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Old 11th June 2012, 10:52   #16
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Thank you Friends for the detailed answers. I now have made up my mind - based on your valuable inputs - that I would go for replacement of all the 4 shocks. However, I do not preferably want to go to TASC but will find someone else out.

Following are the demographics of my car:
Make-Model : Tata Indigo Dicor LX
Age : 5 Year
Odo : 48000 Kms.

Any suggestions from Bangalorians for a trusted Service Center near Marathahalli/Mahadevpura? I need to work with them to also see if other parts like links need to be changed. As suggested, these thing can be detected only after detailed inspection.
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Old 11th June 2012, 10:55   #17
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Good call Pranav. You can browse the team-bhp directory for recommendations.

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Old 11th June 2012, 13:33   #18
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by pranav_mankad View Post
Any suggestions from Bangalorians for a trusted Service Center near Marathahalli/Mahadevpura? I need to work with them to also see if other parts like links need to be changed. As suggested, these thing can be detected only after detailed inspection.
I would suggest you to give "CarNation" a visit and ask them to give you a quote. They are professional multi-brand car service center and they have good facility. The service center is located in "outer ring road" with in 2 KM from Marathahalli (towards Silk board).
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Old 14th June 2012, 01:50   #19
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

In hyderabad, I know a person who does an amazing Job on leaking shocks. He does it for mere 800 per shock. Its near langar houz.
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Old 14th June 2012, 10:18   #20
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by alisajid View Post
...mere 800 per shock...
800INR would be as much as the cost of some new shock absorbers of smaller cars.
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Old 3rd December 2012, 02:13   #21
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Direct Answer

What they do:
The CUT the shock (with a VISE and HACKSAW), since it comes factory sealed. They take out the old oil (assuming India is still >75% old gen hydraulic ones) - see if any tiny bushes/parts/misc needs replacement, refill with oil of your choice (YES!, question is usually "sir, what setting you want, hard, soft, medium") thick grease like oil is super hard and shock hardly compresses! Re-Seal the opened shock with a hammer and chisel and Voila - costs usually 150-300 for a bike or a jeep shock!
Well, I'm a little surprised to find such unanimous condemnation of rebuilt units by some of our most respected contributors.

My experience: I had a shock shaft break on my modified Kawasaki while riding over Kunzum La in Spiti. Later had what I would call a skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly professional in Karol Bagh (Delhi) repair it right there in front of me. No hammers / chisels / hacksaws / shiny paint. He used a lathe with some special fixturing for both cutting open the unit and closing it again - and whatever oil he re-filled it with was apparently right. I'm a mechanical engineer with a fair amount of hands-on automotive component remanufacturing and machine-shop experience and was impressed. The shock is still going fine after a couple years of hard everyday use. No complaints. Cost me Rs150. The company I worked for in the U.S. successfully rebuilt and marketed MacPherson strut shocks, all sold with a warranty. It can be done well, but like most things in India, it comes down to finding the right person to do it.

Moreover, I don't personally consider shocks to be highly critical components - not in terms of safety to the extent that brakes or steering components are. You can drive safely on bad shocks. Not pleasant, less control, but not generally life-threatening or anything. If your shocks are bad enough to compromise control, the problem would manifest itself earlier pretty clearly even in normal driving.

That said, it would certainly be EASIER (if not very cheap) to just replace them all with good-quality new units.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 3rd December 2012 at 02:15.
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Old 25th February 2015, 15:33   #22
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Direct Answer - Piece of cake, its a famous business in most gujri markets. You will see colorful, shiny, bright shockers hanging like kebabs... thats the place that does the re-build of shocks

What they do:
The CUT the shock (with a VISE and HACKSAW), since it comes factory sealed. They take out the old oil (assuming India is still >75% old gen hydraulic ones) - see if any tiny bushes/parts/misc needs replacement, refill with oil of your choice (YES!, question is usually "sir, what setting you want, hard, soft, medium") thick grease like oil is super hard and shock hardly compresses! Re-Seal the opened shock with a hammer and chisel and Voila - costs usually 150-300 for a bike or a jeep shock!

