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Recommend me some shocks?


dave88sw
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Sorry if this is in the wrong place, but i feel it covers a few different models.

When i bought my Discovery, a previous owner had fitted some aftermarket springs, which appear to have lifted it (although it certainly isn't 2"). They are perhaps just heavy duty springs, but it definitely looks taller than a standard disco. (If anyone can help me identify them, that would be great, they're blue if it helps?)

I've had the car for 2 years and in that time it has eaten it's way through 2 sets of shock bushes (it has standard shocks still on it), it's only done 7,000 in that time and doesn't tow or do anything difficult. I can only think they take abuse from the taller springs.

I'm therefore thinking of replacing the shocks with +2s, however, there's not a huge amount of choice without breaking the bank. I can't afford OME or bilstein. I've been looking at terrafirma but they don't seem to get good reviews, alternatively, are britpart cellular dynamic any good? As a rule i don't use britpart but people seem to like the shocks.

The other thing i'm wondering is, do i need to extend the bump stops for +2 shocks? Will they bottom out if i don't? Are +2's even the best solution? I don't dislike the springs although they're a little hard, i just want to find some shocks that will last.

Thanks guys

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The best are Bilsteins, that said I've just had to refurbish my Discos suspension as the shocks (Bilsteins) and springs were getting a tad tired, they have after all done well over 220,000 kilometres of some of the worst corrugated roads in Australia.

I've replaced the springs with Tough Dog. +300 kilo constant rated coils front and rear and Tough Dog foam filled 41mm shocks just to see how they compare.

I'll have the Bilsteins refurbished and put them in the shed as a spare set

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Much, much cheaper to swap out the springs....

I was inclined to agree with you, had found all the part numbers for standard springs and was going to order them, however, i had 7 people in the car the other day and was surprised how low the rear end sat with the current hard springs, i can only imagine standard ones would be riding the bumpstops. Also, there seems to be very little choice on standard springs, britpart ones are cheap (trouble is they're britpart...) but genuine ones are quite expensive. I don't dislike the current springs, they're a little stiff when empty but it definitely corners better because of it. Therefore i thought the best bet would be some decent shocks.

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The best are Bilsteins, that said I've just had to refurbish my Discos suspension as the shocks (Bilsteins) and springs were getting a tad tired, they have after all done well over 220,000 kilometres of some of the worst corrugated roads in Australia.

I've replaced the springs with Tough Dog. +300 kilo constant rated coils front and rear and Tough Dog foam filled 41mm shocks just to see how they compare.

I'll have the Bilsteins refurbished and put them in the shed as a spare set

I've heard very good things about bilsteins but they seem to only come in standard height. They're also quite expensive from the sources i've found, although i would stretch the budget for something that will last.

I've not heard of tough dog, are they australian?

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I think there is more going on here. Maybe you could clarify what sort of use the vehicle has?

If it's wearing bushes, I don't really see that as a spring issue. Sounds like something else might be worn and you are getting excessive movement in an area you shouldn't be.

As for shocks, it totally depends what you want to achieve. +2'a are only of use if you off road the vehicle to the extent that you cross axle it enough to reach the full travel of standard shocks. If you don't, then there will be no gain at all.

Longer shocks are likely to cause stock rear springs to fall out of their upper seat. So you will need to retain them, replace with longer springs or use something like dislocation cones.

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The shocks probably have little extension travel and are hitting their stops regularly, causing the bushing damage.

Adding longer shocks or relocating the shocks is an involved process. You need to check and verify that the shocks can't bottom out in compression and add bumps stops if needed. You need to ensure brake lines and propshafts can handle to revised travel. You need to retain the springs if the travel allows for them to unseat.

The easy solution is to put stock springs back in and leave it as designed. If you want to run lift springs, ALL of the items above should be done. Unfortunately most people are fooled into believing you can just chuck in taller springs and do nothing else.

