S10 Pickup, Sonoma 2000-2004

Shock Absorbers

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Removal & Installation



  1. Remove or disconnect the following:
    NOTE
    Hold the shock absorber stem with a wrench while backing the nut off.



    Wheel
     
    Mounting nut
     



    Retaining nut and grommet
     
    Shock absorber-to-lower control arm bolts
     
    Shock absorber
     
    Replace the parts, as necessary.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Front shock absorber mounting-2WD vehicles

     

  2.  

To install:

  1. Fully extend the shock absorber stem, then push it up through the lower control arm and spring so that the upper stem passes through the mounting hole in the upper control arm frame bracket.
  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:

    Retaining nut and grommet on the stem. Tighten the nut to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
     



    Shock absorber-to-lower control arm bolts and tighten to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm)
     
    Wheel
     

  4.  

  1. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Wheel
     
    Lower nut/bolt and collapse the shock absorber
     
    Shock absorber upper nut and bolt
     
    Shock absorber
     

  2.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Shock absorber to the bracket. Tighten the nuts/bolts to 54 ft. lbs. (73 Nm).
     
    Wheel

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Front shock absorber mounting-4WD vehicles

     

  2.  

Testing & Inspection



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.

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 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.

Click image to see an enlarged view

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

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.

Refer to the shock absorber testing procedures outlined under the 2-Wheel-Drive Coil Spring Front Suspension portion of this manual.

 
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