Would I do it:
No, have seen it being done for NUMEROUS taxi/sumo/indicas - they care a damn about ride quality, damper equality on left Vs right, so on! Sometime in 2000 I did this on my Bajaj boxers rear damper - couldnt even ride for a week, got a sore back!

As GTO said - you got a car, spend like one

BUT:
No one said stick with T@$$ - they are too expensive - find the Automobile ROAD in your city, walk around for 2 hours, find the TATA spares stockist, bargain HARD since its all 4 shocks, you will save at least 20% compared to TASS. This is only half the effort - Then find a good local roadside mech, get the shockers fit with him, will charge max 1000Labor (T@$$ will be more!)

Best part - go to a shock rebuilder and sell your old ones for scrap, at least will fetch you a dinner for two

cheers...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
A damper is something where I will never trust a repair. If it is leaking there is only one way - replace it. Due to wear and tear they are almost impossible to repair. Furthermore, the street side repairers are known to use a mineral oil (even engine oil) for the filling. Imagine rubber components is contact with engine lube! Also, if the pair has done any decent distance (say, 10,000km) then they must be changed as a pair. Furthermore, take the chance to inspect / replace the bushes and the rest at the same time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yes, leaky shock absorbers (dampers) can be and definitely are repaired. But NO, it isn't recommended that you do it, because of the following reasons:
  1. Unequal damping pressure when compared to an original damper, leading to poor handling and/or uneven tyre wear
  2. Sudden premature loss of damping pressure during use. Why go to the trouble of opening up the suspension so soon?
  3. Sudden lockup of damping valves inside the strut (due to poor quality of damper oil filled by repairers), causing the damper to become rock solid during use. This can break mountings etc.
Hope this convinces you against opting for repaired dampers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drpullockaran View Post
Replacing associated parts is purely based on age of the rubber bushings. With the amount of cost cutting seen in TATA vehicles do not expect rubber parts to last more than 4 years in good health even when driven sedately on good roads without the ubiquitous diesel spray used at car wash centers. Diesel spray is enemy number one for rubber parts.

If the bushes are young changing the shocks alone with Gabriel brand hard versions should take you along for another 40000 km on good roads.

When choosing dampers make sure to get a pair that show good resistance to extension motion and remember both pairs for the front and another pair for the rear should show equal resistance. The front pair will and should show more resistance since they carry the engine part oscillations. Getting a matched pair in the Indian conditions is real tough as I had to rummage through 14 to 15 sets to get a pair that matched each other and also gave good resistance to the extension motion. I was lucky to know the C&F agent for Kerala.

Repair can be done but its a waste of your time and money which I learned the hard way.
Bumping an old thread. A very friendly SELLER of automotive parts once advised me against buying new shocks saying that during storage, most of them are stacked horizontally instead of vertically as recommended by the companies. As a result, upper part of the rubber bushing becomes dry and is cut on usage resulting in bad damping. Having seen some of the professional repair videos shot in the US, reconditioned shocks sound like a good option, esp the ones with a screw type seal at the top. I will be grateful if the experts please comment on the same.
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Old 25th February 2015, 23:19   #23
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
...

My experience: I had a shock shaft break on my modified Kawasaki while riding over Kunzum La in Spiti. Later had what I would call a skilled, knowledgeable, and friendly professional in Karol Bagh (Delhi) repair it right there in front of me. No hammers / chisels / hacksaws / shiny paint. He used a lathe with some special fixturing for both cutting open the unit and closing it again - and whatever oil he re-filled it with was apparently right. I'm a mechanical engineer with a fair amount of hands-on automotive component remanufacturing and machine-shop experience and was impressed. The shock is still going fine after a couple years of hard everyday use. No complaints. Cost me Rs150.
...

