De Carbon shock absorbers
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default De Carbon shock absorbers

    On a recent browse through 'gumtree', I came across a listing by a guy at Penrith who is, or has been in the suspension business - email <[email protected]>, name is Murray King. He has 'De Carbon' shock absorbers in several makes, including Peugeot from early 70's 104, through 604, 504 and 505 (in the latter case must coincide with VIN numbers 1887751 and 1845000. These are very, very good shock absorbers, OEM on several European makes, including Alfa Romeo. They are not adjustable like Koni, and are gas units, from memory. His price is a flat $70, I assume for a pair, and I imagine there will be lots of gaps in the availability and they range from about 1971 models to 1985; other models could adapted no doubt. But worth following up if you are after cheap quality

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  2. #2
    WLB
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    I put De Carbon front struts on my 1800cc 504 daily driver in the early '80s for the same reason. It was a mistake.

    Unfortunately it's so long ago that I can't remember what the problem was; only that others agreed.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Binky's Avatar
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    Hmmm... that's interesting. I've had very good experiences with De Carbons in both 404 and 504 applications. I even know a couple of people who prefer them over Konis...

    I'll be making enquiries nonetheless!

    Thanks for the heads up 306cabmad

  4. #4
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    I've heard that De Carbons are the best thing after genuine Pug. I have no experience myselft though.
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



  5. #5
    WLB
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    That was my belief at the time too. That's why I bought them.

    I've been trying to remember. I think it may have been that they didn't last long, and I think it may have been Colin at Alpine Affair who said he wasn't surprised. But it was 25 years ago.

  6. #6
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    They are crap, they fall apart in no time, even after normal use. A friend made the mistake of entering a gravel rally with them. The fronts did not last a stage, the rears made it through two of them.

    I always thought that Monroe were the worst, but deCarbon's surpassed them. The other fragile fronts are Kayaba's (KYB's), everyone who's had them tossed them before the year mark.

    I have had good experience with oil Konis and the Bilsteins have been amazing. But even with Bilsteins we see a drop in chroming quality in the most recent components.
    Last edited by Thanos; 4th October 2011 at 12:14 AM.

  7. #7
    pur-john, not pew-john! peujohn's Avatar
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    I guess I'll keep away from them!
    John W

    1979 Peugeot 504 GTI 2.2 litre 5 speed - 72 kW at the wheels

    1974 Peugeot 504 TI
    - now on the road

    2009 Peugeot 407 HDI wagon - family car

    Previous: 2005 407 HDI manual sedan, 1980 504 GL, 1990 405 Mi16, 1977 504 GL Special, 1984 505 SRD Turbo



  8. #8
    WLB
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    Thanos,

    Where does their reputation come from then? I bought them 25 years ago because they were generally considered to be among the best for Pugs. Has it just been a long decline in quality which was beginning back then?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB View Post
    Thanos, Where does their reputation come from then?
    I have no idea, you are looking at a fellow victim. I was so excited when I found them that I bought three complete sets. One is still in storage, I won't even gift them to somebody wiith a warning.

    Good marketing, I guess, or perhaps the oil shocks were quite good but the gas units are not but still ride that wave.

  10. #10
    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    I was so excited when I found them.
    Yes - me too !!


    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
    Good marketing, I guess, or perhaps the oil shocks were quite good but the gas units are not but still ride that wave.
    That could be it.
    I remember reading an article in one of our car mags in the '70s (when car mags were written by motoring journalists and were worth reading .... I must be getting old) and they were discussing Peugeot's ability to give a soft and comfortable ride without sacrificing good handling and roadholding with the 404 and 504. They concluded that is was because Peugeot, probably alone amongst car manufacturers, designed and made their own shock absorbers and seats.

  11. #11
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    As I said on the other thread on this topic I have and am using them and have been completely happy. Early on I had "safari" ones and they were great but even the ones in the current rally car seem fine having done two long rallies with no issues (a total of more than 10,000kms). I've had the odd failure but given what I used them for I thought that acceptable - 3 attempts at the Australian Safari (Dakar like 4WD event) in a highly modified 504, the last in 1992, a successful 9,000km run.

