1968-2013 Full Size VansEconolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550
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Hey I have a 94 E-250 that I am trying to replace the shocks on. Did the rears and they were tough but got them done. I am having a problem getting the top nut off the front shocks. very tight space and cant fit a socket over it no room to turn and stem of shock is to long for socket. I know there must be an easier way to get this done? Heated the bottom nuts and got them off, just stumped on how to do the tops
OK thanks for responses. First there is no room for a saws all and also once you have it cut off you still would need a wrench to tighten. Now what is a 'Blue Wrench" ? There is alot of room on my 95 E-150 to get to the shocks. But for some reason (Heavier Suspension ?) There is just so little room to work on the tops. Thanks
a "blue tipped wrench" is slang for cutting torch!
Anyone trying to change shocks on our E Vans faces this same thing---nearly impossible tight spaces on the top studs, front or rear regardless the suspension. A Sawzall with 9" metal cutting blade tends to be long enough for the rears--fronts you may need to remove the tire for enough access room.
Depending on the brand or construction of the shocks some cutting will probably be necessary since its difficult and time consuming trying to loosen and unthread the front top nuts. If you remove a front tire remember your jack stands for support and safety!
This is a tough task no matter how you approach it-----we've all been there, done that and probably equally amazed how something so simple turns into such a challenge.
I havent checked in since last Saturday,but i ran across this today on my own truck changing the front shocks (1995 e-350 club wagon). I used a medium deep socket on it,but i had to hammer the metal above the shock and then wedged the ratchet in there by way of small sledgehammer lol...Took me 45 minutes to finagle this mess,then the bottom shock bolt snapped (major rust throughout),so now i need a shock bolt. So i could only get one side done today .
Gonna sawzall the other side tomorrow and save myself the hassle.
Thanks for the tips guys
I did manage to install the top bolt though,and it took 5 minutes just to hammer and pry the ratchet out from the shock stud.
Glad you all are here. Would like to revive this thread.
I'm changing 4 shocks on my 1999 E250. Monroe Gas Matic.
Thanks for confirming use of a Sawzall to remove the rear top bolts - they are tight and will use the Sawzall.
Here's my question - when removing the old shocks do I remove the OEM rubber grommets ? They seem to be in there pretty good.
In all honesty because they didn't drop out --- on the front I left them in. With the new front shock (top pin) I added the Monroe washer and lower grommet - added the top washer only - not enough room on the threaded pin for the new grommet and OEM grommet. Just have the OEM grommet.
All compressed and tightened well.
I'll redo if advised - or can I leave it ?
The rear I'm doing tomorrow - remove the OEM grommets ?
Replace any existing grommet or washer that comes with the new shocks. Good advice is to use liberal dabs of a marine-type grease or something silicone based to lube those grommets/bushings.
I would guess its acceptable to use an old grommet/bushing assuming you don't run out of stud threads before the shock is firmly mounted and secured in place. So far with my Bilstein's using their grommets/bushings, washers and nuts there have been no issues as you describe SteveNC.
Same with the rears---if you can fit the new grommets/bushings & washers use them---if not check the shock nuts after a few hundred miles, making sure they're still tight to the cross member.
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