-Eric
Can you give me that person's contact information? I'd also be grateful if you kindly give your valuable comments on my post above.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 20:44   #24
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

My seven year old Figo's shocks had lost all its juice (leaked out over the period of 7 yrs), the service advisor at Ford recommended replacing the Front Shocks and Rear Dampers (during regular service). The total estimate was going up to rupees 15 thousand (it was over the phone so didn't request a printed quote). Before going for new set of shocks I wanted to check how could it be restored/repaired/refilled. The hunt begin and I came across many amateur mechanics who would drill a hole to drain the fluid and then seal it back after refilling and blah blah. Finally I found a mechanic who had sound knowledge and equipment to do the job (his primary business is assembling aftermarket shocks for bikes). Considering the Figo is only used by my wife for office commute which was not more than 6 KMS/Day. I decided to take chance at getting the dampers refilled. Total damages 3k and three hours. Please forgive me for low res mobile pictures. This is how it was done:

Jacked-up--Shocks Removed-- Disassembled (using hydraulics)-- Refilled Fluid-- Seals replaced-- Reassembled (using hydraulics)-- Refitted.

Though the car feels as good as new, I would not recommend this kind of fixes and best to get such old parts replaced. But Kudos to the mechanic and quality of his work.
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Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?-ready-fit.jpg  


Last edited by bijuiser : 3rd July 2017 at 20:52.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 21:24   #25
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by bijuiser View Post
Though the car feels as good as new, I would not recommend this kind of fixes and best to get such old parts replaced.
+1 Sir.

Best is to get the new set for the sake of piece of mind and better performance. Did you change the boots during this job? I mean the rubber parts in the assembly?

Hope the shock absorbers survive and give more you serviceable life.
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Old 3rd July 2017, 23:22   #26
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Moreover, I don't personally consider shocks to be highly critical components - not in terms of safety to the extent that brakes or steering components are. You can drive safely on bad shocks. Not pleasant, less control, but not generally life-threatening or anything. If your shocks are bad enough to compromise control, the problem would manifest itself earlier pretty clearly even in normal driving.
Well Eric, to come straight to the point, be it a brutal, you are absolutely and totally utterly wrong. Shocks are critical components and anybody with a smitten of automotive or engineering background should understand that.

In any country that has a MOT a leaking shock or a shock that doesnt appear to be working properly would be an immediate fail. Period! and rightly so!

Shocks have only one purpose in life and that is to keep maximum contact between your tires and whatever stretch of road you are travelling on.

And yes, bad shocks might go unnoticed. That is untill you have to make an emergency stop. Or it is a bit wet. Or there is a bit of a curve and you need to brake.

Cars crash because of bad shocks, make no mistake!

For the average driver it's not always easy to notice the shocks are getting worn out. It's a gradual process and you sort of get accustomed to a the lazy and sort of comfortable dampning. That is till you need to brake hard, or need to swerve hard to avoid a small kid stepping into the road and you find your car simply doesnt do, what you want it to do.

There are about a billion Youtube out there on why you need to look after your shocks:

Here is onė:



Whereas I'm sure there are some people/places who might be able to restore shocks, the questions remains, who can you tell they are back to our original specifications afterwards and for how long. Shocks, with the exceptation of electronically controlled ones, aren't really that expensive and should be considered as a normal "wear component". When it's worn you just replace it.

Who would forgive him/herself of running over a kid, because of bad shocks. Just as important and critical as brake components.

Jeroen
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Old 29th July 2017, 03:04   #27
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Well Eric, to come straight to the point, be it a brutal, you are absolutely and totally utterly wrong. Shocks are critical components and anybody with a smitten of automotive or engineering background should understand that.

