Shock absorbers

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Shock absorbers

Post by IanC » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:40 pm

Hi,

I'm looking for a bit advice here. My GTC has a bone-jarringly firm ride, and it's been pointed out to me that the 'bounce test' on both front wings shows much less 'give' than on other Scimitars which were helpfully parked beside it (it was at the Noggin, you see). The rears are ok.

But, the shockers aren't adjustable (or at least not that I can see) , just not too pretty, so probably original - although the car has recently passed its MoT. Obviously I'll be changing the shocks all round for adjustables to get a softer ride, but has anyone had the problem that the shocks are too firm but there's no way of adjusting them?

I always thought that if shocks were knackered, they had no resistance, is it possible that on failing, shocks stiffen up?

Cheers,

Ian


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by *JP* » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:39 pm

What's you ride height like? If the springs have sagged there could be little movement before they become coil bound,hence the hard ride.



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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by philhoward » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:55 pm

Koni shocks are adjustable but only if you dismantle them first I thought? Sort of defeats the object!

As JP says - they could be getting coil bound or worse case is seized trunnion bolts/bushes (so preventing the suspension from moving at all). Quick test for trunnions is to jack each front corner in turn under the chassis and check that wheel goes down as you lift the weight off it. If digging further, remove the shock assembly and check the suspension is free to move up and down. It might need a little assistance from a jack, but not much.


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by efi_sprintgte » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:19 pm

My money would be on seized trunion bolts too...


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by philhoward » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:28 pm

And of course, there's no play in a seized trunnion..so it wouldn't have been picked up at MoT time, especially as they tend to use the swivel plates (checking for play when loaded) during the test.


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by IanC » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:31 pm

Thanks guys, the ride height is Ok, I'm thinking the trunnion bolts / bushes will be OK too as the PO did the 'grease nipple' mod to the ends of the lower arms (and I've kept up with maintenance), but I'll certainly check this. I was thinking 'shock absorbers' but maybe it's not that at all.

BTW I've had Konis years ago and I seem to recall that there was a very small slotted adjuster that you could get to without too much trouble.

Thanks,
Ian


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by Roger Pennington » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:35 pm

philhoward wrote:Koni shocks are adjustable but only if you dismantle them first I thought? Sort of defeats the object!
I don't think Ian mentioned Konis, did he? Having said that, it's true that you have to remove them from the car, then remove the springs from the dampers, in order to "adjust" them - however they aren't designed to be "adjustable" in the conventional sense, (i.e. "tuneable"), it's only intended as a way of taking up wear and softness (i.e. stiffening by a preset amount) after a very high mileage, and returning them to standard. AFAIK they're NLA for Scimitars now anyway.

I'd agree that it's worth removing the dampers and checking for free movement of the suspension, as well as checking for evidence of coil binding on the springs.


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by philhoward » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:17 pm

No, he didn't mention Koni, just that I recall them being a "adjustable" unit with no obvious adjuster (unlike Spax, Gaz etc. - and Spax changed from a slotted screw to a knurled knob at some point, I think).


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by Roger Pennington » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:46 pm

Indeed, but most not-obviously-adjustable dampers aren't Konis, they're simply non-adjustable dampers! :lol:

It's perhaps worth emphasising my previous point that Konis don't in any case have any "adjustment" for softening, only to make them harder, to take up wear. I have Konis on the mulberry car, and they are notably more compliant than the Spax and AVOs that I've had on the Yellow Peril. :)


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by Old and Slow » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:51 pm

The AVOs I fitted to the Sabre Six last month all had thumb-wheel adjusters, ten clicks from soft to hard. On the softest setting I only get one upward "bounce" after pressing down the front wing. Springs are 180lb/inch, open length (off the car) is 10.5inches, and under load (on the car) is about 7.5 inches, so weight per wheel is approx 540lbs/250kg.
I didn't need spring compressors, screwing down the bottom collet (ride height adjustment) with the chassis jacked up took all the load off the springs so that they came loose.
Hope this helps.
Phliip


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by greeny » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:32 pm

From what you have said my guess is the same as JP and Phil. Has the ride always been harsh?
Put the wheels on full lock on the ground and take a look at the spring if it's touching or very close then you have your answer.
If not you haven't lost anything. But I think I would be looking at new springs and shocks in the near future. As well as a strip down of the trunnions.

Having had coil bound springs on my C it's not a nice ride.


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by IanC » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:45 pm

greeny wrote:From what you have said my guess is the same as JP and Phil. Has the ride always been harsh?
Put the wheels on full lock on the ground and take a look at the spring if it's touching or very close then you have your answer.
If not you haven't lost anything. But I think I would be looking at new springs and shocks in the near future. As well as a strip down of the trunnions.

Having had coil bound springs on my C it's not a nice ride.
Hi,

Thanks, I've tried jacking the car up, the wheels remain on the ground i.e. I can see the outer arm joints turning in relation to the trunnion, so I think all is well there.
The springs also look fine whether straight ahead or on full lock. Overall the suspension feels to be moving OK but is much stiffer than the rear (and stiffer than other scimitars) hence me thinking it's the shocks
Yes the ride is very harsh, it always has been in my ownership , I had put it down to the polybushes in the shock absorbers eyes (many years ago I was told to avoid using these as the led to a harsher ride than the standard rubber). I hadn't thought that there might be an issue with the shockers until the anomaly compared to other cars was pointed out. One thing that appears wrong however, there is a 'liquid/squishing' noise from the drivers side suspension when bounced which does sound shocker related. It certainly looks like here might be new shocks needed at the very least.
Incidentally there is a photo of the suspension elsewhere in this form, but I've never figgered out how to do the 'view topic' link. It's under GTC for sale posted in Fri dec 6 2013, it's at the end of the series of photos.

Cheers,
Ian


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by scimjim » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:31 pm

I'll need more clues than that to find a link :-)

What section is it in? The "For sale" or eBay sections don't go back to Dec 13.


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by Old and Slow » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:41 pm

I believe (and please correct me if I err!) that, unlike my Sabre Six, all Scimitars from 1969 on were fitted with a front anti-roll bar. Won't this make the front suspension seem stiff if you only press on one wing, and won't it make the front seem stiffer than the rear?
If this is the case, then there's a whole load of new bushes for you to inspect for being seized up; alternatively how about dropping one end of the anti-roll bar and see if it changes things.
Philip


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Re: Shock absorbers

Post by greeny » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:02 pm

Leave all the weight on the car and no jack and take a look. Mine was brill on a jack but totally coil bound when on the ground.


Babe the GTC number 229 and and Smurfett the 1400 SST. Ness the vw t4 van/dayvan/camper
Previous 3.0v6 X type jaguar triumph acclaim scimitar SE4A 663 (ex Collin Watson coupe) 2x se5a's 2x SS1 1600s and a load.of other things I can't remember!!!
GTC drivers doing it under canvas since 1981!!

Website scimitargtc.co.uk
12601 14846 18/09/12

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