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 vehicle at one corner by pressing down on the rear bumper and releasing. When you have the truck bouncing as much as you can, release the fender or bumper. The truck 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
See Figure 1
- Raise and support the rear of the truck safely using jackstands. Support the rear axle securely using a jackstands or a floor jack. The axle must be supported to prevent overextension and damage to the brake lines once the shock is removed.
- Remove the shock absorber-to-frame retainers at the top of the shock.
- Remove the shock-to-axle retainers at the bottom of the shock.
- Remove the shock absorber from the vehicle.
- Position the shock in the vehicle and loosely install the upper mounting fasteners to retain it.
- Align the lower-end of the shock absorber with the axle mounting, then loosely install the retainers.
- Torque the upper shock absorber retainers to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) for vehicles through 1988 or to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm) for 1989-93 vehicles. Then tighten lower shock absorber fastener to 50 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) for vehicles through 1988 or to 47 ft. lbs. (64 Nm) for 1989-93 vehicles.
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.