Well, I finally got some free time to change the rear shocks in my 2012 SLS. I can see they are leaking fluid, also the constant clunking noise coming from the rear when I go over bumps was driving me crazy. I consider this an easy job for someone with some mechanical skills. Certainly a do it yourself can do this job. Follow the step by step in the TSB posted on this topic. I'm no mechanic by any means but I do work on all my cars so.... here you can see my problem.
First, safely jack the car, remove the tire and remove the inner fender skirt. Be careful removing all plastic nuts and push in fasteners holding the skirt. I was able to turn and remove the plastic nuts by hand and the push in fasteners were removed using 2 flat head screw drivers in order to pry the fasteners heads evenly to minimize breakage. I was able to remove them w/o breaking them but if you do break them you can buy new ones at the auto part store. The inner fender skirt is made out of some roofing shingle type material that can easy rip if you pull on it hard so take your time removing it. I was able to locate all fasteners holding it easy but one was hiding behind the factory rear mud flap - I had to remove the 3 screws holding the mud flap to move slightly to the side in order to remove the last push in fastener.
With the inner fender out of the way, now you have access to the top shock mount bolts. There are 3 bolts holding it to the car and 2 more holding the shock mount together (shock mount splits in half) - break these 2 bolts loose (do not remove yet) while the shock is still attach to the car - its a lot easier now than later. I did them later when I had the entire shock on the bench and it was difficult as the shock wants to spin on you. After you break loose these 2 bolts, proceed to remove the 3 upper bolts holding the shock mount.
Now its time to remove the lower shock bolt. I ran into a snag on this one as the bolt is very long and with just a few treads left to remove the bolt head bottomed out against the coil spring. My solution was to gently pry the spring up just enough to get the bolt out.
Here is the shock sitting on my bench next to the new shock. Notice all the leaking oil on the shock, also notice the shock mount is still in one piece as I neglected to break loose the 2 bolts holding the 2 half together.
Here you can see my problem - RUST on the shock shaft - not good. Also notice that I removed the 2 bolts holding the mount halfs - inside you will find washers and rubber isolators that you will reuse.
Here are the new parts. The shocks I got from my local Napa for $120 and the new bump stops from the local Suzuki dealer for $65.
Here you can see the old and new bump stops, notice the rubber issolator, nut and washer in the rear that you will reuse (sorry but I do not have a better pic). The top nut on the shock is removed by first holding the very tip of the shock (which is a flat area) with an adjustable wrench to prevent the shaft from sniping. This nut came out easy.
Here are the new and old shock side to side.
Here you can see the markings I found on the shocks. The one in yellow is the factory one.
Assembly is the reverse of tear down, take your time and notice how everyting comes apart. Here you can see the new shock ready to go back in. The TSB states not to reuse the shock lower bolt and the top nut because they are coated with anti friction material at the factory - I found these to be in excellent shape and re used them by re coating them with Permatex blue tread locker.
Here is the finish product. Like I said before, I found this to be an easy job to do. I did the worst side first which for me was the passenger side. It took me 2 hours to do, mostly because I was stopping to read the TSB and taking pictures. The driver side took half the time to do. The ride on the car improved dramatically and best of all is quiet again.