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and of course please take all proper safety precautions when working under the truck with the tires off, i.e. jack stands (multiple redundant if possible), chock the wheels, etc.
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Old 02-28-2005, 08:49 AM
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Waskilly has some very good writeups for this (fronts and rears):
http://www.drawhorn.org/rear_ome_install_writeup.htm
http://www.drawhorn.org/front_ome_install_writeup.htm

Now you can see if this is something you want to do yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:15 AM
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Matt:

There's a Texaco Oil Change place there on Morgan Road that will change them out for like $50 for the front two. Do the rears yourself or pay them another $30-$40 to do them. They're good guys. They did mine a few years back on the White runner that I had. Since then, I've just rented the coil spring compressor and done them myself. No offense, but you should probally take it somewhere to do the fronts. using the compressor can be very dangerous.

pay for them to be changed out, then take your truck to the other place for the alignment under warranty.


LOL, at some point i guess you'll learn to just email or pm me first for leads around town... take care -


oh, and another tip for ya... get a hax saw and cut off the bottom-most ring of the conical bumpstop in the rear coils. that will soften up your ride tremendously. just jack up the rear, slide the saw in between the wraps and cut away. remove the "hockey puck" that you cut off. instant 1" of more compression before bottoming out. it's much better than stock that way and you still have the support of the conical bumpstops when you need them.

Last edited by bamachem; 02-28-2005 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 02-28-2005, 10:38 AM
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Hardest part is getting the springs fitted onto the front shocks. Take is somewhere and pay thw $20 to have it done. Everything else is just nuts and bolts. Of course, I'm assuming rust isn't an issue down there in AL.
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Old 02-28-2005, 11:24 AM
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i've done it with a compressor and hand tools.
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