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Chevy Caprice General and Technical discussion for the Chevy Caprice (1965-1996), which shares the B-Body platform with the Chevy Impala.

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Old 04-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shock replacement help

I'm trying to replace the shocks on my 78 caprice, haven't even gotten to the rear yet. On the front, the stupid spindle just spins, and it is situated in such a way that I can't use a wrench on the nut. I'm tearing my hair out here, unless someone has a better idea, I think I'm going to cut the rod with a sawzall or something of the sort. Suggestions?

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Old 04-01-2009, 04:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not familiar with your particular car, but I am guessing that the front shock is one of those ones where the top mount is a bayonet mount? that is, the shaft of the shock goes through a hole in the frame and it is secured by a nut that threads directly onto the shaft? In that case, can you get a pair of vice grips through the coils of the spring to clamp down on the shaft? There is a special tool for these things but it only works if you can remove the nut with a wrench, which you say you can't do...

speaking of which, that's a tool that I don't have. Must put that on the shopping list! :) (just used my Sears gift cards to get a K-D "front end service kit" with the screw type tie rod end removers... thanks mom and dad! no more pickle forks!)

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Old 04-02-2009, 04:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If its that top shaft that's moving, you can break it off. get a socket and a breaker bar, and full really car and snap the bitch off.

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Old 04-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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ive had to grab the shocks w a big pair of pliers or vice grips to pull of shocks on diff cars ( not a caprice ) this might help

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Old 04-02-2009, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Shock removal trick

If you have one; use an 1/2 inch impact gun, long extension and correct size socket for the top nut, spin the nut with the impact while bouncing the car with your knee or have a friend bounce the car slightly. The up and down action will provide enough friction/tension on the rubber bushings to hold the piston of the shock in place. Trust me this is the fastest & easiest way of doing it, I've been doing it this way for over 25 years.

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Old 04-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I will have to try loading the shock, I was thinking about it anyway. We'll see how it goes...

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Alright, none of those things worked. The bushing is trashed which results in excessive play, so I can't get enough load on it to stop it from spinning. Next I will either double nut the top and try to get a wrench at the nut, or I will cut it off right below the nut with a sawzall.

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Old 04-07-2009, 01:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you don't care about the shock, put a deep socket on it and an extension and rock it back and forth until you break the shaft. I haven't done it this way, but have seen it recommended a bunch of times. Of course, a sawzall is probably just as easy. There is also a shock removal socket available through sears.

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Old 04-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Breaking it off might work, certainly better than having to go to my parents house to borrow the saw. I could not find the tool at sears, but I did see a couple online retailers. I don't want to buy another tool and have to wait for it though... one of these other two methods will surely work.

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Old 04-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sweet, they broke off just fine. Now my edelbrocks are installed on the front! I compressed the old shocks by hand, they went in easy and did not return... Yep, they were due.

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Old 04-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The back ones will be fun. I replace mine in 04 with air shocks. The top bolts are not that easy to get to. Why GM did not use locking nut clips I do not know but on my car that would have made a huge difference in instillation of replacements shocks.When you decide to do them if you can have a friend help you so one can get to the bolts and the other to the nuts. The uppers have two mounting bolts. The bottom has one large nut. I found it the easiest to use a half inch impact gun to remove the bottom mounting nuts.

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Look up Navy Lifer. He offers a part that makes replacing rear shocks on the 94-96 b-bodies MUCH easier. Essentially, it's a u bolt that replaces both mounting bolts. It won't make it any easier getting the bolts off, but it will make replacing them easier and future rear shock changes easier. Ask him if it will work for your year(s).

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I just sent him a message, we'll see. However, it may not really matter much. These edelbrocks have a lifetime warranty, hopefully they won't need replaced...

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Old 04-07-2009, 04:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingnutin View Post
I just sent him a message, we'll see. However, it may not really matter much. These edelbrocks have a lifetime warranty, hopefully they won't need replaced...
Brake pads have a lifetime warranty as well, we all know how that goes.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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All 4 shocks are now replaced, man does that make a difference! And yes, the rears were a bitch. Who is the dumbass engineer who decided to use clips on the front shocks but not on the rear? I was picking dirt out of my eyes all night last night too...

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