TownAndCountry 2008

Shock Absorbers

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Removal & Installation



Specific to:

Chrysler Town & Country 2008-2009

Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-2009


WARNING
Only frame contact or wheel lift hoisting equipment can be used on this vehicle. It cannot be hoisted using equipment designed to lift a vehicle by the rear axle. If this type of hoisting equipment is used, damage to the rear suspension components will occur.


NOTE
If a rear suspension component becomes bent, damaged, or fails, no attempt should be made to straighten or repair it. Always replace it with a new component.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Position a transmission jack, or equivalent, under the axle near the shock absorber to be serviced, raising it enough to support the axle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the shock absorber lower mounting bolt (4) and nut (3) at the axle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shock absorber upper mounting bolt (2) and nut (1) at the body bracket.
  10.  
  11. Remove the shock absorber (5) from the vehicle.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Remove the shock absorber from the vehicle

  12.  

To install:

  1. Position the shock absorber (5) at the body bracket and install the upper mounting bolt (2) and nut (1). Do not tighten at this time.
  2.  
  3. Raise or lower the rear axle using a jack, as necessary, until the shock absorber lower mounting bolt (4) can be inserted through the axle flange and the shock absorber lower mounting eye.
  4.  
  5. Install the nut (3) on the lower mounting bolt (4). Do not tighten at this time.
  6.  
  7. Remove the jack.
  8.  
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Position the vehicle on an alignment rack/drive-on lift. Raise the lift as necessary to access the rear suspension while keeping the vehicle at curb (riding) height.
  12.  
  13. Tighten the shock absorber upper and lower mounting bolts/nuts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  14.  

Testing



Specific to:

Chrysler Town & Country 2008-2009

Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-2009

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.

In general, 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 to 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 its 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 the shock

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.

Inspect the shock absorber for damage and evidence of fluid running from the upper end of the fluid reservoir. Actual leakage will be a stream of fluid running down the side of the reservoir tube and dripping off the lower end of the unit. A slight amount of seepage between the shaft and the shaft seal is not unusual and does not affect the performance of the shock absorber.

 
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