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  1. #1

    Default 2003 1500 Chevy Suburban

    Looking for repair advice. Trying to replace rear shock absorbers. They are typical, normal shocks,... not air or other. When I remove the bottom bolt, there is a lot of built up pressure on the old shock. I cannot compress the shock to get it out. It's jammed itself into the bottom mounting bracket for the shock. Should I remove the top bolt 1st to remove the shock? I'm worried that when I do so, it will quickly decompress itself out of the top bracket and break something else when it does so,.... A/C tubing or other. Are there other steps/suggestions to remove the shock(s) when it is under pressure? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Master Mechanic silverhobey's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
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    I have changed rear shocks before but didn't run into that problem.
    I had the axle/suspension hanging, so the shock was extended and not under
    pressure. Not sure what else I did, so hopefully someone else might have
    idea(s)....have you tried using a jack to shove the shock back up??

    Brian from Canada
    Silverado Crew.....4.8 L

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  3. #3


    When replacing any part of the suspension you have to make sure it is under 0 weight of the truck. Use a jack to raise the rear then support the frame with jack stands, make sure you brace the front tires so the truck wont roll. Do this and the shock will come right off because it will have no pressure.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

  4. #4


    Thanks to both of you. I tried supporting the frame under the back axle (with jack stands) and directly under the frame where the bottom of the shock connects to the frame. In both cases there should have been no weight on the shock (0-energy), and the shock still wanted to expand (decompress). Maybe I should try letting the back axle/suspension hang as Brian suggests. This way, the shock would not be able to expand any further.

  5. #5


    I suggest putting your jack under your hitch in the rear and jacking up the body and frame, leaving the axle down. I had the same issue and that method worked. Are you sure that they are not the nivomat shocks? replacing the nivomat with a standard shock is dangerous. The coil spring rate is not correct for standard shocks. The previous owner of my 03 yukon xl did that and the rear was all over the place, especially towing. For my 05 yukon xl I have to change the rear coil springs out also. I would checkout and look at the RPO codes for your truck to be sure.

    1995 Silverado 4x4
    6" BDS Suspension Lift-3" Body Lift-Add A Leaf in rear -Trailmaster SSV Shocks-Duel Steering Stabilizer Kit -AirAid Cold air intake-
    4.56 Gears with Detroit Auburn Locker-Pro-Comp Traction Bars with duel shocks-Aluminum Skid Plate Kit-38.5" x 16.5" Mickey Thompson Baja Claws-Constant Dropping fuel gauge

    2005 Yukon XL Jet Power Programmer, Bilstein Shocks, Bilstein rear springs, Helwig Anti-sway bars, EGR Window Visors, EGR Hood Shield, Denali Headlights, Headlight harness upgrade, GE NightHawk Bulbs, White Night Rear lighting system, Russell Braided SS brake lines, PowerStop Brake pads, PowerStop cross drilled and Slotted Rotors,
    2002 Silverado ext cab 2wd (Sold)
    2003 Yukon XL (Totaled)

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