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Front and Rear Shock Recommendations

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Old 02-16-2018, 04:36 PM
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Sonic054
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Default Front and Rear Shock Recommendations

I still have the original Bilstein Shocks on my 1991 Corvette and shocks are in need of being replaced as I can feel every imperfection in the road. I came across some shocks at Autozone which are Gabriel Ultra. There is a rebate of 20% off for buying 4 shocks and I have a $20 reward so I am getting a good deal on new shocks. Have you tried Gabriel Shocks? Any reviews? Recommendations?

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Old 02-16-2018, 05:39 PM
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I had used Gabriel shocks on a couple passenger cars some years ago and I recall there was nothing really special about their performance.

You should look at KYB Gas-A-Just shocks or the Bilstein Sports. They will be more expensive, but you will get very good handling from either. The only problem with buying a shock that is partially based on dollar savings is that you may not like what you bought and will be buying shocks again.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:00 PM
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Tom400CFI
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Gabriel shocks are complete and total garbage. Junk.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:13 PM
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Sonic054, If your mainly a street driver the Bilstein package is a great option, you may spend at bit more for the Bilstein shocks but in the long run they will give you a much better feel and ride compared to the cheaper discount shock packages.

The Bilstein's will out preform and most certainly out last the much cheaper discount crap, but it really depends on your driving conditions and needs.

Bottomline, you get what you pay for but don't buy more than what you need.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:53 AM
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The Bilstein Sports are probably the best value in a shock available today. They will last 100,000 miles in ordinary street driving.
They are an order of magnitude....maybe two....better than any Monroe/Gabriel/Delco, and noticeably better than KYB's (which may be the #2 best buy in shocks).

I have Bilstein on three of my vehicles, KYB's on one, and KONIs on the Vette. Another car wears the original shocks and the old pickup's shocks are so rusty I don't know what they are (they seem to have been white, originally...)

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Old 02-18-2018, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonic054 View Post
I still have the original Bilstein Shocks on my 1991 Corvette and shocks are in need of being replaced as I can feel every imperfection in the road. I came across some shocks at Autozone which are Gabriel Ultra. There is a rebate of 20% off for buying 4 shocks and I have a $20 reward so I am getting a good deal on new shocks. Have you tried Gabriel Shocks? Any reviews? Recommendations?

Thanks,
You aren't expecting much for $30 a shock, are you? Are you getting a good deal? Depends. If you are selling the car in spring, yes. IF you are planning to keep it, no.

Before we go there, do you have the FX3 option or not? If not, you can go http://eshocks.com/Shocks_Vehicles.a...&Manf=All&MF=N
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:22 PM
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Not expecting much just a better ride than what it currently has as we can feel every bump in the road. The car is currently in the process of being restored (taking our time) and does not get driven much. Car needs to be repainted as the paint is faded and clear coat is gone, weatherstripping needs to be replaced, wheels may need to be redone etc. We bought the car about a year ago not running for $2k so it is a project. The car does not have the adjustable suspension.

Originally Posted by aklim View Post
You aren't expecting much for $30 a shock, are you? Are you getting a good deal? Depends. If you are selling the car in spring, yes. IF you are planning to keep it, no.

Before we go there, do you have the FX3 option or not? If not, you can go http://eshocks.com/Shocks_Vehicles.a...&Manf=All&MF=N
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonic054 View Post
Not expecting much just a better ride than what it currently has as we can feel every bump in the road. The car is currently in the process of being restored (taking our time) and does not get driven much. Car needs to be repainted as the paint is faded and clear coat is gone, weatherstripping needs to be replaced, wheels may need to be redone etc. We bought the car about a year ago not running for $2k so it is a project. The car does not have the adjustable suspension.
Depending on what you are looking for If you have plans to restore and keep it for 10 years and give it to your grandson or something, spend more If you are looking to flip it, buy the cheap stuff.

I bought new Bilstein shocks 10 years later, the FX3 shock failed Bilstein had me send the fronts back because one was leaking. Soon as they received it, they sent me a pair back. I don't know if they actually tested them under warranty since they received it and 2 hours later they sent a new pair out. I suspect they just looked at it and replaced without testing That was $400 worth of shocks after 10 years.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonic054 View Post
Not expecting much just a better ride than what it currently has as we can feel every bump in the road.
Start by lowering your tire pressure...a lot. The tire size on a 'Vette, the weight of the 'Vette and the tire pressure specs don't jibe. Tire is way too big for 35 PSI, with ~800 lbs load. I run about 24 PSI in my '92 and the ride is GOOD. I put them up to 35 for autox and track days, then put 'em back down when I'm done.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Start by lowering your tire pressure...a lot. The tire size on a 'Vette, the weight of the 'Vette and the tire pressure specs don't jibe. Tire is way too big for 35 PSI, with ~800 lbs load. I run about 24 PSI in my '92 and the ride is GOOD. I put them up to 35 for autox and track days, then put 'em back down when I'm done.
Interesting. I did not think about that. Will definitely try that out.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
Start by lowering your tire pressure...a lot. The tire size on a 'Vette, the weight of the 'Vette and the tire pressure specs don't jibe. Tire is way too big for 35 PSI, with ~800 lbs load. I run about 24 PSI in my '92 and the ride is GOOD. I put them up to 35 for autox and track days, then put 'em back down when I'm done.
Thirty-five really IS too much for normal street use. GM recommends 30 psi and that's about right.
Running 35 psi for autox and track days is not a good idea either; you lose WAY too much grip at that high a pressure. Try running about 28 psi instead; you'll notice an improvement in grip, I guarantee it.

