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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got some goodies to put on the front suspension. Problem is, can't get the #$&% top nut off of the shocks!!! :mad: Had a couple real knowledgeable mechanics there and we disconnected the upper ball joint to get direct access at the damn thing. Impact wrench, Vise Grips, cheater bars, LIBERAL soaking with Liqued wrench. Nothing. Has anyone else had this problem and gotten the stupid things off without cutting them????

Eric
96 BBB
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just had my shocks replaced. The guy who did it had to cut off the old ones not sure how he did it but he was pissed when I picked up my car.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by afbbb:
Got some goodies to put on the front suspension. Problem is, can't get the #$&% top nut off of the shocks!!! :mad: Had a couple real knowledgeable mechanics there and we disconnected the upper ball joint to get direct access at the damn thing. Impact wrench, Vise Grips, cheater bars, LIBERAL soaking with Liqued wrench. Nothing. Has anyone else had this problem and gotten the stupid things off without cutting them????

Eric
96 BBB
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you don't care about saving the old shocks, you can take a socket and put it down over the nut, and rock it back & forth until the nut and top of the shaft snap off.

If you DO care about saving the old shocks, you need one of a variety of special tools, available from a number of sources, that are designed to hold the shaft while turning the nut off of the shaft--but let me explain how it's really done--rather, the way that has always worked well for me.

First, if the nut and shaft are "seriously" rusted, you may want to go with option A and just destroy the shocks. If not, you are doing the correct first step by soaking the nut and shaft with penetrant.

Next, get one of the tools that gets the job done. I use a Snap-On special socket, P/N A137 or A138--sorry, I can't tell you which one works on original Impala deCarbon shocks.

When you have the tool, whether from SnapOn or one of the other special tool sources, such as KD or Lisle, put the car up in the air on ramps, ideally. The idea is that the suspension needs to stay compressed--at "ride height". You need the ramp height so the shocks can easily drop out of the lower control arms.

Optionally, you can use a floor jack at that corner of the car and remove the wheel to get better access into the top of the shock mount to get the wrench on the nut.

If you do lift the car by the control arm, you have to keep the bottom of the arm clear for the shock to drop down--be careful, however you do this, when you put the jack under the corner and remove the wheel. I would recommend a piece of 2x4 out near the ball joint, after placing a jack stand somewhere under that corner of the car. Remember, keep the suspension at least partially compressed.

Remove the 2 lower shock mount cross pin bolts from the lower control arm, and move the shock assembly to the side, until the shock tube drops through the larger section of the hole in the control arm and the cross pin is fully clear of the control arm.

Go under the hood, and using whatever special tool you have for the shock shaft, and a combination wrench of the correct hex nut size (15mm or 17mm?), hold the shaft and break the nut loose.

The rest is usually pretty simple, but the idea, once the nut is loosened, is to make sure that IF the shaft turns, the shock body also turns, otherwise the shock shaft seal will be destroyed.

What I've been able to do at this point, using the SnapOn tool, which is a 3/8 drive socket, on a fairly long extension, is hold the nut with the combination wrench, and turn the shock shaft CLOCKWISE--it is alot easier to do that, than to try to hold the shaft and turn the nut, since there is VERY limited room to swing a wrench.

The net result is the same, just that I'm turning the shock shaft OUT of the nut. As long as the bottom of the shock is free to rotate, it works like a charm!

If there's any confusion about my method, please give me a shout!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for the length of the previous post, just trying to be thorough. This will be much shorter, I promise!

If there is no option but breaking or in some way destroying the shocks, there's always a carefully applied "smoke wrench"--but even SnapOn recognizes the need for more desperate methods. They also make a tool called a Shock Removal Tool, P/N YA329.

Description: Include handle and 3 adaptors to fit threaded stem shocks (like B-body). Handle and adaptor thread onto top shock stem; a rocking motion breaks stem below nut.

'Nuf said!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK. Thanks Navy Lifer. I'm going to have to give the "turning the shock" method first. If that doesn't work, there's always the other way! Thanks again.

Eric
96 BBB
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey guys, this fix has worked for me: Take a thick piece of rubber or leather, put it in the jaws of some vise grips, grab the shock shaft THROUGH the side of the spring and clamp. This holds the shaft from turning so you can remove the top nut. Just make sure not to nick the shaft surface.

Dean Felton
96 DCM
96 Cap
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This may not help you, but most pro shops have a chisel for their air gun for this job. The end of the chisel is forked and fits on either side of the threaded part of the shock shaft. This splits the nut - no damage to the threads and nuts are easily replaced.

Procedure is to disconnect the bottom first, then split the nut and the shock falls out.

Good luck.

Terry
 
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