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Changing out shocks

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Joseph

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Changing out shocks
« on: September 10, 2021, 01:22:12 pm »
A bit of info that will help anyone swapping out shocks. I just changed out the front shocks on my rig. Itís always been known the drivers side is tough to change and most learn new words in the process. Thereís a boot inside to remove that helps gain access but itís still a bit of a challenge.

Now attempting a diff approach I went to harbor freight to buy a few offset box wrenches to try. While there I found a 8 in 1 dog bone wrench with open socket type ends. All of $10 and with it I was able to change out the drivers side front shock taking only 5 mins longer than the passenger side and no frustration.   I wish I could post a picture of the wrench.  Anyone wanting a pic to assist in finding one of these wrenches send me a note and I will email you a pic.

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LRUCH

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2021, 04:46:23 pm »
Thanks for the info on the wrench.

I've attached your photo here.

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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2021, 05:34:33 pm »
Thank you for posting it. Very Much appreciated!!

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CalCruiser

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2021, 05:44:19 pm »
Doctor Baja 1K  2o2
Goin' where the wind goes...

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2021, 10:02:09 pm »
My hands are not fat.

I found that removing the two sharp-ended bolts from under the hood, allows for improved access from the "left" front side.  As I recall, I used a box wrench to hold the top nut still, and turned the shock.  CLICK HERE for details with pictures.  Scroll down for the picture that illustrates it.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 10:07:16 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2021, 02:27:55 pm »
Ron, this works better than an off set box wrench. It sets in much easier. This is easier than using the access point under the carpet inside the cab thatís designed for it. And yes, you spin the shock .
The rotator  cuff of my left shoulder is having some serious strain on my dexterity and with this itís a breeze. Iíve wasted a lot of money over the years on tools I thought were all that. This dog bone if I never use it again paid for itself in spades even if I threw it away. As they say , worked slicker than snake snot.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 02:31:40 pm by Joseph »

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Free2RV

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2021, 05:25:21 am »
I also want to thank you for your post.  Just curious, is that wrench a metric or SAE.  I am going to be going by Harbor Freight this week and I am going to pick one up when the time has come to replace the front shocks.
Gary

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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 09:19:59 am »
Gary, itís SAE.  Thank you for pointing that out. My bad.  Thereís a few ways to get at that drivers side shock. This is just the easiest Iíve found by far where it stays in place. I should have thought of it and used one of their 20% off coupons. Canít say Iíll ever use this wrench for anything else and I hope I donít have to change out the shocks again but if I do Ö., Ah who am I kidding, I wonít remember where I stored the wrench.

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KEB

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2021, 03:08:36 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5HAeFJX-Co

Check out this you tube link.

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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2021, 09:49:07 am »
KEB... Thank you for finding that video. Great video shows exactly how easy it makes the change out. He shows using another wrench from HF for the the lower nut on top of the shock. I hadn't thought of that. I just used an old wrench I had laying around. On the Koni shocks that I removed that nut is hard to get at because most wrenches are too thick. At least all I had were. I took an old wrench and ground it down to be thin enough to fit on the nut between the top shroud of the shock and the frame. This is really going to depend on the shocks your changing out.

For those that want to use the access point in the cab there's a You tube video of that out there somewhere as well.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 10:00:22 am by Joseph »

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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2021, 03:45:05 pm »
So I now have Gabriel fleet line shocks installed. Iíll be honest, I canít  tell the difference from the Koni. Will these last, did I make the right decision? I have no clue.  What I do know is that after spending over $650 for Koni and their only lasting 40,000 miles I have a new pms. Planned maintenance schedule. Not changing in time cost me a $250 tire so from this point on I will change out front at roughly 35k miles and rears at no more than 40k miles. And I wonít bother paying three times the cost in search for a one time on a normal wear item.

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Volkemon

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2021, 03:36:32 pm »
So I now have Gabriel fleet line shocks installed. Iíll be honest, I canít  tell the difference from the Koni.

https://www.koni-na.com/en-US/NorthAmerica/Products/Accessories/Decals/



Couple of the $1.60 silver shock stickers and no one else will be able to tell the difference either.  roflol

I have been fortunate, and gotten to check out many expensive add-ons to cars - by being paid to install them for other people on their vehicles. Worked 5 years in a busy car/truck custom shop. The owner made the $$ from the sale of the items. I was just in it to see what REALLY made a difference. The pay was similar to a general repair mechanic. I got paid the same to install a $50 shock as I did to install a $300 shock. I would drive before the repair, to 'verify the complaint' and get 15-30 min flat rate to do so. Then I got to drive them right after to road test the replacement. Same day, same roads, same loads...it was a good testing environment.

