How to change shocks and struts for '02 - '09 Chevy TrailBlazer
Looking to upgrade or repair the suspension on your Trailblazer? No problem. With the right equipment and parts from AutoZone, you can do this job at home with hand tools. Use the video and guide below to help you safely install Duralast Loaded Struts and shocks for a faster insall and better ride control.
- Torque Wrench
- 18mm Deep 3/8 Socket
- 15mm deep 3/8 socket
- 24mm ½ socket
- 19mm ½ socket
- 10mm ½ socket
- Block of wood
- Breaker bar
- 3/8 extension
- ½ inch ratchet
- 3/8 ratchet
- 18mm combo wrench
- 15mm combo wrench
- Straight Punch
- Flat Punch
- Safety Gloves & Goggles
- Hydraulic Jack
- Jack Stands
- Rust Penetrant
Suspension Replacement how-to guide
Make sure you chock wheels and engage the parking brake to keep the car steady. Wear safety gloves and goggles. Break lug nuts before raising the vehicle. Use a strong and secure hydraulic jack and jack stands. Make sure the engine is not running. Do not smoke while working on the vehicle. Remove any rings, watches or jewelry, and tie up long hair or loose clothing.
Raise the vehicle and remove the wheel
Break the lug nuts before jacking up the car. Use secure points for the jack and jack stands. Remove the wheel once the vehicle is safely raised.
On passenger side: Remove the air filter cover and hose to access top nuts
Should be able to do this with a screwdriver. Just remove the three screws, remove the cover, then move the air filter hose out of the way.
Loosen and remove the two top nuts
Coming in from under the hood through the opening created by moving the air filter case and hose. Use an 18mm socket with an extension.
Detach the brake line
Back in the wheel well now. Use a 10mm socket. There are two bolts holding it in place.
Detach the wheel speed sensor
A simple screwdriver will open the tab, then the cable can be set aside.
Remove the upper control arm ball joint bolt and nut
Use a 15mm wrench and 15mm deep socket here.
Separate the upper control arm from the spindle
This may take some jiggling.
Remove the top bolt from strut assembly mounting bracket
Size is 18mm.
Remove lower bracket nut
Size is 24mm.
Remove the assembly with mounting bracket
Pull that whole thing out. You may need help from a mallet here.
Knock the bolt out from the mounting bracket
Set up some wood for stability and use a punch and a mallet.
Remove the mounting bracket from the assembly
Use a punch or separator with a mallet to help here.
Install mounting bracket on the new assembly
Leave the separator in. Fit the bracket over the lip of the strut, and then remove the separator.
Install the upper bolt on the mounting bracket
The mallet helps.
Install the new assembly
The strut arm bracket should be attached. You may need an extra pair of hands to hold everything in place and line everything up. Line up the top studs with top holes and slide the bottom of the bracket back onto the lower control arm stud.
Put everything back
Under the hood: Install the top nuts. Attach the air filter hose, filter, and install the cover (on passenger side). Install the bottom nut on the lower control arm stud. Install the nut on the bracket bolt clamping onto the strut assembly. Reattach the knuckle to the upper control arm. Install the upper control arm bolt and nut. Install the wheel speed sensor. Install the brake hose.
Put the wheel back on. Tighten the lug nuts (not all the way). Raise the vehicle and remove the jack stands. Lower until the wheel is just touching, then torque the lug nuts to 103 ft. lbs. Then lower the vehicle the rest of the way.
Repeat installation on the other side
Then you're ready to move to the rear.
Move to the rear, Safety First
Continue following the same safety procedures each time you move to a new wheel. For the back, break the lug nuts, raise the vehicle, set on jack stands, and remove the wheel following the same safety steps as the front.
Use a jack for support
This will support the knuckle and also help with alignment during installation.
Loosen and remove the lower bolt and nut
These are at the base of the shock. Use an 18mm socket and wrench. You may need help from the mallet getting the bolt out. Adjust the jack for alignment to help with removing the bolt. Save the bolt and nut to install with the new shock.
Loosen and remove top bolt and nut
Still using the 18mm socket and wrench. This is at the top of the shock and should be easy to reach. Save the bolt and nut to install with the new shock.
Remove old shock, install new shock
Line up the top and bottom and then install the nuts and bolts.
Install nuts and bolts
Start with the top nut and bolt, and then install the bottom. Install both before tightening, then tighten each. Adjust the jack to help with alignment if needed.
Remove jack from support, install wheel
Remove the jack from the support position. Install the wheel and lugs. Raise the vehicle with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle until the wheel is just touching, then torque the lug nuts to 103 ft. lbs.
Go for a test drive to get a feel for the new suspension. It's a good idea to get an alignment check after a job like this, as well. After that, enjoy your safer, smoother ride.