Yeah, it's a PITA. I believe you can only use an open-end wrench on the top nut and work a half turn at a time (or less). Make sure you like your shocks cause you won't wanna change them often... unless you get someone else to do it (like I did)!
2001 E350 PSD, Deep Emerald Green, 3.55 LS, Premium package, dual alts, rear A/C. Quigley 4x4, Transfer Flow rear tank (27+26), handicap mods, custom interior, Reunel tire carrier w/ Hi-Lift, Sportsmobile nerf bars (black), Amsoil lubes and Dual-Gard bypass oil filter, Amsoil air filters, Eclipse/JL Audio sound system w/ Sirius & 120GB Neo Car Jukebox (MP3 player), J&J stainless grill, Reunel Stainless bumper, 12000# Warn winch, PIAA lights, Bilstein shocks, Ultra Magnum wheels, Michelin tires (265/75-16), Correctrack rear wheel spacers, Bushwhacker flares (painted), Velvet-Ride spring shackles, p/s filter, external tranny and coolant filters, Autometer gauges(5), Optima Yellow Tops, Airdog.
Well...you can do like I did. Find a repair shop that has burned you in the past, then get a price up front. Make them stick to it when you pick up the van, no matter how much they cuss... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Front drivers side is the worst. I put shocks on my 93 E-350, 92 E-150 and 03 E-350. Clearance is about the same for all, your correct the E-250 is similar. The box end of a combination wrench is the only thing I found that will get on there. The best access is from underneath the van. If you are underneath on the drivers side, go over the frame from the rear of the van,arm going up between the frame and the engine.Once your on, the open end of the wrench will be pointing to the rear of the van.With the front being 12 o'clock, the open end has a swing roughly from 4- 7 o'clock. Spray some PB Blaster or equivalent on the stud. My three vans all had rear AC and heat and the lines run along the frame making it tighter still. With a cargo van you should have more room. With the wrench on there, you should be able to turn the big nut on the shock body until the box wrench on the small nut locks against the frame or body.Look out for brake or other lines. On my 93 the wrench locked against an AC line kinking it slightly. Once the small nut is broken loose, you can probably get a gear wrench on it to speed up the nut removal, again from underneath. Another tip, compress the new shock( I used HD zip ties to hold it) and install the stud in the frame mount loosely.Cut the zip ties and as the shock comes down slide it onto the stud on the radius arm.Hope that helps.
__________________ 2000 E-150 Club Wagon Chateau 4.6L V8 4th Club Wagon
Other Fords Gone: 1999.5 F250 CC SB XLT 4WD, 7.3 PSD, First F,2nd Diesel, nice but still liked the van better. 2003 E-350 Super Duty Chateau (Club Wagon)7.3PSD, 3rd Club Wagon,First diesel, Never should have sold it.... 1996 Club Wagon Chateau Heavy Duty 7.5L (460) V8 Pass anything but a gas station, Traded it in on the '03 1992 E150 Club Wagon Chateau 5.0L (302) V8
Also what i found to make the install easier, was jack up the frame, right behind where the bumper attatches, that will let the frame lift and let the suspension lower to it's max, that will allow the shock to go on without having to compress it as much. My shocks didn't come with tie wraps and i could hardly compress them to even get a tie wrap on them, so i did what i said.
I got done with the front shocks today. You folks were not kidding about the front driver shock... I had to slip in a box ended wrench from the engine compartment and used a large open ended wrench on the big nut from the wheel-side.
I discovered one of the OE shocks (has only 19k miles on it), the front driver side to be exact, to have internal leakage. The gas has mixed with the oil or leaked out entirely. The shock no longer returns to free length when fully compressed. This could explain the bobbing motion on the highway that I experienced around 8000 miles.
The passenger front shock was cake!
Some tips I found useful:
* Definitely compress the new shocks and secure it with zip ties for easy installation
* Jack up the frame of the vehicle to allow the original shock to slip out.
The new Max Controls are all on and they're very hard to compress. They feel almost like HD Bilsteins.
After I get a few weeks on these shocks I will post some type of evaluation.
'03 E-250 5.4L SOHC V8, 4R70W, 8600 GVW, 138" WB
Michelin LTX 225/75R16 Load Range E
The front shocks can be a pain especially the LF. I take the bottom mount off first then compress the shock while the front end is hanging down and get it on the other side of the radius arm. The front axle will fall way down with out the shock attached, be careful of the brake hose and ABS wiring. I either burn them off with a torch, last resort, or break the tops off by bending the shock back and forth until it snaps the top mounting stud off. It's still a pain but it works.
__________________ Excursion Pics
2000 Excursion Limited 4x4 Dark Satin Green Arizona Beige 7.3 DIT, AXDO, 3.73 LS, DP Tuner F5, TERMINATOR II w R-IPR, Adjustable Boost Regulator, Turbomaster, EBPV Delete, Air Dog, ITP Regulated Fuel Return, Fuel Cooler, Tags 1&2, Harpooned Tank, Magnaflow XL Exhaust w Aeroturbine 4040L, Sonnax/Tricumulator, 8 Autometer Sport Comp 4 Gauge A Pillar 4 Gauge Overhead, Ford APCM, Crimestopper Remote Starter With Remote Fast Idle, Ford AIS w Zoodad, W Code Front Modified B Code Rear springs, Rancho RS9000X, Rancho 5406 Stabilizer, Hellwig Rear Sway Bar, BFG Rugged Trail TA, V10 Trans Cooler w Dual Electric Pusher Fans, Coolant Filter, IAH Delete, (((XM))) Line Of Fire Light, Ford Cab Lights, 05 Headlights w GOS Conversion Harness, Jimmi Jammers, 03 Lighted Painted Tow Mirrors w C-BETR, PSD Badges, Pullrite Hitch, Prodigy Brake Controller, Born 01/29/00