Villager 1996

Shock Absorbers


Removal & Installation

Be sure that new upper and lower shock absorber nuts are available. These parts lose their torque holding/retention capabilities during removal and must not be reused.

  1. Raise and safely support the rear of the vehicle securely on jackstands. Position the jackstands under the rear axle housing. Please refer to the graphic in General Information and Maintenance, Jacking for the underside view of floorjack and jackstand points.
  3. Remove the lower shock absorber nut and washer. Discard the nut.
  5. Disconnect the lower end of the shock absorber from the mounting stud.
  7. Remove the upper shock absorber nut and washer. Discard the nut.
  9. Remove the shock absorber from the vehicle.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the lower shock absorber nut

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Removing the upper shock absorber nut


To install:

  1. Install the shock absorber onto the upper and lower mounting studs of the vehicle.
  3. Install the washers and new nuts. Torque the upper and lower nuts to 22-30 ft. lbs. (30-41 Nm).
  5. Lower the vehicle.

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 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 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.