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    Fellow Frogger! 207cc Sport's Avatar
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    Default Shock absorbers - redux . . .

    Recently, as some will remember, I replaced the shocks on The French Tart.

    Shocks have always been a conundrum with me.

    Things I know about shocks:

    They wear.
    They can wear at each corner differently.
    Recommended change every 50,000 kilometres.
    They can leak.
    Their bushes can perish.

    I’ve replaced shocks on only two other of my cars. An old EK Holden in the early 70’s. And the Red Jett at 66,000 kilometres.

    I remember as an 18-year-old feeling a snugness with the new shocks on the EK. It no longer wallowed and actually braked better.

    With the Red Jett, it was part of a total White Line package. Strut braces, camber, castor, rear sway bar, under chassis brace, etc.

    However, I have read that punters don’t notice a difference in handling, and some complain that the ride is hard after new shock fitted, even though it brought it back to spec when they purchased it brand new. Go figure. 'Nought as strange as folks . . .’

    I don’t really go for the 50,000 kilometres change and some shock testers actually fork-up your shocks.

    So, at 140,000 kilometres I replaced the shocks on the Tart. I took it to a ‘shock shop’ who replaced then, bleed brakes and did wheel alignment. I asked the Manager why people don’t get their shocks changed regularly. He replied, ‘They won’t pay the money’.

    OK. With the French Tart, I noticed an immediate change. Subtle as it was, well, it just was. Braking feels improved and a regular certain sweeping corner, I noticed less roll and unsteadiness. So, no I can take that sweeper faster and with confidence than before.

    My verdict: I recommend that you change your shocks at 100,000 or before.

    Cheers . . .

    Tart and Red Jett



    Red Jett's tyres:



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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shock absorbers - redux . . .-img_0338.jpg   Shock absorbers - redux . . .-sss-007b.jpg   Shock absorbers - redux . . .-toyo.jpg  
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    There were once Proxes on my quick little DS3. I hated the noise they made; reminded me of a Landrover.

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    Relaced original rear shocks on my D9, 406 which has just ticked over 110k. Bought them from reputed euro supplier in Sydney. My mechanic warned me they would be "harder" than original. He was right. The originals were leaking and dealer said replace them. Wise mechanic (not dealer)said that does not always mean they're not working. Thought I would put Bilstein on till I got a price. Could have bought another hdi with that money! Car rides harder and is certainly noisier....so not much gain apart from no leaks.....yet!

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    There were once Proxes on my quick little DS3. I hated the noise they made; reminded me of a Landrover.
    With the pod air-filer intake and rear Lukey zorst noise, I never hear the tyres . . .
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    I agree with you about dampers & the general under-rating of their importance for a car's dynamic "feel" & performance.

    Out of curiosity, what's the tyre size for the Nissan? I'd be astonished if one couldn't better the T1R on any set of performance disciplines one cared to name.

    cheers! Peter
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    I have changed shocks on my original 504 GL, from original to Koni Red adjustables. The difference for me was astounding, albeit we need to recognise that I went from a 20+ yr old unit to a high quality sport item. Having said that, I have a 406 HDI now with 210,000 on the clock and it is regularly serviced at a Peugeot specialist. I have specifically asked about replacing the shocks and the response is that the existing ones are fine, they do not leak, and the remember that Peugeot makes its own shocks, and so be careful not to throw away genuine items for (in many cases) inferior aftermarket units. I am in two minds because of this very point. The later point to note is that some 'genuine' parts these days are made to a lesser quality, which further confuses the issue. I kind of think here that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    I agree with you about dampers & the general under-rating of their importance for a car's dynamic "feel" & performance.

    Out of curiosity, what's the tyre size for the Nissan? I'd be astonished if one couldn't better the T1R on any set of performance disciplines one cared to name.

    cheers! Peter
    Hey Peter,

    Interesting that you ask . . .

    I cannot get this tyre size in Oz anywhere. Even from Toyo. Go figure?

    I have to get them from across the 'Ditch', Aukland, where Toyo does sell them. I have two extra stockpiled for the end of its life, Nissan now 27 years old.

    Size? rare as - 195/55/R14

    The Toyo T1R's are magic on the Red Jett.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by 207cc Sport; 4th April 2019 at 05:58 PM.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    Hmm! As you say, 195/55-14 is rare to the point of unobtainable.

    I am, however, a bit puzzled by your enthusiasm for the T1R. I know of no tests of them but the T1S which replaced it seems very poor in the wet. I realise that choice depends on one's priorities across performance parameters.

