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  1. #1
    Member vdogamr's Avatar
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    Default Shock replacement

    So I did my first ever shock absorber replacement. One down three to go . It took two trips to the local Shucks to get proper tools I should have already owned, and probably 3 hours longer than it should have. But it was fun, and the next one will be much easier.

    I bought the KYB shocks, and they were a little shorter than the ones I replaced. I had to jack up the whole thing so I could bolt it in place. I do wonder if I incorrectly tightened the top though. Attached is a picture of the tire hanging and a picture of it on the ground. With it hanging, I thought I had tightened it too much so I lossened it just a bit. Once it got to the ground I started to think maybe I didn't tighten it enough.

    Also while I had the tire up, I gave it a good spin. It made a scraping sound once per rotation. I acually think the brake rotor is loose. I was able to give the tire a good jerk and lessen the amount of scrape.

    If anyone has any advice on any part of this, it would be apreciated.
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    When I bought a fixer-upper because I thought it would be fun, I had no idea how much fun it would take.

  2. #2
    Member Baldie88's Avatar
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    I also replaced the shocks on my 88 with KYBs last year. Based on your second picture, my rubber bushings are compressed a little more than yours are. I also put on a second nut on the top nut to ensure that it doesn't back off the shaft.

    Anyway that's just my experience.

    You'll love those KYBs versus the old Bilsteins. Definitely a better ride.

    Ron
    "Baldie88"

    Born on date May 31, 1988. This car did one lap of Indy in May 2006 for opening day ceremonies. Member St. Louis Corvette Club. NCM Member Number 518453.

  3. #3
    Member vdogamr's Avatar
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    Thanks. I think I will tighten that shock a little more. It came with 2 nuts, I guess I should use all the parts . I am not sure any shock could be worse. I am pretty sure all 4 of my shocks are dead. But by next week they will all be brand new . Then I will get an alignment and some new brake pads and the car should feel like new.
    .
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    When I bought a fixer-upper because I thought it would be fun, I had no idea how much fun it would take.

  4. #4
    Shock replacement TedC's Avatar
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    vdogamr, your driver's side front tire looks like it belongs on other side.

  5. #5
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    I am going to replace the shocks on my 91 convertible. The fronts look easy, how about the rears?

  6. #6
    Member vdogamr's Avatar
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    Default Shockingly good!

    First, I have no idea if my tires are on the correct sides, but if they're steel belted they would destroy themselves being on the wrong side, wouldn't they. If that is just a joke, I should say I was smart enough to do one tire at a time. I am not about to do too much at once. With the speed at which my tools go from my hand to lost, I have to assume I could actually lose an entire wheel.

    OMG! Working shocks are amazing . To put it in perspective, I took off the rear shocks and then gave them a test compress. They did eventually un-compress, but I got bored waiting .

    To answer your question about how the rear replacement was, here is a story... So after the easy part of getting the tire off, I had to remove the 18mm nut that holds the shocks to the Knuckle. My socket wrench was not up to the job. I ended up going to buy just an ordinary 18mm wrench. I got under the car and I gave it my all. At one point I thought I was going to knock the car off the jack stand. Then I had the brilliant idea of putting the wrench in place and using the jack under it. It probably took me 180 degrees of wrench adjusting and jacking until I could manager by hand. Once I got the first shock off, removing the nuts off the shock's bolt was impossible. I ended up tearing through one of the rubber rings so I could get to the bolt and hacksaw it. The second shock was also a pain when it came to removing the nuts, but with 2 adjustable wrenches (one nut was some crazy size), it was slow but doable.

    I guess to sum up, the process is easy and simple. Any problems you cross along the way may be frustrating. And a small adjustable wrench is the right tool for the job of holding the shock's bolt in place (which I am sure everyone knew but me )
    .
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    When I bought a fixer-upper because I thought it would be fun, I had no idea how much fun it would take.

  7. #7
    Shock replacement TedC's Avatar
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    vdogamr, Let me clarify my comment about your tires. The 17" wheels used in 1988 are directional. The right and left are different to improve air flow across the brakes. Your driver's front wheel (rim) belongs on the other side.

  8. #8
    Shock replacement TedC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedC View Post
    vdogamr, Let me clarify my comment about your tires. The 17" wheels used in 1988 are directional. The right and left are different to improve air flow across the brakes. Your driver's front wheel (rim) belongs on the other side.
    Here is an image that will help.

  9. #9
    Member vdogamr's Avatar
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    I will definitly look into that. It may be that I have to remove the tires and swap rims so that I get the correct rims on the correct side without reversing the tires. More than likely, I will have it done when I have an alignment done.

    Thanks for the tip. I always wondered if it would be better to suck air off the brakes or blow it onto them. I guess if mine are on backward, then Chevy thinks blowing air is the best.

    As an update to the shocks:
    I hit every pothole on the way to work today . It isn't like I didn't feel them at all, but my car no longer felt like it may break in half. I love the new feel. I can't say that the KYB shocks are better than other shocks, because I have nothing to compare them to , but for now I am enjoying them.

    What is the expected life on shock absorbers?

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