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Discussion Starter #1
This has probably been tossed around a million times before, but...how in the h*** to you hold the top nuts on the rear shocks?!?!?!? Looks like it would be easier to remove the springs just to get the arm space? I ran out of daylight wondering about it. I DO like the ride after changing the fronts to the 'stiff' Bilsteins though! I had to cut the nuts off the top of the piston rod...thank god for Dremel reinforced cut-off wheels! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #2
I've done this twice on both my b-bodies. I jack the back up and put stands under the frame. I then put a floor jack under the pumpkin to keep some pressure on it. Then it's just a matter of contorting (is that a word?) yourself holding a small box end wrench on the top nut. You're kind of working blind on the top nut. I then had a ratchet with two extensions on it to get to the bolt head. I guess it helps that I'm relatively thin and have long arms. Getting the nut started on the bolts also requires nimble arms/fingers and working the blind again. Not easy in your garage on the floor, but it can be done.

Steve
 
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Discussion Starter #3
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Looks like it would be easier to remove the springs just to get the arm space? -- Marlon <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actualy, you are right.
I was changing springs anyway and it is easier with them out.
After you unbolt the bottom of the shock, (I had to cut mine off), lower the axle and the rear springs come out real easy.
Now you have more room to manuveur.
But you do have to do the top bolts by feel.
Like Steve, I also have small hands which helped.
I used a 1/4" drive socket on a tiny 1/4" breaker bar I have to hold the top nut. Only because it stayed on better than the box wrench.
Good luck,
 
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Discussion Starter #4
...jeez...that's what I was afraid of. I guess I have added rationale to go ahead with the rear springs now. Probably ought to change out the control arms and rear bar while I'm at it! What a bill...
 
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Discussion Starter #5
The tops of the rear shocks are a PITA, do what the other guys said. I just wanted to add that the easiest way to get the top stud on the front shocks off is a sturdy socket and long extension. Instead of trying to turn the nut just start rocking it with the extension. The idea is to break the stud, much easier, the only down side is the shocks are junk after. But that is probably why they were being removed anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
The shocks really arent a problem. There are harder things, but here is what worked for me. Took all of 1.5 hours.

Jack the car up and put the jack stands under the frame rails not the rear end housing. This lets the rearend hang free for more access (youll need all the extra room you can get).
Put a floor jack under the rear end housing center section so it is just touching the housing. If you dont, the rearend housing will fall when you remove the shocks, the springs may fall out, and you may rip the brake flex line in half. I speak from experience.
Remove the nut at the lower end of the shock. This will help you to move the shock around to access the upper mount bolts.
The 2 upper bolts are 10 mm and the nuts are 13mm. Use a 1/4" breaker bar with the 10mm socket on the bolt heads. A box end or open end wont work. Use enough 3/8 extensions on the 13mm socket so that your ratchet is below the axle tube. Take the nuts off and dont drop the shock on your head.
Reverse for installation.
Also, the job is alot easier if you remove the back tires.
Any other questions...just ask.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Take out the rear springs. Once the lower shock mounts are disconnected, have a helper stand on the wheel hub. This will force down the axle a couple more inches, and let you fairly easily (esp with stock springs, which AREN'T very stiff!) get the springs out of there.

I swapped all 4 wheels AND rear springs on my car last night in about 45 minutes, and the only help I had was someone standing on the hub for the spring swaps.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
it really helps if you have an air powered rachet to get the top bolts out, this way you don't have to reach up there for extened periods of time, b/c its a reach. i've changed them out twice, first time about 1.5 hr, second time 30 min.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
...this is all really terrific info - thanks for sharing it with the FNG! I plan to change out my rear springs to stock SS springs at the same time I do the shocks and will leave off the lower insulator. I also ordered some new J&M control arms and I plan to at least do the lowers at the same time. All I need to do now is get the HO bar. The only problem is that the fron will be about 2" higher until I cut 3/4 coil off the front springs. Jeez, this ain't cheap -- but it is fun watching theses cars transform...
 
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Discussion Starter #10
If you use a box wrench to hold the top nuts in place, don't forget to retrieve it after you get the new shocks on!

When I did my rear shocks a few months ago, I was in such a rush to get done and out of the garage that I forgot about the wrench :rolleyes:. It's probably lying out on the side of some highway now.
 
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