PS; the placard on the doorjamb of my C4 says " tire pressure is 30 psi unless you plan to run over 150 mph, then 35 psi is recommended".

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Old 02-22-2018, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rocco16 View Post
Thirty-five really IS too much for normal street use. GM recommends 30 psi and that's about right.
Running 35 psi for autox and track days is not a good idea either; you lose WAY too much grip at that high a pressure. Try running about 28 psi instead; you'll notice an improvement in grip, I guarantee it.

PS; the placard on the doorjamb of my C4 says " tire pressure is 30 psi unless you plan to run over 150 mph, then 35 psi is recommended".
I think we're splitting hairs here. The point was to try lower pressures. 24, PSI...28 PSI....I think the OP can figure it out for himself once he starts experimenting.

your 'Vette might call for 30...others call for a different spec. Track days require you to run 35 psi and shoe polish helps confirm the right pressure at the track. How many track days have you done?


.

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Old 02-23-2018, 02:04 AM
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You are sitting so close to the rear wheels, it's the air pressure in the rear tires that makes the biggest difference in the ride quality. There's no rule that says the tire pressure must be the same front and rear. I like a little higher pressure in my front tires for the best handling. You need to experiment to find out what works best for your driving style.

If the Bilstein shocks don't fit in your budget, the KYB are a very good alternative. After experimenting with tire pressures, you might even decide that your shocks aren't the problem!

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Old 02-23-2018, 06:09 AM
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One thing I don't see mentioned - how does the OP plan to drive the vehicle? I have KYBs on my 86 and they work for me. I also don't race, autocross or torment the car. It's mainly a highway cruiser only so for that they work well. If I raced it or used it in competition then it might be different but for what it is and how I drive it the KYBs worked out to be a good solution.
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:09 AM
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I found a great deal on a set of new Monroe OES Spectrum replacements for my '94 Convertible...less than $100 for 4 !!

The original Bilsteins were shot so the new shocks were a "Night and Day" improvement. My car was wandering around after every dip and bump in the road and the shock change stopped that and made the ride very smooth by comparison. I will probably go to something a bit more substantial in the future but for now I got a "lot of bang for the buck" with the Monroes.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rocco16 View Post
Thirty-five really IS too much for normal street use. GM recommends 30 psi and that's about right.
Running 35 psi for autox and track days is not a good idea either; you lose WAY too much grip at that high a pressure. Try running about 28 psi instead; you'll notice an improvement in grip, I guarantee it.

PS; the placard on the doorjamb of my C4 says " tire pressure is 30 psi unless you plan to run over 150 mph, then 35 psi is recommended".
I never looked at that. My tires are at 35psi. Will check out the doorjamb later today and and adjust accordingly.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sonic054 View Post
I never looked at that. My tires are at 35psi. Will check out the doorjamb later today and and adjust accordingly.
Thanks,
What do YOU find comfortable? Even if you are not autocrossing, there is no law to say you cannot do the shoe polish trick and see if you are rolling or not. I'd go lowest pressure before rolling for max comfort which could vary with tire. Now if you are drag racing or autocrossing, that is another issue altogether.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by aklim View Post
What do YOU find comfortable? Even if you are not autocrossing, there is no law to say you cannot do the shoe polish trick and see if you are rolling or not. I'd go lowest pressure before rolling for max comfort which could vary with tire. Now if you are drag racing or autocrossing, that is another issue altogether.
Just looking to improve the ride compared to what it is right now. Have only put 1,000 mile on the car since December 2016. Car has 103k miles on it which we got from the original owner. Previous owner had it sitting in the drive way since 2001.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:04 PM
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Do not put a POS shock on the car, go with a reputable brand.

If you want it firm and to feel planted, stick with the Bilsteins. Koni adjustables are also very good for that.

KYBs tend to give a "floatier" feeling, but they are good for a regularly driven car.

Shocks tend to fail at 75K or so, so simply replacing them will help how it feels to drive it.
You can also experiment with tire pressure to see if that helps you, though my experience is that a low pressure didn't.

If you are really intent on softening the ride, you will need to change the rear spring. It is the rear of the car that affects your ride more than the front.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sonic054 View Post
Just looking to improve the ride compared to what it is right now. Have only put 1,000 mile on the car since December 2016. Car has 103k miles on it which we got from the original owner. Previous owner had it sitting in the drive way since 2001.
Assuming he changed the shocks back in 01, its due to be changed. I'd start with 28 and see if it rolls around with you driving according to the shoe polish. Up it till it doesn't.
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