his page covers installing 4 new shocks on my truck. I wanted a more controlled ride, so I decided to try Monroe Reflex Shocks. They are essentially the same as the Rancho RSX shocks, but are designed for coil suspensions. Both Monroe and Rancho shocks are made by Tenneco, so there are no drawbacks to using the Monroe version of the product.
Before we begin, lets get more familiar with the suspension system. I decided to start with the front shocks, as they are harder to install. Once you get the front complete, you can tell yourself “It’s all downhill from here”.
A few hints to help before we get to the pictures.
1. Do not jack up the truck when removing the nuts, as this will unload the suspension and make the job harder. Turn the front wheels to their maximum turn point and work from inside the tire area. It’s much easier than working from inside the engine bay.
2. The whole upper piston of the front shocks will turn as you try to loosen/tighten the upper shock nut (number 4 in the diagram). To stop this, you can either invest in a shock removal tool, or use an adjustable crescent wrench to hold the flat top part of the shock bolt as you turn the nut. The turning action of the upper bolt makes it impossible to use a socket wrench.
3. My 2001 Ranger uses metric nuts and bolts for the front/rear shocks. You will need the following sizes: 13mm, 15mm, and 18mm. A 15mm ratchet wrench from Harbor Freight really came in handy for this job.
4. If you are even thinking about installing new shocks in your truck, STOP right now, go outside and spray penetrating oil on all the shock nuts. This way, they will be nice and clean before you begin the install. The oil will have time to remove rust, dirt, and allow the bolts to break free. Do it now, as the oil needs time to work into the threads.
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