    Of course it's all relative. It is not a matter of how good a tyre is but how good it is on prioritised parameters compared to whatever rivals are available in your possible sizes. In your case, the main alternative possibility is 185/60 (same circumference as 195/55). Were you to be at all interested in prioritising wet grip, then the Dunlop FM800 seems worth thinking about.

    25 years? All of my 4 toys are fanged & the youngest is a "warm" '79 Moke (so: 40 years). You might have RJ longer than you think.

    I counsel caution about your stockpiled tyres. Usual rules of thumb about tyre age are that wet grip will be noticeably degraded at 5 years of age & the chances of structural failure (most notably tread belt separation) are much increased by 10 years of age. (These figures are premised on "warehouse" storage conditions.) Given that the T1R is an obsolescent type & 195/55 an orphan size, I wonder how old the newly bought tyres already were.

    cheers! Peter

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    I've only had limited experience with shocks. The first was on a 1977 504, this was in the early 90s. The back was so bad that even I could tell that they were shot.

    Got KYBs fitted, what a difference. The back sat on the ground, which meant that the power actually went thru the rear wheels. The difference was not just in comfort, but performance, and as mentioned in the first post, confidence.

    The other experience was less impressive. My early MI16 felt a bit choppy, so I took it to the well-known place that does fixed-price reports. The report was impressive, it had lots of squiggly lines on it and showed that in fact all around was worn, but not overly, and could do with new ones but did not actually need them.

    The good bit was, they found a minor leak in the front power steering, which I knew about, and wanted to know when to book it in to fix it. Yeah right, as if I would get them to do it.

    The bad bit was, they failed to notice that the rear cross beam was chopped out, not uncommon, giving a whole 1cm of movement. It is not clear how a bunch of alleged professional had missed this, and I would never go near them again. I found out when I took it to a specialist (who had fitted the KYBs) and he found it. Shoulda gone there first!

    There's so many parts to the suspension other than the shocks, it pays to stick with someone know knows French cars.
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    4cvg - Thanks for the feedback.

    I agree that the Toyo's are summer tyres. And as I only ever take out the Red Jett on dry days, the Toyo's are right on the money.

    Can you find another 195/55/R14 in Oz? The 185/60 has been suggested many times to me, but I wanted to keep the car in as original spec as possible. Many other Nissan N14 SSS owners upgraded to 15" wheels, after the 195/55/14 vanished. There is no way I will replace the original seven-spoke alloy wheels. The still look great, albeit a wee bit small these days.

    The 195/55 are a wee bit fatter too . . . which I like.

    I am storing the two spares in vacuum bags, low temp and in the dark. Yes, they will expire, but I need at least two on standby just in case . . .

    And after that? Well, I can get the 195/55/R14 tyres from Europe. But at $60 bucks each for freight, that may well be the only outcome.

    Stock tyre size for early Mazda MX-5, Lotus, Toyota, Nissan, Morgan, etc.

    The Red Jett came fitted stock with Bridgestone Potenza RE71 tyres. When they stopped, I used Dunlop Formula W1 Spec-R tyres, until they stopped. So I went for Toyo and have been delighted in their dry condition handling. But, as I mentioned, the Red Jett is crammed with White Line goodies as well. Pic below, shows a White Line front strut brace, plus a very warmed Nissan SR20DE engine.

    https://whitelineperformance.com



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shock absorbers - redux . . .-sss-002b.jpg   Shock absorbers - redux . . .-n14-sss.jpg   Shock absorbers - redux . . .-n14sssoz-spec.jpg  
    Last edited by 207cc Sport; 8th April 2019 at 02:18 PM.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    My experience on a 205 says the Koni front struts are inferior to the originals. However, I do have a pair of the larger size Koni Sport on the back and they are great for jumps etc in Motorsport but don't ride that well. The thin Koni Sport are too soft, the original Yugoslavia made APs (205 Si) are better. Don't understand why the Koni Sport are available in thick and thin versions?

    Quote Originally Posted by acf321 View Post
    I have changed shocks on my original 504 GL, from original to Koni Red adjustables. The difference for me was astounding, albeit we need to recognise that I went from a 20+ yr old unit to a high quality sport item. Having said that, I have a 406 HDI now with 210,000 on the clock and it is regularly serviced at a Peugeot specialist. I have specifically asked about replacing the shocks and the response is that the existing ones are fine, they do not leak, and the remember that Peugeot makes its own shocks, and so be careful not to throw away genuine items for (in many cases) inferior aftermarket units. I am in two minds because of this very point. The later point to note is that some 'genuine' parts these days are made to a lesser quality, which further confuses the issue. I kind of think here that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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    All noted. Enjoy!

