Shocks or springs?

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Shocks or springs?

If you could change shocks or springs, but not both, which would you choose?

  • Front shocks

  • Front springs

  • Rear shocks

  • Rear springs


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Imagine a car that drives fine on the open road but can be a bit heavy going over speed bumps. The springs and shocks are all 15 years old and not failed. If you only had the cash to change one pair of them, which would it be?
 
Imagine a car that drives fine on the open road but can be a bit heavy going over speed bumps. The springs and shocks are all 15 years old and not failed. If you only had the cash to change one pair of them, which would it be?
I would suggest front shocks as they will get the most work.
From personal experience years ago as a pennyless apprentice, I had a beaten up high mileage MGB Roadster with totally knackered front shock absorbers. I remember as a joke when parking on a bumpy field when going to watch a hill climb after a hard drive, saying "which is going to stop first the engine shuddering with pre ignition or the front suspension bouncing before I locked the car up".
The joke was on me, as shortly afterwards both the front springs broke due to the worn shock absorbers so I had to buy both lots.:(
 
Imagine a car that drives fine on the open road but can be a bit heavy going over speed bumps. The springs and shocks are all 15 years old and not failed. If you only had the cash to change one pair of them, which would it be?
At 15 years old, leaking or not they are going to be worn out and funcioning poorly or not at all. Dampers first. check the springs clean and repaint. Significant pitting will mean they are weakened.
 
I would suggest front shocks as they will get the most work.
From personal experience years ago as a pennyless apprentice, I had a beaten up high mileage MGB Roadster with totally knackered front shock absorbers. I remember as a joke when parking on a bumpy field when going to watch a hill climb after a hard drive, saying "which is going to stop first the engine shuddering with pre ignition or the front suspension bouncing before I locked the car up".
The joke was on me, as shortly afterwards both the front springs broke due to the worn shock absorbers so I had to buy both lots.:(
I can remember many years ago driving and the suspension crashing like a bomb had gone off, it went to the garage fast! Its too long ago to remember which I had done, but probably shocks! It would be nice to replace all shocks and springs, I can't remember when I last had a super smooth ride :)
 
At 15 years old, leaking or not they are going to be worn out and funcioning poorly or not at all. Dampers first. check the springs clean and repaint. Significant pitting will mean they are weakened.
I should imagine the shocks are working to less than 50% efficiency, the car doesn't bounce up and down with the springs though, so they do work...but yeah looks like shocks are needed first.
 
I should imagine the shocks are working to less than 50% efficiency, the car doesn't bounce up and down with the springs though, so they do work...but yeah looks like shocks are needed first.
Some shocks go hard over time and cause the crashing ride. Bushes certainly do. Complete failure will follow if they are put under a lot of strain. Buy a well known quality brand and you will be pleasantly suprised how much better it rides. Springs do sag over time but also go soft. This results in the car hitting the bump stops over severe bumps and humps in the road, the ride is generally softer with occasional big crashes , say on hump back bridges.
 
For front, save a bit longer and do both, springs aren't the expensive.
Probably same for the rear, though less work in doing either.

But that would be after arb links and lower arms as they are more likely to clatter over bumps.
 
At 15 years old, leaking or not they are going to be worn out and funcioning poorly or not at all. Dampers first. check the springs clean and repaint. Significant pitting will mean they are weakened.
Well, just to be different. :)

The shocks and springs on our 130TC are original at 36 years and 90K miles of which over 6000 miles done on tracks. Even the number plates from Fiat Caffyns Bournemouth are original with no fading or black streaks!

Car still handles like new.

Front Struts/Shocks made by: Manufactured by WAY-ASSAUTO, 909-32-156, ANT 138 BR1R1

Shame they don't makes parts of the same qualtiy and durability these days. *isses me off.
 
Well, just to be different. :)

The shocks and springs on our 130TC are original at 36 years and 90K miles of which over 6000 miles done on tracks. Even the number plates from Fiat Caffyns Bournemouth are original with no fading or black streaks!

Car still handles like new.

Front Struts/Shocks made by: Manufactured by WAY-ASSAUTO, 909-32-156, ANT 138 BR1R1

Shame they don't makes parts of the same qualtiy and durability these days. *isses me off.
I so agree. You used to be able to get an easy 80000 miles out of dampers but it seems not now. Ruby is at 37K and the rear is hard and needs the dampers changing. Daffodampers all shotr and leaking back at 35K you have to ask why.
 
I so agree. You used to be able to get an easy 80000 miles out of dampers but it seems not now. Ruby is at 37K and the rear is hard and needs the dampers changing. Daffodampers all shotr and leaking back at 35K you have to ask why.

Well I'm a little lacking here in recent / modern experience.

In the old days dampers used to leak and go soft. Also the push & release checking for inertial resistance, rebound and lack of oscillation were the standard tests.

I've not experienced failed dampers that are not leaking etc. giving a hard/shocking ride unless the vehicle hits the bump stops.

Are we now seeing dampers where the gas/fluid turns to a gel, does not leak but instead delivers a spoon through tofee action?
 