Shocks have only one purpose in life and that is to keep maximum contact between your tires and whatever stretch of road you are travelling on. And yes, bad shocks might go unnoticed. That is untill you have to make an emergency stop. Or it is a bit wet. Or there is a bit of a curve and you need to brake. Cars crash because of bad shocks, make no mistake!
....till you need to brake hard, or need to swerve hard to avoid a small kid stepping into the road and you find your car simply doesnt do, what you want it to do.

There are about a billion Youtube out there

Whereas I'm sure there are some people/places who might be able to restore shocks, the questions remains, who can you tell they are back to our original specifications afterwards and for how long.
Who would forgive him/herself of running over a kid, because of bad shocks. Just as important and critical as brake components.

Jeroen

Uh-oh... brutality and adverbs like "Absolutely, Totally, Utterly"... seems I'm in deep trouble, and am moreover contradicting billions of authoritative YouTube videos. Ah well, I'll confess that I may have overstated / poorly conveyed my position, and might also suggest that the contrary opinion may correspondingly be a tad overstressed at this point:

I'm sure I'd be better off in most cases having a shock utterly fail than my brakes utterly fail. But if I recall the point I was trying to make, it was that shockers are not "critical" in the sense that they don't often fail suddenly, and that their normal deterioration beyond a point can be pretty easily ascertained. So if I'm in tune with my vehicle and/or am regularly inspecting it, and am driving within the range of my car's normally expected uses, I probably don't have to worry too much about running over small children, regardless of which shocks (aka shockers) I choose to put on my car.

Beyond that: Is damping always critical? What level of damping? And why? Your average bicycle enthusiast would know that most standard MTB "shocks" have no real damping mechanism - just springs and some grease for lubrication, no hydraulics. Very springy, and yet I don't see this type of fork being labeled as dangerous, or see tyres continually bouncing off rough trails / pavements. Likewise quite a few coil-overs fitted on mopeds, scooters, etc, exhibit virtually zero damping characteristics even when brand-new. On the other side, multi-leaf-sprung cars / trucks have some built-in damping by nature of the "sticktion" between the individual leafs in the stack - such that you won't find shocks fitted at all on some heavy vehicles / trailers. So we've got vehicles with 'shocks' and no damping and vehicles with no shocks that yet do dampen those pesky oscillations!!! Obviously there are some other factors / variables at play here. Hmmm...

I agree that a completely failed shock absorber on a coil-sprung suspension will be dangerous under some of the situations you've described... But short of utter failure, like most other things it's a question of degree. Brand-new shocks from different manufacturers, or those offered for different applications / intended uses / budgets, can provide widely varying levels of damping control; A brand-new light-duty shock on a heavy car driven at 150kmph is a whole lot more dangerous than a half-worn-out Koni on a light vehicle driven around town at 35kmph. Some new cars came with overly soft damping for the sake of ride comfort. Yes, control was compromised - and now when replacing we really want OE specifications??? When I bought new shocks for the Marshal from the Gabriel supplier down at Kashmiri Gate (Delhi), I was told by the clerk that it didn't really matter whether I chose those labeled for the M&M (beam axle, leaf sprung) Pickup vs. the (IFS/coil) Invader - that they were "same"; So you can just imagine the variety of (albeit new) stuff that could end up on your car potentially, in the Indian context. And that's not to mention the possibility of cheap Chinese knock-offs - even at ASC's...!!!

*********

So the case for rebuilding: Some OE offroad motorcycle rear shocks were actually designed to be disassembled / rebuilt, and of course all front forks can be, so there is no question as to the basic feasibility. Stuff wears. You disassemble, inspect, measure, replace whatever needs to be, and reassemble. Not exactly rocket-science (or is it?). If your shocker is leaking - the number one failure mode - it probably just needs a new shaft seal, and some fresh oil added. Pretty simple.

