: Front Shock Install Assembly Tutorial FE4 FG2 Shocks



lollygagger8
07-08-11, 02:20 PM
My old FE4 Shocks had 78k miles on them, and there was a weird slight clunk on certain bumps going on up front. The bushings didn't look great, so I said what the hell, I'll replace em. As our V's get older, stuff starts making mo and mo noise. Damn Gremlins. I apologize for the crappy drawn in red arrows.....photoshop is on the computer at home.

You'll need the following tools:

New Shocks
Spring Compressors
18mm socket
18mm gear wrench
13mm socket
15mm socket
Various Prybars
Hammer
Beer
It helps greatly to have an air compressor


Ok get the car up on jackstands, and remove the front wheels. Stop here if can't figure this out. lol

I removed the caliper just to make more clearance to remove the shocks. You could most likely get the shocks out without doing so, but just letting you know I did it.

I started with removing the upper control arm/ball joint to steering knuckle pinch bolt (18mm). This thing is in there pretty good. What worked for me was to get a pry bar in between the two "prongs" and hammer it in while my buddy pryed upwards on the upper control arm. BE CAREFUL not to pry on the boot!!!! You don't want to rip it!

Insert pry bar where red arrow is at.....
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-pinchboltinstalledsmall-1.jpg

Here's what it looks like after they are separated......
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-upperballjointremovedsmall.jpg
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-upperballjointremoved2small.jpg

Now you can remove the 2 lower shock bolts. These are (13mm). The fronts are close to the sway bar, so deep well sockets might not fit after you start loosening them. I suggest small sockets.
Here's a pic of where the bolts were....very easy to find....just follow shock all the way down and bam....
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-frontdriverssiderippedapartsmall-1.jpg

I had to pry on the lower control arm just a little bit to get enough room to get the shock out.

After you remove the strut tower brace inside the engine bay, you can get to the bolts that are holding the shock assembly in.
This is the passenger side. Remove all 3 bolts and don't forget about the bolt with the red arrow (4 total) . This is where my gear wrench was invaluable (as usual) I ended up having to take the battery hold down off, and lift my battery up to get the bolt out....it's a little long.
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-upperpasssidetopboltssmall-1.jpg

Here's the drivers side. Much easier to get out than passenger side. (4 total here as well)
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-allboltsdriverssidesmall.jpg
Don't forget that guy......
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-backboltdriverssidesmall.jpg

Once you have them out it's a good idea to either label them or keep them on the same side of the car to avoid further hassles later.
Time to get those shocks out of there. Get your spring compressors and get to work on them. BE CAREFUL!!! compressing a spring is dangerous, and takes concentration!! Give yourself enough room on the compressors to allow them to travel far enough but not hit the upper control arm assembly.....
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-springcompressorsmall.jpg

Once you have enough room for the shock to move around, time to remove the top bolt holding the shock in. This is (15mm)
This is a good reference pic to use to see where all the bolts holes and the holes that hold the alignment pins (plastic) are at as well.
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q16/n2havnfun2/Shocks%20-%20Front/shocks-uppershockboltsmall.jpg

Be careful to note what order all the small pieces go as there are a few rubber pieces and shims to line up.

REASSEMBLY:

Slide you new shocks into the coils. Line up the coil with the rubber pieces (they have sections cut into them for this that you can see in the picture with the spring compressor attached)...

MAKE SURE the bottom shock mount bolts are lined up 90 degrees from the alignment pins on the upper control arm. (those white plastic pins that you can see in the above pics) If you don't, the shock won't line up and you'll have to start over. Once you are good, tighten up the upper retaining bolt to (18 ft lbs)
Once you decompress and remove the spring compressors, make sure your nut is tight up top as a precaution.

Once you get the unit back together, slide it back into the V. Use the alignment pins, and it should be a breeze. Tighten up the top mount bolts to (83 ft lbs) and the bottom shock mount bolts to (18 ft lbs) The pinch bolt on the upper control arm/ball joint is (44 ft lbs) Reinstall your strut brace, (calipers if you went that route), battery tie down, and you should be good to go.

Drink that beer, and pat yourself on the back. You just saved a $hit ton of money on having someone else install them. If I forgot anything, or if something is confusing, let me know.

Shane

crankedupforit
07-08-11, 03:19 PM
Well done!

JFensty
07-08-11, 08:38 PM
Any way this may screw with your alignment?

JimmyH
07-09-11, 03:10 PM
you are the man Shane (and a sexy beast to boot) but you really suck at drawing arrows

cam3439
07-09-11, 03:18 PM
good write up...will use this pretty soon as I'm stacking up the miles.

KING03
07-10-11, 05:31 AM
Any way this may screw with your alignment?
you will need to get your car aligned after any spring/coilover install

rand49er
07-10-11, 10:05 AM
Those red arrows suck.



J/k Shane. Great job as usual!

lollygagger8
07-10-11, 02:42 PM
I've never heard of having to get an alignment after replacing shocks. I could see maybe if you went with lowering springs, but these are the same stock springs, and I never moved the tie rods either.

thebigjimsho
07-10-11, 06:16 PM
you will need to get your car aligned after any spring/coilover installNot on our double wishbone suspensions...

thebigjimsho
07-10-11, 06:17 PM
Now to those with GC coilovers. I had a shop install my coilovers. Once done, this job is about 30% easier. And pretty easy to replicate. As I did. Over and over again...

CadzillaTN
07-12-11, 07:45 PM
Good guide for the noobz.

I don't find that these go right back in very easy in stock form, but then again I don't remove anything else.

Jim is right, with the gc it's much easier, both in and out. No spring compressor necessary either...

thebigjimsho
07-14-11, 01:13 PM
http://partners.visitrenotahoe.com/assets/423/inandoutburger.jpg

jclayc
07-14-11, 10:19 PM
thanks for the pics. It took me about 5 hours to do this by myself. (Drinking beer and having to disassemble/reassemble things a few times for different reasons.)

Here are the newbie notes I have:
1) buy an impact wrench if you don't have one
2) yeah, all five of those bolts at the top of the assembly need to come out
3) when reassembling the new front shocks inside the springs, make sure that (when you decompress the springs) you don't end up getting the spring compressor butted up against the assembly and can't get it out - yeah, dumb

JDB
07-15-11, 11:58 AM
Awesome write up. Good to know. So, how about the rears? ;)

Also, is it possible to replace the bushing at the bottom of the front shocks? Or, is that not "service-able"? Has anyone found a bushing that can be pressed in there?

Also, another noobish question... are the springs the same with FE4 and FG2 shocks?

thebigjimsho
07-15-11, 04:14 PM
Also, another noobish question... are the springs the same with FE4 and FG2 shocks?They are the same. My big beef is that while the FG2s are great shocks, they didn't match well with the stock springs. FG2s go much better in a GC setup with spring 500lb+...

JDB
07-15-11, 04:29 PM
They are the same. My big beef is that while the FG2s are great shocks, they didn't match well with the stock springs. FG2s go much better in a GC setup with spring 500lb+...

Interesting...you'd think there would be a Sports package setup that is shocks and springs (slightly lowered). Is there any springs available that don't slam the car, and would they match rebound well with the FG2s??

Dealer might be replacing my shocks under CPO, and seeing if I can can get FG2s. Maybe pay the difference if there is one. Wouldn't mind lowering if the suspension combo is matched for performance...not some goofy looking my car is slammed yo and I can hit my head on the ceiling when I bounce down the road, yo, brah.

I need to do some searching... but current products are constantly changing.

At least want to do a rear sway bar...maybe Addco 25mm.