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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to start the long process of suspension work tomorrow, starting with the rear shocks probably some Gabriel's or something, nothing fancy as I am unsure of the cars remaining life lol. Does anyone have any tips as far as ease of removal or installation for the rear shocks? Thanks, Jon.
 

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I am going to start the long process of suspension work tomorrow, starting with the rear shocks probably some Gabriel's or something, nothing fancy as I am unsure of the cars remaining life lol. Does anyone have any tips as far as ease of removal or installation for the rear shocks? Thanks, Jon.
It's really easy on these cars. I think it is like 3 bolts or something?

Having already made the mistake with the gabriels, I can't recommend them. They ride harder, but don't seem to help the handling at all. The bumps just seem rougher/bouncier.

Why are you wanting to do the rear shocks? If it is noise or a harsh ride, my first suggestion is check out the sway bar links on the rear. The little rubber bushings wear out, and it makes a similiar sound to a bad shock. When I replaced mine, the ride seemed to improve.

Anyway, if you are set on doing shocks, make sure you have 2 box wrenches so that you can hold the bolt and the nut for the bottom of the shock. Also, a deepwell socket for the nut that goes through the shock tower, and about 15 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate the heads up on the end links Im sure they need to be done also but the shocks on this car have never been changed and I have some rear end sag. Im starting with the rear shocks because they are not very expensive and they are easy to swap out. I will see what parts auto zone has for the rear links while I am there are the bushing hard to replace, do they need to be pressed out and in? Thanks again. anyone know the sizes of the wrenches I need?
 

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If the rear end is starting to sag, it is probably cracked springs, not shocks. The shocks don't carry any load on these cars. If you do have a cracked spring, you should be able to see it with the wheel off. It would basically be half a coil or one coil cracked off at one end, most likely the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just checked no cracked coils, but I did see some other things that got my attention I will post pics up of everything when I am done.
 

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What did you find?
 

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I appreciate the heads up on the end links Im sure they need to be done also but the shocks on this car have never been changed and I have some rear end sag. Im starting with the rear shocks because they are not very expensive and they are easy to swap out. I will see what parts auto zone has for the rear links while I am there are the bushing hard to replace, do they need to be pressed out and in? Thanks again. anyone know the sizes of the wrenches I need?
I think there may be a bushing kit, but it is really just easy to replace the entire endlink because they are really cheap and easy to install. If you do replace the shocks, you can do the endlinks at the same time with a minimal amount of effort. Both jobs together should not take more than an hour tops, with most of that time invested in jacking up the car and removing the wheels.
 

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I think there may be a bushing kit, but it is really just easy to replace the entire endlink because they are really cheap and easy to install. If you do replace the shocks, you can do the endlinks at the same time with a minimal amount of effort. Both jobs together should not take more than an hour tops, with most of that time invested in jacking up the car and removing the wheels.
I replaced shocks without removing wheels. I have a recent thread on that. You need an o2 sensor wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well its done and for any one installing a sub in the trunk DO NOT screw it down behind the back seat... When I installed my stereo system I tried to make it harder to steel the sub box by L bracketing it down. When I did this I removed the back seat so it wouldn't be possible to get at with out removing the seat. Well that just made my job that much harder today... Had no room to move wrench or ratchet so the seat had to come out so I could unscrew the box and move it over. After that it was cake lol. If not for the sub it would have taken my like 35 minutes start to end.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh believe me if I were using a scissor jack this wouldn't of been contemplated lol. I got a new jack and jack stands from craftsmen for christmas they are 3 ton capacity and work very nicely. I also found once I took the old shocks out they no longer decompressed on their own, they would stay collapsed unless you pulled them out... Also in the passenger side rear shock the lower mount the rubber bushing was warped and the metal spacer? was really messed up and in bad shape and it was able to fall out of the lower shock bushing on it own once the bolt was removed. I have pictures of everything that I will post up soon While I was at it I replaced the dist cap and rotor and decided its time for new plugs and wires.

p.s. with the rear shocks replaced the rattle my car had is slightly less then it was before. Front struts are next but I dont have a spring compressor so I am not going to be doing that myself. Anybody want to help? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here are the pics, I am concerned about a few things but I don't know how worried I should be maybe you guys could tell me.
First concern:

Second, don't know if these look that bad but they don't look great either


Third:

And last but not least:


The other side looks pretty much the same so what do you guys think?

And here are the new shocks installed:



The old shocks no longer would decompress on their own.

I also found PART of the cause of one of my many rattles:

Notice anything strange? The metal washer fell out of the shock as soon as I took the bolt out and look at the condition it was in...


Any one know if these are stock springs or what this means?
 

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I'd do the bushings and toe links, and while you have it all off, clean all the rusted metal, etch it, and put some heavy epoxy based paint on it; something rust resistant, for sure. :)

I'm so glad I live in the south... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How hard is it to do the bushings, am I better off bringing it somewhere? DO you guys think it can wait? because the front end is in more need of work then the back end right now so that was next on my list.
 

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The bushings are a pain because the LCA has to come completely off the car. I wouldn't be too worried about it though. The LCA isn't going anywhere, so you might get some noises, and maybe if they are really bad your rear tires might wear a little unevenly, but it isn't a safety concern. Take care of what the front needs first, and then when you get the time/money, go through everything on the rear at one time.
 
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