Ram B1500, B2500, B3500, 1999-2003

Shock Absorbers

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Removal & Installation



  1. Remove shock absorber upper nut, retainer and bushing from the shock stud.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle
  4.  
  5. Remove the lower bolts and remove shock from the lower suspension arm.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Front shock absorber (4), retainer (1), bushing (2), retainer (3), lower suspension arm (5) and bushing (6)

  6.  

To install:

  1. Install the lower retainer and bushing on the upper stud. Insert the shock absorber through the lower suspension arm and into the frame hole.
  2.  
  3. Install the lower shock bolts and tighten to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the upper grommet and retainer on the shock absorber stud. Install the nut and tighten to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm).
  6.  

Coil Spring Suspension
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheel
     
    Upper mounting bolt
     
    Lower mounting bolts
     
    Shock absorber

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Upper shock absorber mounting-2000-02 Ram Truck models



    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Lower shock absorber mounting-2000-02 Ram Truck models

     

  4.  

To install:


NOTE
On 2003-05 2wd pickups, the upper nut must be replaced, or if-reused, installed using Loctite 242.

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Shock absorber. Tighten the upper bolt or nut to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm), except 2003-04 4wd, which is tightened to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm); and the lower bolt(s) to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) on 2001 models; lower nuts on 2wd 2003 models to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm) and 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm) on 2003-04 4wd.
     
    Front wheel
     

  2.  

Independent Front Suspension
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the shock upper nut and remove the retainer and grommet.
  4.  
  5. Remove the lower mounting bolt from the suspension arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the shock absorber.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Check grommets and bushings for wear and replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Extend the shock fully, install the retainer and grommet on top of the shock.
  4.  
  5. Insert the shock through upper suspension arm. Install top grommet, retainer and nut. Tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Tighten the bottom bolt to 105 ft. lbs. (142 Nm).
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Ram independent front suspension

Link/Coil Suspension
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Upper mounting nut
     
    3 upper mounting nuts from the upper shock bracket
     
    Lower mounting bolt
     
    Shock absorber
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Shock absorber. Tighten the lower bolt to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm); upper bracket nuts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm); Upper shock nut to 55 ft. lbs. (47 Nm)
     

  2.  

  1. Remove the nut, retainer and grommet from the shock absorber upper stud in the engine compartment.
  2.  
  3. Remove the three nuts from the upper shock bracket. Two are accessible from the wheel well, the other from the engine compartment.
  4.  
  5. Remove the lower bolt from the axle bracket.
  6.  
  7. Remove the shock absorber.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Check grommets and bushings for wear and replace if necessary.
  2.  
  3. Position the lower retainer and grommet on the upper stud. Insert the shock through the spring.
  4.  
  5. Install and tighten the lower bolt to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the upper shock bracket and tighten the nuts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the upper grommet and retainer. Install the upper shock nut and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Ram link/coil front suspension



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Fig. Ram link/coil upper shock bracket assembly



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Fig. Upper shock nut and bracket nut inside the engine compartment-Ram with link/coil suspension



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Fig. Upper shock bracket nuts in the wheel well-Ram with link/coil suspension

Testing & Inspection



The purpose of the shock absorber is simply to dampen 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.

Contrary 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 unloaded 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.



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. When fluid is seeping out of the shock absorber, it's time to replace it

 
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