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Suspension 2nd Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:07 PM
rlsbee rlsbee is offline
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Default Front Shocks hard to remove

I have a'98 2WD 1500. I'm trying to get the nut on the top of the shocks loose but no luck so far. The nut is situated such that it's not accessible with an open end wrench (at least not where the wrench could be pulled). I can get a socket on it but the shaft of the shock turns with the nut.
There is no way to hold the shaft using the socket. I can get a 'crowfoot' on the nut but I can't budge the nut with it.
I've considered trying to get a nut splitter on it, trying to grind away the nut, and even cutting the shock with a Sawzall (messy).
I'm looking for any suggestions.
Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:12 PM
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94ram1500 94ram1500 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsbee View Post
I have a'98 2WD 1500. I'm trying to get the nut on the top of the shocks loose but no luck so far. The nut is situated such that it's not accessible with an open end wrench (at least not where the wrench could be pulled). I can get a socket on it but the shaft of the shock turns with the nut.
There is no way to hold the shaft using the socket. I can get a 'crowfoot' on the nut but I can't budge the nut with it.
I've considered trying to get a nut splitter on it, trying to grind away the nut, and even cutting the shock with a Sawzall (messy).
I'm looking for any suggestions.
Thanks for any help.

Are you replacing the shocks? If so, try to get a pair of Vise grips on the shaft so you can keep it from turning. If not, I would spray it heavily with PB Blaster or WD-40 and let it set for a bit. Guessing you don't have air tools? 3/8 or 1/2 impact gun could just zip that nut right off.
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2011, 01:36 AM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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I am guessing that the 2 wheel drives are using the same mount design as the 4x4s do, simplifies things on the assembly line... With this assumption in place, your best shot at getting the upper ends off would be to , in my humble opinion, if you haven't a 1/2 impact, is to go and buy non self locking nuts (2) I'm thinking they are 1/2 fine thread, possibly not, I cannot remember, and cruising down to your local tire shop and bumming a quick zip with their impact, then immediately installing the non self locking nuts, going straight home and proceeding with your project. Put nuts on before driving!!! (If you plan to drive it at all, squirt a little rtv into the threads on the end of the shocks AFTER putting the non self locking nuts on, this will stop the nuts from backing off completely, these nuts are very subject to unwinding from suspension action... no nuts = no up-stops on your front end, and that would not be a good thing on a bump... Bad idea to cut the shocks... once you do I wouldn't drive the vehicle. For me, up here in salt - land, the lower ends of the shocks are the real gorrilllas, you HAVE to have a blue tipped wrench (powered by oxygen and acyetelene) to heat the nuts on the little studs(4x4 version, 2wd may be different) (3 on each shock) I would highly recommend buying a rechargeable Milwaukee 18v or Craftsman 19.2 v impact, I use my Milwaukee quite often, it hits hard enough for most needs, and is irreplaceable in boneyards. Got mine on ebay for approx $150 2 batts, case and charger. the case fits both short and deep sockets, and a 3" extension .Can't use it on every job, but you may find it pretty handy... Good luck!!!
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:07 PM
rlsbee rlsbee is offline
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I have the truck up on jack stands in my shop. I am planning on replacing the shocks. I have air in the shop and I have an impact gun but there is no room to get the gun on top of the nut with a socket on it. 2WD is different than 4WD in that the shock does not extend to a three legged mount like the 4WD. Instead, the schock's top mount is behind the opening in the upper control arm. The control arm is such that you can not reach the nut with an open end or box wrench because the control arm is in the way. I did see a tool that is like a pair of sockets. One is for the nut and the other socket is for the stem. I'm gonna try to find one of these tools. There is no issue if I just cut the shock off because all work will be done in my shop.
thanks for the advice, so far.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:53 PM
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I cut the nut off of the shock. Dorked up the shock, but I was replacing the shocks anyway. As long as you don't damage the upper control arm, you'll be ok.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:36 PM
rlsbee rlsbee is offline
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Shocks are now off the truck. I took Big Swede's suggestion and cut the nut off of the first one. It took three slices through the nut to get it off. It was really stuck. It still took a hammer and punch to get the last piece off. I gotta tell ya...I've worked on a lot of old cars and I thought I'd seen the worst stuck fasteners, but this one took the cake. The other side was different. I put a pipe wrench on the upper part of the shock (that part is welded to the shaft) and then a breaker bar on the nut. This gave me a lot of leverage and the nut broke loose right away.
Just gotta get my new shocks, now. I think I'll do the brakes also while it's up on jack stands.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:28 PM
rlsbee rlsbee is offline
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I just wanted to add something. I bought Bilstein shocks. When installing the fronts, the shaft nut supplied is a 17 MM. To install the nut, you must hold the shaft. To do this, use an allen wrench to hold the shaft which has an allen wrench recess. There is not enough room to swing an open end wrench to tighten the nut. I took a 17 mm socket and ground four flat areas on the side of the socket at the top. Put the allen wrench through the socket and grip the flats on the socket with an adjustable wrench. The shaft can be held with the allen wrench and the nut can be turned with socket/adjustable combination. Just the way I did it.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:03 PM
shermanrleo shermanrleo is offline
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Default DITTO Shock Difficulty

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsbee View Post
I have a'98 2WD 1500. I'm trying to get the nut on the top of the shocks loose but no luck so far. The nut is situated such that it's not accessible with an open end wrench (at least not where the wrench could be pulled). I can get a socket on it but the shaft of the shock turns with the nut.
There is no way to hold the shaft using the socket. I can get a 'crowfoot' on the nut but I can't budge the nut with it.
I've considered trying to get a nut splitter on it, trying to grind away the nut, and even cutting the shock with a Sawzall (messy).
I'm looking for any suggestions.
Thanks for any help.
I'm having same difficulty. And I've tried every method to stop shock shaft from turning, including double vis-grips and pipe wrench. I have used an air gun to simply zip off the nut; it won't budge. I decided to cut the tops off and focused on the lower bolt. After several days of soaking with penetrating oil, I attacked the lower bolt with the air gun and 21mm socket. It wouldn't budge. I used a breaker bar; no go. I applied a pipe to the end of the breaker bar and broke the bolt. The other side won't budge. I'm going to borrow a grinder/cutter and remove tops, as well as cut off the lower bolts. I'm searching for bolts and locking nuts now. Every set of shocks is different having served the owner in different climates and road conditions. It isn't always as easy as one would hope.
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