Quantcast Shock Absorber Service

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Figure 8-18.—A dial indicator mounted to measure the amount of play in a ball joint. ball   joint.   The   ball   joint   may   be   pressed,   riveted, bolted, or screwed into the control arm. If the ball joint is  riveted  to  the  control  arm,  replace  the  rivets  with bolts. NOTE For  exact  ball  joint  removal  and installation  procedures,  consult  the  manu- facturer’s service manual. Shock Absorber Service Worn  shock  absorbers  will  cause  the  vehicle  to ride  poorly  on  rough  roads.  When  the  tire  strikes  a bump, a bad shock will not dampen spring oscillations. The  suspension  system  will  continue  to  rebound  and bounce. This move is then transferred to the frame, the body, and the passenger compartment. Loose or damaged shocks produce a loud clanking or  banging  sound.  The  rapid  up-and-down  movement of  the  suspension  can  hammer  the  loose  shock absorber  against  the  body,  the  shock  tower,  or  the control arm. To  check  shock  absorber  condition,  locate  any problems with a bounce test and a visual inspection. To perform a shock absorber bounce test, simply push up and  down  on  each  corner  of  the  vehicle  body.  Then release  the  body  and  count  the  number  of  times  the vehicle moves up and down. Generally a GOOD shock absorber   should   stop   movement   in   two   to   three rebounds.  A  BAD  shock  absorber  will  let  the  body bounce over three times. Visually inspect the shock absorbers for any signs of leakage (oily wetness) and damage. Also, check the bushing on each end of the shock for being smashed or split. Make sure that the shock absorber fasteners are tight.  When  shock  absorber  replacement  is  required, ALWAYS  replace  them  as  a  pair,  even  if  but  one  is defective. This action ensures the riding equilibrium of the vehicle. NOTE For  instructions  on  removal  and installation  of  shock  absorbers,  refer  to  the manufacturer’s service manual. CAUTION With many suspension systems, you must place  jack  stands  or  lift  devices  under  the control arms or axle when replacing the shock absorbers. This will keep the control arms or axle from flying downward when the shock is unbolted. Strut Service The  most  common  trouble  with  a  strut  type suspension   is   worn   shock   absorbers.   Just   like conventional   shock   absorbers,   the   pistons   and cylinders  inside  the  struts  can  begin  to  leak.  This reduces  the  dampening  action  and  the  vehicle  rides poorly. As with the conventional shock absorber when a strut shock absorber leaks, it must be replaced, and ALWAYS as a pair. Basically,  strut  removal  involves  unbolting  the steering knuckle (front suspension) or bearing support (rear suspension), any brake lines, and the upper strut assembly-to-body  fasteners.  Remove  the  strut assembly (coil spring and shock) as a single unit. CAUTION Do NOT remove the nut on the end of the shock rod or the unit can fly apart. A  strut  spring  compressor  is  required  to  remove the coil spring from the strut. After the coil spring is compressed, remove the upper damper assembly. With the  upper  damper  assembly  removed,  release  the tension  on  the  coil  spring  and  lift  the  spring  off  the strut. Inspect all parts closely for damage. 8-15

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