Shock absorber performance checks

clivehorridge

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May 23, 2012
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As some will know, my 80 had a 110mm OME lift some 10 years ago and I'm interested to know if the shock absorbers are still up to scratch.

Is there any way to test them other than taking them off and doing a manual heave-ho on each end to see how slowly they extend?

Obviously, if they just squidge in and out they will be shot, but if they feel ok, does that mean they are OK?

I don't really want to just replace them as a matter of course, the truck seems to behave OK on and offroad, but after 10 years I've grown accustomed to the way it handles, which may not be ideal.

Any advice welcomed.
 

mettisse

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May 27, 2010
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SouthEast Essex
As some will know, my 80 had a 110mm OME lift some 10 years ago and I'm interested to know if the shock absorbers are still up to scratch.

Is there any way to test them other than taking them off and doing a manual heave-ho on each end to see how slowly they extend?

Obviously, if they just squidge in and out they will be shot, but if they feel ok, does that mean they are OK?

I don't really want to just replace them as a matter of course, the truck seems to behave OK on and offroad, but after 10 years I've grown accustomed to the way it handles, which may not be ideal.

Any advice welcomed.
Hi, it's my belief that if the ride height is still the same the springs will be ok, for handling it's the shock absorbers that will do the business, I have + 50mm set ups on three different vehicles, a Disco, my hybrid which is essentially a 90 LR and on my bruiser, the oldest are on the Disco, which are 16 years old, ( springs) the shocks however have been replaced, ( still on second set but need replacing) the youngest on the bruiser ( 10 years) and as we speak is having new rear shocks. The handling is up to you, my belief is if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
However, if you were to drive another truck with the handling characteristics you want, change, I am a real fan of OME, and also BFG tyres which is another factor on the handling question, I've had sterling service from what I've had and will buy same again. I off road/ overland all these trucks, the Disco works the hardest on my sons small holding doing the work of a tractor and the d/d for his family
i know there are are Spring Manufacturers in the UK and I wonder if for a small fee they might put your springs " on test" check the height etc, the must have such equipment to make springs, after all, they only do it all for cash in the final analysis, ( I don't know if they will or won't)
JMO, hope this helps, best regards, Bill Westley
 
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StarCruiser

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I have heard the test is to push down the corner and get one and a half bounces (up,down,up) from when you let go. This is the easy bit, finding an 8' tall giant strongman who can push the corner of a cruiser down is going to be a whole other problem.

Mine were originals and suffered rusting before anything else at 20 years old.
 

clivehorridge

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I am in romania
May 23, 2012
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I have heard the test is to push down the corner and get one and a half bounces (up,down,up) from when you let go. This is the easy bit, finding an 8' tall giant strongman who can push the corner of a cruiser down is going to be a whole other problem.

Mine were originals and suffered rusting before anything else at 20 years old.
Spot-on Rich, I actually suggested that "test" on this forum a while back, before I realized how impossible it is for a regular bloke to "push one corner down" at all, let alone count the bounces (if any):lol:
 
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clivehorridge

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I am in romania
May 23, 2012
14,822
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113
Comarnic, Romania
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Hi, it's my belief that if the ride height is still the same the springs will be ok, for handling it's the shock absorbers that will do the business, I have + 50mm set ups on three different vehicles, a Disco, my hybrid which is essentially a 90 LR and on my bruiser, the oldest are on the Disco, which are 16 years old, ( springs) the shocks however have been replaced, ( still on second set but need replacing) the youngest on the bruiser ( 10 years) and as we speak is having new rear shocks. The handling is up to you, my belief is if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
However, if you were to drive another truck with the handling characteristics you want, change, I am a real fan of OME, and also BFG tyres which is another factor on the handling question, I've had sterling service from what I've had and will buy same again. I off road/ overland all these trucks, the Disco works the hardest on my sons small holding doing the work of a tractor and the d/d for his family
i know there are are Spring Manufacturers in the UK and I wonder if for a small fee they might put your springs " on test" check the height etc, the must have such equipment to make springs, after all, they only do it all for cash in the final analysis, ( I don't know if they will or won't)
JMO, hope this helps, best regards, Bill Westley
Thank you Bill, most comprehensive.

I have no worries about the springs, the truck pitches level and there's no noticeable sag from when they were fitted. For this reason I too have confidence in OME products.

The shocks are OME Nitro's, but I have noticed of late that the rear axle feels more jittery or skittish on badly uneven asphalt. It's hard to explain, but almost as if it's skipping, which I would expect the shocks to stabilize more. I don't get this sensation when off-road, but usually my speed is way reduced then, which may account for that.

There's no apparent leaks from the shocks any visible external degradation, so I was simply wondering how I would know that they are performing OK. Maybe I'll try to take some video of them working on bad asphalt, to see what's actually happening under there.

All suspension bushings are good and not too old, so I don't think there are any other factors to consider.

Thank you for your response, I'll charge up the video battery :thumbup:
 

StarCruiser

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My local MOT garage has vibrating plates that the car sits on, two wheels at a time, that produce a graph of the shocks on the computer. It is a Maha system, maybe Maha could tell you where your nearest one is? Of course, the system may not be specific to Maha.
 
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mettisse

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May 27, 2010
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SouthEast Essex
Thank you Bill, most comprehensive.

I have no worries about the springs, the truck pitches level and there's no noticeable sag from when they were fitted. For this reason I too have confidence in OME products.

The shocks are OME Nitro's, but I have noticed of late that the rear axle feels more jittery or skittish on badly uneven asphalt. It's hard to explain, but almost as if it's skipping, which I would expect the shocks to stabilize more. I don't get this sensation when off-road, but usually my speed is way reduced then, which may account for that.

There's no apparent leaks from the shocks any visible external degradation, so I was simply wondering how I would know that they are performing OK. Maybe I'll try to take some video of them working on bad asphalt, to see what's actually happening under there.

All suspension bushings are good and not too old, so I don't think there are any other factors to consider.

Thank you for your response, I'll charge up the video battery :thumbup:
Hello again, I had the same experience on my bruiser, it turned out to a torn/ worn bush on the radius arm, only one, you couldn't see it until the body was jacked up and axle "hung" and a huge bar levered it about , cured it
 
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SeaJay

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Aug 23, 2016
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look for oil leaking from the shock shaft seals, then you would have to unbolt the rear shock top mounts to see if the upper mounting rubbers were still ok, all the rest of the rear control arm and panhard bushes you could test with a pinch bar. If the shocks are gas pressurised, and I think the OME are, then they should fully extend by themselves when compressed.
 
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