No matter how many times you restore a classic jeep, sometimes you’ll need a few pointers to help you along the way, such as whether or not you have the right gear for the job. This guide will show you how to carry out a proper jeep MB/GPW shock installation. That way, next time you have to restore either a Willys MB or a Ford GPW, you’ll know how to do it in a way that ensures both quality and efficiency.
To begin, let’s break down what you’ll need:
- Rear/front shock absorbers
- Four rubber bushings for each absorber
- Two washers for each absorber
- Two cotter pins for each absorber
- Needle-nose pliers
- Ratchet strap and a rag (in case you need to compress the springs)
To begin, let’s test out whether or not you’ll need that ratchet strap after all. Take your shock absorber and place it against the frame. If one of the eyelets isn’t quite reaching the end of the shock absorber bracket or lower shock mount plate, find a good spot to wrap a ratchet strap around the frame (the strap will be in place until the entire installation process is complete). After finding a safe place for the ratchet strap, place a rag on the top of the frame, wrap the strap around, and secure it to compress the springs enough for your shock absorbers to fit.
The reason you might have to do this is that because of the lack of a body tub during your shock absorber replacement, the springs aren’t as compressed as they would be with the weight of the tub on them. Once your frame is ready to accommodate your shock absorber, begin placing two rubber bushings at each opening of the shock absorber eyelets. When applying the bushings, you’ll notice that one end is wide, while narrowing down to the smaller end. The narrower end is what you’ll want to be on the inside of the eyelet, with the wider end facing outward.
Next, you’ll attach the shock absorber to the frame. When replacing rear shock absorbers, make sure the stone guard is facing the axle when sliding it onto the frame. Once your shock is secure on both the shock absorber bracket and the lower shock mount plate, place a washer onto the bracket. To secure it in place, slide one of the cotter pins into the opening at the tip of the bracket. Notice how the cotter pin has two ends at the bottom, similar to a hairpin. Use your needle-nose pliers to secure the cotter pin in place by bending each of the ends upward. Once that’s done with, do the same thing with the end of your shock absorber that is on the lower shock mount plate.
Once you do this for each shock absorber, your jeep MB/GPW shock installation is complete. If you need more vintage jeep parts for your restoration, visit our wide selection of components. Whether you’re restoring an MB, GPW, M422 Mighty Mite, or CJ3A, we can help.