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New shocks way too stiff, Oil?

New shocks way too stiff, Oil?


Old 06-11-2019, 12:54 AM
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Default New shocks way too stiff, Oil?

I bought new expensive shocks. They are like no shock at all. They are much too stiff. Will lighter oil loosen them up or is that just the dampers/springs on them? I can return but PITA to take apart. Thank you
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:32 AM
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Remove the springs. If the shock is still rock hard without a spring then there is something wrong them - perhaps they just aren't built properly (see below). Even on a shock with a lot of damping (very thick oil), once you push it some amount in with your fingers, without a spring the shaft shouldn't be pushing back outwards with a lot of force. A shock without a spring should be quite happy to stay half or fully compressed. It's the spring that should make it forcibly extend again. If compressing just the spring by itself takes a lot of effort but the shock by itself is easily compressed then your springs are just too stiff.

If the problem seems to be the shock and not the spring, read on:

Aeration shocks i.e. shocks that don't have a rubber bladder and air cavity, need some air in them to account for the displacement of the shaft going in to the shock body. Filling aeration shocks up 100% full with oil will cause hydraulic lock and you won't be able to move the shaft at all. If the shaft is extremely stiff to push in and then it pops back out immediately when you let go this is probably your problem. Loosen the shock body/cap to break the seal, push the shaft all the way in and hold it like that while you screw the body/cap back together and see if that fixes the issue - this should push out excess oil. You may need to remove even a bit more oil after doing that - just remove the cap, tip a little oil out then reassemble still while holding the shaft all the way in.

If the above isn't the issue, it is probably one of two things. Either the oil is too thick, or the holes in the piston are too small. If the oil already seems thin, then you might be better off drilling the holes in the piston a little larger, since putting very thin oil in the shocks could cause them to leak. A little goes a long way with drilling the holes - twice the hole diameter is four times less damping. So if the existing holes are like 1mm try drilling them out to 1.2mm. If still too stiff, try 1.5mm and so forth.

Last edited by nbTMM; 06-12-2019 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:09 PM
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Thank you very much. It was indeed the springs. Others had the springs were too stiff as well. I almost had to use all my might to compress them 100%. Ridicououlus, I put on much lighter springs. Now it is loosy goosy like I want. Before it would go over a huge rock and just lift the whole car up! That is kind of unacceptable for shocks that were $55 each.
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