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How To Replace Front Shock Absorbers 97-03 Ford F150 4x4

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How To Replace Front Shock Absorbers 97-03 Ford F150 4x4

Created on: 2017-06-19

If the shock absorbers are leaking or old and need to be replaced, this video will show you how to replace them correctly

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the five 19mm lug nuts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Slide the wheel off the hub
  2. step 2 :Removing the Shock
    • Hold the nut beneath the shock bushing with an 18mm wrench
    • Remove the 17mm nut from the top of the shock
    • Hold the lower shock bolt with a 13mm wrench
    • Remove the 18mm nut from the lower chock bolt
    • Remove the 13mm bolt from the shock
    • Compress the shock with a pry bar
    • Remove the shock
  3. step 3 :Installing the Shock
    • Remove the two nuts from the top of the new shock
    • Remove the bushing from the shock
    • Separate the bushings
    • Put the lower bushing onto the shock
    • Line up the shock with the control arm
    • Feed the shock stud through the shock mount
    • Raise the control arm with a jack
    • Put the second bushing onto the stud
    • Start the 17mm nut onto the stud
    • Tighten the 17mm nut until the bushings are as wide as their washers
    • Line up the control arm bolt hole with the shock by raising the control arm
    • Tap the 13mm bolt into the bolt hole with a hammer
    • Fasten the 18mm nut onto the lower shock bolt
    • Thread the lock nut onto the stud
    • Hold the 17mm nut with a wrench
    • Tighten the lock nut
    • Lower the jack from the control arm
  4. step 4 :Installing the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel onto the hub
    • Start the lug nuts
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to between 83 and 112 foot-pounds of torque in a star pattern

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools


    Jack Stands

    Floor Jack

  • Ratchets & Related

    Torque Wrench


    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

    17mm Socket

    18mm Socket

    19mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

    17mm Wrench

    18mm Wrench

    13mm Wrench

Installation Video
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Hi, I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years. We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Visit us at, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

So in order to start this project you want to go ahead and loosen the wheel and the lug nuts here. We're going to use a breaker bar with a 19 millimeter socket. So next we're going to go ahead and raise and support your vehicle. You can use a jack and jack stands. In this case here we're using a lift to make it a little bit easier. Just go ahead and remove the lug nuts here just by using that socket because we've already loosened those. With the lug nuts removed we can now go ahead and remove the wheel and tire.

We're going to go ahead and replace this front shock here. We're going to start with the upper mount area. If you notice, there is nut right here and there is a nut on the top to obviously secure and squeeze the bushings up here on the upper mount. We have a 18mm wrench to fit on this here. You may need to use this to prevent this from spinning around. It will fit right on there. In this case here, I'm going to go ahead and use our 17mm deep socket to fit over that stud and the upper nut with a ratchet wrench. I'll set this over here. I'm going to go ahead. We can see that the shock itself is not spinning so we don't have to – there we go. And that's where our wrench comes in. We're going to rotate that until it actually hits the upper mount right there and use that as leverage.

Let's go ahead and work on the bottom, removing this nut and bolt application from the bottom of the shock. What we're going to use is a standard ratchet. This is going to be a 3/8” drive with an 18mm deep socket. That's going to slip right on here. On the inside bolt head is going to be a 13mm. We'll go ahead and loosen and remove this bolt here. This bolt should slide right on out.

All right, so we might have to use a little pry bar here to try and get underneath. There we go. You got to put the pry bar right underneath the bottom of the shock tube and you can lift that right up and compress that. Pull it right up and out of the way. The shock should come right out for you.

Here we have the old part and the new part. You can see the new upper bushings and the nut with the locking nut on top of the threaded rod. On the bottom here, you have your new bushings already pressed in with the medal sleeve. Let's go ahead and get this installed.

You want to go ahead and remove this lock nut, then the main nut. You want to pay attention to the way that this is put together because this is the way that it needs to be installed on the vehicle. I'm going to go ahead and slip the bushings off here. You can see that these are designed so one has a little protrusion right here and it needs to sandwich the chassis as that comes off. You'll see how these go into the chassis on the installation.
Make sure that you have your metal sleeve on the bottom, the cup, then you have the bushing facing upward on that. Drop that right in through the top, into the lower control arm. Just line that up inside. Align that so it comes up and you can see it poke up through the top of the mount.

As you can see right here, the stud doesn't protrude all the way through the upper mount here but we have to get this busing and this steel plate on. You can see that it's not going to clear. Okay? Obviously, we still have to get the nut and the locking nut back on this. If we come on down here, you can actually see we're going to go ahead and raise the control arm. You can do this by using your regular jack because your vehicle will be supported by jack stands. We're basically going to compress the suspension a little bit, enough to push that shock stud right up through the mount.

Now that we have the shock up and pressed up inside, we have enough threads to fit this bushing through. Make sure that fits inside. Go ahead, put that nut on. This particular one is a 17mm. It might vary from the one in your vehicle with the shock that you're installing. I'm going to go ahead with a ratchet and a socket and snug this up. A good rule of thumb is you want to basically snug this up to the point where this rubber bushing and the lower bushing itself expand out to the diameter of the steel washer or maybe a little bit larger. That should be good right there. Pretty solid.

I'm going to go ahead and crank this up to line up the lower bolt hole with the shock itself. Okay, just going to use a small hammer and tap that bolt right through. Just use gentle taps because you don't want to mushroom out the head of that bolt over there. Okay, because we're reusing the factory bolt and nut, it's going to be an 18mm nut with a 13mm head for the bolt. You want to go ahead and tighten this up.

We're going to go ahead and install the last nut. This is actually a lock nut. That's actually going to thread right onto the top there. You can use a wrench on this here and you can use your ratchet on the top one and basically you just want to hold that there until that snugs up. Now we're going to go ahead and lower the lift or your jack.

All right, I'm going to go ahead and reinstall the tire. I'm going to go ahead and reinstall the lug nuts here. You want to get a few threads caught on all of these here. These lug nuts are 19 millimeters. So we're just going to snug these, bottom it out. Bottom the wheel out to the rotor. We're going to lower the vehicle down onto its own weight, and then do a final torque. With the vehicle on the ground, we're going to do a final torque of the wheel which is between 83 and 112 foot pounds. We're going to do it in a star pattern. All right, just double check the first one. She's all set.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 17mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket
  • 19mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 17mm Wrench
  • 18mm Wrench
  • 13mm Wrench

2004 - 2004  Ford  F150 Heritage Truck
1997 - 2003  Ford  F150 Truck
1997 - 2002  Ford  Expedition
1997 - 1999  Ford  F250 Light Duty Truck
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