The company I worked for specialized in rebuilding all sorts of stuff that wasn't really designed to be (to the tune of 30,000 brake master cylinders / calipers every day, besides a couple dozen other product lines), and even in a context as litigious as the U.S.A., I don't recall hearing of many (any?) failure-related lawsuits. In some cases the OE's actually contracted with us to rebuild components that they'd originally produced but had no idea how to re-manufacture. So should we really assume that because we're putting something NEW on our car, it is going to make it safer??? How are we going to test/prove THAT? One of our company slogans was, "Better than New" and in many cases, it was actually true. No better way to improve a product than to witness its failure modes by the hundreds/thousands, and to resolve whatever issues become clear. Believe it or not, I've seen this done in filthy roadside Indian repair facilities on more than one occasion. Good mechanics here know what fails on particular models and how to prevent future failures.

Okay. So you asked how does one know if a shock has been properly rebuilt? I was a test-systems engineer and saw what our department developed for testing those fancy electronic, air-ride shocks (as used on Lincoln MkVII's of the day, etc)... so there are elaborate solutions of course... but you partly answered it yourself: A properly rebuilt shock should not leak, obviously. Re: performance, the old low-tech rule-of-thumb is that if you push down with your hands/body weight hard on whichever corner of a car and let it rebound, it shouldn't bounce more than once. If it does, your shock is defective (or perhaps under-rated), and should be replaced/upgraded...

...Or perhaps rebuilt. Just sayin'... I've got a rebuilt shock on the back of one of my Kawasaki's that's been working fine for several years. If you want to come ride it yourself and tell me whether it's good enough for you, you'd be most welcome (the bike is an absolute blast, and I do ride it hard at points, and would like to think that I'm normally in a pretty reasonable state of control).

Regards,
-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 29th July 2017 at 03:13.
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Old 29th July 2017, 07:31   #28
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Ah well, I'll confess that I may have overstated / poorly conveyed my position,
Fair enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
and might also suggest that the contrary opinion may correspondingly be a tad overstressed at this point:
I stated
Quote:
In any country that has a MOT a leaking shock or a shock that doesnt appear to be working properly would be an immediate fail.
that is not an opinion/position, that is a fact. It would be illegal to drive a car with a shock that doesn't work properly as it is considered to be unsafe.

You say you can drive safely on bad shocks. To the above, in many countries it would be considered unsafe and thus illegal. To put some context on that; In various European countries the local police forces have a habit of doing random safety checks. Especially during the summer holidays as people load up their cars, hitch up the caravan and drive off to the great beyond.

You will not believe how many caravans and cars fail during those inspections on shocks alone and you won’t be allowed to continue your journey. Worn shocks is a pretty serious thing and the penalties for a bad shocks is similar as to that of a (too) bold tyre. To your point, poor brakes can incur an even higher penalty depending on actual deceleration they measure as it is a sliding scale


I’m sure there are places that can do a great job overhauling and restores shocks. But whether I would make use of it, depends a lot of the cost of the overhaul versus new obviously.

I have just replaced all four shocks on my Mercedes at the cost of about Euro 130. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-do...ml#post4161775 (My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider)

That’s about Euro 30 a piece.

To put that in some context, that is about a third of what I pay to fill up a full tank with petrol. It’s easy as I can just take the old ones off and put the new ones on and be done. I don’t have to send the old shocks away to be overhauled, wait for them to be returned, jack up the car again etc. If I take for instance my wife’s new Fiesta or my son’s VW Golf it would be similar.

Now these are pretty simple shocks, so on my Jaguar it might be different as it has complicated shocks that work in different dampening modes. (sport/normal)

I know some of the big brands such as Bilstein offer re-built services in the UK and I’m sure there are various independent parties that could do a great job if they have the proper expertise and gear.

Whether you use a reconditioned shock or go for new, for whatever reason is a matter of personal choice.

On critical components, such as brakes, shocks, tyres, I would typically prefer new over restored, reconditioned, whatever. That doesn’t mean there are parties that could do a great job. Irrespective of the cost involved, I just prefer new.

