GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 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 car at one corner by pressing down on the fender or 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.


See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  3. Use an open end wrench to hold the upper stem of the shock absorber from turning. Remove the upper stem retaining nut, retainer and grommet.
  5. Remove the two bolts retaining the lower shock absorber pivot to the lower control arm, then pull the shock out through the bottom of the control arm.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Front shock absorber mounting

To install:
  1. With the lower retainer and the rubber grommet in place over the upper stem, install the shock (fully extended) back through the lower control arm.
  3. Install the upper grommet, retainer and nut onto the upper stem.
  5. Hold the upper stem from turning with an open end wrench and tighten the retaining nut.
  7. Install the retainers on the lower end of the shock.

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Fig. Fig. 2: The lower end of the front shock is usually mounted to the lower control arm using 2 bolts

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Fig. Fig. 3: In order to prevent damage to the shock absorber, hold the stud from turning while tightening the upper retaining nut