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Old 12-06-2004, 10:49   #1 (permalink)
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Shock absorbers - your experience???

I am about to change the front shockers on my AU Falcon, so I was hoping to get some opinions on what everybody else has done - what was good, what was not, what brands lasted, what your observations were of each.

She's a standard height AU wagon and I'm looking to gain something over the standard shocks in handling (which at 140,000 are totally shot) - but want to avoid a rock hard ride. Lowering is something that is on the cards for 12 months time - will the shocks need to be changed again / modified when the car gets dropped?
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Old 12-06-2004, 13:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Lowering the car would require shorter stroke shocks to get reasonable performance out of the shocks.

What about getting cheap shocks for now and get decent ones when you lower the car?
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Old 12-06-2004, 13:31   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

A good all rounder is the Monroe GT gas. Cheap, and far better than standard, though not as good as the far more expensive Koni or Bilstein.

No you don't have to change them when you lower it in the future, so long as you don't use superlow springs.

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Old 12-07-2004, 15:04   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Duggy,

If your shocks are shot, replacement shocks are going to be a big improvement. Why were you thinking of lowering it? Looks, handling? What about looking at the suspension bushes as well to see if they are shot, and replace them as needed?

My AU S1 Futura wagon handled like a dog when I got it, and I ended up fitting a camber kit to get some decent road feel back, and it seemed to make a difference to the handling.

I'm also in the process of upgrading from the standard 15" alloys to 16".
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Old 12-08-2004, 15:18   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Yeah - they're shot alright. Knocking and rattling (have had a couple of mechs suss it out - both came back with shockers being the culprits) and it seems to hit bumps harder than it used to - so hard that it almost bounces you into the next depending on the road.

I've had other cars with crook shockers before but these so far haven't shown up the usual tell-tale signs so easy to spot in a static 'bounce' test - and still do the job reasonably on most roads. However they do seem to be allowing quite a bit more body roll when you get stuck into it on the corners.

Shockers are just first on the list of stuff needed to bring it back to new condition - the steering rack is leaking and at idle the steering is heavier than it is supposed to be - so I guess I'll replace the rack and see how we go from there.

Having owned the Dog from brand-new, I know that it is on it's 3rd set of rear shockers - with the first two replaced under warranty. I had a 69' Holden before this (owned it for 10 years - still in the shed - should start restoring it next year) and I never had this much trouble with it!!! If you want to hear the full story, I'll chew your ear off some time! Some times I wish I'd never upgraded...

RE: Lowering - handling is definitely the go on this. However, I am doing a bit of research on how to raise it at the flick of a button when ground clearance is required - as we use the car over very different terrain at times taking it where most people would not dare to go in a 5 YO car! So until I can figure out the final few bugs in how to make it happen and save the pennys to do the conv, high it'll stay...

RE: wheel sizes on AU wagons - I moved from the factory alloy 15" hub-cap imitators early in the piece having driven a mate's 1998 AU1 Forte Station Wagon with XR 16's fitted - found the difference in handling & turn in sharpness remarkable. Used a 2nd hand set of Bathurst 1000's first - quite a good tyre but with round corners from the factory they wore out prematurely. Out of production now. Went to Khumo Ecsta KH11's next - rave reviews from everyone else - but can't think of a low-enough description for them! They were attrocious... Next went to Yokohama A539's - and can't say enough good about them! Hang on like you-know-what to a blanket and provide great steering response combined with good straight line stability as well. We chose not to go to the 17's due to the dearer tyre costs (car has to be family truckster) and ease of damage over our natoriously poor roads...would have loved the looks tho!

One mob I have approached has recommended KYB G-gas - has anybody had experience with them / can point me in the direction of another thread where somebody has given their opinion of them?
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Old 12-08-2004, 18:14   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

If you are keen on reducing the body roll in the corners, have you looked at upgrading your sway bars??

Have you looked in to either Koni or Bilstein shocks? might cost a bit more to start with, but if you are hanging on to the truckster for a while, you should recoup the cost down the track as they can be rebuilt. you also have a far better shock for your car.
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Old 12-08-2004, 18:44   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

I got Monroe GT Gas shocks(XR6 variants) for my AU2 XL ute when I lowered it, works well and the handling is now more like a small car then the barge it used to handle like.

All i need now is decent roads in adelaide to be built instead of the patchwork quilt we currently have to smooth out the ride.
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Old 12-08-2004, 21:19   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Some good advice here.

Had Koni Reds and a camber kit on my AU2 XR6. Went for the more expensive first up as I saw the reds were better value for money in the long run with the rebuild capability. Made a huge difference.

Shop around though as I found scary differences in purchase price let alone fitting costs.

Good luck
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Old 12-13-2004, 00:52   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggy
Yeah - they're shot alright. Knocking and rattling (have had a couple of mechs suss it out - both came back with shockers being the culprits) and it seems to hit bumps harder than it used to - so hard that it almost bounces you into the next depending on the road. .....cut

........... One mob I have approached has recommended KYB G-gas - has anybody had experience with them / can point me in the direction of another thread where somebody has given their opinion of them?
I got my AU Fairmnt Ghia lowered at K-MAC in Rockdale Sydney, I wanted to keep the ride comfortable but stop the body roll. So they fitted shortened progressive springs, KYB gas shocks, and a stiffer, heavier rear sway bar. Now it's soft and comfortable, and over big bumps or holes it stiffens up smoothly without jarring (good shocks), and the body roll is way down. A guy from a performance shop who was doing some work on it couldn't get over how 'smooth' the ride is. But he suggested a stiffer fron't swaybar to reduce roll even further. The KYBs are excellent. Nice amount of travel for comfort, but fast control to tame the bumps without bouncing.

el pig/
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Old 12-16-2004, 06:12   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Shock absorbers - your experience???

Thanks for all the replys - got a pair of KYB's fitted today (@$300pr fitted) altho haven't driven it yet 'cause the missus has had the car all day - should be able to tell how it's all gone after the w/e. Couldn't quite justify the Koni's - at twice the price! Even considering their rebuildability, the bores must eventually wear so we'll see how long these ones last.

Might have to leave them for other, more serious projects. On the subject of rebuilding Koni's - has anybody had any done, what did it cost and how long did they last before you had them rebuilt? Is there anybody who's had them rebuilt twice?
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