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Discussion Starter #1
It has been a while since I last posted.

Use to be I thought a section here with PDF's on how to do the front and year shocks - cannot sem to find them anymore.

Anyhow - the front shocks require a coil spring compressor; other than that appear easier than say a mcpherson strut ?? right?

Anyone offer in hands on insight of how this fares as a DIY job?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
No one ?? Come on- are the front shocks too difficult to replace for a DIY'fer?

The dealership quotes $510 in labor only for the fronts.

They quote $175 per side for the rears ( which I know is highway roberry because they are siumple tube shocks).
 

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If you have access to a spring compressor it is an easy job. Even if you don't have a compressor you could take the whole spring asembly out and bring it to a reputable shop and just have them compress the springs and replace the shocks. I have heard that only costing people like $40.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks !

Is a re- alignment of the front end required after the shocks are replaced?
 

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I assume it's the same as a Tundra. There should be five nuts under the hood for each of the front shocks (one for the shock itself and four holding the spring retainer). Take all those and the bottom bolt off and the whole mechanism will come out. Once it's out you should be able to compress the spring and remove the retainer cap and the rest should be obvious. I don't know about your area but if there's a Shucks close by they rent the spring compressor (or maybe there's some equivalent auto parts place that does). Or Harbor Freight sells them cheaply. I think I paid about as much to buy them from Harbor as Shucks charges to rent them (about $10 on sale). Be careful when compressing the spring. Make sure you grab enough spring to take the pressure off the retainer and make sure you have it mounted securely on opposite sides so it doesn't slip. The less you have to compress it the better.
 

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OOPS, I think I miss stated part of the previous reply. Don't take the shock nut off until after you've compressed the spring. Take the four nuts off holding the retainer to the fender and bottom bolt then remove the mechanism. Hope that was obvious anyway. It's been a while since I did this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks ! Yes- I would not want that "bad boy" launching thru my neighbors wall ( or worse thru me).

I respect springs that are in a compressed state - dangerous stuff if mishandled. If I do the job I will likely get a 3 sided srping compressor from Eastwood.

Can you loosen the schock nut with the assembly out? I mean- do you needs the thing in a bench vice or something to hold it firm while applying all that torque to remove the nut?
 

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It probably wouldn't because it would expand while still on the vehicle but it would make a mess of trying to get the mechanism out. I didn't need a vise. As I recall I compressed the spring and pulled it apart on the garage floor using just my knee to hold it down. Once the spring is compressed taking the nut off is fairly easy. There should be a flat portion on the top of the shock rod that you can put a wrench on to hold it while you loosen the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Again!!

After looking over the schematics and getting your feedback - I really cannot envision the dealers labor only charge of $510 for installing 2 front shocks.

Unreal - I think I will do it myself.
 

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Typically I won't go to a dealer for repair work. My experience is that most of them view that area as a profit center and will charge you outrageous prices for the work they do. For the most part they have a book that tells them how much a given job is worth and whether or not your particular job required all that was included you're going to pay what the book said. Case in point I went in for a 15,000 mile check, picked the truck up in less than an hour and ended up paying over $200 for the maintenance that the book said the truck needed. I was billed for two hours labor and most of the parts were not installed because either I had just done them (oil, plugs, ...) or in the case of the air filter I have a K&N filter. There's only a couple of dealers that I've found that were an exception but they're too far away to go to on a regular basis. All that being said I guess I'd have to understand what was included in that price. If it included the shocks and a front end alignment it still seems high but maybe about right for a dealer.
 

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How'd you do with your shocks. I replaced my 2004 DC yesterday and if you haven't done yours yet a tip that might save you some time.... be careful of where the bottom mount bolt is in relation to the top mounting studs are. If you don't get it right you'll end up having to recompress the spring to move it. I had one of them that was about a half inch out of alignment and had to pull it off again to recompress the spring and move it. With the pressure that's on that top plate you can't just force it into place. There's some paint marks on the spring itself and that might have something to do with the alignment but I'm not sure how that works. It took me about 5 hrs to do but part of that time was struggling with one of the top nuts on the shock that wouldn't loosen. I finally ended up cutting it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well-I took the cheesey way out and had a local shop do it for a labor charge of $143 for both fronts.
 
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