How To Replace F150 Shocks
I seemed to notice my truck not handle as well in the recent months. My shocks weren’t leaking… they were just wore out!!! If you notice your truck seems to ride sloppy or not have as tight handling or seems to have a lot of nose dive when breaking, it's time to replace your shocks.
Easiest way to check the shocks are the bounce test. Push down on each bumper with force and see how well it rebounds. If it takes awhile to rebound or bounces a few times then they are worn. Shock manufacturers recommend replacement at about 50,000 mile or 80,000 kilometer intervals.
This article is for a 1998 F-150 2WD. However it applies to 1997-2003 and 2004 heritage trucks. The process is the same, the tools may differ.
This job is pretty easy. It takes a lot of patience especially on the rear shocks. There’s not much room to work with. I replaced these shocks along with my idler arm in 2 hours. Granted I am a professional…but expect no more than 2-3 hours even with rust problems.
- pb blaster - soak shock bolts and nuts day before <<<< IMPORTANT!!!
- jack and jack stands
- front: (a few tools overlap and can be used instead of each other):
- 13mm socket and ratchet - lower bolts
- 21 mm deep socket - upper nut
- ratchet or breaker bar and pipe
- 21 mm ratchet wrench or adjustable wrench or 21 mm wrench
- 19 mm shallow socket and wrench for reinstall (shock manufacturer dependent.)
- 18 mm wrench and gearwrench or ratchet and socket
- 15 mm ratchet wrench for reinstall (shock manufacturer dependent)
NOTE: If you run into a problem with the nuts on the shock stud not coming off the top studs, you can use a sawzall and carefully cut through the nut and stud going through the rubber bushing carefully. Check that your new shocks come with new bushings and hardware… my Monroes did. I however did not have to cut anything. The top stud on the left front shock snapped upon removal. You may get lucky
Lift and support truck. Remove lower nuts:
Remove upper shock nut - remove shock:
Install new shock. Move to other side.
No need to lift truck. Remove upper shock nut:
Remove upper shock nut:
Remove lower shock bolt, install new shock:
This article and associated photos were written and contributed by thefordmaniac, and is used with permission. This tech article was originally posted at FordF150.net. It is primarily intended for Ford trucks but most likely also applies to other Ford models.
Related Shock Absorber Forum Discussions
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- What Shocks are best?
- When to replace factory shocks?
- Replacing quick struts and rear shocks