Heard a LOT of marketing BS. From reps and customers. Condescending looks from the people that paid too much that assume I just am not knowledgeable/refined enough to 'feel' the difference their new intake/exhaust/fuel shark made on their ride. Surely THEY know their ride better than some guy who samples hundreds of vehicles and is trained to diagnose their problems.  (nod)

It has made me into a VERY skeptical buyer...if you dont have numbers/facts to back up your claims... you aint getting my clams.    (exactly)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 03:44:17 pm by Volkemon »
""You want to save money on travel, drive a Prius and stay at motel 6""  Forum Member Joseph


WORD.

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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2021, 09:01:12 pm »
Volk. I have to agree from the lesson I just learned. I canít tell the difference but these are new and the Koni have 40k.  I thought one of the rears was bad too but I was wrong it wasnít leaking but the other front was going bad. The front left had done so much creaking I kept checking my ball joint thinking it was going out. Now with the new Gabrielís that stopped so that Koni was on its way out too. I guess all I can say is that in my case I feel like I wasted my money on hear say and a lot of hype.  Itís hard for people to say they made a bad choice.  Kind of like an item being priced at 399.99 and then the buyer tells the next guy he got it for just over $300. 

The Koni cost me over 650 with no installation. I paid 250 for all four of the Gabriel fleet line. One I scored one for $20 on Amazon because he only had one left.  So even at full price Iíd be at about 300 for the set.  How long they will last I havenít a clue. But Iím willing to wager Iíll be money ahead. 

Thanks volk for your insight!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 05:46:17 am by Joseph »

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2021, 12:04:23 am »
Joseph,

I am glad you found an affordable shock that works well for your PC.

With every trip we take with our PC, I am convinced more and more that a heavy duty shock is the right choice for the PC application.  I chose HD-Bilsteins and are happy with them.  You chose Gabriel and are happy with them.

I feel a softer shock (comfort ride) is not addressing the harsh ride properly.  The proper tire pressure for the actual load is the best place to start.

If owners have PC model 2100 or 2350, I would weigh the rig to determine if the rig could benefit from softer front springs that handle the actual load without having so much excessive weight margin.

I have no experience with the rear suspension, but I wonder if models 2100 and 2350 built on an E450 chassis could benefit from the removal of a rear leaf spring or two.

Having springs that support the actual load without so much excessive margin will yield a more comfortable ride and also lower the stance by some amount.  I know it is popular to raise the rear, but lowering the front with softer springs raises the rear by some amount.

Having a level rig is ideal.  Having it stand a little lower has both pros with handling and cons with tail clearance.

One thing for certain, everyone has their own opinion on this subject matter.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 06:31:05 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Joseph

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Re: Changing out shocks
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2021, 01:31:02 pm »
Ron, no doubt and I went with the heavy duty that they claim is used on coach house.  I figure theyíre  roughly the same weight. One thing that I find isnít a matter of opinion is that paying more wonít guarantee long life. Not making 40k miles and costing more than twice as much doesnít impress me. I know itís hell for anyone to admit they paid for something they didnít get. I know because I just did. I paid over $650 and got a ride that was pretty much lumber wagon in comparison. Iíve mentioned the ride before in other threads. If these shocks only last, oh letís say 20k miles Iím still ahead and Iíll bet you an ice cold one that they last longer than 20,000 miles. Now I could be wrong and owe you a cold one but Iím open to the risk, how about you?  I currently run 9-11,000 miles a year so itís not a long wait. The more I read the more Iíd guess Monroe or any other name brand HD shock as well would probably do fine.

Now what I will promise right up front, if Iím wrong Iíll post it right up front. I have absolutely no issue with admitting I was wrong. In either case right or wrong it helps save someone else added expense.


No on the subject of ride. I havenít been in a class C yet that wasnít a lumber wagon when it come to bridge joints and rough roads.  I hear the big heavy Diesel pushers ride very smooth but I have not spent any time in one so for me thatís still hear-say.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 05:18:22 pm by Joseph »