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Old 05-23-2006, 03:32 PM   #1
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Replacing shocks - what to look out for?

I have new shocks coming (along with the window rock guards). I have no idea when the last time these were replaced. At most 14 years ago! They look like they need so I will do it.

I sure don't want to twist off a bolt or anything like that. Should I load them up with a 'liquid wrench' type of solvent first? A friend mentioned to use a torque wrench, not so much for putting them on but taking them off so you don't use too much oomph and bust it.

Best practices please?
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:14 PM   #2
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Hello caadoptees,

My favorite rust penetrent that works remarkably well ,is called PB Blaster .I get it from my local CarQuest auto parts store.Napa might have it too.I use it mostly for exhaust manifold studs and nuts where the exhaust pipe attaches
at the manifold ,almost daily in my auto repair shop .Spray your shock nuts well and go have a sandwich or ? come back and give them a turn.I spray it on as Im turning the nut if needed.Patience is key ,let the blaster work a bit
and they should come off.WD40 is better for lubricating the nuts upon reassembly .There is of course liquid wrench ,but PB Blaster is exceptional
on rusted fasteners.DONT put a torque wrench on them to remove ,you want to be able to "feel" the nut as it works loose,is it coming off too tight ,more penetrent ? etc.

Good luck there

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:31 AM   #3
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After the oil has set a while a propane torch will make it pentrate more. Let it cool down and douse it again. wait and then use an air impact wrench set on low pressure work the fastener loose. You should use low setting first to get some movement to get the oil to seep in more. It takes time but you do not want to break the bolts. Impact is better than brute force. Torque wrench is better used to make sure you put things back together with proper pressures.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:00 AM   #4
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Kroil is great stuff

Hi Roger & Roxie:

My favortie penetrant for rusty parts is Kroil/AeroKroil made by by Kano Labs and purchased direct from the factory. Details can be found on their web site:

http://www.kanolabs.com/

I use enough to buy it by the case of 12/10 oz. cans every few years. You may wish to purchase just a few cans to try. I let it soak in for 5 minutes or so before wrenching, and apply it again if there is no movement at first. Its wonderful, real stuff.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:23 AM   #5
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Amazingly, my bolts required nothing at all to loosen, and the last place my Airstream was registered was Minnesota! I'd have figured with all the de-icing they have to do up that way they'd have been hard to remove, but not so. Crescent wrench was all I needed.
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
By the way -- how'd you bridge that gap between PA and KY?

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Well, the map is a bit of a fudge as far as an Airstream goes. It shows where I have actually been through my years. The NorthEast area was via Airplane. I don't know what map to use. Where I have been (the one there now), where I have been in an Airstream (maybe about 10 states off of the current one) or where I have been in an Airstream with MY family (western states)?
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:48 PM   #7
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I don't know if you can find it out there, but I use Howe's oil for all my rusty fastener removal adventures. Also, if you don't have a handy impact gun, you could get the same effect in a crude fashion from a box-end wrench and a hammer. Put the box end on the shock nut, and tap the other end with the hammer until the nut starts moving.
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Old 05-27-2006, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caadoptees
Well, the map is a bit of a fudge as far as an Airstream goes. It shows where I have actually been through my years. The NorthEast area was via Airplane. I don't know what map to use. Where I have been (the one there now), where I have been in an Airstream (maybe about 10 states off of the current one) or where I have been in an Airstream with MY family (western states)?

And the answer could have been Canada.

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Old 06-05-2006, 10:48 PM   #9
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I got the trailer out on the street now and took off one wheel to see what I had to work with. The shock looked pretty easy. I put on the PB fluid and waited about 3 hours. I put on the socket and tried the nut. It turned very smoothly and came off with out incident. That was the nut on the bolt on the chassis. The other nut was more interesting since it faces the trailer, this is the one that is on the axle. That is why it is good to have tools. I used the wrench in the picture and the nut came off there also. When I removed the old shock I noticed that the bushings were in two pieces. A bit odd but I found out why when I tried to put on the shock on the bolt on the axle. There was not enough room to get the shock on with the bushing attached. Now I know why they are split, so I split mine too! It fit perfectly and tighten up just fine. So one is down. I have to wait for the rest until I get a new tire on this wheel. But thanks to all that gave words of encouragement and advice.

On the photos, the first is the new shock installed. Second is the old shock with the split bushings.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
When I removed the old shock [from the stud on the axle] I noticed that the bushings were in two pieces. A bit odd but I found out why when I tried to put on the shock on the bolt on the axle. There was not enough room to get the shock on with the bushing attached. Now I know why they are split, so I split mine too! It fit perfectly ...
INCREDIBLE! If I understand you correctly, the split bushing allowed you to remove the shock from the axle stud without de-mounting the axle or bending the shock flange? If true, I am stunned-- --there are pages and pages of posts about how crappy it is that you can't remove the shock without major axle work or bending something.

Even Inland Andy, who knows all, personally demonstrated to me that the mounting flange had to be bent away from the frame in order to get enough clearance at the stud tip!

Karma to you... make that big karma.

I'm looking again at your photo and it looks exactly like my installation on all three Airstreams. Is it possible that in the '90s there is just a little more stud-to-frame room than on the '70s models? (Holding my breath here...)
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
I'm looking again at your photo and it looks exactly like my installation on all three Airstreams. Is it possible that in the '90s there is just a little more stud-to-frame room than on the '70s models? (Holding my breath here...)
Nope, the shock bushings were changed at some point to save money on manufacturing. 99+% of the time, this is not an issue, but if you have that 1% where it makes a difference for mounting, it makes removal a problem. I am aware of no reason you can't split the bushings, like the old ones were, so you don't have to bend the mounts. It can be rather time-consuming, however.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:37 AM   #12
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I split my bushings, too. Used a PVC pipe cutter. Easy easy lemon squeezy!

And even with splitting them, there was still a little bit of a need for some hot crowbar action.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:54 AM   #13
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I will measure the distance on the next set I do. However with the full bushing in the shock I probably could have pryed it in there somehow. After splitting, you put in half a bushing, the shock and then the other half. I didn't have any problems getting just the shock on there. Maybe I got lucky for once!
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:03 PM   #14
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Got them all done. The last one, naturally, was the worst with the least clearance. Needed to pry it off and on more than any other. On the second one I measured the space between the end of the bolt and the frame, it was 3/8".
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