GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Shock Absorbers



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

If there is no sign of excessive leakage (a small amount of weeping is normal) bounce the van at one corner by pressing down on the bumper and releasing it. When you have the van bouncing as much as you can, release the bumper. The van 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.


See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the rear shock mounting

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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosen and remove the shock absorber upper retaining nut ...

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Fig. Fig. 3: ... then remove the lower retainers

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Fig. Fig. 4: On the right shock, the parking brake cable bracket must be removed and repositioned

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Fig. Fig. 5: Lift the shock out of the lower mounting bracket, then ...

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Fig. Fig. 6: ... remove it from the upper mounting stud and remove it from the vehicle

In order to maintain proper suspension balance and vehicle handling, shock absorbers should only be replaced in axle sets.

The following procedure requires the use of a lifting device and 2 jackstands.

  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle using jackstands. Installation may be easier if you position the jackstands under the frame and support the axle housing independently using a floor jack. The jack can then be raised or lowered to help align the shock absorber with the mounts.
  3. Remove the shock absorber-to-frame retainers at the top of the shock assembly.
  5. Remove the shock absorber-to-axle housing retainers at the bottom of the assembly, then remove the shock absorber from the vehicle.

When removing the shock absorber-to-axle housing bolt on the right shock, the parking brake bracket must be removed after the nut.

  1. Inspect and test the shock absorber, then replace as necessary.

To install:
  1. Connect the shock absorber-to-frame nut/bolt (DO NOT tighten) and the shock absorber-to-axle nut/bolt.

If installing the shock absorber onto the right side, be sure to install the parking brake bracket.

  1. Tighten the upper and lower shock absorber retainers to 75 ft. lbs. (102 Nm).
  3. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.