First off, fill out your profile so we can figure out what particular year, etc.. you have.
On my 1985 T truck (4x version) I was able to easily get the rear shocks off without removing anything.
If you must remove the skidplate to get in there, then I guess that's what's needed. Try to see if you can get in there some other way or from some other direction.
Is yours the truck style with the tank on the frame rail on the passenger side or blazer style with it centered in the rear? At least I thought those had a centered one... /wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif
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