Frequently Asked Questions
|Click Here .. for more information if your vehicle is lowered or has a lifted suspension.|
|Q. Can I mix and match different kinds of units?|
A. Yes, you can use one design on the front and one on the rear. Some of the manufacturer's engineers do this on purpose. For instance, in many cases, KYB will use a Excel-G design on the front of a vehicle, and a Gasajust on the rear. Monroe may use a OE Spectrum on the rear, and a Monromatic design on the front. This is common. Also, there are many cases where you are trying to set your vehicle up a particular way for special needs, such as towing. You may use a Bilstein design in front, and use Monroe Load-levelers in the rear for support. Mixing different designs, front to rear, is ok. (though, side to side, no. You do not want to use one design on the left side of a vehicle, and another on the right).
|Q. How do I know if I have shocks or struts?|
A. Typically a strut has a spring around it, and is an integral part of the suspension. A shock typically is separate from the spring. There are exceptions, but it doesn't matter what you call it, a shock, strut, or Widget Pin, they are not normally interchangeable (without modifications). If your car has a shock, it will only accept a shock. Likewise with a strut.
|Q. What if my car is lowered?|
A. Different companies have different policies on this subject. Using a good spring company ( Eibach, Intrax, etc.) is the proper way. Cutting the spring with a blowtorch or using spring clamps is not. None of the companies we have really recommend their struts for more than 1 1/2 drop, unless it is one of their Coil-over kits. Some units, like Bilstein Sports and Suspension Kits , KONI Orange , and kyb gasadjust KYB AGXs or some KYB Monomaxs are specifically designed units for a lowered suspension. Click Here for more information if your vehicle is lowered.
|Q. Where can I get information on the different brands?|
A. Shocks and struts are all designed to have different characteristics. The same way a 44 inch 4X4 tire is different that a low-profile GT 60's-series tire. They are both tires, but are designed to do different things. As the old saying goes, "use the right tool to do the job right". For more information on a particular brand, see our product pages from the links to the left in the menu. The links will take you to various pages with more technical information on the various kinds of products or designs available. Also see our Comparison Guide Listing. We also have a Glossary Page that talks about the different basic designs of any shock.
|Q. When should I replace my shocks or struts?|
A. The units we sell in most cases are considered an upgrade by the U.S Government, over the stock, O.E. suspension units. They can be changed at anytime, even right after you purchase a new vehicle. If the vehicle you drive is not up to your expectations, or un-controllable, you may want to consider better parts for your suspension to improve it's handling and safety. Also, you may have special needs for your vehicle that may not have been incorporated into it's design, such as some off-road driving, or towing.
Also, despite what some people say, there is no time limit, by years or miles, on when you have to change a unit. Though we do recommend, as part of normal maintenance, to routinely give your suspension a visual inspection to make sure it is in good, safe, working order.
|Q. How do I know when my shocks and struts are bad?|
A. Some of the signs are:
- Control loss, meaning the units have become weak and will no longer dampen the tire and suspension vibration
- Unusual tire wear
- Unit is coated in and/or leaking oil or fluid
- Unusual noise from unit
- Unit is broken physically - Unit will not move in and out smoothly / or is binding
- Vehicle is unusually "floating" and ill-handling
|Q. The rear of my vehicle sags when I tow or haul a load, what shocks will hold it up?|
A. Shocks do not really hold up a vehicle. For
example, if you ever took shocks off your pickup-truck before, you
know when you set it down off the jack, it sits pretty much the
same as it did before you took the shock off. What "holds"
the vehicle up is the coil springs, leaf spings, or in some cases,
a torsion bar. There are shocks which can help, or add additional
support, such as Monroe
Load-levelers or Monroe
Air-shocks. But no shock (outside of some kind of racing
unit) is really designed to support a 3000-5000 lb. vehicle. There
is a limit to how much a shock can help (for instance, just changing
shocks on a half-ton pickup truck will not automatically make it
a one-ton model.) The primary uses of these type products is to
keep the rear of the vehicle level with the front, so you have a
more balanced suspension while driving or towing.
To add support for towing or heavy hauling use:
- Bilstein B6 4600 Heacy Duty
- Monroe Loadlevelers
- Monroe Airshocks
- Gabriel Hijackers
- Air Lift 1000
|Q. How do I know what "Valving" Shocks and Struts to purchase?|
A. There are two kinds of valving used on a shock / strut, 'Compression' and 'Rebound'. They are usually represented by a set of numbers, like "240 / 120". Those numbers determine how a shock collapses (compressed) and exstends out (rebound). Generally, these numbers are determined or checked by an Engineer and a shock dyno machine.
|Q. What is meant by "Valving" ?|
A. See our Valving scale/chart for Performance Shocks and Struts. If you are still confused use our Quote Form. Our experts will recommend the best shocks/struts for your vehicle based on your driving preference.