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Old 4th June 2012, 17:14   #1
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Default Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

My indigo has got leaky Shocks (Front and Back). The Tata Service Center is recommending replacement of not only shocks but also all the related bushings and linking rods etc. This can lead to potentially huge bill.

Hence, thought of checking with gurus if there is a way out. Can a leaky Shock Absorber be repaired? If so, can anyone please recommend a good place to do so near/around Mahadevpura/Marathhalli in Bangalore?
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Old 4th June 2012, 17:17   #2
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Default re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

leaky shocks means shocks have gone bust. You will have to replace it my friend no other option (No possibility of a repair).
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Old 4th June 2012, 17:24   #3
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Default re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
leaky shocks means shocks have gone bust. You will have to replace it my friend no other option (No possibility of a repair).
Hmmm....Thanks for the reply DieselFan! Does replacement of shocks also need to be accompnaied by replacing bushings and connecting rods?

Last edited by pranav_mankad : 4th June 2012 at 17:25. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 4th June 2012, 17:46   #4
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Default re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...an-market.html (Suspension repair at Reyaz/Imran in Khan market)

can be done, but finding such a guy is the problem. You might want to check with some cabbies to find out if such work is done locally
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Old 4th June 2012, 17:54   #5
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Default re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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.

Last edited by drpullockaran : 4th June 2012 at 18:10.
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:17   #6
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav_mankad View Post
This can lead to potentially huge bill.
Please don't be penny wise & pound foolish Pranav. A repaired damper will have a shorter life. Plus, if it doesn't work as a damper is supposed to, the on-road behaviour of your car will be severely compromised. I don't believe in jugaad with such a critical component.

You've bought yourself a car. Do adhere to best practices when it comes to maintenance. Typical suspension components have a usable life of anywhere between 40,000 - 50,000 kms.
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Old 6th June 2012, 15:25   #7
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Can you please mention age of your car and kms. done ?

As others have mentioned, REPLACE the shocks. Repairing would also mean lack of life and they can go bust anytime. Not worth the risk.
Regarding rubber bushes, if car is old or has done more than lets say 30K kms., replace bushes also.

Unless you have covered a significant kms. with your car, no need to replace links. Links would need replacement after 1 lakh kms. generally ( and hence the logic behind kms. and age of your car ).
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Old 7th June 2012, 10:40   #8
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pranav_mankad View Post
Can a leaky Shock Absorber be repaired? If so, can anyone please recommend...
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.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 7th June 2012 at 10:52.
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Old 7th June 2012, 13:37   #9
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

The leaking damper does not imply change of bushing and other associated components. It needs to be checked physically before one can comment on.

A badly driven vehicle may have damaged bushing even without any problem with the damper. Check the following before deciding what to keep and what not to.
1. Dismantle the damper completely, remove the spring and the insulator ( which has a bearing also to facilitate rotation, in some cars)

2. Check the insulator, if it has a play, replace it

3. Check the lower arm and associated bushes. If it is damaged, no matter what ever you do you can never eliminate suspension noise

4. check issue with the small linkage between Lower Arm and knuckle body.

As others have already pointed out, never repair a damper. You will severely compromise in normal handling too.
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Old 7th June 2012, 13:59   #10
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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.
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Old 7th June 2012, 20:45   #11
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

True, replacement is the only option. Also since the car is with you (as final user), you may consider slight change in tuning, depending upon the road condition of the city you belong as well as the usage pattern of the car.

You can use soft tuned if the roads are good and the car is generally partly loaded - say you drive it alone. The changed unit will give you better driving pleasure.

Don't go for repairs, repaired units are unreliable.
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Old 7th June 2012, 21:29   #12
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

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...

Last edited by svsantosh : 7th June 2012 at 21:32.
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Old 9th June 2012, 10:13   #13
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

As GTO and others have said, replace the shocks, don't try to fix them. I changed the rear struts on my Lancer after one of them leaked, because handling, ride comfort and balanced behavior are paramount!

While you're at it, you should change both the shocks since the other one would be also closer to end of life than beginning, and you'll have a better balance between the two sides.
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Old 9th June 2012, 10:31   #14
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

I replaced the leaky rear damper of my Alto the next day I noticed it. I replaced both the dampers even though only one was leaking since the car had done 40 K Kms and hence I expected the other one to be also weak. The service center did not ask me to replace the other one but I insisted since this is a critical component.
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Old 9th June 2012, 12:59   #15
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Default Re: Leaking Dampers (Shock Absorbers) : Can they be repaired?

It is always better to change the struts or shocks than reconditioning them and to eliminate associated problems like uneven tyre wear, vehicle instability during cornering, drive & ride comfort etc.
Long time back I have seen some kind of strut inserts in a parts shop, which could be inserted inside the struts to make them work as new when I was shopping around for struts for mu Omni. I didn't buy it and I don't know if those are available now and the performance of the thus assembled strut.
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