REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
- Open the trunk lid, remove any necessary trim panels or nut cover, and remove the upper shock absorber nut.
- Raise the and safely support the vehicle, the support the rear axle assembly with adjustable jackstands to remove the weight from the shock absorbers.
- Remove the lower attaching bolt or nut, then remove the shock absorber from the vehicle.
- Position the shock and install the lower attaching retainer hand-tight.
- Carefully lower the vehicle enough to guide the upper stud through the body opening and install the upper shock mounting nut loosely.
Tighten the lower mounting retainer as follows:
- For 1988 models, tighten the lower mount nut and bolt to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for Corsica and 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm) for Beretta.
- For 1989-90 models, tighten the lower mount nut and bolt to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for Corsica and 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm) for Beretta.
- For 1991-96 models, tighten the lower mount nut for Beretta to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) and the lower mount bolt for Corsica to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
- Remove the axle support, then carefully lower the vehicle the rest of the way.
Tighten the upper shock absorber mounting nut, as follows:
- For 1988-92 vehicles, tighten the 2 upper outer nuts to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm) and the center upper nut to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
- For 1993-96 vehicles, tighten the upper mounting nut to 21 ft. lbs. (29 Nm).
- Install the upper shock absorber mounting nut cover.
The purpose of the shock absorber is simply to limit the motion of the spring during compression and rebound cycles. If the vehicle is not equipped with these motion dampers, the up and down motion would multiply until the vehicle was alternately trying to leap off the ground and to pound itself into the pavement.
Countrary to popular rumor, the shocks do not affect the ride height of the vehicle. This is controlled by other suspension components such as springs and tires. Worn shock absorbers can affect handling; if the front of the vehicle is rising or falling excessively, the "footprint" of the tires changes on the pavement and steering is affected.
The simplest test of the shock absorber is simply push down on one corner of the unladen vehicle and release it. Observe the motion of the body as it is released. In most cases, it will come up beyond it original rest position, dip back below it and settle quickly to rest. This shows that the damper is controlling the spring action. Any tendency to excessive pitch (up-and-down) motion or failure to return to rest within 2-3 cycles is a sign of poor function within the shock absorber. Oil-filled shocks may have a light film of oil around the seal, resulting from normal breathing and air exchange. This should NOT be taken as a sign of failure, but any sign of thick or running oil definitely indicates failure. Gas filled shocks may also show some film at the shaft; if the gas has leaked out, the shock will have almost no resistance to motion.
While each shock absorber can be replaced individually, it is recommended that they be changed as a pair (both front or both rear) to maintain equal response on both sides of the vehicle. Chances are quite good that if one has failed, its mate is weak also.