How to Replace a 96 Dodge RAM Shock Absorber

Written by russell wood
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How to Replace a 96 Dodge RAM Shock Absorber
Coil and shock absorber (suv suspension image by Kathy Burns from

The Dodge Ram pickup has a front suspension design that is very similar to many other full-size trucks on the road today. There is an upper and lower control arm, a coil-sprang front suspension, and a shock which goes through the control arm into the frame. This makes swapping out a front shock an easy task that can be done almost anywhere. In this case, the project vehicle is a 1996 Dodge Ram, but the process is similar for other vehicles as well.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tire iron
  • Open-end wrench set
  • Vice grips
  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Replacement shock absorber

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  1. 1

    Raise up the front of the vehicle using the jack and set it on the jack stands. Make sure that the vehicle is solidly on the stands before crawling underneath it. Take off the front wheel using the tire iron and set it out of the workspace.

  2. 2

    Clamp the vice grips onto the top shaft of the shock, just above the frame and the nut. Remove the nut on the upper shock using an open-end wrench. Unclamp the vice grips.

  3. 3

    Unbolt the bottom of the shock from the lower control arm using the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Slide the old shock out through the bottom of the lower control arm and discard it.

  4. 4

    Slide the replacement shock up through the lower control arm into the frame. Bolt the bottom mounts to the lower control arm using the ratchet, and the upper mount using the open-end wrench and vice grips.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the front tire using the tire iron. Set the truck back on the ground using the jack.

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