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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of upgrading my stock shocks, and I called a few places and they wanted around 300-400 bucks just for the installation labor. I saw a write up on how to replace the shocks with basic hand tools and a floor jack (1 wheel at a time), and it didn't look terribly difficult. Is it? Am I missing something? I'm definitely not real mechanically inclined, the only work I've done myself is bumpers and lighting. Is this something a novice could conquer on a Saturday? How long does this normally take?

Sorry for all my questions and thanks for all responses!
 

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$300 - $400 for just labor? That sounds do far off it makes me think they are quoting install AND some tire store brand of shocks.

Install is easy. You don't even need the floor jack. One thing I like about working on my jeeps is that there is actually room to crawl around under them.

Do it yourself. While your at it look around and learn how your jeep works. You'll gain some knowledge and confidence should you ever have to make trail repairs.
 

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If you put a bumper on you can install shocks. Watch a few videos and have at it. By the 4th one you will be laughing at the 400 quote.
 

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At $90 per hour I'd charge no more than $180 labor for the shocks at my shop. Not a hard install at all. The right front can be a little tricky with the battery tray in the way. I just installed Rancho MT7000's and can not believe the improvement.
 

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If you have a basic set of tools, you can install the shocks. I recently changed my shocks myself and it took around 1.5 hours total. For the rear, there are 3 bolts that hold the shock on. Those took maybe 15 minutes each to change and you do not need to jack up the rear. For the front, I did jack up the vehicle and take the wheel off. It makes it much easier to access the nut at the top of the shocks. Just crawl under the Jeep and look at how the shocks are installed and you should be able to quickly understand how to replace them. I would never spend $300 to $400 to have someone else install them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will I need some sort of compressor if the shocks aren't compressed? I'm sure they're not real easy to compress into the seating
 

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Will I need some sort of compressor if the shocks aren't compressed? I'm sure they're not real easy to compress into the seating
no they are not like coils or struts. even high pressure shocks are not that tough to compress. Most shocks come with some kind of retainer whether it is a nylon band or flimsy wire holding them in the compressed position. Intstall the top ends of the shock and then just push up the bottoms into place and use a screwdriver to pry up on the bottom to align the bolt hole. easy peasy lemon squeezy
 

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Will I need some sort of compressor if the shocks aren't compressed? I'm sure they're not real easy to compress into the seating
No, you don't need a compressor. In fact, I don't think there even is such a thing as a shock compressor. This is not a strut with a spring. The shocks are under pressure but it is pretty easy to just grab it and push the shock partially compressed to get the shock mounting hole lined up with the bracket.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm interested in ranchos. Where can I buy the new 5000xl series? Didn't see them on Quadratec, 4wheelparts, north ridge, or extreme terrain. Can I get them directly from rancho?
 

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I bought mine from Amazon. First, go to the Rancho web site and look up what models you need for the front and back. Then put in the model number on Amazon and search for them. I search numerous web sites and Amazon was the least expensive.
 

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We carry some Rancho 5000s -
Wrangler JK & JK Unlimited Shock Absorbers & Shock Boots

As others say, with moderate skills, you should be able to replace them on your own.
(time to call in some Jeep buddies! :)

I don't know about the particular shop, but in this area, there is a local code that says a vehicle has to be aligned after installing shocks / or struts (at least, it has to show it on the repair form that it was done).

Though with shocks, you normally are not altering the front end any, so you shouldn't need one.

(struts are a whole different ball game)




.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
By removing the shock, there is no possibility of the vehicle falling and crushing me right? The spring holds the vehicle above the axles, right? Please don't flame me for such a stupid question
 

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By removing the shock, there is no possibility of the vehicle falling and crushing me right? The spring holds the vehicle above the axles, right? Please don't flame me for such a stupid question
No worries, there are no stupid questions when it comes to safety working under a vehicle. Put jack stands under the frame on level firm ground and leave your floor jack under the the axle for maximum protection. You really can replace shocks without even removing the tires if it makes you feel safer.
 

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Another way to feel extra secure would be a set of jack stands under the frame and another set under the axle. Nothing should move that way.
 

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I'm thinking of upgrading my stock shocks, and I called a few places and they wanted around 300-400 bucks just for the installation labor. I saw a write up on how to replace the shocks with basic hand tools and a floor jack (1 wheel at a time), and it didn't look terribly difficult. Is it? Am I missing something? I'm definitely not real mechanically inclined, the only work I've done myself is bumpers and lighting. Is this something a novice could conquer on a Saturday? How long does this normally take?

Sorry for all my questions and thanks for all responses!
Im not sure about your jeep but on an 89 XJ, the shocks are the easiest parts of the entire vehicle to replace. 15 minutes for all 4 max and you need like one wrench IIRC. Those guys asking for $300 to $400 labor are giggling when you walk out the door, I would watch out for them, i.e. never go there again lol

Also, IIRC, the shocks on the jeep do not act as alignment members and will not affect alignment in anyway. Unlike a strut which connects to a knuckle.

This applies to an 89 XJ, im not sure about your jeep, but I would imagine its the same if you have a true solid axle jeep.

To understand why shocks do not hold the vehicle up, take your new shocks, and observe how you can easily compress them by hand. Or, just push down on your hood and see how you are compressing the shock. There is about 900 lbs more force than you pushing down with your hand, all the time, pulling the hood down. The spring is holding things up.
 

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I had never installed shocks in my life until this weekend. Really easy. Right front was harder because access to that top out was limited. Other then that it was a snap.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had never installed shocks in my life until this weekend. Really easy. Right front was harder because access to that top out was limited. Other then that it was a snap.
Did you remove the wheels and put the jeep up on jack stands? I plan on leaving all four wheels on the vehicle while I do this. I watched a video and that guy left all four on and was able to easily install shocks.

Thanks for all the help everyone. This forum is great
 

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Yes we had the wheels off and on jack stands. We were installing a budget boost lift kit. Life will be easier if you had jack stands and the wheels off.
 
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