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Replacing your front hood shocks

 
 
Old 12-20-2005, 11:15 AM
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Marc Shaw
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Default Replacing your front hood shocks

After getting bonked on the head a few times by my front hood closing on it's own, I decided to replace my front hoodshocks.

I bought a new pair of hood shocks at Performance Products (a sponsor). I decided on the heavy-duty Weltmeister ones as they have a lifetime guarantee so I thought they'd last well. The hood shocks on my car were last replaced in 1999 so I'm hoping these new ones will last more than 6 years.

After doing all the research, I was a bit worried about how long this would take or how hard it would be. I approached this job with some trepidation but was pleasantly surprised that I was done and on to the next job after just 15 minutes!

Here's how I did it (not the only way but it worked for me)


Tools needed:

flashlight
short philips screwdriver (cross)
needle nose pliers
long, fine flat-blade screwdriver

I also fashioned a long hook from a coathanger - it's use will become clear later. (You don't need the tape measure - that is just to give you a idea of how long the coat-hanger hook is.)

You'll also need a long pole to hold the hood open - I found a 48" bubble-level fit perfectly.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:16 AM
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Open the hood (if you don't know how to do this.....stop now and go have a beer. ).

I started with the driver's side (LHD) as I thought it wuld be easier but it turned out to be the more fiddly one.

Prop the hood open with your long pole, bar, bat, level, or whatever.

Use the short philips screwdriver to remove the screws holding the plastic baffle in front of the windshield down and gently lift it up.
You don't have to remove it completely as the rubber seal may get damaged and then water will get into the front trunk.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:17 AM
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I forgot to take a shot of the new shock but here is what the old one looked like (the new one looked the same).
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:18 AM
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Before we remove the old shock, let's have a look at the new one to see how it is held together so it'll make more sense as to how to take it apart.
You'll also have to prepare the new shocks for installation too.

Here is a close-up of the lower end. It is hard to see well but it is a socket - the ball part is attached to the inside of the trunk.
A metal clip that wraps around the outside of the socket holds the ball in place.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:18 AM
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Now you'll have to prepare the new shock for installation.

To pull the ball and socket apart, you need to slide the clip partly off.
On the new shock, use the flat-blade screwdriver to pry the metal clip slightly up and towards the end of the socket.
Don't pry it off completely as it is a bugger to get back on (the clip is very strong).
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:19 AM
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Notice the difference in where the clip is now between the two pictures.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:20 AM
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Use the pliers to pull the clip off the inner aspect of the upper pin and the wiggle the hood up and down so you can push the pin out - don't drop it.

To remove the old shock from the car, use the flat-blade screwdriver to pry the clip off the lower socket - using the flashlight to see what you're doing.
It is a bit fiddly and the clip is strong but it is not very hard to do.

Now, remove the old shock and do a dance of joy.

Position the new shock in place (put the upper part in the bracket before attaching the lower end though) and push the ball into socket.
Now we get to use the coathanger hook to pull the metal clip up so it snaps back into place.

Then re-insert the top pin and re-attach the clip on the end of the pin.

Repeat for other side then re-attach the baffle below the windscreen.

Remember to put the plastic sleeve over the right hood shock before installing (it prevents the shock rubbing on the wire bundles in the area).

Don't forget to remove the support rod before trying to close the hood.

That is it - 15 minutes start to finish (not includng the time for a dance of joy).
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