Dodge Aspen/Volare 1976-1980 Repair Guide

Shock Absorbers

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TESTING



To test the shock absorbers, bounce the front of the car up and down a few times. When released, the car should return to its normal ride height and stop bouncing immediately. If the shocks are worn, they should be replaced in pairs to provide equal damping. Heavy-duty replacements are available to provide a more stable and slightly firmer ride.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Exploded view of the front shock absorber



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Fig. Fig. 2 Expel air from the new shock by extending it, then invert the shock and compress it. This step is not necessary if installing gas charged shock absorbers



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Fig. Fig. 3 Before removing the front shock absorber, saturate the mounting points with penetrating oil



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Fig. Fig. 4 Loosen the top mounting nut. Use pliers on the flats of the stud to keep it from rotating



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Fig. Fig. 5 Remove the nut and the bushing retainer



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Fig. Fig. 6 Remove the lower mounting nut and retainer in the same manner



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Fig. Fig. 7 Unseat the lower mounting stud by lifting the shock body upwards ...



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Fig. Fig. 8 ... then angle the bottom out while pulling the shock from the frame

Sometimes this job is easier with the wheel and tire removed. If you remove one shock at a time, you won't have any problem installing all the parts.

  1. Remove the nut and retainer from the top of the shock.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower nut and retainer from the shock.
  4.  

Steps 1 and 2 sound easy, but very often the retaining nuts are rusted in place. Penetrating oil helps, and very often you have to find a way to stop the shock absorber shaft from turning while you remove the top nut.

  1. Fully compress the shock and remove it downward.
  2.  
  3. If the upper bushing needs to be replaced, it can be cut or pried out. To install the new one, wet it and start it into the bracket hole with a twisting motion. Tap it into position with a hammer.
  4.  
  5. Purge the new shock of air by extending it in its normal position and compressing it while inverted. Do this several times. It is normal for there to be more resistance to extension than to compression.
  6.  
  7. Compress the new shock and insert the upper end through the lower retainer, the bushing, and the upper retainer. Tighten the nut to 25 ft. lbs.
  8.  

All retainers must be installed with the concave side in contact with the rubber bushing.

  1. Align the lower mount and install the nut and bolt finger-tight. Tighten the nut to 35 ft. lbs. with the weight of the car on the wheels.
  2.  

 
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