Shock Absorbers - John Davis
Shock absorbers are, after all, just that. They absorb shocks. I am seeking a supplier for a pair of front shock absorbers for an imported Japanese Masterace (Townace derivitive) MPV. They are fairly conventional in appearance,size and mounting but, you'd think I was asking for the moon when making telephone enquiries to one or two of the suppliers. Could anyone help with a recommendation or contact where, if I gave all the requirements, ie, size, travel, mounting holes & thread diameter, they would be prepared to look at alternatives ? There must be hundreds of shock absorbers, for hundreds of cars, and I should think that there could be quite a few which would match. Any advice or help would be much appreciated.
Re: Shock Absorbers - Andrew Bairsto
Try goto street specials and look for your vehicle ,
when you have found the type number look for other vehicles, something that is common with the same number .So you will probably find that the shocks from a ford escort are the same, .
Re: Shock Absorbers - Dave N
Try Gabriel. They has a list of all fitments, with lengths, eyes/pin size, bush shapes etc.
Re: Shock Absorbers - John Slaughter

Excellent ideas from Andrew and Dave.

I'm slightly horrified by the view that shock absorbers (more properly called dampers) are 'just that'! They don't absorb shocks. The springs do that. Dampers control the rate of spring movement, and so stop the suspension from oscillating, and so control the movement of the car body.

There is far more to it than getting a set that meet the dimensions. They are a crucial suspension component with major safety implications. They must match the car mass, spring rates, have the correct correct bump and rebound damping, must not 'fade', work properly at all likely temperatures, have the correct duty cycle etc etc.

Get the wrong set and your safety is compromised. roadholding disappears and cornering become a dangerous activity. That's why they are an MOT fail point. You must get correct automotive dampers that meet the requirements of the car!


Matching components. - David Woollard
As another (over?) cautious person with spares type/quality I would stick to the correct fittment. I think even the bounce/re-bound damping ratio is different (oh yes John you did say that) for each situation.

Slightly off thread but a friend didn't want to pay the £80 for a pair of horse trailer over-run brake dampers. He found a pair of unused car dampers and went to some trouble to fabricate fixings for these larger units. I think the trailer system needed a damper to work very strongly on compression but less under tension, powerfully over only 2 or 3 inches and in a horizontal position.

Needless to say these car dampers didn't do any of that with the result, on applying the vehicle brakes, that the trailer rushed the car, snatched on the brakes with locked tyres for a second then snatched back again. Good job he tried it first without the horses in!

And after all that the correct dampers were the only option.

Re: Matching components. - Dave N
You get a lot of this with imported cars. Came across a guy that had bought a Maxda 323F 14 months ago from one of these 'trade centres'. He had a hole in the condenser, and when I looked at it, it was the old shape discontinued in the UK in 1997, in white, made under licence from Mazda in Malaysia, and had the a/c fitted by another company in malaysia, using non-mazda parts. And he thought he had got a real bargain. Pup more like. What is it they say? All that glitters is not gold?
Re: Shock Absorbers - Ben Chapman
I would not reccomend Koni dampers. I have had two sets of front dampers fail now. Having returned the last set for a full refund, and have now fitted a pair of Bilstein Sport dampers (available at reasonable prices from euro crap parts now). I think these are excellent- both ride and handling is better than with the Koni's.

Re: Shock Absorbers - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd.)
Go back to the dealer who imported the vehicle and get him to supply a set. Have you tried your local Toyota dealer? They seem to be getting into the swing of supplying parts for these grey imports although I have heard rumours that the waiting time can be quite lengthy.

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