How to Install Bilstein Shocks on a Classic Range Rover

Written by cristian vera
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How to Install Bilstein Shocks on a Classic Range Rover
Installing shocks on your Land Rover Classic is an easy and straightforward procedure. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bilstein manufactures high-quality shock absorbers. Their high-pressure performance, monotube design is reportedly superior to the design of typical twin-tube oil shocks, like the OEM units in the Range Rover Classic. Installing Bilstein shocks in your Classic Range Rover will result in a significant improvement in ride and handling, with a noticeable reduction in pitching.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Ratchet wrench
  • 17mm, 18mm and 19mm sockets
  • 18 millimetre box wrench
  • Thin crescent wrench
  • Breaker bar
  • 18-inch extension

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  1. 1

    Use the jack to raise one rear corner of your Classic Range Rover until the suspension is fully extended. Place the jack stands under the frame for safety and stability. Chock the wheel diagonally across from the one you are working on.

  2. 2

    Remove the bottom nut on the rear shock, using the crescent wrench to stop the shock-body from spinning. OEM shocks have a 17mm nut, while Bilsteins use a larger 19mm nut.

  3. 3

    Remove the 18mm bolt holding the upper shock mount in place. In some models, it is possible to reach in directly through the wheel-well to undo the top bolt on the rear shocks. If you have one of these, the 18-inch extension will allow you to reach the bolt with the socket while the ratchet clears the wheel.

  4. 4

    Install the bottom of the Bilstein shock first with the provided bushings and washers, tightening the 19mm nut while using the crescent wrench to prevent the shock body from rotating. Then extend the shock by hand and replace the top bolt, tightening it with the 18mm socket. Take special care not to pinch the brake line when replacing the top bolt.

  5. 5

    Repeat this procedure for the other rear shock.

  6. 6

    Raise one front corner of the car to replace the front shock. Be sure to secure the raised corner with jack stands and to chock the opposite rear wheel.

  7. 7

    Working in the engine compartment, remove the 18mm top shock bolt using the ratchet and socket. On some models, there is not enough clearance for a socket on the left side front shock's top bolt. If this is the case with yours, use the 18mm box wrench to remove the left front shock's top bolt.

  8. 8

    Remove the lower bolt using the 17mm socket for OEM shocks and the 19mm socket for Bilsteins, along with the crescent wrench to prevent the shock body from rotating.

  9. 9

    Remove the old shock and place the Bilstein shock into the bottom mount and fasten using the supplied 19mm nut, along with bushings and washers. Tighten the nut using the crescent wrench to stop the shock body from rotating.

  10. 10

    Extend the shock as necessary to line up the top of the shock with the shock mount, and replace the 18mm top bolt, being careful not to pinch any wires that may be routed close by.

  11. 11

    Remove the jack stands, lower the corner, and repeat the procedure for the remaining front corner.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure your Range Rover Classic is stable and resting securely on the jack stands, with the wheel opposite the jacked up corner chocked, and the emergency brake securely on before attempting any work on the shocks.
  • Take special care not to pinch brake lines when installing the top bolts on the rear shocks. Range Rover break lines run particularly close to the top shock bolts.

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