Originally Posted by gfx
How can you tell if a shock is blown? What does it feel like? And when you take it apart, what does it look like?
You can tell when it's missing a notable amount of fluid. To tell if there's missing fluid:
1. look around the entire shock. The caps, springs, spring cups, ends, etc. If there's oil residue and dust/dirt caked into it - you're probably losing fluid.
2. Flip your car upside down and set it on the table. Let it rest for a few seconds. Manually work your suspension arms up and down and see if you notice air at the top of the shock. You'll be able to detect air from the lack of resistance and a sudden resistance when the piston hits oil. If a shock is full there should be little to no air inside of the shock and resistance should be continuous throughout shock travel.
3. If you remove the cap and the oil is dark, cloudy, dirty, etc.. that means dirt is being permitted through the seals. How that happens is... when a shock is elongated it exposes the shaft to the elements. Dirt, dust, etc can collect on the shaft. Then when the shock is compressed due to a bump or otherwise, the shaft can trap some of that dirtiness into the imperfections of its surface and basically smuggle dirt into your shock. As time goes by the seals can wear out from the friction and begin to permit dirt and leak oil.
Any of these cases could be due to a bad build, or the need of a rebuild.
Shock springs and oils greatly affect how your car jumps. This does not necessarily mean that if your car jumps funny it's the shocks.
First examine your driving style..
If a jump is designed properly you do NOT want to leave the lip with the throttle on
. In fact, you want to leave the lip of the jump with a neutral throttle finger
so the car can jump by itself without your throttle input. ESPECIALLY if you notice your cars nose flying high. If you notice you're getting squirrely then you can correct yourself by tapping the throttle or brake - but do not leave the jump on-throttle until you know how the jump is built and how your car reacts to it.