Rear Shock Replacement Mystery

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by myisland64, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. myisland64

    myisland64 New Member

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    O6 Sport front tires were wearing on the outside so i bought it in for an alignment and was told that the struts needed to be replaced and was causing the issue. Had them replaced and then decided to replace the rear shocks. picked up Gabriels at auto zone for pretty cheap. now the rear end is clunking on every bump. I had the a similar noise when I first picked it up and changed the rear upper control arm and it solved the problem. Put the car on a lift and the rear springs seem very loose. could the new shocks have too much travel and causing the bottoming out sound. should I have placed the springs at the same time? Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  2. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Never replace shocks without replacing springs on these
    spring rate is weak from the factory, adda few years and springs are sagged down and weak springs cause shocks to wear out quickly
    Gabriel shocks are pretty low end for the Libertys about the same as the cheapest Monroes which are junk
    As far as the noise check the upper bolton the shocks to make sure they are tight, many times you think they are but not
    When on a lift of course rear springs are loose, they are sagged
    Park on a level surface, measure left front, middle of the wheel to bottom of the flare
    after April 12, 2002 they were 19 inches before that date 19.75 inches
    I have found many over the last 15 plus years that were up to 2 inches lower than new stock height which will cause some strange noises as well at times

    Just to confuse you more LOL, no struts, we have coilover shocks on front, everyone calls them struts just because they think its easier to tell folks
    if you have a strut style suspension you do not have upper control arms
    Been doing suspension work over 40 years and a pet peeve of mine ha ha
     
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  3. jeeptorino68

    jeeptorino68 Full Access Member

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    Maybe your shocks don't have the right size eye and are sloppy around the mounting bolt? Compare to the old ones
     
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  4. myisland64

    myisland64 New Member

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    I got up underneath yesterday and see nothing wrong. Ball joints on control arm all look good. I do have a pretty mashed up bump stop on the side where the noise is coming form but it was like that before and should not be hitting that on every little crack in the road. Did try to move the shock and found a little bit of play up near the top. Don't know if it is loose shock, wrong sized eye, or worst case, upper shock mount loose or broken. I am going to try to crank them down. I think my torque wrench may need to be calibrated or replaced. it is a 30 year old snap on. any risk of over tightening these? or at least to see if noise disappears. I am going to get better shocks and springs as these were probably original and replace the bump stock. isolaters look ok or should I replace those too while I am at it? its my teenage daughters but she is harder on cars than I am. she figures dad has tools:)
     
  5. jeeptorino68

    jeeptorino68 Full Access Member

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    The isolators are relatively cheap to do while the spring is out...less than 20 each
     
  6. myisland64

    myisland64 New Member

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    Everyone was helpful. Put rear up on stands and felt no play with shocks. Wella....jacked up each wheel a bit and both top and bottom were loose on each side. must have a bad torque wrench as they were both torqued to spec at 80 top and 85 bottom. Cranked them down hard and no noise or clunking. going to replace them with something better when I replace springs and upper isolators. Lowers look pretty good. As mentioned, this is my daughters so I dont want to go crazy and install OMEs and bilsteins. Any recommendations for a middle of the road springs and shocks. My son has a 2004 Libby as well and I am sure his are original so I will be doubling down. Thanks.