    The ones available in the early 80s were crap and gave pug owners a "bad taste", so maybe the bad experiences come from those?

    If it comes to failures I had a bad experience with Konis in the late 70s and haven't used them since. I'd use Bilsteins but they aren't always available.

    Cheers

    Jim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    As I said on the other thread on this topic I have and am using them and have been completely happy. Early on I had "safari" ones and they were great but even the ones in the current rally car seem fine having done two long rallies with no issues (a total of more than 10,000kms). I've had the odd failure but given what I used them for I thought that acceptable - 3 attempts at the Australian Safari (Dakar like 4WD event) in a highly modified 504, the last in 1992, a successful 9,000km run.

    The ones available in the early 80s were crap and gave pug owners a "bad taste", so maybe the bad experiences come from those?

    If it comes to failures I had a bad experience with Konis in the late 70s and haven't used them since. I'd use Bilsteins but they aren't always available.

    Cheers

    Jim

    I've had a pretty good run out of the fronts, but a couple have failed. When this happens the car sits very high on that side for some reason.

    The rears are utter crap from new WAY too soft even for touring both in 404 and 504 form.
    The exception to this is the super Africa model which was too hard to begin with but ran in nicely and then was indestructable.
    Graham

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    I've had a pretty good run out of the fronts, but a couple have failed. When this happens the car sits very high on that side for some reason.

    The rears are utter crap from new WAY too soft even for touring both in 404 and 504 form.
    The exception to this is the super Africa model which was too hard to begin with but ran in nicely and then was indestructable.
    Graham
    Yeah, we've had this conversation before on the other thread. I am probably still using "safari" rears which by now are run in.

    You are right when they go they sit high. I've always thought this is a result of loosing gas/fluid from the top half of the cylinder, letting the bottom take command?

    De Carbon and Bilstein feel the closest to standard pug shocks (which you guys tend to use anyhow) with most other performance ones feeling hard rather than progressive.

    Jim

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    I am probably still using "safari" rears which by now are run in.
    It seems that their reputation is based on them, not the standard units. But be that as it may, it seems that personal experience on deCarbon shocks varies, this generally means that their are not all manufactured to the same quality. So buying a set becomes a bit of a crapshoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    You are right when they go they sit high. I've always thought this is a result of loosing gas/fluid from the top half of the cylinder, letting the bottom take command?
    Mine failed while heating a curb too hard duting a track day, the front pogo'd into the next turn and when I pulled over one side was, as you both mentioned, too high. When we disassembled the strut we saw that the bottom brass-colored plug had come of and the shaft could be moved up and down for the full travel distance but it was around 30 mm higher than the original position and could not be forced all the way down.

    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    De Carbon and Bilstein feel the closest to standard pug shocks (which you guys tend to use anyhow) with most other performance ones feeling hard rather than progressive.
    Peugeot Sport shocks for the 504/505 had a very low bump rate to they were easy to push down, but a rebound rate sufficient to restrain the spring from expanding too abruptly. For example a 240 lbs/inch rear spring generally requires a bump rate of 200 lbs/inch and a rebound rate of 300 lbs inch (200/300) which not coincidentally was the rate Bilstein used for the 504/505. Peugeot Sport rates are 140/300 so it took only 65% of the force to push down and the car felt smooth, but recoil was controlled just as efficiently.
    Quote Originally Posted by pug303 View Post
    Bilstein feel the closest to standard pug shocks ..
    I am afraid that even with them we will start seeing problems with some frequency. The GTi Race shocks I got for my 306 failed after 5000 km of everyday use; one of the rear shocks lost chrome and started leaking. The shock fabricator that produced our latest group buy actually returned the Bilstein components because he was not satisfied with their chroming quality and used PWRC-spec components. Up until now we have been using Bilsteins with excellent results but we will be scrutinizing everything new very carefully.
    I believe manufacturers are feeling the pressure to produce at a competitive price and are relaxing their standards or use lower cost labor with the expected results.

  15. #15
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    Very comprehensive analysis Thanos.

    It seems as you say there is inconsistency in manfacture resulting in "russian roulette" in terms of what you may receive. I've been lucky!

    Cheers

    Jim

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