View Full Version : Installing shocks and springs

BigBadVoodoo Daddy
04-30-2012, 06:11 PM
Just wondering how difficult it is to install shocks and springs on a camaro? Was quoted a what I think is a high price by a shop and was wondering what you guys thought? Quoted $600 to install everything.

04-30-2012, 06:27 PM
Rears are very easy. Front is a little more complicated but not bad at all. Can easily be completed in less than a day by yourself taking your time. There are a few write ups on how to do it. I just got done with my strano/bilstein a few minutes ago:). Only special thing you'll need are spring compressors for the front.

04-30-2012, 06:37 PM
Very easy actually,although when I went to loosen the swaybar endlinks in the front they snapped on me..oh well,good excuse to put some poly ones in!:D So keep in mind you might need to buy new ones..

I put lowering springs on mine an didnt need any spring compressors..and I was in a hurry an bitched my hands up somethin fierce so yea,a compressed spring has the appearance of a lamb but the bite of a lion! lol

BigBadVoodoo Daddy
04-30-2012, 06:50 PM
Interesting responses guys lol. I'm just limited on space while living in a apartment with the tiny apartment garage BS. However I keep thinking all the other things I could do with six bills lol

04-30-2012, 07:38 PM
its for sure not worth 600 bucks of labor. should take a couple hours to do all 4. i would get endlinks before you even do the job cuz mine snapped immediately

04-30-2012, 07:46 PM
It's more than a "Couple of Hours" work. The 1st time I did mine it was all day. The last time I just bought all new parts and took the old fronts off and installed a complete assembly that I had already put together, that took a couple of hours. If you are going to try and use your old springs plan on a day and a lot of cursing because everyone that I have heard of telling the story is a Nightmare because everything is rusted together.

BigBadVoodoo Daddy
04-30-2012, 08:11 PM
No I got new springs and shocks from bmr coming so at least they will be new. Just trying to see how difficult it is

04-30-2012, 08:26 PM
It ain't fun to do the fronts at all but it also isn't worth $600 in labor. Front was difficult for me because I had to end up cutting off the old shocks because they were so rusted on. Other than that it wasn't too hard, just time consuming and got a bit frustrating at times.

BigBadVoodoo Daddy
04-30-2012, 08:56 PM
Any idea where I can find a write up on how to do it myself?

04-30-2012, 09:43 PM
LS1 how to dot com has a write up that worked for me.

Here are some things that you may need that you might not have.

1. Size 50 torq bolt. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up, you will need it for the drivers side (DS) front shock. The last two bolts holding it in place use the 50 torq to take remove them.

2. Spring compressor. I rented mine from Autozone. Honestly, if you can get away without having to use these (ie...take the new shocks/springs to a place and have them put ths spring over the shock, do it). This by far took me the longest to perform because on the stock spring, you need at least 4 (I used 5) coils to compress the spring so when I took the top nut off, the spring would become a projectile. Total pain in the ass.

3. My electric impact on the top nut for the shocks worked like a charm. Harbor Frieght, 100.00 with an assortment of impact sockets/extentions and gun.

4. For the rears, have a set of hex wrenches and a pair of vise grips, you'll be good to go (for Bilsteins anways).

Performing the deed.

The rears are so bloody easy, it's stupid.

Fronts, after reading the website above, was really easy to take out. I will caution you on other things outside of the end links.

You will have to remove your brake master cylinder to get it out of the way to the rear bolts on the DS front shock. I also loosened up the ABS box and slide the entire unit fwd and towards the passenger side of the car. Took about 10 minutes total time but was SOOOO much easier than trying to work around everything.

A lot of people have issues with the nuts on top the front shocks rusting. I didn't have that issue (car spent its entire life in the desert) and the impact took the top nut off/on with ease.

If you have any questions, PM me.

04-30-2012, 09:59 PM
Look up the video by TheBlueKnight on here or YouTube. It gives you a good overview. Took me an hour to do the rears and probably 3-4 for the fronts. I bought all new bushings, etc.

04-30-2012, 10:05 PM
If you have any mechanical skills at all you will be fine. .Probably get a buddy over to help out because there's times when you will need an extra set of hands. Rent the spring compressor for safety no doubt. It is definitely not worth 600 bucks.....

04-30-2012, 10:28 PM
$600 is way off on labor rate! Check around and if anything have some place do just the fronts because the rear is just too easy to pay someone to do.

Very easy to do the fronts though with the proper tools but be very careful with compressing the spring unless you feel like losing half your head...
If anything, remove the strut and take it to a LOCAL shop (not a big name shop) and they should do it fairly cheap.

Unless your car is a rusted out pile you will enjoy doing it, learning about working on your own car and saving a lot of cash.
Good luck!

04-30-2012, 11:34 PM
Yes forgot to add earlier about the rusty nut on top of the shock. Have an angle grinder with cutoff wheel or sawzall handy lol. Impact definately comes in handy also. My AC lines were kind of a PITA to work around on the pass side. I had no problem with the end links though. Put new poly bushings on anyway.

05-01-2012, 11:28 AM
...should take a couple hours to do all 4...

I would like to watch that...

05-01-2012, 12:02 PM
Old cobra guy, once I figured out to use 5 coils to compress the spring, the entire swap(fronts and rears) took about 4.5 hours.

05-01-2012, 12:06 PM
Even that is very impressive.

05-01-2012, 02:43 PM
I would like to watch that...

thats without struggling with the rusty nut on top of the shock and just cutting it off right away. rears took no more than about 25 mins. and maybe i just got lucky with not having unforeseen problems...which i usually encounter

2000 TAWS6
05-01-2012, 02:55 PM
Too bad you're so far, i would've taken $500 :nod:

Get the spring compressor and pickle fork from Autozone, take your time, no big deal.

Split the top ball joints, makes it much easier to get the spring/shock assembly in up front. If you've got miles on the car, put new end links in up front.


05-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Just wondering how difficult it is to install shocks and springs on a camaro? Was quoted a what I think is a high price by a shop and was wondering what you guys thought? Quoted $600 to install everything.

I"m not to far from you in North Houston. I'll do this for 100 bucks for you. 600 is ridiculous.

05-01-2012, 11:29 PM
I"m not to far from you in North Houston. I'll do this for 100 bucks for you. 600 is ridiculous.OP, take him up on the offer!

Another thing to do is to take off the assemblies and take them to a shop that has a wall-mount compressor and air. They probably won't charge you more than $25 a side to change them out, and if the nuts are rusted, an air chisel makes short work of them.

05-02-2012, 09:44 AM
Sounds like a helluva deal to me. Even if it costs you $100 in pizza and beer, it's still a bargain...and a free education.