We were working on the front end of the Mk2 and noticed the shocks were completely ruined. You could easily push them in and out without and resistance. I had to put them back in temporarily, as I did not, at that point have replacements. After a lot of looking around and forum suggestions I ordered 4 Koni from Summit Racing here in the USA. Oddly, they only had one in stock and the other 3 would be drop shipped from Koni. After over two months of waiting, I cancelled the order and ordered 4 Woodhead shocks from Welsh Jaguar.
As things would go, Summit did not process my cancellation order and the three will be here in two days. They have sent me a prepaid return label and will issue a refund later. It’s always something. (Put that on my gravestone)!
Here’s two questions: I find it unusual that these shocks only lasted about seven years and less the 10,000 miles. I will check the brand when Angela replaces all four this weekend. She is the magical mechanic. I will add the brand name to this thread later.
Secondly, my US car mechanic noted that I should keep the shocks upright for several days and then pump them in and out several times before installation. His thoughts were that the vendor stores them flat and the oil would not be properly distributed into the pistons. Perhaps this is why my last set died on me? I know that refrigerators should never be laid flat, but have never heard of this procedure. Nevertheless, I do have them resting upright waiting for the weekend to put the car on the lift.
How much will these new shocks affect handling? We changed coil springs, upper and lower ball joints and the tie rod ends seem good still. Just those changes alone; albeit with the crap shocks made a huge difference. The tie rod ends wold be an easy fix later on. I am going to take the car to an “old school” alignment guy who understands more than just matching numbers on an alignment machine.
Any and all thoughts welcome.
Gerard in Loveland, Colorado
When I bought my Mk2 it had an essentially brand new set of Gaz adjustable shocks front and rear.
The car’s suspension was awful and I spent a lot of time and effort trying to improve it.
It finally transpired that the new shocks were shot. A new set of Konis transformed the car.
I have no experience with Woodhead; they seem to have been adopted by the Usuals to replace Boge.
What your mechanic says makes sense although I have never done this. Air bubbles would probably settle out fairly quickly once fitted.
I had the GAZ adjustable 18 position shocks and I hated the ride. It was harsh and very unlike I remember the car as a child. Perhaps they were more designed to racing. As soon as I pull these shocks. I will post a link to a video of how collapsed they are.
Welsh no longer sells BOGE so these are more than likely a similar replacement.
I had the opposite problem; inadequate damping even on the hardest setting.
I have never been a great fan of Konis. I think they are very expensive for what you get. I only bought them because at the time they were the only available option.
Woodhead is an old brand that has been resurrected. They are manufactured in Turkey. AFAIK they are not adjustable. I have not used them.
The Koni’s were $160 USD each from Summit racing in the USA with free shipping as the order was over $99.
The Woodheads per $160 PER PAIR plus $23 shipping. They were here in 3 days to Colorado.
I suppose I could keep both sets and go with what works best. That would entail extra money and labor I’m just not up for!
I went for the GAZ adjustable , and am very pleased with them , with the uprated spring’s and 215 tyres I can go around corners at great speed , and not ending up on the other side of the road
Have this bolted on the back , only because I see it on e-bay for £100
How many clicks from the bottom, did you set them to?
(You begin by turning the knob CCW to the bottom, then CW to xxx clicks)
I don’t have the GAZ anymore and if I recall correctly they were set to the softest setting.
Could you provide the part number and difficulty of installation and perhaps a different angle of the sway/stabilizer bar.
I added this to the GTO which might be very similar to your piece
As an afterthought, I recall that turning that little knob is a big hassle. One has to reach through the front coil springs. Getting the right tool might be beneficial if it fit over the knob. I think also that the car had to be lifted to expand the coils to get to that knob.
The GAZ shocks are the same to fit as the Origanal shocks , just bolt straight on !
I started off with the settings in the middle , back and front , but the back was way too hard , the back was bouncing down the road .
Think I have them on the 4th softest setting , you just have to count the clicks , start off going from the lowest to high , counting the clicks , then just count the clicks on each shock , to get them the same , make a note of the number , and turn left or right !
It is very easy to adjust the shocks , no special tool needed , just a screwdriver , you can even do it on the side of the road , so you can do a test run , on a road , adjust , then drive the road again and see the diffrence !
Ken Jenkins advice
“Gaz adjustable shocks 6 clicks front 5 clicks rear”
I think in most cases, adjustable shocks/dampers were designed for aggressive suspension setup. I have used both Koni and Spax adjustables and have had to set them on the lowest setting. As I get older, Im doing more “touring” than “racing” so a smoother ride is more or a priority.
So we made he YouTube video for your examination. All comments welcome. Curious why the Koni had the little burp at the compression stroke. These all had sat upright for two days and pumped in and out numerous times before this test. We re-installed the original Boge shockers.
I could be wrong about this, but iirc the original shocks were Woodhead. I certainly have a pair of replacement NOS Woodheads for my S type that I’ve had for many years now.
It’s been so long since I changed to GAZ ; perhaps over ten years. I suffered with them for so long and I was not the one who installed the GAZ. He was a reputable Jaguar Guru. I sold the GAZ to a fellow forum member, and installed the Boge as they were available at that time.
I’ll take her out for some hard driving and see how things go. I did notice a big difference once the upper and lower ball joints and the springs were changed. Tie rod ends seem acceptable.
Someone mentioned that old shocks fluid starts to deteriorate and they don’t function correctly. Is this true?
It’s just regular oil, the stuff in your engine has a much harder life. Should not be a concern unless the mileage is very high or they’ve been used very hard.
High road speed, hard cornering and/or track use are not usually very hard on dampers because they’re not stroking at high load or frequency. Surfaces like cobblestones or ridged concrete are much tougher because they have repeated sharp loads that put a lot of energy into the damper in a short time, even at moderate road speed.
There is no need to take special action such as standing the damper upright for a long period after it’s been lying horizontal - stroking it through its travel a couple of times will get oil where it needs to be. You could fit it straight out of the box, it would be primed and functioning correctly before you get to the end of the road.
Are the dampers the correct way up in your floor tests? Twin tube dampers, as these appear to be, won’t work upside down, the fluid won’t flow correctly.
We tried them both ways.They correctly oriented
I have reservations about aftermarket dampers, for a few reasons.
dampers aimed at the performance aftermarket tend to have a stiffer setting than the original part, perhaps so the buyer can feel he got value from his purchase. That may not enhance the supple charm of a Jaguar
adjustable dampers are typically sold with a “universal” valve spec, chosen to be sort-of suitable for the wide range of cars and trucks it might find it way onto. OK-ish for many, ideal for few or none. You get to do the supplier’s adjustment work, at extra cost!
the external adjuster mechanism makes a crude attempt to modify a small part of the damper performance (force-velocity) curve. It’s not a full substitute for the painstaking process in which manufacturers spend weeks of road and track time finely adjusting their parts for production cars
I would personally go for OE parts if available. (Speaking with the inherent bias of one who used to do OE damper tuning for a living).