by Martin Verburgt
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Ok, so you have managed to break one, or even all of the bolts in the upper rear shock mount. No big surprise there. A friend of mine managed to break all four bolts on his 2001 Cherokee, which was real surprising, since it was less than two years old at the time. So, he needed help to fix his situation. Simple enough. Our plan? To go in through the top.
In these pictures, you can see both mounts with all four bolts snapped off.
First thing we needed to do was to get under the carpet. We unscrewed the plastic trim along the floor nearest the hatch.
Then we unscrewed the side panels. For the driver's side, we needed to remove the spare tire rest plate.
Next thing was to pull up the carpet. There are four cargo anchors that are bolted to the floor. Just reach under the carpet and push it up over the anchors.
Now, just throw the carpet over the back seat so it is out of the way. We found it easiest to have the back seat folded down.
The plan now is to get access to the shock mounts, so we needed to know exactly where to cut. Looking at the shock mounts from underneath, you will see a recessed area between the two bolts. In the center, there is a hole. We drilled into that hole until we went through the floor. Now we know where the center is.
Mark the area around the hole by drawing a rectangle approximately 4" x 5". Once you have the area marked, use an angle grinder or die grinder with a cutoff wheel to cut out the section. The floor is thin, so it will go very quickly. Keep an eye on your carpet so you don't start a fire with the sparks.
Once the panel is cut out, the top of the shock mounts will be exposed. Be sure to put a little paint around the bare edge to prevent rust. Next, from underneath, we used an air chisel to punch the weld nuts off, but a large punch and hammer will work.
Once the old nuts are out of the way, use 5/16" Grade 8 bolts and washers and drop them into the holes. The length of the bolts is determined by whether you are using the supplied shock bar pins, or if you use JKS bar pin eliminators. For the bar pins, the bolts need to be 1" to 1 1/4" long. The bolts for JKS BPE's need to be about 3/4" to 1" longer.
Here is where having a friend around comes in handy. Someone needs to use a wrench to hold the nut and washer in place from the bottom, while the other uses a socket wrench and tightens from the top.
Now that the shocks are mounted, we need to cover up the access holes. We cut aluminum panels about 1" longer and wider in dimensions to cover the holes. The aluminum is easy to hammer and bend to match the contours in the floor. Put a bead of sealant caulk around the edge of the access panels to keep water and debris from getting inside the cab, and use sheet metal screws to lock the panels down.
Throw your carpet down and screw all the plastic trim back into place, and you will never know that there were holes cut into your floor.
If you have access to a welder, you could weld in new nuts, and then use Zinc plated Grade 8 hardware to prevent the bolts from rusting and breaking off the next time you change your shocks. This would also eliminate the need to go through the access panels and use a friend if the shocks needed to be changed. There seems to be a lot of steps involved with this method, but with a guide to follow, it can really cut down the time involved. This procedure should take no more than an hour (time may vary).
We hope this article will be of some help to make this task go much easier and faster, and make things a lot easier in the future when it comes time to change the shocks again.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email me at