When you drive a truck on an uneven road, the shock absorbers of the vehicle absorb and dissipate energy to keep the ride smooth. With time, the pistons, leakage of hydraulic fluid, and sealing components of shock absorbers deteriorate. Due to this, the truck starts to bounce on bumpy roads. To stabilize the vehicle, either you need to hire a professional, or learn how to change shocks on a truck.
How to Change Shocks on a Truck?
Here we will share the main steps for shock absorber replacement. Experts recommend always change the front and back shocks together of suspension system. This means that, even if only the front one is blown, you have to change the back one too.
Start by blocking the tires of the truck. After this, just lose the lug nuts, but do not take them off. Commonly, the hardware of your truck shocks gets rusty due to frequent use. So, you have to first deal with it before replacing shock. You can use an oil spray that can penetrate the hardware and create a coating over it. It is always better to get rid of shock hardware rust at this stage because the spray needs to sit there for some time. Now when you need to install new shocks, you can do it at your own immediately.
Use the truck dolly to jack up the truck body to a specific height. Now secure it with the help of stands. You have to make sure that you are using a high-quality dolly so that the truck does not fall. You will be working under the truck, so any such incident can prove to be dangerous for you. Nar the lower shock mount, you need to place a jack. This will help you lift the rear axle of the truck. The jack should be cradling the axle at this point. Repeat the same steps to lift the other side as well. This step is crucial for newcomers who are trying to learn how to replace shock absorbers. In terms of worker’s safety, they should take enough time at this step, and ensure utmost security.
At this stage, you are ready to take action for replacing shock absorbers. Put on your safety outfit and glasses to get under the truck. Start by removing the bolts of the shocks and struts by using ratchets and sockets. Keep in mind that you have to avoid spinning off the threaded rod. For this purpose, check the top of the shock mount to confirm its presence. If it is there, then use a specific tool to prevent this action when you are loosening the top nuts.
This step requires you to use three different tools from your box, the wrench, ratchet, and socket. The wrench will help you in removing the bottom bolt, while the ratchet and socket will play part in loosening the nuts. As you lose the bolt with a wrench, make sure you tap it with a hammer to break free the bolt. If you are planning to use the old shock hardware, make sure you do not damage the threads. You can only learn such precautionary measures if you learn how to replace shocks on a truck from an expert.
During this step while changing good quality struts on a truck, focus on the upper bolts and washers. First, you need to remove the shock retainers and let them expand. You have to compress it a little so that you can align it with the bottom shock bolt of the energy absorber. Now use a nut to tighten the bolt as much as you possibly can.
This step is the simplest one. Well, you surely need to put the effort into this too. All you need to do is to repeat everything that you have done in the previous five steps for shock absorber replacement.
This is the finishing step in which you can remove the tools, and debris present under the vehicle. Check for the last time that every nut and bolt is tight, and the hardware is in the right position. Especially check the lug nuts as you cannot afford it to be loose. After this, lower down the truck, and remove the blocks from under it. Take your vehicle on a test drive be sure about its proper working. Also, you have to choose the good shocks to make sure the replacement is done right.
How often do you need shock absorber replacement?
Like all other parts of the truck system, the shocks and strut replacement need to be regularly done. According to the professionals, this task needs repetition after your truck covers 50 to 100 thousand miles. Also, depending on the wear and tear the shock absorbers face during ride, the number of times till replacement may increase or decrease. In addition, you need to replace if you find any bad shocks of your truck and for this you should know the symptoms of faulty shock absorbers.
Also, the shocks life span is no more than 4 to 5 years. Again, if you ride regularly on it and the path you follow is rough and bumpy, then the average life can be lower than actual. The same is the case when the user is no more than 3 to 4 days a week and the road you drive on is smooth. The life span would be even more than 5 years. But if you notice shock absorber leaks, replace it immediately without thinking more,
If you learn how to change shocks on a truck, the task would never be tough for you. However, you have to be very vigilant so that you can start and finish the new shock installation without error. In this way, you will be able to save money. Along with this, it will be a huge learning process for you. Your knowledge about your truck will improve, and that will help you with its maintenance in the future.