If your vehicle is looking a little saggy and you want to get an aftermarket shock installed quickly, this article will be of great help!
Shock absorbers are a necessity for any car owner. They help reduce the vibrations from driving and keep your tires in contact with the road. The shocks may need to be replaced as they age or if you have been involved in an accident, but sometimes they can also just wear out over time.
If this is the case, then it is best to replace them as soon as possible to avoid damage to other parts of your vehicle.
In this post, we will go over how you can install aftermarket shocks fast! We’ll discuss the tools that are needed, how to position the car for easy access, and what to do when installing.
What are aftermarket shocks and why do they matter?
Aftermarket shocks are made to replace the factory-installed shocks on a car. They are usually stiffer and provide more resistance than stock shocks, which can improve handling and performance.
If you are looking for an upgrade or want to replace your current shocks, then aftermarket shocks may be the right choice for you. Just make sure that they are compatible with your vehicle before purchasing them. For example, a set of F250 shocks may not be compatible with f350, and vice versa.
Tools needed to install aftermarket shocks
The following items are needed to install aftermarket shocks:
- Impact wrench
- Jack and jack stands
- Hammer or dead blow mallet (optional, depending on the shock mount type)
- Pencil or marker for marking mounting points on vehicle frame before removal of old shocks if necessary – this is not always required but helps with reinstallation later down the line!
- Gloves/clean cloths – to keep hands clean and protect from sharp surfaces and debris when handling parts during the installation process!
Tools that may be helpful but are not vital include:
- a pry bar – used as an alternative to the hammer or mallet (optional)
- Floor jack – used in place of a standard hydraulic floor jack if more room is needed under the vehicle during the installation process.
- Grease gun (In case the stock shocks are not coming out loose easily)
With these tools at hand, you are ready to go! Now let’s get started with installing your new aftermarket shock absorbers on your car or truck!
How to position the car for easy access
First, position the car securely for easy access by using either ramps or tire chocks and blocks underneath each front wheel so that it does not roll while working on one side. If possible, it is recommended to use both ramps AND tire chocks/blocks just in case.
With the car positioned, you can now begin to work on one side at a time. If using tire chocks/blocks underneath each front wheel, move them aside before jacking up that end of the vehicle or place them out of the way behind other parts mounted under your vehicle such as transmission lines etcetera.
How to jack up an end of a vehicle safely for easy access
Using either ramps OR tire chocks/blocks is necessary when lifting one end of any type or size vehicle high enough off the ground for safe and secure access! Never use only ONE method alone without also having another in combination with it! The safest manner is always two different ways combined together.
To jack up the end of the car, use a hydraulic floor jack placed in the center of the vehicle directly under the frame. NEVER place it on any plastic or fiberglass body parts as this will cause damage! If you do not have a hydraulic floor jack, see if you can borrow one from a friend before starting your project OR try to find one at a local hardware store.
Once the hydraulic floor jack is in place and stable, raise it slowly until the car is raised enough off the ground for easy access – usually few inches should be enough!
Now that we’ve gone over how to position the car and how to lift it high enough off the ground for access, let’s begin installing our new aftermarket shocks!
4. Installing aftermarket shocks
Now that you have the car in a good position to work on, it is time to start installing your new shocks!
If you are replacing the factory-installed shocks on a car with aftermarket shocks, there are usually four main points of contact that will need to be considered:
- The upper shock mount (where the shock attaches to the suspension)
- The lower shock mount (usually bolted or welded onto the frame of the vehicle)
- The bump stop (a rubber pad located at the end of the suspension travel which helps prevent damage to both shocks and springs)
- The spring (the part of the suspension that supports weight and absorbs bumps)
Depending on what type of mounting hardware your new shocks come with, you may or may not need to use all the existing mounting points on the vehicle.
If the new shocks do not come with hardware, you will have to remove the old shock mounts and bolts and install them onto the new shocks before installation.
If you are unsure of how to proceed, it is always best to take a look at the instructions that came with your new shocks for guidance (or contact customer service if unavailable). In most cases, it is much easier to just reuse the factory-installed mounts rather than try to make something yourself.
In most cases, shocks are attached by using bolts in both sides of them. So, replacing them is easy.
Now let’s begin by removing the old shock absorbers from the car…
How to remove old shocks
You’ll need to use the wrench or breaker bar to remove the bolts and hammer them out of the hole. Lubricate the bolts if they don’t come loose easily as things can get stiff after years of their installation.
Now that the old shocks have been removed, it is time to install the new ones!
Installation is usually very easy and just requires lining up the bolts on the shock with the holes in the mounting bracket and then tightening them down.
If everything looks good, go ahead and tighten all of the bolts down snugly but do not over-tighten as this can damage the threads or even strip the bolt.
Double-check that everything is tight before finishing things up. Use threadlocker when tightening the bolts so that they don’t come loose due to road bumps and vibration.
Once all of your shocks are installed, go ahead and take a test drive! You’ll be amazed at how much better your car handles now.
The installation of aftermarket shocks is a fairly simple process that anyone can do at home with the proper knowledge and tools. If you have any doubts or questions about what to do, always consult your owner’s manual OR contact customer service for assistance!
We hope this article was helpful in giving you a better understanding of how to install aftermarket shocks on your car. Always remember to use caution and common sense when working under or around any vehicle!
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