Shock absorbers/ dampers - yes again!

A few years ago I removed my old shocks and fitted a set of new Boge. I can’t remember if they were German or Turkish but since I knew I wanted German I suspect that’s what they are.

The handling improved but the ride deteriorated. It’s very harsh and feels every bump (tyres @ 32psi all round and mounts all OK). I have decided I have had enough of that harsh ride. I know that the topic of ‘what shock is recommended’ has come up many times and have checked the archives but most info. seems a few years old. It is also, of course, a matter of personal taste so there’s lots of contradictory answers.

So, one more time: if I want a smooth ride, good but not racing handling and I don’t want to break the bank. What should I be looking for nowadays?



I’ve always found good results with KYB Gas-a-justs.

How many shocks you going to replace front and rear? I purchased some shocks for my 72 xj6 from a company which I think I paid less then 150 for all six and I’m quite impressed I also have new set of boge old stock but decided on China shocks but KYB also made in china… I’ll look tomorrow and send you pic of receipt and you can decide. I drive my car daily to work 50 miles round trip for over year and they handle very well. Let me know if you would like info they are a of brand has advertised but found a stamp on them I think was sensen! I’ll check.

Hmm, I guess it’s all relative. My XJ-S had the original Boge all around. I’ve since upgraded to Bilstein, and really like the improved handling and firmer ride. But it’s not harsh.

Boge are about the softest choice I know. If you’re still having issues, I’d check your bushings.

I’m prepared to replace all 6 if I have to. Yes, I’d be interested in knowing what yours are. I have seen Sensen advertised on the internet but had my doubts since they were made in China (but what isn’t made there these days).


Greg. Thanks. Maybe your originals may have been Boge made in Germany and possibly, although I thought they were, mine are not. I need to take another look at them. The shock bushings were all replaced when I put the Boges on. I have since replaced the upper bushings on the front ones to see if that was the problem but it made no difference.


I have Boge on the rear and KYB on the fronts ('72XJ6). All replaced in the last 3 years. I put a full kit of bushes in the front late last year - including the four subframe mounting bushes. Ride and handling are excellent. I do rather like the KYB’s on the front (made in Japan). Paul

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Boge has generally been a favorite choice. I’ve always been happy with them. I’ve found them to actually be a bit on the soft side of the scale.

But here’s a story that coincides with David’s “very harsh” complaint…

Some time ago, probably 15-18 years, a fellow Jaglover offered four virtually new Bogs rear shocks for sale. He said they were way too harsh and only had them on the car a few days. Assuming that he was just a bit over sensitive, and considering my previous good luck with Boge, I bought them.

He was right. They were very firm.

Long story short I did some digging and determined that, at that time, Boge offered a ‘sport’ version of the Jag shocks. I suspect that these were the sport version, ordered inadvertently.

There might be some of these sport versions still floating around? I dunno. Just a thought.


I bought a set of Sensen shocks at a flea. They are bad. I won’t use them. All gas shocks expand, these don’t at all.


Has anyone here tried Koni shocks on their Jag? Were you happy with them?

A million years ago Konis were the shock absorber, remember? That’s what the big boys and cool guys used. Ordinary people couldn’t afford 'em, though. I’ve talked myself out of buying them many times.

But, damnit to hell, for once, just once in my life I’d like to have a set of Koni shocks! Now that I’m getting older it might be time put a crowbar in my wallet and take the plunge.


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Hahaha! That what I thought. When I got my 71 in the mid-eighties, I immediately fit Koni red adjustables all around (along with a set of P5s, which I also though were cool). When that car became fully oxidized I replaced it with my current 73. The PO had fit the same Koni reds in front, but with springs which I believe are XJ12. The front sits very high and the ride fully lacks “grace.” I purchased the same Koni rear shocks as I had before, but I’m embarrassed to say I fit only one side; the other is still factory Boge. Time flies!

Anyway, Doug, I can’t really answer your question. I am NOT happy with the too-stiff front, but then I have the wrong springs. And I honestly can’t remember what I thought of the front Konis I fitted to my 71 (along with new factory springs). I think I liked them, but there wasn’t a direct comparison because I replaced springs and shocks at the same time. And I can’t say anything about the rear either. I don’t notice any difference between four Boges and four Konis (the 71) or four Boges and 2 Boge / 2 Koni (the 73). I should mention that on all Konis I’ve set the stiffness towards the soft side, but I don’t know where the PO set the front ones on my 73.

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I’ve put the yellow adjustable Koni’s on my Volvos, and they are perfect. (Boges were too soft, and Bilsteins too harsh) The high setting is way too hard. The soft setting is great for street, and the medium setting for a bit of performance on street. But after four years, they started leaking on me from the adjustable part.

I have since switched to Koni’s new shock, the STR.T, the orange one. They are not adjustable, and a bit cheaper. They are equal to the lower setting on the Koni yellows. They are awesome! Too bad they are not available for the Jaguars, yet?

But I’m having a great ride with Bilsteins in my XJ-S. Maybe because it’s heavier, or probably because it has a much better suspension than Volvo. But I really like the handling, yet the ride is not too harsh, although I’m not one for the float/boat ride.

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I had a Triumph Dolomite Sprint in my twenties. It had adjustable red Konis (made in Holland). They could be dismantled and set using a big pin spanner. Great for a twenty something with no fillings. My e type has 6 Koni Classics, I like them very much (coloured black). Lots of the E guys rubbish Konis but I’m sure they’ve experienced the firmer variants. Paul

Hi David - since you’re having issues with new shockies, could the tyres be contributing to the problem? My car (which will be getting new tyres once it’s back on the road) has a very harsh ride, but I know the tyres are old and hard. Tyres at the end of their wear life can ride harshly as well.

That’s a keeper…:grimacing:

I will post tommorow!

Thanks everyone. I am still researching and seeking input.

One thing I did find in the 1974 XJ brochure on the old site is that the original equipment was ‘Girling Monotube Dampers’. It doesn’t mention if they were gas-filled or otherwise. I guess that means I should probably not fit Twintube types although it seems others have without problems.


All shock absorbers do the same thing, David. While the construction varies; they may be hard or soft to suit - the manufacturers may have some bearing on longevity…

Jaguar may have selected the shock based on experience, trial and error - with a side glance on price. Quality at the time was assumed as a matter of brand tust…?

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)