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Old 05-03-2012, 09:06   #1 (permalink)
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'09 Mariner rear shocks

This morning I changed the rear shocks on the wife's Mariner. The job was easier than I anticipated, and took about an hour and a half for both sides. It could be done in less time. You'll need a set of plastic trim tools as you need to remove the rear quarter trim panels. Using a suitable trim tool, pry up the sill plate at the liftgate. Then pry off the trim panels on each side. No need to remove them completely, just pull them away far enough to get to the upper shock mounts. It helps greatly to have a shock absorber tool that fits over the stud to hold it while you remove the 15mm nut holding the top of the shock. These little tools are inexpensive and worth every penny.
Jack up the car using the regular jacking point and set it on jackstands located just forward and inboard of the rear well wells. There's a flat spot under there; cushion your jackstand with wood or something.
With the tire off, the lower mounts are readily accessible with an impact wrench. The lower bolt has a capture arm at its head, so just spin the nut off using a 24mm socket. If you don't have an impact wrench you'll need a big breaker bar as these nuts are on tight (129 ft-lbs.). With the upper retainer off, push the shock off the lower bolt and yank it out. Pop in the upper end of the new shock, wrestle it on to the lower bolt, replace the lower nut and put on a new upper mount. Tighten the upper nut to 40 ft-lbs. The lower nut is a little hard to get a torque wrench on so I just waled on it with the impact wrench. It's close. The interior goes back together easier than it comes apart. Pop the parts back in place making sure they are under the weatherstripping and enjoy the hundred bucks you just saved.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '09 Mariner rear shocks

Since posting this, I've thought about it some more and think that this could have been done with less time and effort. I live on a corner and my driveway drops away from the garage. I think I could have done this job without removing the rear wheels by backing the car to the edge of the garage floor and reaching the lower shock bolts from under the car. I think you could do the same thing with ramps. The car has good ground clearance and the neutral position for the shocks is pretty much where the car sits on its wheels, so wheel removal is not really necessary. The nut securing the shock at the bottom is reachable from the inside so the tire won't interfere.

If I ever do this again, I'll do it that way.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '09 Mariner rear shocks

Good info there. Thanks for posting.
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