Shock Brackets: Getting the Right Part for Your Shocks
Shock absorbers are essential parts of your vehicle's suspension. They provide you with a smooth ride while driving through contours and bumps on the road. Shock brackets on the other hand, keep your shock absorbers attached to the suspension system. But what if the shock bracket breaks? Where will you buy a new bracket? Selecting the right shock absorber might be a daunting task but this guide can help you make the right choice.
Urban or Off-Roader
Are you a daily urban driver or an off-roader? Your driving habits are factors to consider when shopping for a new set of shock brackets. Since these brackets hold your vehicle's shock absorbers, knowing what type of road conditions your vehicle would face is important. Urban drivers can live with the standard set of shock absorbers while off-road loving adventurers need stronger shocks. Always consider your driving habits before making a purchase.
Stock or Customized
If your vehicle is stock, then go for the standard shock bracket set. Stock components work with standard components. It's less complicated and easier to install. But once you modify or customize your vehicle, then you should look into the different types of shock brackets. There are brackets designed for vehicles with air adjustable shock absorbers, with automatic leveling systems. Other shock brackets are designed to convert single shock suspensions to dual or multiple shock systems. Know your needs and do research. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Aftermarket or OEM
Aftermarket products have a wide range of products to choose from. The price of these custom-fitting parts can range from $15 to $500. OEM products on the other hand are a bit cheaper and if your vehicle is still under warranty, you can get them for free! The important thing is that you get the right part, fit, and type for your vehicle.
Suspension Repair Basics: Replacing a Shock Bracket
A shock absorber bracket holds your shock absorbers to the chassis. Due to repeated wear and tear, they can crack or break. Once it breaks, the shock absorber can't function properly leading to damage to your suspension system, or your vehicle's chassis. Replacing worn-out shock brackets is a fun project to do and it won't take you all day to accomplish it. We listed the tools, steps, and tips that you need to help you replace your vehicle's shock bracket.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Pry bar
- Screwdriver set
- Grinder (optional)
- Hammering chisel
- 1/2 - inch socket set
- 1/2 - inch ratchet wrench
- It's highly recommended that you wear safety goggles and gloves while working on this project.
- Each truck or vehicle has different locations for its shock brackets. Front shock brackets are usually found in the engine compartment, while rear shock brackets are located under the back seats, below a truck's bed, or near the trunk. Consult your vehicle owner's manual for the exact location of these shock brackets.
- Shock brackets are installed in different ways; some of them are riveted while others are bolted on. Always use the appropriate tool when removing a shock bracket from your vehicle.
Step 1: Install an appropriate-sized socket on your ratchet wrench to unfasten the upper and lower shock restrain bolts.
Step 2: If you are having trouble detaching the shock bracket from the shock absorbers, use a pry bar to release it from the vehicle's shocks. Apply the necessary force when using the pry bar.
Step 3: Pull the shock away from the gap and set it aside. Inspect the worn-out shock bracket before removing it. Remember that shock brackets are installed differently and use the proper tools for the removal process.
Step 3-A: For shock brackets that are bolted on, attach an appropriate-sized socket to the ratchet wrench to unfasten its bolt or bolts. Remove the bracket from the vehicle then set it aside. Clean the area before installing the new shock bracket. Mount the new shock bracket, and use the ratchet wrench to fasten the securing bolts. Apply the appropriate torque when tightening the bolts. Pull and align the shock absorber to its new shock bracket. Install and secure the shock absorber.
Step 3-B: For riveted shock brackets; use a grinder to cut into the rivet head at a 45-degree angle. Wear the heads out by rocking the grinder back and forth. Pull the mount from the rivet stems with a pry bar. Remove all the remaining rivet stems with a hammer and hammer chisel. Mount the new shock bracket and secure it using the supplied bolts. Secure the bolts with a ratchet wrench and install the shock absorber.
Installing new shock brackets will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes for an expert DIYer, and around 1 hour and 30 minutes for a beginner. Exercise caution when working on your vehicle's suspension system.