Day 32 – Shocks From Hell

I finally got around to finishing up the painting on the front shocks. Today I thought I would go ahead and install ’em. How hard could it be right?

First off, the bushing was still on the lower spindle so I put a pair of my new Milwaukee vise grips on it to see if I could work it loose. No such luck. It’s really stuck. Then I tried applying more pressure using my foot as leverage. Nope, that didn’t work either. Next I decided to try and remove the new bushings out of the shock. Initially I tried hammering it out with a 12mm socket but, it was stuck in there. Since I don’t have a machine press, I thought maybe I could use my bench vise to press the bearing out another way. So, that’s what I did. I put a 12mm socket on one side and a deep 17mm socket on the other side…then, I tightened up the bench vise until it couldn’t go in any further. That worked! So the bushing popped out about 3/8’s of an inch, I put my pair of vise grips on it and worked it out with my hands. I had to do both bushings on each shock because the old bushing was still part of the upper shock mount bolts and each bottom shock mount. Ugh!

The next challenge I ran into was that the rubber inside the shock ends was really stiff…I tried some lube then attempted to slip it on to each mount, but that was a no go. The inner diameter of each rubber was too small. Next, I grabbed the largest drill bit that I had and tried to ream out each rubber. That almost worked but the size of bit that I had was still too small. I ran out to Home Depot and bought 8 spacers and a 3/4″ paddle bit. The spaces would go on each side of the shock bushing and secure it into place. Well, it turns out the paddle bit worked and I was able to ream out the holes large enough to slide the shock onto each mount…BUT, the spacers I bought were a hair too small. So, back to Home Depot I go again. Got eight more of the larger size spacers, ran home, and popped the shocks on.

It’s too bad some 30 minute jobs end up taking a few hours…Oh, well. Enjoy the pics!

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