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Old 05-14-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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NEWB With Shock Install

Hi everyone.
Well I noticed my driver side shock has oil caked all over it so guess im replacing my shocks. Im new to suspension work so I was hoping my great friends here at the Wrangler forum could provide some step by step write up install techniques on the shock replacement for a 98 TJ Sport (if at all possible a step by step for a complete suspension idiot would be appreciated). I have a repair manual but its so general and lacking information, do I need to remove other suspension parts like sway bar, etc? The front shocks appear to just have one bolt up top and 2 at the bottom, havnt looked at the rear yet. Is it a simple job that even a newb like me could do? Ive got plenty of ratchets, extensions, wrenches and sockets. Do I need to have jack stands under each side of the axle? any direction and advise would be GREATLY appreciated. Also, what shocks do yall recommend, no offroading uts my daily driver. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Replacing shocks is a very simple job, you don't even need to take the wheels off or jack the Jeep up. Just unbolt the old shocks, three bolts each, and replace them with the new shocks. This can be done with the Jeep sitting on the ground, tires in place. Just turn the steering wheel the right direction to gain easy access to the front shocks.

However, a few days before starting the job, I would acquire a can of Liquid Wrench, Break-Free, or PB-Blaster & start soaking the rear shock's upper mounting bolts. Spray them a few times over a few days to allow the penetrant to soak into those upper bolt threads as they have a reputation for seizing in place & being difficult to remove. You WILL need several long socket wrench extensions to reach those upper rear bolts on the rear shocks, they are kind of up and out of the way. Spray the other shock mounting bolts with the penetrant too but the upper rear mounting bolts are the ones in particular that you really want to let soak in for a day or two.

A good riding low-cost shock is the Skyjacker Hydro. It is a hydraulic shock so it will not expand on its own once you begin to install it. Only gas-charged shocks expand on their own when not bolted in place or secured by the shipping strap.

Replacing four shocks is an easy 1 or 2 banana job.

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Old 05-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Replacing shocks is a very simple job, you don't even need to take the wheels off or jack the Jeep up. Just unbolt the old shocks, three bolts each, and replace them with the new shocks. This can be done with the Jeep sitting on the ground, tires in place. Just turn the steering wheel the right direction to gain easy access to the front shocks.

However, a few days before starting the job, I would acquire a can of Liquid Wrench, Break-Free, or PB-Blaster & start soaking the rear shock's upper mounting bolts. Spray them a few times over a few days to allow the penetrant to soak into those upper bolt threads as they have a reputation for seizing in place & being difficult to remove. You WILL need several long socket wrench extensions to reach those upper rear bolts on the rear shocks, they are kind of up and out of the way. Spray the other shock mounting bolts with the penetrant too but the upper rear mounting bolts are the ones in particular that you really want to let soak in for a day or two.

A good riding low-cost shock is the Skyjacker Hydro. It is a hydraulic shock so it will not expand on its own once you begin to install it. Only gas-charged shocks expand on their own when not bolted in place or secured by the shipping strap.

Replacing four shocks is an easy 1 or 2 banana job.
Thanks Jerry! I was also looking at the Monroe Sensa-Traks. Do you know if those need to be compressed to install or are they just bolt-up? For shocks other than the Skyjackers (I havnt ruled those out yet) do I need a compress tool or can I compress myself?
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:22 PM   #4
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The only thing I would add is that you should use some blue (not red) lock tite when putting the bolts back on. It will prevent the nuts from coming loose later on.

Pretty easy overall.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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You should also be aware that sometimes the top nuts on the front shocks rust to the bolt. Had to cut this off with a saws-all when doing mine. I'd suggest some penetrating oil on all your old bolts on all the shocks the morning/day before you start the job.

I recommend SuperLift standard shocks.. They are cheap and look great. They are smooth on the road on my daily drive, and have no problems when it's off the pavement on a trail.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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Thanks Jerry! I was also looking at the Monroe Sensa-Traks. Do you know if those need to be compressed to install or are they just bolt-up? For shocks other than the Skyjackers (I havnt ruled those out yet) do I need a compress tool or can I compress myself?
While nitrogen-charged shocks like those are stiff & not easily compressed, they can be compressed with no special tools other than a pair of reasonably strong arms. I'm 62 & managed to recompress my RE Monotube shocks with nothing more than my massively strong arms without much problem when reinstalling them a few times over the years.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great advice everyone.

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