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Bilstein do various specs. Standard length is in fact standard to plus 2". I would suggest B6

Alternatively OE Boge fitment will work comfortably with OE HD springs

Avoid Cellular Dynamic GAZ stuff form Britpart as the bushes are made of old cheese

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As above, OEM shocks are certainly fit for purpose. I have always used Bilstein on my LR's and they ride very well.

I did notice the set on my current 90 the rear bottom rubbers cracked ( at about two years old I think ) which I thought was a bit poor, I stuck some cheap as chips Britpart ones on for the MOT and they are still fine a further two, possibly three years on. So already Britpart rubbers have lasted better than the Bilstein ones... Blimey!

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I think there is more going on here. Maybe you could clarify what sort of use the vehicle has?

If it's wearing bushes, I don't really see that as a spring issue. Sounds like something else might be worn and you are getting excessive movement in an area you shouldn't be.

As for shocks, it totally depends what you want to achieve. +2'a are only of use if you off road the vehicle to the extent that you cross axle it enough to reach the full travel of standard shocks. If you don't, then there will be no gain at all.

Longer shocks are likely to cause stock rear springs to fall out of their upper seat. So you will need to retain them, replace with longer springs or use something like dislocation cones.

In the 2 years that i've had it, i've never taken it off road further than a muddy field. However, it has towed a car trailer and been loaded up with 7 blokes occasionally. The guy i bought it from towed a horse box and told me that's why the heavy duty springs were fitted, in all honesty, it's driven around most of the time with just me in it and the ride is terrible-far too firm.

It's only done 130,000 and i keep on top of anything that's worn underneath, the trailing arm bushes are good and its had a new a frame ball joint so i can only think the shock bushes wear because they're too short and get pulled on particularly when braking and the rear end lifts. I put some britpart rubbers in having noticed they were worn 2 weeks before the MOT, it then failed the MOT because they had just been chewed up. I put the original bushes back in and added a washer to gain a pass.

As i say, i think the current springs have lifted it (although i wouldn't thought it's a 2 inch lift) so the idea of +2's was simply they would hopefully work better with the current springs and save me the money on having to change out the springs as well.

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In the 2 years that i've had it, i've never taken it off road further than a muddy field. However, it has towed a car trailer and been loaded up with 7 blokes occasionally. The guy i bought it from towed a horse box and told me that's why the heavy duty springs were fitted, in all honesty, it's driven around most of the time with just me in it and the ride is terrible-far too firm.

It's only done 130,000 and i keep on top of anything that's worn underneath, the trailing arm bushes are good and its had a new a frame ball joint so i can only think the shock bushes wear because they're too short and get pulled on particularly when braking and the rear end lifts. I put some britpart rubbers in having noticed they were worn 2 weeks before the MOT, it then failed the MOT because they had just been chewed up. I put the original bushes back in and added a washer to gain a pass.

As i say, i think the current springs have lifted it (although i wouldn't thought it's a 2 inch lift) so the idea of +2's was simply they would hopefully work better with the current springs and save me the money on having to change out the springs as well.

Harsh ride will usually be heavy springs, but lack of damping may not help. If it's just use with normal road use, then stock shocks and springs might be the way to go. And maybe look in to some air bag assiters if you do tow or haul heavy loads occasionally.

As for the shocks being too short, sorry, but that's just not how they work. A lift spring won't alter the amount of travel you have, it'll just start the vehicle in the different place. e.g.

On standard springs you might have equal up and down travel from resting. A lift spring will slightly extend the shock, you still have the same amount of travel, but from resting are already using a bit of it.

As for braking and causing the shocks to bottom out, no way, not unless your vehicle is massively broken. You'd have to end up with the front bumper on the ground and the rear up in the air to achieve this, unless you are getting air borne.

I know this is a Range Rove, but the same sort of idea. To pull on the shocks as you describe under braking, you'd need the front compressed like this, with the rear extended like this. Which I'm sure isn't happening.

ramptest.jpg

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