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Rear Suspension: Shocks and Springs


Loosen the wheel nuts and jack up the rear of the car right under the tow hook. I need to use some wood to give the jack some more room to raise the car up. In front of the rear wheels, there is a notch in the frame rail where the jack stand should be placed.

Remove the wheels and start spraying all of the nuts with some penetrating liquid.
The next step is to remove the shock from the car. There are four main bolts and one big lower shock bolt. The top two main bolts just need to be loosened, while the lower two bolts need to be removed. The shock is slotted at the top two mounts.

According to Haynes the lower shock bolt is a one time use item and should be replaced. This is probably because the bolt is torqued to a super high 140 ft/lbs! I reused mine for about 15,000 miles, but felt guilty and replaced it the next time I was under the car!

Now compress the spring to release the tension on the top mount and get ready for a small battle!

Most likely the nut is rusted to the shaft. The real catch is that there is no way to stop the shaft from spinning with the nut. I ended up using a dremel to cut the nut in half.
Once the top nut is removed it is easy sailing. Now remove all of the pieces and pay attention to the orientation and order as you remove the parts. There will be some new parts but you will reuse a lot of the old parts like washers and rubber mounts.

The key piece is the lower coil mount. Depending on the model of shock, you might need to pull this off.
Almost done! Now you just have to tighten the top bolt. The bilstein shock has a nice hex end in the shaft to help this process. Since I use a spanner wrench, I just tighten the nut until the rubber bushing just starts to compress even with the washer.

Release the spring compressor and reinstall the shock onto the car. Use the Haynes manual to find the correct bolt torque and tighten the bolts down to spec!


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