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General Articles - Extras

Upgrade your suspension for under $15!

Article written by Doc Jones

Date Added: 12/02/2007

Many of us use our Jeeps as a daily driver. During all those endless street miles, parts are wearing out. And like the frog in water slowly cooked to death, sometimes we don?t realize we?re that frog!

That scenario is exactly what happened with my Jeep?s shocks. At first it was just a little extra suspension wobble, followed by a bit of extra bounce, culminating in a ride that just plain sucked. Meaning? it was time for new shocks.

However, since I had my eyes on some other upgrades as well, I decided to take a closer look at those shocks before pulling out the credit card.
What I found was the shocks were functioning exactly as they should, but the rubber bushings at each end had given up after a couple years of daily driving. Moving the shock around by hand, I had up to a half inch of movement before the shock could start to offer any assistance at calming down the coils.
Even without the weight of the Jeep compressing the bushing, a 1/8? gap is readily visible between the sleeve and the bushing.
As you can see, this bushing is completely breaking down.
Not wanting to replace junk with more junk, I made a trip to my local 4x4 shop. For $1 per urethane bushing, I picked up all 8 new bushings, 6 cross pins, 2 rear lower shock mount sleeves, and 2 new rear lower shock nuts & bolts (grade 5 2.75? x .5?) to replace those that had seen better days. Bushing and all hardware totaled out for under $15.
Shock installation and removal is pretty straight forward, no secrets here. Remove the nuts and/or bolts from each end of the shock, and that?s it. However, replacing the bushings with those new urethane bushings can be difficult. Why? Well the stiffness of the urethane bushing that allows your shock to work more efficiently is the same stiffness that resists any efforts to push the cross pins through the installed bushings.
Tip #1
Some pins will already have the corners removed leaving a tapered tip. The tapering will first help to get the pin started, and second it will help to keep a sharp 90° corner from cutting through the bushing. We suggest using a file or grinder to duplicate the taper.
Tip #2
Silicone spray. Trying to press (or hammer) a dry pin through a bushing is incredibly frustrating and potentially damaging to your new bushings. Spraying down the pin and the bushing will provide enough lubrication to get the pin installed. Don?t let me mislead you; the installation will still be a bit difficult.

Final Thoughts

Talk about bang for buck! It turned out the shocks were not bad at all; they simply needed new bushings. Now that I have the new urethanes in, I can honestly say the suspension has never fit so tight.

Our Thank You's!

Thank you to All Pro Auto & Off Road (801)731-6152

All Pro Auto & Off Road
1617S 1900W #1
West Haven, UT 84401

email: allproauto@msn.com


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