Pulled the original shocks off the truck today and replaced them with Monroe Sensa-Tracs (yeah, they are not Bilsteins but the truck sees very little use). The Monroes had a buy 3 get one free deal so that was OK with me. The nearly 8 year old ones were pretty weak and crappy looking. Despite the way these shocks look, the rest of the underneath is in really pristine shape, looks like the previous owner at least made an effort to wash out the underneath occassionaly. Breaking loose those original bolts was not fun, gotta love impact wrenches. Also put new brake pads on the front and new drum shoes on the rear. Just like the shocks, the rear brakes were a bit*h to get apart. I'm suprised how low the rear shoes were with only 58K on the truck but it's all new now. While I had the front end apart I tried out the POR 15 for the first time on the front half of the truck. Wire-wheeled any rust I could find on the frame and suspension areas (really wasn't that much) and used their prep products. Turned out pretty nice. Test drive was a success and besides being filthy and sweaty I managed not to loose any skin or shed one drop of blood for a change...haha. Definately makes you appreciate why mechanics charge so much an hour.
Heres what the original shocks looks like...even with low miles they were pretty much goners, age takes its toll I guess...and also featured in this pic is old rusty, my ancient steel pipe/breaker bar adder-onner. It got a workout today.