Author Topic: [car techy] Shock Absorber advice please  (Read 519 times)

Ambient Sheep

  • I give up.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« on: July 18, 2004, 11:34:05 PM »
I just had my old G-reg Cavalier MOT'd, and by far the biggest thing on the bill was a pair of front shock absorbers (£173 including fitting).

I'm not sceptical that they needed doing (previous encounters with two different garages had produced advisories that they were weak), but I am sceptical as to how they've been replaced.

Having got the car home and moved the steering all to one side, and then the other, and taken a peek, I find that the things that I think are the shocks still look pretty old and manky - one even has a rust spot on it.  On past cars I've had this done on (I've only had the Cavvy a year) you can quite obviously see the new shocks when they're fitted.

However looking under the bonnet there are signs of fresh spanner work on the top mountings (fresh metalwork exposed), and the car does indeed feel different to drive at the front end.

So either they've fitted second-hand reconditioned / junkyard ones, OR the actual shock absorber part - unlike other cars I've had - is one of those little narrow ones and somehow fits inside that great big thick pillar with the spring on that I can see, and they are new, but invisible.

Anyone know?  I spent nearly 2 hours earlier today scouring the web for a piccy of the precise object and failed.  I don't want to spend £15 on a Haynes manual just to find out that I've been ripped off.  Equally I don't want to falsely accuse the garage (who were otherwise excellent in service, helpfulness, etc.) without being 100% sure.

Before I go and sign up for some car techy forum full of Jeremy Clarkson types, anybody here know?  (And if not, what IS a good car techy forum to sign up to?)

Ta.

Pythov

  • Dropping the kids off.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 12:26:19 AM »
Seems like they are reconitioned shocks, rather than New, from what you said.  Recon doesn't always meen crap, they may have bought salvaged New parts from a scrappy.  If they feel good and you only have £180 out of your pocket, then it ain't worth complaining, not for the time and effort you might put in. Only my opinion, I am just an occasional mech boy.

Ambient Sheep

  • I give up.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 12:29:01 AM »
Thanks for that.  They do look quite old though, no sign of labels and, as I said, one of them has a rust spot.  Is it possible to re-gas them then and make them nearly as good as new?

The price was quite good, I agree, but it would have been nice to have been given the option; obviously if these only have a life of, say, 30k miles rather than 80k or whatever, that would piss me off a bit.

I take it from what you've said that it should be the whole ~3-or-4-inch diameter thing that the spring sits on, yeah?

[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 12:39:15 AM »
It depends on what part of the shock that was faulty. Basicly  there are two parts the spring and the piston (big long round thing with a rod coming out)  On some you can refill the gas inside and others you cant. Indeed car ones are probably oil filled (I'm a biker you see)  The spring can also be changed on some aswell. Also where is the rust spot? If it's on the rod then thats not good cos it should be nice and shiny.  I agree that it probably is a reconditioned unit, but I supose the thing is, does it feel different good or different bad?

Ambient Sheep

  • I give up.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 12:43:20 AM »
It's on the main cylinder.  I might even take a photo tomorrow and stick it up here.

I haven't driven it far enough to tell, but the car certainly doesn't bounce when you bounce the bonnet, if you see what I mean, so it seems to work, and from what little I've driven it I think it's different.  It's more the reduced lifespan until the next one that concerns me (although with the car at ~120K even a recon might outlive it anyway).

gazzyk1ns

  • "I don't give a shit if your dad's dead or anything else"
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 01:26:16 PM »
I posted a question on that car forum I got the caliper answer from, the only reply so far suggests just asking the advice of your friendly local Vauxhall dealership. Not a brilliant answer, but I guess it can't hurt...

Ambient Sheep

  • I give up.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2004, 02:27:28 PM »
Quote from: "gazzyk1ns"
I posted a question on that car forum I got the caliper answer from, the only reply so far suggests just asking the advice of your friendly local Vauxhall dealership. Not a brilliant answer, but I guess it can't hurt...

Thanks for that Gazzy.  Do keep me posted (no pun intended).

That suggestion did occur to me, but it'd be a bit cheeky to wander along and say "Hey, I got these shocks fitted by a third party, are they new?", wouldn't it?

It was a Nationwide Autocentre, for the record.

gazzyk1ns

  • "I don't give a shit if your dad's dead or anything else"
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2004, 04:55:36 PM »
Right, seems you need't worry Sheep:

Quote
I,m almost certain that the Cav uses strut inserts, hence the apparent lack of new shocks at the front of the car. So relax!

and
Quote

I had a 19 16v, and I got some Koni inserts. You have to angle grind off the bottom of the standard shock, then fit the insert inside. Messy job, but it is quite common so I would not worry.

Ambient Sheep

  • I give up.
[car techy] Shock Absorber advice please
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2004, 07:47:50 PM »
Quote from: "gazzyk1ns"
Right, seems you need't worry Sheep:
Quote
I,m almost certain that the Cav uses strut inserts, hence the apparent lack of new shocks at the front of the car. So relax!

and
Quote
You have to angle grind off the bottom of the standard shock, then fit the insert inside.

Oh that's brilliant, Gazzy, thanks ever so much for getting that info for me.  Worryingly, I owe you one now...  :-)

Do keep me posted if you get any more replies...or you could just put up the URL of the car forum thread if it's visible without registering.