Rear Shock Installation
Submitted by IowaEagle
I just replaced my 24 year old original equipment shocks today and there are some things in the TSM that could make the job harder than it is. Even though I installed air shocks the R & R is pretty much the same for all rear shocks. Your job will go easier if you have a 1/2" impact wrench but it is not absolutely necessary. I did not put my car on a hoist. If you do you will also need to support the rear axle -- raising it some may also be helpful.
Park your AMC Eagle in your favorite work space.
I used Monroe MA 700 Air Shocks. Make sure all the parts are there. 2 Shocks, two paper bags with the upper mounting hardware and a plastic bag with the air line kit. There are also two plastic bags with parts that you don't need; they are for other applications.
Soak the attaching bolts with a rust blaster. There are two at the top of each bolt that screw into the body. And the nut that holds the shock to the lower mount.
Gather up your tools: 1/2" Impact wrench; 3/4" X 1/2" socket; 9/16" X 3/8" socket; 1/2" X 3/8" deep socket; a 1/2" to 3/8" adapter; a couple of 8" 3/8" extensions; a 3/8" wratchet handle.
For the air filling tee you will need a 5/16" drill for the hole it need to mount into. Also a single edge razor blade to cut the air line.
I first drilled the hole for the tee. I placed mine to the left of the gas cap, behind the license plate. You will be drilling thru plastic so it will go easy.
Test fit your tee and then set it aside, it will be the last thing you install.
Pick a shock to remove, let's start with the passenger side, it is easier, so you can use it for a confidence builder.
Use your 1/2" impact wrench with a 3/4" socket to remove the nut that holds the shock to the bottom mount.
Now, put your 9/6" X 3/8" socket on two 8" extensions. Put your 1/2" to 3/8" adapter on your impact wrench. Fit the socket onto one of the top nuts making sure it is on as squarely as possible. Snap your impact wrench on and remove the first bolt. Do the same for the second bolt.
Grab hold of the top of the shock and pull it down as far as it will go. You can now more easily work it off the bottom mount.
You now need to use your 1/2" X 3/8" deep socket to remove the nut at the top of the shock so you can reuse the mounting plate. Pay attention which side goes towards the shock.
Grab a new shock and open one of the paper parts bags. You should have 2 rubber bushings, 2 washers and a nut. Take one of the washers dished out side down onto the shaft, install a bushing with the small diameter raised portion down. Put your mounting bracket back on. Put the next bushing on, reversed from the bottom one. Then the washer, dished out side up. Install and tightent nut. Make sure everything looks square and in line.
Test fit shock so that the top plate lines up with holes, the bottom lines up with the stud and if air shocks then the air inlet pointed to the inside of the car.
If you are satisfied with your test fit then slide the bottom of the shock onto the stud. Do not put tighten yet.
Slide the top of the shock up to and align the mounting holes.
Use your socket, extensions and either a 3/8" wratchet or air wratchet wrench to tighten up these bolts.
Now reinstall the bottom mount washer and the nut.
As I mentioned the passenger side is easier, because you have stuff in your way that you need to work around to get the drive's side off.
The process is the same except working off the bottom mount from the stud may be more difficult because you do not have the room to manipulate the shock like you did on the other side.
After I tried to work the old shock off I finally got my cut off tool and cut a slit the bottom round housing, that goes around the bushing -- cut thru to the bushing. This will allow you to work the bottom bushing off of the stud.
Prepare and install your other shock. Make sure on an air shock the air inlet points to the inside of the car.
If you are putting on non air shocks you are now done. Grin
If you are installing air shocks you now need to run your lines. I did the driver side first. Read the instructions to make sure you get this part right.
Remove the white cap from the shock, you should hear some air escape. Pull the little pin from the cap and then put the cap on the end of your air line. Install the small washer about 1/8" in and then line it up and screw the cap on snug. Do not use a wrench. Finger tighten only.
You air line kit came with some nylon inserts that you can use to route your line. AMC was helpful in providing just the right size holes for these inserts to snap into. The air line on the driver's side need to be secured as far from the exhaust as you can get it. I ran the line up to a clip then a little ways towards the passenger side to another clip then over to just before it goes around the gas tank on the passenger side and used another clip. I then finished routing the hose around the tank and thru a square opening that brings it out from under the car.
Eyeball how much line you will need to get to the tee and then add a few inches for good measure. Use your razor blade to cut your line.
From your parts bag grab one of the black caps and a rubber o-ring and install the line into one side of the tee, again finger tight.
Install the other line and route it along side the other one and secure it to the tee.
Install the tee and use the nut to secure it.
Inflate shocks as desired (minimum 20 pounds) I set mine at 60. Use a spray bottle with a dishsoap/water mix to check for leaks.
You are now done.