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[Steering & Suspension] Gas/Oil shocks and noise
#1
Well i was thinking maybe that it was me but ive been on the old interwebb and it appears that Gas shocks are much stiffer than their oil counterparts,and as such are noisier and offer a harsher ride,[ oh why do i listen to peoples advice ].Ive had a lot of people tell me that i should go gas,even the europart salesman said its gas everytime.Anyway let me explain,ever since i had to replace a front spring ive had a vibration noise at around 1100 revs,changed the exhaust as it sounded like a loose baffle,it wasnt,changed the drop arms,still the same,restripped the offside strut checked greased and refitted,still the same,checked engine mounts exhaust heat plates etc etc etc you get the picture,still the same,zip tied everything underneath,yea you guessed it,now i havnt got a lot more hair to pull out ,so its time to spend on bigger items as the offside windows been open all summer ive noticed the shock starting to make a " oil suction" type of noise.So new shocks / springs / bearings,new anti/roll bar bushings,new drop arms ,check the ball joints and the rest of the suspension bushings,everything is now checked,greased and or replaced.
Right i thought,its now got to be ok,admittedly ive only done a few miles but the vibration / rattling noise has not altogether gone but definately reduced,i think i can now live with that,now,having said that am i happy,NO, Angry the front suspension is now um,how can i put it ,very differant,and stiffer,almost harsh ,thats a good thing i hear you say,well maybe BUT whats happening is that out on our lovely potholed ,unmaintained roads that have more sleeping policemen than a BMW suspension test track,its bloody noisy,whats happening is that as the suspension extends to its maximum after say you drop into a drain hole or come off a road hump,you get the picture i get the impression that the shocks are extending fully and bumping at full extension,i think thats the best way i can put it,i get the impression that gas shocks are stiffer on compression but weaker on rebound, now before i finally go over the edge can anybody who knows about suspension confirm that to be fact,am i right .If i am all i can do i guess is put it down to experiance and put up with the noise regretting that i didnt stick to my guns and insisting on oil filled shocks.If thats not correct,are my new shocks faulty maybe.?
 I hope your still awake and i havnt bored you into slitting your own throat or your now sticking pins in your eyes,any comments please i would be grateful for.
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#2
Some years I fitted new front dampers to my last C15 and went the route of gas as they were available for the same price as oil.
I found them firmer and more reactive than the old oil filled type resulting in less body roll and what was there was more controlled. I didn't have the noise you describe but be assured that the noise can also be found on oil filled dampers !

Did you fully extend and compress the dampers a few times before fitting ? this used to be the correct procedure but maybe times have moved on.

A few months after fitting them and being rather pleased with the ( subtle ) improvement I took the C15 for an MOTand it failed on not enough damping at the front !!!!!!! AsI know the guy well I thought he was taking the pi$$ and told him not to be silly as they were gas dampers..... he wouldn't have it and I ended up putting the old oil ones back on. Happy days.
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#3
(12-09-2015, 06:17 PM)geoff Wrote:  Some years I fitted new front dampers to my last C15 and went the route of gas as they were available for the same price as oil.
I found them firmer and more reactive than the old oil filled type resulting in less body roll and what was there was more controlled. I didn't have the noise you describe but be assured that the noise can also be found on oil filled dampers !

Did you fully extend and compress the dampers a few times before fitting ? this used to be the correct procedure but maybe times have moved on.

A few months after fitting them and being rather pleased with the ( subtle ) improvement I took the C15 for an MOTand it failed on not enough damping at the front !!!!!!! AsI know the guy well I thought he was taking the pi$$ and told him not to be silly as they were gas dampers..... he wouldn't have it and I ended up putting the old oil ones back on. Happy days.
Hi Geoff.Thanks for your input.I guess my original shocks were a little weak but i have never had that " bump" on full extension,although my cars 13 years old its only covered some 55k and under the car is extremely clean and rust free so i feel its probably has been worth the effort in trying to cure these strange noises but i have to admit im starting to get irritated as i seem to be 1 step forward and  2 back.Perhaps i might send europarts an email and see what they have to say,if they answer at all,oh im so cynical .
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