Chevrolet Full Size Cars 1979-1989

Shock Absorbers

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TESTING



There are 2 possible clues that the shock absorbers are worn and may need replacement. The first is how the vehicle rides and the second is how the shocks appear. The shocks should be checked if the ride of your vehicle has become increasingly bouncy or if oil is visible on the shock, indicating possible fluid leakage.

Visually inspect the shock absorber if trouble or wear is suspected. If the shock absorber is covered with oil and there is evidence of leakage, the shock is defective and should be replaced.

If there is no sign of excessive leakage (a small amount of weeping is normal) but the ride is still suspect, bounce the car at one corner by pressing down on the rear bumper and releasing. When you have the car bouncing as much as you can, release the fender or bumper. The car should stop bouncing after the first rebound. If the bouncing continues past the center point of the bounce more than once, the shock absorbers are worn and should be replaced.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Rear shock absorber mounting



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Fig. Fig. 2 Most shocks are mounted using 2 bolts at the top



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Fig. Fig. 3 Loosen and remove the shock absorber upper mounting fasteners



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Fig. Fig. 4 If the shock absorber is to be reinstalled, DO NOT loosen the lower mounting stud without a backup wrench



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Fig. Fig. 5 Remove the nut and washer from the lower mounting stud



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Fig. Fig. 6 If necessary, use a small prybar to free the lower shock from the mount

  1. Raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands under the rear axle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two upper mounting fasteners. On some vehicles, upper bolts may have a nut positioned above the mount and will require an open-end wrench to keep the nut from turning.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with superlift shock absorbers, disconnect the air line from the shock.
  6.  
  7. While holding the stud hex with a wrench, remove the lower mounting nut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shock absorber from the car. To install:
  10.  
  11. Position the shock absorber to the upper mount and support.
  12.  
  13. Install the upper mounting bolts hand-tight.
  14.  
  15. Install the lower stud into the housing bracket and loosely install the nut.
  16.  
  17. Tighten the standard shock upper mounting nut(s) to 12 ft. lbs. (16 Nm) and the upper mounting bolt(s) or superlift shock mounting nut(s) to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  18.  

Remember to use a backup wrench, where necessary.

  1. While holding the stud hex, tighten the lower nut to 62 ft. lbs. (87 Nm) for vehicles through 1986 or to 48 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) for 1987 and later vehicles.
  2.  
  3. On superlift equipped vehicles, install the air hose and add approximately 10 psi of air.
  4.  
  5. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. If equipped with superlift shock absorbers, check for air leaks.
  8.  

 
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