See the AMAZING difference shock absorber replacement can make

Saturday, May 5, 2018

See the AMAZING difference shock absorber replacement can make


Are you wondering what difference new shocks can make to your vehicle's handling? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to replace them and graphs the amazing difference from before and after shock replacement.

Playlist to other vehicle related episodes:

2005 Chevrolet Silverado shock kit: (Affiliate link)

Step-by-step 2005 Chevrolet Silverado shock replacement videos:
Front shocks:
Rear shocks:

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For a written transcript, go to Before and after shock replacement: the AMAZING difference

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at
Intro/Exit: Hot Swing
Incidental: Zap Beat


When I bought this truck and I was test driving it, I knew it needed some shocks. At least that was the first thing I told myself.

I took it to my mechanic right after buying it and had all the fluids replaced and asked him to take a look at the shocks. And he said the shocks looked great.

Later I took it to get the tires replaced at a tire store and they also said the shocks looked great.

But in driving it around since I've bought it, I don't think the shocks are great.

So today, we're going to replace these shocks, great or not, and see what difference they make.

Let's get started.


Hi. Harley here.

As I said in the intro, my 2005 Silverado has what I think are bad shocks. If it's not bad shocks, it's bad springs, but I'm pretty sure it's shocks since those typically go out much more frequently than the springs do.

But first we're going to drive through this intersection that's close to my house that for me is a real indication that the shocks are bad.

So we're going to put a fixed point here on the screen and as I go through the intersection there's a bump in the middle, when we hit the apex we're going to start tracking this and see what kind of rebound we have as we go through the intersection onto the main street and things level out.

So here we can see exactly how bad things are.

After the shocks are replaced, we'll run through the same intersection again and put them side by side so we can kind of compare and contrast the differences between the old shocks and the new.

OK, I've got two pairs of shocks. These are the fronts. They have a stud coming out the top.

These are the rears. They have two places where the bolts go through on top and bottom.

You always want to replace shocks in pairs: the front pair, the rear pair. I found a place on Amazon, I'll leave a link down in the description below, where they sell a kit of four: two fronts and two rears.

I've never run Bilstein's before but they come highly recommended by both my Uncle and my Dad who have used them on trucks and RVs that they've owned. They really swear by them.

The front Bilstein shocks have two bushings. This one's bigger around. It also has thicker... It is also made of thicker metal and all it is is rubber right here. This one goes on the bottom because it's thicker, it's holding all the weight of the vehicle on the shock and is taking the majority of the impact, so the thicker one goes on the bottom.

Then the thinner one has this little bushing in here and a spacer and this is used to keep the shock centered inside the hole for the upper control arm. And it's smaller around and thinner metal so it's the one that goes on top.

When it's all assembled, that'll go through like that, the shock will be going up through the bottom here and here in the middle the upper control arm will be sandwiched.

For tools, for the front on the top, we'll need a 9/16th inch wrench and locking pliers to be able to hold the top post of the shock from turning as we loosen the nut.

And then for the bottom of the front and both bolts on the back, we'll need either 21mm or 13/16ths inch sockets or wrenches, to take the bolts apart.

Hopefully that's all we need. If we need more than that, it means we've got a rust problem and it's going to take more force. Hopefully we don't run into that.

OK, this is the top of the shock: the body of the truck, the tire, the shock itself. The shock has threads on it with nuts that hold it to the body. In this case we have a jam nut and the main nut that holds it on. The new shocks just have a nylock washer so the locking mechanism is built into the nut itself.

So I'm going to hit it first with some penetrating oil. And we'll let that sit for a couple minutes. I'll hit all four shocks with penetrating oil, top and bottom, to hopefully make the job a little bit easier.

OK. I'm not going to go through everything step-by-step with every little bolt that gets turned and removed and everything like that for these shock changes. It's really pretty simple.

There's the bolt on the top of the front shocks. There's a bolt that goes through the bottom of the front shocks. Those need to come off.

There's two bolts that go through the top and bottom of the back shocks. Those come out.

Everything drops out. You put the new ones in.

[Good shock: note how hard it is to press down and how slowly it rebounds.]

[Bad shock: note how easy it is to press down and how quickly it rebounds.]

[Shocks should not be this easy to move by hand!]

Putting the new ones in usually is a little bit harder because they've got more tension on them since they're not worn. Also, the rubber bushings are new and sometimes take a little bit of finagling to get them in the mounts. But once you get them in, get the bolts put back on, it's really pretty straight forward.

This particular project took me about an hour for each of the front shocks and an hour total for the two back shocks. The back shocks, there's just more room, it's easier to get to, there's less things to work around with the front suspension and it just went faster.

The new shocks did have more spring tension in them and so I did jack the truck up a little bit to unload the suspension a little bit, make it easier to get the shocks mounted properly.

And here's the footage from going through the intersection after changing those shocks.

You can see there's just a huge, dramatic difference between the before and after images here. The before had a whole lot of rebound. It really took a while for the suspension to settle down.

The footage from after changing the shocks, we can really see that there's much more dampening going on. There's not all the rebound going back and forth and back and forth forever down the street. It's much more stable.

I have driven around a number of miles since changing these and it's a different truck. It has made a very dramatic difference getting the new shocks in and those old shocks were definitely just completely toast. It was almost as if the shocks weren't doing anything at all.

So, I'm really pleased I made these changes.

I did leave links down below for this particular model truck for another channel that does have very detailed step-by-step instructions on how to change both the front and the rear shocks on this particular model truck, if you need that information.

If you have another model truck or car, Google around, I'm sure you can find detailed information for your particular model.

I've got a playlist up here for other car related videos here at House of Hacks.

Thanks for joining me on this creative journey that we're on.

Until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!