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Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: RKF ()
Date: January 08, 2020 04:40AM

Back in the days when Corvairs roamed the earth, shock absorbers were a maintenance item and were changed out every 25K miles.

In today's modern cars, shocks are taken for granted. Most cars keep their factory shocks and struts for life.

What has changed? Are today's shocks better? Are radial tires more tolerant of worn-out shocks?

How often do you change the shocks and struts on your modern car?

Knoxville TN

1962 Corvair Rampside
1963 Corvair Spyder Convertible (project)
1966 Corvair Monza Convertible

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: January 08, 2020 05:06AM

I just traded my '12 Ford Flex in, with 230k miles, and factory shocks / struts. Still had great rebound on all 4, and it rode great.


Eric P>
DeWitt, IA

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: January 08, 2020 05:54AM

The manufacturing process has been refined along with better materials. My '05 truck still has the original shocks but they are high end Bilsteins from the factory!
Even the Koni's on my race car are till good and not leaking. They were put on probably in the 90's somewhere and had several races on them before I got the car along with sitting for almost 20 years.

If you look, lots of things last longer now than they did 50 years ago!

Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: January 08, 2020 06:50AM

vairmech Wrote:

> If you look, lots of things last longer now than they did 50 years ago!


You can add spark plugs to that list. Yes some of their materials changed but ALOT of the things around them has a bigger effect.

'29 Ford Model A Tudor
'61 700 Lakewood 110 4 speed
'69 Monza Convert. 140 Auto.
'70 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 4 speed

Been aircooled since 1973
Northwest Ohio

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:17AM

Wagon Master Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> vairmech Wrote:
>
> > If you look, lots of things last longer now than they did 50 years ago!
>
>
> You can add spark plugs to that list. Yes some of their materials changed but ALOT of the things around them has a bigger effect.


The Flex I mentioned with 230k above also still had the factory plugs...It had (Recently) lost about 1 mpg average, so they were probably due smiling smiley


Eric P.
DeWitt, IA

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: BobV66Vair ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:26AM

Hmmm, Are modern shocks superior to the Koni shocks we can buy today from Clark's?

Bob Vinnacombe
Sandy, Oregon
1965 Corsa 140 stock
1966 Monza Soon to be race car
1968 Monza Parts for now

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: wittsend ()
Date: January 08, 2020 10:41AM

>
> The Flex I mentioned with 230k above also still had the factory plugs...It had (Recently) lost about 1 mpg average, so they were probably due smiling smiley
>
>
> Eric P.
> DeWitt, IA

Regarding struts/shock I don't doubt that better tolerances like in modern engines are a factor. And seal technology (better plastics) have likely helped too. Also cars today seem to have far less suspension travel (in everyday driving) and we have come to accept a stiffer ride for better handling. These are all likely factors in increasing life.

Regarding quote: 95,000 on these original plugs from my Protege fell well short of 230,000. But, nothing to complain about long lasting plugs. The wife had a MPV that took 5 minutes to change the front plugs and 5 hours to change the rear plugs that require removing the intake plenum!

Attachments:
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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: Setterz54 ()
Date: January 08, 2020 10:54AM

I had bilstein shocks put on my motorhome years ago and they were great!

Setterz54
Fulton,MD.

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: flat_six ()
Date: January 08, 2020 11:06AM

Don't y'all remember the saying back in the day?

"Any miles you get after 100,000 are free!"

thumbs up

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: MtnVairMike ()
Date: January 08, 2020 11:34AM

The plugs lasting has everything to do with eliminating lead and adding fuel injection. Along with some plugs having platinum or iridium tips.

Mike

1966 Monza Convertible, 140HP-4 speed, Ermine White

Others in the menagerie...
72 Corvette Stingray, 58K miles, owned since 86
72 MGB, 112K miles, bought from original owner in 09
78 Chevy pickup, 124K miles, bought new in 78
93 Corvette, LT1/6spd, 210K miles, daily driver since 96

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: January 08, 2020 03:35PM

If you are replacing plugs due to fouling then FI and no lead could help but otherwise plug life has everything to do with tip material. The worn plug in the above picture appears to be a standard plug not platinum or iridium. the double platinums in my '98 Astro still looked new at 120k+.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: davemotohead ()
Date: January 08, 2020 04:38PM

I just replaced the front struts on my mom's 2007 Toyota Rav4 at 80,000 miles, they were completely trashed, no oil left in them at all, BUT my 2005 RAV4 still has the factory front struts at 200,000 miles, but the rear shocks were done at 100,000 miles.







