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New shocks

  #16  
Old 09-27-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by econovanfan1 View Post
Thank you Ford engineers .. LOL
So true. Some things are done well, some are a nightmare...

How hard is it to pop those ribber exhaust hangers over those grommets? If I can get the hanger off I can remove the bracket and get to the nut that way without hacking off anything...
 
  #17  
Old 09-27-2018, 11:57 AM
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I'm really really right in the middle of doing this on my own E350---thanks to my self installed huge Hellwig sway bar I have to cut the lower bolt heads off to remove the shock from the axle mount. Oh well Hellwig bar vs a few pennies for new bolts---not even a moments hesitation.

As I'm discovering the upper stem has a 15mm nut on top and an 18mm wrench flat under the crossmember. If you have a 15mm ratcheting box end wrench using the 18mm back up and see if you can remove those upper nuits. Mine are coming off fairly easily, the only difficult part being the very limited wrench swing I get due the small space under the floor.

Before trying any other method method see if the wrenches first work---wouldn't hurt to use PB Blaster or Deep Creep a few times over a couple different days. If I didn't already say it use some sort of anti-seize up top---will save a world of sweat and toil if ever doing this again.

Now the big challenge comes---how to compress and hold the Bilstein shocks during installation?
 
  #18  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:19 PM
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Mine are Gabriel Ultra's and are wrapped with wire, so compressing isn't an issue. And I wasn't clear I think...

I got them off easily. PB Blaster soaked them quite well. I got a wrench on the top nut and it broke free easily. But, rather than trying to turn the wrench, I was able to rotate the tube to get the nut off. What I failed to do was realize that will not work for the install. So, super-narrow wrench throw with that bracket being RIGHT THERE, which is my problem. No issues installing the driver's side because the tank was down.

I don't know if all E350's of this vintage are the same, but there is an exhaust hanger bolted right on the area where the top nut is, and even with the nuts removed I can't get it off because the welded tailpipe won't move enough to get it up and free of the holes. If I could do that, the world would be a lot easier. This is my issue...
 
  #19  
Old 09-27-2018, 12:54 PM
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What year is your E350 Warren? Mine is an '05.
 
  #20  
Old 09-27-2018, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JWA View Post
What year is your E350 Warren? Mine is an '05.
1996. Sounds like it may be different but still an ugly challenge for both of us. I'm going to try to sneak out on lunch break to see if I can figure out how to get the wrench throw wide enough to get it done without any 'modification'.
 
  #21  
Old 09-27-2018, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrensE350 View Post
1996. Sounds like it may be different but still an ugly challenge for both of us. I'm going to try to sneak out on lunch break to see if I can figure out how to get the wrench throw wide enough to get it done without any 'modification'.
Enjoy your lunch and good luck with the shocks.
 
  #22  
Old 09-27-2018, 01:57 PM
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Fortunately I was able to get just enough throw by going at it above the frame from the wheel well. Did not have to slice and dice. Good luck with yours too!
 
  #23  
Old 09-27-2018, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by WarrensE350 View Post
Fortunately I was able to get just enough throw by going at it above the frame from the wheel well. Did not have to slice and dice. Good luck with yours too!
Good---seems we're both finished then!

I was going to say the obstructions you encountered weren't present on my van BUT I was working on the back side of the cross member, in the space where the spare normally resides. I do notice a exhaust hanger bracket and see how the fuel tank would be in the way if going at this from in front of the cross member.

So maybe next time we're asked about replacing shocks we have something to share?

Thanks again Warren!
 
  #24  
Old 10-02-2018, 10:37 AM
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I sort of ran out of time (works as an excuse for me, anyway), and farmed out the front shock installs to the shop. It needed the safety inspection anyway so I had them do them. Worth $75 to me I guess, at least I didn't have to deal with those top nuts and possibly breaking the bottom stud. I feel bad because I always do everything myself, but I'd just done the rears and the new fuel pump, and I needed the van on the road like yesterday. So anyway, I probably won't have to worry about the shocks maybe ever again.
 
  #25  
Old 10-02-2018, 12:34 PM
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You did what's right for you so nothing wrong with that Warren!

 


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