    Personally, my most enjoyable "toy" times are on wet roads :-)

    I have fond memories of the RE71 (185/60-14 rears on rear-engined Renaults) as a nicely behaved wet tyre whose double-layer compound actually worked well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    My experience on a 205 says the Koni front struts are inferior to the originals. However, I do have a pair of the larger size Koni Sport on the back and they are great for jumps etc in Motorsport but don't ride that well. The thin Koni Sport are too soft, the original Yugoslavia made APs (205 Si) are better. Don't understand why the Koni Sport are available in thick and thin versions?
    Crazy, but I like it.

    I have Koni Reds on the front of the Red Jett (still strong), and the Koni Reds I had installed on the rear were immobile. They were rock solid - badly fitted I think. Fixed. Rears, now with Pedder Sports Ryders (note: Red Jett has struts on all corners).

    For the RCZ? Tyres due end of this year. And wot a size: 235/40/R19

    Quotes, so far: Michelin's at $427 each and Continentals at $345 each.

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    The RE71 tyres were top shelf then.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    235/40-19?

    Short list of 3:

    Michelin PS4 S
    Continental SC5
    Pirelli PZ4 (Sport)

    Not sure what you prioritise in performance disciplines for this application but a rough summary would be that the PS4 S is the crispest but prioritises dry handling over wet handling; the SC5 is decidedly less crisp but responsive to tyre pressure tuning & very good in the wet (a pity the SC6 is not available in your size) & the PZ4 S is a better all rounder than either.

    Browse the tests for each at:

    Tyres by Brand - Tyre Reviews

    Price-wise, Michelin have a current promotion going which includes the PS4 S (check the Bob Jane & Jax sites for prices, they're better than your quote). Given this, I'd favour the PS4 S (it's not as if it's a poor wet tyre; Michelin seem better now at compounding than was the case recently).

    That said, each of the 3 would satisfy I would think.

    cheers! Peter
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    Thanks Peter,

    Great suggestions. PS4 are too expensive for needs. I like 'em though.

    I'll be going for the Conti SC5's. And I am fastidious with tyre pressures. The RCZ comes with its own 12v tyre inflation compressor with gauge. For me: 38 psi front and 36 psi rears.

    The RCZ came stock with SC3's, so I'll continue the lineage . . .

    https://www.continental-tires.com/ca...isportcontact5

    I love my RCZ. Just as much as my Red Jett. Oh, hang on! I also love the French Tart, for its character.

    Cheers, Phil.
    Last edited by 207cc Sport; 10th April 2019 at 04:17 PM.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    Incidentally, the PZ4 in question is a Porsche-tailored N1. On the (disgracefully opaque to the punter OE variations) the following link might be of interest.

    How Tyres Change For OE Approval the P Zero Story - Tyre Reviews

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    Hi Alan, Thank you so much for this info.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    Peter, this is crazy info. I will look forward to studying that URL. My very first tyres were Pirelli, as I fondly look back in memory at my Holden EH 179 Premier. I believe they were Pirelli Cinturato . . . Circa 1970.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

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    One more thought on tyres & the 185/60 option: given your remarks about wet avoidance, why not a road friendly "track-day" style tyre? Of the few availablein this size, I'd choose Bridgestone's RE71R.

    https://www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/...orsport-re-71r

  22. #22
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    One more thought on tyres & the 185/60 option: given your remarks about wet avoidance, why not a road friendly "track-day" style tyre? Of the few availablein this size, I'd choose Bridgestone's RE71R.

    https://www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/...orsport-re-71r

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    One more thought on tyres & the 185/60 option: given your remarks about wet avoidance, why not a road friendly "track-day" style tyre? Of the few availablein this size, I'd choose Bridgestone's RE71R.

    https://www.bridgestonetyres.com.au/...orsport-re-71r
    Nice tyre. But I'm stuck on 195/55.

    Re wet avoidance? It's because I don't like the Red Jett getting wet at all - anywhere. It is housed and washed about three times per year.
    The French Tart… 207cc Sport THP150 and now a RCZ Mk2 THP200

  24. #24
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    OK, just a thought.

    So far in my life, I haven't washed a car (although my first wife chose to wash my Midget once in the early seventies). This is not, however, because I don't like my cars wet but more that I am comfortable with them being dirty.
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  25. #25
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    I'm fairly sure I washed one of the Scenics the year before last. I did wipe the sawdust carefully off the 4CV a month ago.
    JohnW

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