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.

Needed Products and Tools

  • Torque Wrench
  • 18mm Deep 3/8 Socket
  • 15mm deep 3/8 socket
  • 24mm ½ socket
  • 19mm ½ socket
  • 10mm ½ socket
  • Block of wood
  • Screwdriver
  • Breaker bar
  • 3/8 extension
  • ½ inch ratchet
  • 3/8 ratchet
  • 18mm combo wrench
  • 15mm combo wrench
  • Mallet
  • Straight Punch
  • Flat Punch
  • Safety Gloves & Goggles
  • Hydraulic Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Rust Penetrant

How to Replace Your Car’s Suspension

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 1

1. Remove the Wheel

Start by breaking the lug nuts on the wheel, jacking up the vehicle, and setting it securely on a jack stand. Loosen or remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 2

2. Remove the Air Filter Cover

Working from the top, remove the air filter cover by using a screwdriver to remove the three screws and move the air filter hose out of the way.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 4

3. Remove the Strut Assembly

Use an 18-millimeter socket with an extension to loosen and remove the two top nuts on the strut assembly. Remove the two bolts holding the brake line in place with a 10-millimeter socket. Pop open the wheel speed sensor with a screwdriver and remove the sensor from the assembly. Use a 15-millimeter wrench and a 15-millimeter deep socket to remove the upper control arm, ball joint, and nut. Separate the upper control arm from the spindle and remove the top bolt from the strut assembly mounting bracket with an 18-millimeter breaker bar. Remove the lower mounting bracket nut with a 24 millimeter socket.

You may need to use a mallet to help pull the assembly and mounting bracket off the stud. Use a punch or separator to open the bracket enough to get the strut out. This may require some wiggling and hammering.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 6

4. Install the New Strut Assembly

Take the new assembly and slide it into the bracket, leaving the separator inside. Remove the separator and hammer the bolt back into the bracket. Install the new strut with the strut arm bracket attached, slide the bottom of the bracket back onto the lower control arm stud under the hood, and install the two top strut mounting nuts. It’s easier to tighten these with an extension.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 7

5. Reassemble the Suspension

Attach the hose, install the air filter, and reinstall the cover. Install the bottom nut on the lower control arm stud, and install the nut on the bracket bolt clamping onto the strut assembly. Reattach the knuckle to the upper control arm, then install the upper control arm bolt and nut and tighten. Install the clips for the wheel speed sensor, and install the bolts connecting the brake line to the assembly. Put the wheel back on and tighten the lug nuts. Lower the car until the wheel is touching, then tighten the lug nuts to torque and lower the rest of the way. Repeat on the other side.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 10

6. Install the Rear Shocks

Follow the same safety steps as the front and remove the wheel. Use a jack to support the rear of the vehicle, then locate the upper and lower shock mounting bolts.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 8

7. Removing the Rear Shock Absorber

Locate the shock absorber and remove the nuts and bolts at the top and bottom of the shock using a 19-millimeter half-inch socket and a ratchet. You may need to use a mallet or flat punch to loosen the bottom nut.

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8. Installing the New Rear Shock Absorber

Insert the new shock absorber into place and tighten the nuts and bolts using the 19 millimeter half inch socket and a ratchet.

AutoZone How to Change Shocks Struts on a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer 12

9. Finishing Up

Repeat the steps on the other side of the vehicle, reinstall the wheels, and lower the car from the jack stands. Before driving, it is important to test the suspension for proper function and check for any leaks.

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Do you need a more in-depth look into your vehicle to help you with your project? ALLDATA, the leading provider of automotive repair information, is now providing DIYers with the same information that the pros use with ALLDATAdiy’s single-vehicle subscriptions.

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Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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