Tightening Up Shock Absorbers (Without Crush Tubes)

Fitting a shock absorber to a truck or trailer may not seem an incredibly complex job but before you pick up that rattle gun, you should take note of the following.

Bushes are fitted to the shock absorber so that the shock absorber can articulate on the mounting point of the vehicle.

Over Tightening

By over tightening the shock absorber on the mount, this will excessively squash the bush reducing the amount of flexibility or articulation in the bush. This will lead to premature wear of the bush and possibly breaking the shock absorber eye or stud. Alternately the mounting bracket on the vehicle could also break.

Under Tightening

Under tightening the shock absorber can lead to the shock absorber coming lose stripping the nut off the thread or sliding on the mount. This will wear out the shock bush and the mount plus make a lot of noise in the process.

How Tight?

Many manufacturers do not have a recommend torque rating for tightening up a shock absorber. Powerdown recommend that shock absorbers should be tightened up with a spanner rather than a rattle gun to avoid over tightening.

When the tightening up a shock absorber with an eye mount, rotate the nut until you feel it make contact with the outside mounting washer and bush. Two full turns of the spanner clockwise should secure the shock absorber in place. Grab the shock and make sure it does not rattle on the mount and that there is still flexibility in the bush. If the bush is bulging over the outside of the washer the shock absorber is too tight. For a stud mount the same principles apply.