Rear Shocks

Difficulty(0-10): 4
Time: 60-120 min
Tool Specialty(0-10): 4
Parts/Tools Needed
New Shocks
22mm Wrench
19mm Wrench
Large Vice Grips
Jack and Jack Stands
Strap Wrench
Torque Values
Top Shock Nut: 51 ft-lbs
Bottom Shock Bolt: 72 ft-lbs


The rear shocks seem to give some people a lot of trouble. Some people even cut holes in the floorboard to access the rear shock. This is completely unnecessary in the cruisers Iíve worked on. You may need a strap wrench or some very large vice grips, but you should not have to cut into any sheet metal.


Remove the spare tire; your head needs to go where it normally sits. This is done using the factory spare tire drop tool to lower the spare. You may need to pop out the protective cover in the rear bumper.

Jack up the rear of the car using the rear diff and some jack stands. My small 2 ton stands were sufficient, but larger stands are certainly preferred.

Top Nut

Using a vice grip or strap wrench grasp the shock body. HARD. You need to hold the shock body from rotating while you loosen the nut above. If youíre using a vice grip you will probably need to clamp it about as tight as you can near the top of the body where it mounts into the body. A strap wrench can be used lower on the shock.

Now that youíve got a really firm grip on the shock, you can remove the top nut . I needed to use a 22mm box wrench a 2 foot pipe (handle from my aluminum jack). Leverage can be hard to find curled under the rear of the car so you may need to use your feet to push the cheater. Allow the vice grip to spin until it hits the body and is forced to hold still. For the strap wrench have a helper hold it tight. Watch your fingers.

Bottom Nut

This is exposed and easy. Use a socket or ratcheting wrench and loosen the nut.


Installation is the reverse of removal. No tricks here. You may need to compress the shocks a little to get them into the correct location. Note the torque values at the top of this guide. You donít want these coming loose on the highway!