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 > How hard is it to change shocks on an E-350

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Gixxer340

Attleboro, MA

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Posted: 01/06/06 05:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've heard that the rear is fine but something about the front make them hard to do. Does anyone know if this is true? I will be installing new shocks soon and would like to do the job myself to save money but if it is going to be no end of headache then I will get someone else to put them in.

Thx
Jeff


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1998 Jamboree 24D
E-350 V10


oldham

Emporia, KS

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Posted: 01/06/06 05:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The passenger side is pretty easy but the drivers side is the pits. You can't move the wrench after it is put on the top nut. I had to hold the wrench stationary and turn the shock with large channel lock pliers (sounds easier than it really was). Perserverence will pay off though.


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TonyMin

Walnut Creek CA

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Posted: 01/06/06 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I gladly paid to have it done. After watching the guy do it I was really glad.


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hopefulbob

Wichita, KS USA

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Posted: 01/06/06 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Snap On" makes a special socket which fits the end of shock absorber shafts. (the flattened end of the shaft that you turned with the vise grips)

An investment of about $5 will ease the pain when changing shocks.

srl99

CA

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Posted: 01/06/06 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just had the shocks replaced in my '90 E-350 chassis Class C. A guy with
lots of experience, all the right tools, the proper lift, the proper stand
to hold up the hanging wheel(?) Took almost two solid hours. I paid about
$70 in labor, and a fair price for the Billsteins.

There's up to 8000 lbs of stuff to fall on me in my driveway, off my jack
stands, whatever. Happy to have them do it. I can be certain it would have
taken me FAR longer. I do lots of the work myself - not suspension.

--SRL

texasbaskets

Frisco, TX

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Posted: 01/06/06 07:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have jacks and a helper, it's a lot easier. This is how I did the fronts.

Jack the front end until the tires clear the ground and block it. Remove the old shock from the bottom mount. Have a helper hold the top mount retaining nut with an open end wrench as you turn the shock body from below. Took me about 45 minutes to do all 4 on my '93 E350. Think twice before removing the retainer on gas pressurized shocks until they are mounted. Pushing them up into position after they are extended is a real task. A liberal application of WD-40 on the threads helped too.

Good luck.


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SuperDave

Chesapeake, Va

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Posted: 01/06/06 08:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just changed mine last Saturday to the new Monroe Gas RVs. As mentioned above the 2 rear and passenger side front are very easy to get to. The driver side front was a pain, I was able to get my air wrench in there but I did not have a deep enough/small enough socket to take it all the way down. I wound up turning the bottom bolt, which just turned the shaft, while holding the wrench on the top bolt. It was pretty easy after deciding to let the shock turn. It just took me about 30 minutes of trying otherways to do it without turning the shock before I settled on that. I did not have to do many turns, so I don't think there would be any damage to the shock.

I also used the same method to remove the original shocks. I was not concerned at all about them, so turning the shock was easy. The factory bushings can be a bit tough to remove, I found using a cordless recip saw worked great.

,Dave

Dennyf

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Posted: 01/06/06 08:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my 2003 E-450 there is a rubber removeable plug under the floor rug on the drivers side right over the shock. It helped a little in removing but was still harder than the other 3.Denny


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j-d

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Posted: 01/06/06 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I dreaded it and it turned out very easy. I had a very fine (and quite expensive...) SK flex ratchet borrowed from a friend and got some of it apart. I think I also used a "gear wrench" (ratcheting box end, but not the big old clumsy one, he had those too!). But what works well is work a wrench into the top and turn the OLD shock shaft with anything that'll work, since it's being discarded and scarring doesn't matter.
THEN! Praise God! The new ones came with a 3/4" hex at the top of the shaft right below the upper mount.
Be sure to get the cup of lower washer up, upset side of lower bushing up. Then center the upset in the hole in the frame and go upset down on upper bushing and cup down on upper washer. Hold nut with 9/16" anything-that'll-go-on wrench and take it up with a 3/4" open end on the bottom. I was taught to tighten till the bushings squashed to a little less than the diameter of the washers.
Job came off So Easy! and I'd been stressing over it! If I was ordering new front shocks, think I'd look or ask to make sure that 3/4" hex was up there. Mine where HD "Bruisers" from CarQuest, probably subbed out from Monroe...


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

altego

Hollywood Hills

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Posted: 01/06/06 03:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

oldham wrote:

The passenger side is pretty easy but the drivers side is the pits. You can't move the wrench after it is put on the top nut. I had to hold the wrench stationary and turn the shock with large channel lock pliers (sounds easier than it really was). Perserverence will pay off though.


This is how I did it!

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