In the old days dampers used to leak and go soft. Also the push & release checking for inertial resistance, rebound and lack of oscillation were the standard tests.
That was the method I was taught to use during Mot Testing in the past, mind you I did find Vauxhall Cavaliers used to fail that from nearly new with no leaks.:)
 
That was the method I was taught to use during Mot Testing in the past, mind you I did find Vauxhall Cavaliers used to fail that from nearly new with no leaks.:)
I had a Vauxhall Astra Mk2...it made even the Fiat Grande Punto look like a master of engineering and reliability. After owning that vehicle I vowed never to own another Vauxhall, and it still holds true :)
 
I had a Vauxhall Astra Mk2...it made even the Fiat Grande Punto look like a master of engineering and reliability. After owning that vehicle I vowed never to own another Vauxhall, and it still holds true :)
I must confess to having owned a lot of Vauxhalls over the years along with all the other makes, if the price is right as they say.:)
 
I must confess to having owned a lot of Vauxhalls over the years along with all the other makes, if the price is right as they say.:)
I was particularly worried by this vauxhall because the engine kept cutting out randomly...I'm sure you can imagine my panic lol. It was cutting out on roundabouts, cutting out in the motor way fast lane. Made life hair raising lol
 
I was particularly worried by this vauxhall because the engine kept cutting out randomly...I'm sure you can imagine my panic lol. It was cutting out on roundabouts, cutting out in the motor way fast lane. Made life hair raising lol
Many years ago I had a 1971 London Taxi that I drove to a Steam Rally 50 miles away and had left a for sale sign on it, when driving home it broke down so many times due to air getting in to the diesel pump I didn't get home till late and wife said there is a phone call about the taxi, on ringing the guy, he had seen the advert and driven 200 odd miles home in less time than it had taken me, I explained the situation and he was quite happy to buy it, even after I said to him , "if you were here now I would give you the f**king thing";).
Nowadays knowing more about diesels it would have been an easy fix.
 
Many years ago I had a 1971 London Taxi that I drove to a Steam Rally 50 miles away and had left a for sale sign on it, when driving home it broke down so many times due to air getting in to the diesel pump I didn't get home till late and wife said there is a phone call about the taxi, on ringing the guy, he had seen the advert and driven 200 odd miles home in less time than it had taken me, I explained the situation and he was quite happy to buy it, even after I said to him , "if you were here now I would give you the f**king thing";).
Nowadays knowing more about diesels it would have been an easy fix.
I had this vauxhall in 3 different garages, one said it was the egr, another the ECU, another a sensor in the wheel. None of them fixed it, so I sold it at an auction, after fees I got £80, not much return for a car I paid £1300 for and spent the same on repairs. But at least I was still alive!

The later Astra's are supposed to be pretty good and will fetch double the price of a similar Grande Punto at the auction.

Even with all the issues I have\had with my project 2008 GP its still way cheaper than that Astra. I'm even on the look out for another GP now, I will be buying it at auction, so I'm waiting for one to come up, it's a fun process buying at an auction, kind of nervy, kind of cool to "win". By the time I get my next car home it may not feel like a win though :)
 
I had this vauxhall in 3 different garages, one said it was the egr, another the ECU, another a sensor in the wheel. None of them fixed it, so I sold it at an auction, after fees I got £80, not much return for a car I paid £1300 for and spent the same on repairs. But at least I was still alive!

The later Astra's are supposed to be pretty good and will fetch double the price of a similar Grande Punto at the auction.

Even with all the issues I have\had with my project 2008 GP its still way cheaper than that Astra. I'm even on the look out for another GP now, I will be buying it at auction, so I'm waiting for one to come up, it's a fun process buying at an auction, kind of nervy, kind of cool to "win". By the time I get my next car home it may not feel like a win though :)
I have been to many auctions for a variety of stuff, mostly tools and machinery, but lots of other, printers ,PCs etc. But always tried to only spend what I could afford to throw away, plus check all commission charges first as some are quite heavy. In the 1980s I was Vat registered and often went to a Gov approved auction where there was no commission just VAT as Gov/us in taxes paid for commission. I always used to say we paid twice , once in our taxes for the items and again when bought at auction;). Stuff wasn't the latest but usually worked. I did turn down a Dodge radio controlled Command van as it had come from Porton Down where I knew Gov tested germ warfare stuff at in the past which made me a bit nervous.:(
 
In the old days dampers used to leak and go soft. Also the push & release checking for inertial resistance, rebound and lack of oscillation were the standard tests.
I would agree still, never heard of shocks going hard

I had a Vauxhall Astra Mk2...it made even the Fiat Grande Punto look like a master of engineering and reliability. After owning that vehicle I vowed never to own another Vauxhall, and it still holds true :)
I would doubt that, the older vauxhalls of that era were much better then the punto.
 
I have been to many auctions for a variety of stuff, mostly tools and machinery, but lots of other, printers ,PCs etc. But always tried to only spend what I could afford to throw away, plus check all commission charges first as some are quite heavy. In the 1980s I was Vat registered and often went to a Gov approved auction where there was no commission just VAT as Gov/us in taxes paid for commission. I always used to say we paid twice , once in our taxes for the items and again when bought at auction;). Stuff wasn't the latest but usually worked. I did turn down a Dodge radio controlled Command van as it had come from Porton Down where I knew Gov tested germ warfare stuff at in the past which made me a bit nervous.:(

For a long time I used to buy furniture at auction to resell, so a car auction room is a familiar place to me despite being a novice mechanic. There's always a bit of a buzz while bidding, which is nice! I'm expecting to pay £400-600 for my next GP and the fees on that will be £230-280. This will get me one with mileage around 80 or 90k and a 2008-2010 plate. Most of the GPs i've bid on in the past have been part exchange from dealers and relatively lower mileage than i can usually see for sale privately.
 
I must confess to having owned a lot of Vauxhalls over the years along with all the other makes, if the price is right as they say.:)
I had a Mk2 Astra estate - 1.8 SRI - and loved it. Went like a rocket and handled well too. I'd happily swap almost any of the cars I've had since for another one!
 
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