Project Frontend:
Part 2: Front Shocks

Mitsubishi on 4x4Wire Short Cuts

[ 4x4Wire Page | Mitsubishi on 4x4Wire | TrailTalk Forums | Mitsubishi Projects | Mitsubishi Reviews | Mitsubishi Tech | 4x4Wire Gallery | 4x4 Trails | Site Index ]

Compressing the front shock, after removing the shaft nut

This month's installment of "Project: Frontend" addresses a common ailment on older, heavy vehicles like the Montero: Worn front shocks. Given that we cranked up the torsion bars on this truck, the wandering is even more noticeable.

This procedure is a very basic one, and can be performed using a set of jackstands, a jack, a set of locking pliers, a set of wrenches, and a socket set. It is advisable (particularly in the rust belt) to give each of the fasteners a spray with penetrating oil a few hours before, to help loosen them up.

Shock Removal...(No, you can't use a ground strap!)

The lower mounting pin; though most are integral with the bushing, this one was 2-piece Here, my assistant pushes up on the bottom of the shock, after removing the bolts The old front shocks no longer had enough pressure to stay extended!

When the vehicle has been stabilized, jacked up, and the front wheels removed, it is time to remove the nut on the upper shaft of the shock. Begin by clamping the locking pliers onto the square shaft, and then using a wrench to remove the nut. This may be difficult to remove, since it is compressing several rubber bushings against a metal washer. If the shaft continues to turn when you turn the nut, and heat and anti-seize compound cannot convince it to come off, it might be best to simply cut the nut off with a hacksaw. If you resort to these "torture tactics", watch out for the brake line which goes through the wheelwell! After the upper shaft nut is removed, leave the shaft in place, and move to the lower mount.

The bottom shock mount on our project vehicle (an '89) does not use an eyebolt, but instead a mounting pin, which goes through the shock eye and is bolted onto the control arm with two bolts. You may need to turn the steering wheel, and/or use a universal on your socket to access the bolts, which are partially shielded by the shock body. (Be careful not to nudge the jackstands if you turn the wheel). After the mounting bolts have been removed, compress the shock towards the top, and lift the lower end out of the control arm, and then guide the shaft out of its mounting hole.

Now put on the new ones...

Editor's Note:
Unless your rear shocks are almost new or in excellent condition, we recommend that you replace all four of your shocks at the same time, to avoid unpredictable handling characteristics. Our rear shocks were replaced at the same time we performed Budget Lift!

The installation of the new shocks is simply a reversal of the removal. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully as to the orientation of the bushings and washers. Put the lower bushings on the shaft first, then insert the upper shaft through the mounting hole. Line up the lower pin with the holes in the control arm, and torque it to 7-10 ft-lbs. Finally, put the upper bushings on the shaft above the mount, and bolt the shaft down, again using the locking pliers to keep the shaft from turning.

Tip: If you want to effectively lengthen your shocks, after installing lower profile bumpstops and cranking the torsion bars, simply install more washers on the shaft of the shock, before you put it through the upper control arm. This increases your travel, with the same shocks!

That's it! You're done!

Once the nuts and bolts have been tightened down, replace the wheels, and let down the front end. We didn't call this one basic for nothing!

The next installment of "Project Frontend" will look at the steering stops: how to make them quieter, and how to increase your turning radius.

Contacts: Related Links:
  • Philip Hansford

Trending on 4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums

New Topics on TrailTalk
Bump steer problems with ball joint flip/spacers?
by Colombia - 07/04/22 04:17 AM
Gen 1 Trailer Hitch and Owners Manuals
by Kookster97 - 06/17/22 12:37 AM
Gen 2 UCA extended upper ball joints?
by Colombia - 05/24/22 03:28 AM
the cold start shuffle got me
by keetz - 04/12/22 01:32 AM
suzi the psychic
by - 03/26/10 06:59 AM
4D56 Oil Filter woes...
by - 04/16/06 12:58 AM
Recent Posts on TrailTalk
the cold start shuffle got me
by keetz - 07/06/22 04:24 PM
4D56 Oil Filter woes...
by bill_bly_ca - 07/04/22 11:24 PM
Bump steer problems with ball joint flip/spacers?
by Colombia - 07/04/22 04:17 AM
Gen 1 Trailer Hitch and Owners Manuals
by Kookster97 - 06/28/22 01:34 PM
Gen 2 UCA extended upper ball joints?
by Mudraider - 06/15/22 07:00 PM
suzi the psychic
by rascott - 06/14/22 01:47 AM

4x4Wire Social:

| 4x4Wire on FaceBook

OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting.
Copyright (c) 1999-2019 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission
You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material.
All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.