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  1. #1
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Idaho
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    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default How hard is it to replace shocks?

    My tow vehicle, '99 Chevy Silverado 1500 extended cab long bed, needs shocks; but I keep re-prioritizing the $1000 or so that it will cost to have it done. I can buy the shocks at napa starting at about $300. Is there some trick to changing the shocks? Do I need any special tools or equipment?

    Also, are there better shocks for towing?
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  2. #2
    Super Member George2615's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Central Square, NY
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    LS XR3037HC

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Basic hand tools should be all you need to replace your shocks. Use a good penetrant spray on the nuts and bolts. Can be done in your garage on a set of ramps. Air impact tools make this job quick and easy if you have them. I haven't priced shocks in a while so can't comment on price. Shop around, maybe Advance Auto or other store has a better price. I last changed 4 shocks on an 02 Chevy pickup. Took about a half hour or less with air tools.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2005
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    2,685
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    Bedford, VA
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    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Not sure how your truck is made, but on my Dodge Ram the front are the hardest.. You have to remove a tower/support mounted inside the engine compartment. The rears is just take out the top and bottom bolts remove/replace and reinstall the bolts.. Pretty straight forward. You need help with the fronts for sure, but the rears can be done alone.

    I bought Bilsteins on ebay (blue/yellow for non-lifted trucks from 'top gunz customz') for a lot less than I found them any place else (even including shipping).. The Bilsteins were highly rated on some of the dodge/rams forums. a quick ebay search found the same bilsteins for about $250ish for your truck

    Brian
    Bedford, VA
    2320 w/ 62D MMM, 200CX FEL, Pats EZ Change, LX4 Cutter
    Co-owner (with my father) of John Deere 790, 30 HP, 4x4, 513 cutter, 70 FEL
    2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4x

  4. #4
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Idaho
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    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by George2615 View Post
    Basic hand tools should be all you need to replace your shocks. Use a good penetrant spray on the nuts and bolts. Can be done in your garage on a set of ramps. Air impact tools make this job quick and easy if you have them. I haven't priced shocks in a while so can't comment on price. Shop around, maybe Advance Auto or other store has a better price. I last changed 4 shocks on an 02 Chevy pickup. Took about a half hour or less with air tools.
    I was hoping you'd say that.

    Anyone have advice on a good upgrade to make a half ton tow better? I've looked around at some of the online parts places and they are advertising shocks to carry loads better. An example is the Hijacker Air Shocks. Do these shocks deliver on their promise?
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  5. #5
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Idaho
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    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    Not sure how your truck is made, but on my Dodge Ram the front are the hardest.. You have to remove a tower/support mounted inside the engine compartment. The rears is just take out the top and bottom bolts remove/replace and reinstall the bolts.. Pretty straight forward. You need help with the fronts for sure, but the rears can be done alone.

    I bought Bilsteins on ebay (blue/yellow for non-lifted trucks from 'top gunz customz') for a lot less than I found them any place else (even including shipping).. The Bilsteins were highly rated on some of the dodge/rams forums. a quick ebay search found the same bilsteins for about $250ish for your truck

    Brian
    My biggest concern with doing shocks is making sure that there's not some compressed spring that is going to take my head off if I do it wrong. I can handle lots of bolts or a multistep process as long as there's no hidden hazard that I'm not going to see until too late.

    Thanks for the lead on Bilsteins. Did yours improve your truck's performance any?
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member carpenter383's Avatar
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    Indiana
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    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    The shocks limit the ammount of axle travel, so just support the axle when the truck is in the air before you unhook the shocks. Shocks are usually an easy thing to do, the worst part is getting rusty bolts out. $1,000 seems way too high for shock replacment to me. Maybe there's something about that truck I don't know, but I wouldn't even consider paying that much. You can get shocks with "helper" springs built into them. Basically just a coil spring around the outside of the shock. The down side is it puts alot of stress on the shock mounts. You could get air shocks too, but I wouldn't mess with that if it were me.
    “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” Douglas MacArthur
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  7. #7
    Super Member
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iplayfarmer View Post
    I was hoping you'd say that.

    Anyone have advice on a good upgrade to make a half ton tow better? I've looked around at some of the online parts places and they are advertising shocks to carry loads better. An example is the Hijacker Air Shocks. Do these shocks deliver on their promise?
    I would install the Firestone ride-rite airbags on the back and those really cool ride rite Bilstein airshocks on the front. All run off a centralized compressor you control in the cab. I really want to do this when I figure out how to get all my stuff done without taking time to sleep or eat.

    Check out the Firestone Ride Rites system. I think the whole kit is maybe $750. Looks like an average mechanic could install.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Eastern OK
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    MF 596 , MF 4243, MF 1433V, D4H, D3C

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    The air system Builder recommends is supposed to be really good. There are some copy cat systems around that may be cheaper(I doubt better). A local company has it on several of their F150's that they use for occasional towing and they swear by it. $1000 bucks seems really high for a shock replacement. I just changed the rear ones on my wife's F150 for around $100 for just plain cheap shocks. It is a run around truck and doesn't ever tow much of anything.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
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  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    The shocks limit the ammount of axle travel, so just support the axle when the truck is in the air before you unhook the shocks.
    You want to pay close attention to this. I've seen a shock taken loose without having the axle supported and you might be surprised at how far and how fast that axle will fall. It can cause some serious injuries.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Daleville, IN
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: How hard is it to replace shocks?

    Whenever I have messed with shocks I have about a 40% success rate with air tools. A torch is the only good tool for getting most of them off. I have had about the same experience with mufflers also.

    These are 2 jobs I now leave to the guys a Midas.

    Chris

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