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You guys out there have any tips on replacing the original shocks on my 70 Chevelle, 52K original miles. I have never replaced any shocks of any sort before and was just wondering what I was up for. Thanks in advance!

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D Smith
ALABAMA
1970 Chevelle 350
 

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Replacing shocks is horribly simple. The front shocks have one nut at the top in the engine compartment and two at the base in the lower control arm. The top nut should have two nuts "jammed" together to keep them from coming loose. Using two wrenches, just pop them loose (may be rusty). Then remove the two lower bolts and it will simply slide out the lower control arm. You may have to lift the car to allow you room to pull the shock out the bottom. Removing the wheel makes things easier to reach. To install them, just reverse the process. Simple!

In the rear, the upper mount bolts can be hard to reach, but get a wrench on the bolt head on top of the mounting pad and use a deep socket on a ratchet to loosen the bolt from the bottom side. Two bolts each shock. Then all you need to do is loosen the large bolt at the base of the shock which mounts it to the axle. These are typically rusted tight, so have lots of WD40 on hand and a good long breaker bar for your socket. If you have an air ratchet gun it could be useful here.

If it won't budge, you can take it to a muffler shop and have them torch the head of the bolt off. This will destroy the rubber mounts but that's okay since you should get new ones with the new shocks. Again, to replace them just bolt in the new ones. Use new bolts all around in the rear since they take a lot of abuse and using new bolts at the top rear will make getting them started and tightened properly much easier. Don't forget to use lock washers on the rear upper bolts.

E-mail me if you need additional info.
 

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One thing to add, on the front shocks, there is a square top (if you look at it, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.) They make a socket like tool to hold the shaft from turning. I would highly suggest getting one. I did my front shocks in about 5 hours and ran into every consivable probelm. But the ride afterwards was well worth it.

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Bryan Shook
www.geocities.com/motorcity/speedway/6673
Favorite Quote: Some people have shrinks. Some people have their garage.

[This message has been edited by elcamino72 (edited 01-19-2000).]
 

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At one time I worked in a shop that I did 20 or so shocks a day.You want to get the top nut off the front shocks?Take a deep well socket,and an extension about 18"to 24" long.Put the socket over the nut and rock the extention back and forth as far as possible.If these shocks are more then 3 or so years old,the whole top stud of the shock will snap off in about 10 seconds!Newer shocks might take 30 or so seconds.I have NEVER enscrewed this nut,unless the shock was to be saved.Not a better way,just faster!
 

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Trying to take off a nut that's been on for 30 years could be tough. I've never had any luck doing it the proper way, with wrenches, etc. When I do front shocks now I automatically get my drill out and drill down into the top nut, maybe on both sides of the bolt, and pry the nut apart with a chisel or the "multi-purpose tool"
- big screwdriver. I don't know if the northern winters are harsher on these types of things, with the salt, etc., but I've never gotten one off. I need to do mine in the spring. I will try drake's idea first this time. I like it..

[This message has been edited by TK-70 (edited 01-20-2000).]
 

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i also use a socket and extension to break the stud, if the nut doesn't come off with an impact gun first. when installing the new shock use a wire wheel to buff the paint out of the threads. you can also use a little grease to coat the threads then use a piece of rubber fuel hose over the stud to keep it clean and easy for the next time.
 
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