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> Jeep Articles > Technical & Installation - Suspension > You don?t know how bad your shocks are till you re

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Technical / Installation Articles - Suspension

You don?t know how bad your shocks are till you re

Article written by Adventure Bob

Date Added: 06/05/2006

The Go-fer, my 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was diagnosed by my wife as ?squishy? around corners and when she slowed down.

A quick drive confirmed her ?squishy? diagnosis and new shocks became the prevailing order of the day. I know, I know, shocks aren?t sexy or new or cool; but if you?ve never done them, this write-up is for you. An introduction is due for the Go-fer since it?s never been featured in anything before. I have used the Go-fer to ferry parts and friends and haul the busted Turtle to and from various places. It has been a dependable, usually always running, and reliable vehicle to support the Turtle and my exploits.

The Go-fer will never become one of the trail rigs here at MoabJeeper Magazine, but without it, much of what we do couldn?t get done. As I break things, or as things wear out and need to be replaced, I?ll write them up so that if you own a Grand Cherokee (ZJ), you?ll at least have an idea of what?s out there, and how to get it on your rig.

Ok, so for those of you looking to replace your ZJ shocks with a set that have great street manners and allow you to occasionally wheel, please keep reading.

Two things before we start:
1 Spray all the bolts with WD-40
2 The Front Upper Mount Nuts are located in very hard to reach places. A stubby wrench set helps tremendously


1. With the weight of the vehicle on the wheels, remove both left & right Front Upper Mount Nuts.
 Some installations used a single, self locking nut. Others used a nut and lock nut combo. The Double nut combo is much harder to get loosened.

2. Raise the vehicle and remove the wheels.

3. Remove the left and right lower front mount bolts, there are 2 on each side.
 There are nuts on the bottoms.
 Place a brass collar and a rubber bushing on the shock prior to the next step

4. Install the new Front Shocks in the same position and install the Front Lower Mount Nuts & Bolts.

5. Remove the Rear Upper Nut.

6. Remove the Rear Lower Nut & Bolt.

7. Install the new Rear Shock on the Upper Mount Pin and install the Upper Mount Nut.
 The rear Bilsteins for a ZJ are slightly shorter than your full suspension travel. You?ll need to use a jack to raise the axle aprox 1/2? to install the Rear Lower Nut & Bolt.

8. Install the Rear Lower Nut & Bolt.

9. Tighten all the Bolts.

10. Install the Tires.

11. Slowly Lower the vehicle.
 Make sure that the Front Upper Mounts are aligned with the body holes. Lowering the vehicle without doing so can damage your shocks or worse put a big dent in your inner fender.

12. Install the rubber bushing, brass collar, and locknut.

13. Ensure everything is tight.

Final Thoughts

The effect of new nitrogen charged shocks will be immediate. Since shock deterioration is gradual, you probably never noticed them going soft. You?ll definitely notice the change now that you have new shocks on. Your significant other will remark on how handy you are and will enjoy the ride.

So where?d I get the fancy new dampers? I ordered them on line from a company called Shox.com

The price was $219.00 for the shocks and $13.00 for shipping to Utah. I ordered them and 2 days later they where on my porch. Great service and the best price I found on the net. Would I buy there again? Yes I would.

Tel 800.683.2890.

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