Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Replacing Shocks Question

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
I'm thinking of replacing the original Bilstein shocks with KYBs. Car is an 88 couple with the Z52 package and 44K miles. Guess I'm getting old and I'm tired of having to replace the fillings in my teeth every time I drive it. Anyway I thought that I'd have the dealer replace the shocks. Checked with the parts department and GM doesn't carry any shocks for it. So I thought I'd go to the local parts place and get the shocks and have the dealer put them on. Much easier when it's on a lift and I've got to take it in anyway. They checked the labor manual and it's 2.2 hours, or roughly $200 to put on the shocks!

OK so I'll save some pennies and do it myself. I've replaced shocks before, although I was much younger then. I checked both my Helms and service manual and it doesn't look like anything that's too difficult. But now I'm doubting myself. Why would the labor manual have 1.6 hours to replace the fronts when they are right out in the open and look to be about 10 minutes each? Am I missing something?

So if any of you have replaced shocks, is there something I need to know or is it really as straight forward as what it looks like in the manual? Hardest part looks to be the upper mount for the rear. Any tricks for those?

Thanks,

Ron
"Baldie88"
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2003
Messages
174
Location
So Cal
Corvette
1996 LT4 Collector Edition
It's been a while since I did mine, but I don't remember anything tricky. I put the car up on four jackstands, and pulled all the wheels off, which made it a lot easier to get to the shocks. Pretty straightforward.

Barry
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,547
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
It's not that bad of a Job!!! I can do all 4 in 2-2 1/2 hours,even with the phone ringing Off the wall!!!!:upthumbsI'm a Old Focker too!!!:chuckle:chuckle But there needs to be someone here to help me up off the creeper when I'm finished!!!:boogie:boogie:boogie
 

c4cruiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
971
Location
Lacey, WA USA
Corvette
87 Gold Z52 Coupe 02 EB Z51 Supercharged Coupe
The front shocks can actually be replaced without even jacking the car up. The upper shock rod has the single nut to remove and there are two bolts with nuts to remove on the lower control arm. There are holes in the lower control arm that are large enough to get a deep socket in to hold the nut while you turn the bolt head.

When tightening the upper nut on the upper shock rod, tighten until the new bushings compress to where they just are outside of the steel washers. The lower bolts are tightened to around 26 ft-lbs.

For the rear shocks, they are fairly straightforward. GM made a change to the upper mounting design at some point in the C4 run. If your car has the exposed upper mounting points, simply remove the bolt on the top and then the single nut at the bottom.

The other style of upper mount has two small bolts that hold a bracket to the frame and the upper shock attaching point is on this bracket. Pull the two small bolts at the top and the large nut at the bottom. The bracket comes off with the shock and is removed once you get the shock off the car. Install the bracket on the new shock and re-install on the car.

One thing to be careful of is that the rear attaching nuts or bolts must be tightened with the car at ride height. With the new rear shock installed, use a floor jack to raise the rear suspension so that the car just raises off the jack stand.

With the early single bolt at the top, tighten the top nut to 66 ft-lbs and the lower nut to 60 ft-lbs.

With the newer rear mount design, tighten the upper bracket bolts to 22 ft-lbs and the lower nut to 61 ft-lbs.
 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
Thanks for the excellent writeup c4cruiser. I've printed it off and will have it right by me when I replace the shocks.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 
S

Striker 85

Guest
Anything different to replace the Z51? I plan on ordering the Z51 Blistens fairly soon here.
 

Baldie88

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2002
Messages
551
Location
Waterloo, IL USA
Corvette
2016 triple black vert.
I don't think there is any difference. I think the only difference between the Z51 and Z52, I think, was the size of the sway bars or maybe the spring rates. So the shocks should be the same.

I did check mine and I have the bracket holding the upper portion of the rear shocks. Looks like it's a little more complicated than just the one bolt like earlier versions but should be no problem.

Ron
"Baldie88"
 

c4cruiser

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Messages
971
Location
Lacey, WA USA
Corvette
87 Gold Z52 Coupe 02 EB Z51 Supercharged Coupe

ZumZum

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
478
Location
Central Illinois
Corvette
1988 Dark Red Coupe
Get the Liquid Wrench and a breaker bar. When I replaced the shocks on my '88 the upper bracket bolts on the rear were an absolute biotch to get loose.
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Parts/Accessories:

Vetteskins

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Partners

Top Bottom