1960 4dr sedan caveman car
1961 Rampside (Chetside)
1962 Rampside (Barnside)
1962 Short Rampside (Shortside)
1962 Monza 700 Wagon
1963 Monza 900 coup (General Nader)

-----------------------------------
Rust Free Lancaster Ca

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: January 08, 2020 05:39PM

Don't go to a tire company repair shop. It seems like every car they check out needs shocks, struts and calipers!!

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: 63turbo ()
Date: January 08, 2020 06:22PM

I think that roads are a lot less bumpy than they were in the 60's, and that would also have something to do with increased shock life.

------------------------------------

Kevin Nash
Friday Harbor Washington
63 Spyder, Daily driver, EFI read about my project here: [corvaircenter.com]
first test start on EFI here:[www.youtube.com]
first official EFI boost test here:[www.youtube.com]
My new fan! [corvaircenter.com]
engine less 62 Spyder
Canadian 64 Monza Parts car



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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: American Mel ()
Date: January 08, 2020 06:26PM

Brizo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't go to a tire company repair shop. It seems like every car they check out needs shocks, struts and calipers!!


Hmmmmm, lets see, Tire Shops, don't do body work, detailing, nor tune-ups, besides tires just what do they do?
Oh yeah, . . . SHOCKS, STRUTS, and BRAKES ! ! ! eye popping smiley

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
WA. state, 1 mile south of the Canadian border,
I am not at the end of the world, but you can see it from here.
Have; '66 Monza Coupe - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 Monza Vert. - 140, 4-spd. Daily driver beater
'67 A/C Moredoor Monza
Have had; '61 Monza coupe, 80hp, PG
'62 Monza Wagon, 4spd.
'63 Spyder,
'65 Corsa
.
non-vair
'04 Dodge Cummins Quad Dually, approaching 400K
'03 Honda Del Sol
17'Terry

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: Timothy Shortle ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:39PM

Spark plugs on modern cars last so long due to superior efficient engine management systems. Didn't anyone here read all the words typed by j3m? Shocks (struts) seem to leak oil between 120000 and 160000 miles on the cars we work on. Our local tire stores here in SW Colorado all like to sell CALIPERS, BALL JOINTS (control arms), AND TIE RODS.

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: January 08, 2020 07:50PM

Many tire company's have "service centers" that do general repairs. Many car owners came to our shop for a second opinion after receiving a suspicious diagnosis from a nearby tire co. shop. My brother worked at two tire co. service centers in another town over the years and was often harassed by management for not "up-selling" enough shocks, struts, and calipers! Of course, it may not be that way everywhere.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2020 07:53PM by Brizo.

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: john.jackson ()
Date: January 09, 2020 11:09AM

I hate Firestone tires and their service centers.

My issues with Firestone started with a set of Firestone 500 tires on my original 69 Monza.

3 out of the 4 were bad. I have refused to buy a car with Firestone tires on it ever since. A couple of new car dealer's changed the tires for me to make the sale.

And YES, Firestone always tells me I need big $ work on anything this or that

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: January 09, 2020 06:16PM

john.jackson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I hate Firestone tires and their service centers.
>
> My issues with Firestone started with a set of Firestone 500 tires on my original 69 Monza.
>
> 3 out of the 4 were bad. I have refused to buy a car with Firestone tires on it ever since. A couple of new car dealer's changed the tires for me to make the sale.
>
> And YES, Firestone always tells me I need big $ work on anything this or that



I worked for Firestone, in Quality, at the factory, though long after Firestone 500's...


I've gotten 80k miles on my last two sets of 'Stones (80k each set of four). Not bad for a 50k mile tire.


Eric P
DeWitt, IA

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Re: Shock Absorbers Then and Now
Posted by: dolomitefan ()
Date: January 10, 2020 01:38AM

It's strange that a lot of parts last so much better now even though vehicles are generally much heavier than they used to be. Suspension bushes seem to wear pretty quickly and some cars seem to chew through anti roll bar drop links but shocks do seem to last very well these days.

About 10 years ago I had a Ford Focus. It was north of 100k and I thought it felt a bit tired so I changed the shocks. Actually the original shocks weren't leaking or causing any real problems but the new ones improved the ride and handling significantly. They were still original parts, same spec but the fact they hadn't been banging around for 100k made all the difference.

I'd still be very surprised if modern shocks were working efficiently after such high miles, even if they show no obvious signs of failure.

One thing that doesn't seem to last so well are brake pads. Since the asbestos was removed they don't seem to last nearly as well. Still I'd rather have to replace my pads than worry about asbestos exposure, a small price to pay really.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Gibson, Staffordshire, England

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1980 Triumph Dolomite Sprint
2009 Mazda MX5
2018 Infiniti Q30

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