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Old 16th December 2014, 12:30   #1
XetaGLGRocks's Avatar
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Default Ford Fiesta Classic: Important damper / shock absorber information to keep in mind

I have a 2011 March Ford Fiesta 1.6 Sxi. Needless to say, I have loved the car from day one. I have done trips to Uttaranchal and Madhya Pradesh from Kolkata on this steed, and its absolutely my daily ride. The only major issue that I have faced with this car was the need for frequent shock absorber / damper changes. I had to change shocks at least twice during the warranty period at 27000 kms & 37000 kms, and after that once at 60000 kms. A strange thing happened during the damper change process at 60000 kms.

The ford service guys changed all four shockers, along with the front mounts (this they changed free, as they mentioned a recall on the mounts). Meanwhile, it is important to mention that I had changed my tyres from Bridgestone Potenza G3 (195/60/14) to Yokohama Earth 1(185/65/14). The tyre change was done a month prior to the damper change. The moment I drove out of the service station after the change, I realized that something was wrong, with new shockers and tie-rod ends...my car was behaving oddly. There was an appreciable body roll, along with a nasty nose dive on every braking.

I called up the Ford service and asked them whether they had installed the correct spec dampers or not, as I was aware that the Ford Classic dampers have a different spec. The Ford guys confidently said that the Fiesta 1.6, the Figo and Classic share the same dampers.

I drove for a week and was really sad at the way the car was behaving. Famed to be one of the best handlers, it was behaving at sub-zero levels.

After a week, I got a call from Ford saying that there was a mistake and indeed the Ford Fiesta 1.6 front dampers are different. I promptly went there, they apologized and made the change. My mistake I did not take photographs, however, fully extended, the dampers were shorter in length than the one they had earlier fixed. These were also dearer by Rs.1000 each.

After changing the shockers, VOILA!!! The ride quality and handling improved to almost what it was before. I knew what was the final fix, went back to the tyre shop and swapped the 185/65/R14 Earth1s with 195/60/14 Hancook Optimo ME02, and everything was back.

So please note that there are three variants of dampers available now, One for the older 1.6, one for the older 1.4, and one for the Classic/Figo. Please check this the next time you visit the Ford service center.

Last edited by GTO : 16th December 2014 at 15:35. Reason: Adding line spacing :)
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