When I replaced the shocks on my Mercedes I was surprised to read in the official Mercedes Workshop manual, the shocks can be replace one by one, rather then by pair left/right. Again, Mercedes might well think so and I have no doubt that ze Germans have considered and validated their statement very carefully. I still replaced both at the same time for my own piece of mind.

Jeroen
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Old 29th July 2017, 08:47   #29
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by bijuiser View Post
My seven year old Figo's shocks had lost all its juice (leaked out over the period of 7 yrs), ...his work.

After-market Figo shocks would have set by 1.9k each side which is just a few hundred bucks more than what costed for the repair (spareshub.com)

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I was once "shocked" to see a Fiat Linea bouncing off at the rear on a quite smooth surface while driving. I am sure it was due to bad shocks. If the OE is expensive then after-market is the way to go. I am using branded non OE suspension components on my Civic and I am quite happy (touch wood) with them. They did not cost a bomb either.

Last edited by noopster : 29th July 2017 at 17:41. Reason: As requested
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Old 1st August 2017, 02:30   #30
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
After-market Figo shocks would have set by 1.9k each side which is just a few hundred bucks more than what costed for the repair (spareshub.com)

Attachment 1661845

I was once "shocked" to see a Fiat Linea bouncing off at the rear on a quite smooth surface while driving. I am sure it was due to bad shocks. If the OE is expensive then after-market is the way to go. I am using branded non OE suspension components on my Civic and I am quite happy (touch wood) with them. They did not cost a bomb either.
Of course fitting OE is the foolproof way to go, and doing so breathes a new life into an old car, but the fact remains that reconditioning conventional (non-gas charged) oil dampers is not rocket science, and a good workshop with the right tools, skilled hands and needed parts is all that is needed. Trouble is that one needs to be well informed to find one, a quality slowly diminishing in the car owning population. With labour being cheap, a properly reconditioned damper is more than sufficient for urban driving, and good enough for the highways.

I do agree that shock absorbers have become cheap, esp. aftermarket ones, but even at 1.9 k apiece. it would cost about 10k to carry out the replacement, including labour. Compared to that 3k is a steal. I have done both repair and replacement, and have seen good results with the former IF DONE JUDICIOUSLY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bijuiser View Post
My seven year old Figo's shocks had lost all its juice (leaked out over the period of 7 yrs), the service advisor at Ford recommended replacing the Front Shocks and Rear Dampers (during regular service). The total estimate was going up to rupees 15 thousand (it was over the phone so didn't request a printed quote). Before going for new set of shocks I wanted to check how could it be restored/repaired/refilled. The hunt begin and I came across many amateur mechanics who would drill a hole to drain the fluid and then seal it back after refilling and blah blah. Finally I found a mechanic who had sound knowledge and equipment to do the job (his primary business is assembling aftermarket shocks for bikes). Considering the Figo is only used by my wife for office commute which was not more than 6 KMS/Day. I decided to take chance at getting the dampers refilled. Total damages 3k and three hours. Please forgive me for low res mobile pictures. This is how it was done:

Jacked-up--Shocks Removed-- Disassembled (using hydraulics)-- Refilled Fluid-- Seals replaced-- Reassembled (using hydraulics)-- Refitted.

Though the car feels as good as new, I would not recommend this kind of fixes and best to get such old parts replaced. But Kudos to the mechanic and quality of his work.
How were the dampers disassembled and reassembled? Was it done with a lathe? Please don't be defensive about your decision, it is an experiment and we are eager to see the results. Please keep posting your experiences.

My personal experience is that if nothing is broken inside except the seals, a change of the fluid and new seals does the trick. You lose a bit of travel, but it is no big deal. But if an internal component is broken, then it is best to discard the unit as spares are not available and the repair doesn't hold.

EDIT: Just noticed that front dampers are gas charged. Did the mechanic manage to pressurise the shock absorbers? If yes, how?

Last edited by fighterace : 1st August 2017 at 02:35.
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