Stock springs and aftermarket shocks compatibility?

Hi all,
I'm still pretty new to 4WDing and I know little about the technical side of everything and need some advice.

I am planning to replace the suspension on my '09 Nissan X-Trail. I have found the shocks that I want (gas magnums from Monroe) with a larger bore than the stock to handle the corrugated roads I travel on.

My question is about the springs. Should I also replace the stock springs? I don't have a whole lot of money to spare, but I'm willing to fork out just a bit more for new springs if that's what I need.

What are the implications of keeping the stock springs and just getting new shocks? Is it doable?

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 20:12

Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 20:12
Nothing wrong with using stock springs with new shocks, Holly, as long as the springs are not sagging badly. Worn springs, especially coils, can eventually damage suspension, as well as increasing harshness if you're rattling over corrugated roads.

Any of the suspension outlets, King Springs, TJM, ARB, & others can supply you with new coils to match your driving, and the new shocks. Think coils are usually about $160-180/pair, plus fitting.

You'll notice a big difference with new coils, and Monroe shocks,

Good luck,

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 553552

Reply By: Member - Andrew - Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 20:37

Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 20:37
Springs keep the vehicle off the ground. Shocks control the springs.
If your vehicle is at normal height when loaded, that is not sagging at either end, then the stock softish springs will give you the most comfortable ride and best traction on dirt.
Aftermarket shocks are usually better quality than the originals meaning they will provide better control than standard. If you have a few miles on the original shocks you may notice quite an improvement.

If your vehicle is sagging when loaded you can use heavier springs to bring it back up, however this will give you a harsher ride unloaded.
If you do put heavier springs springs on you need stronger shocks to control them as it will overload stock shocks.

Shocks are a key part of coil suspensions like yours

I found the magnums ok on soft roaders. better than standard shocks but not quite the life and reliability of really good stuff like Bilstein and Koni. good value for money though.


AnswerID: 553554

Follow Up By: wholehog - Monday, May 11, 2015 at 12:29

Monday, May 11, 2015 at 12:29
x 2..well said. ;o)
FollowupID: 839468

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, May 11, 2015 at 13:01

Monday, May 11, 2015 at 13:01
I ran bilstein shocks on standard suspension for two years (with much better handling over standard shocks) and later upgraded the springs when I added winches, bullbar etc
FollowupID: 839469

Reply By: swampfox - Monday, May 11, 2015 at 22:49

Monday, May 11, 2015 at 22:49
Shocks and springs is a very loaded subject
Set the springs to carry the weight then add or subject capacity depending upon application
Set the shocks up for the given spring given the operating conditions for 90% time of its useage
Factor in the designers preference ,and this leaves u with a dilema .
Basically springs and shocks work as a package for a certain terrain conditions .
Eg Work 90s model triton
Lovells springs ,Monroe shocks better ,than stock but required more travel under on road conditions . Not the transformation I was hoping for . Suspension would only compress once u hit a gutter/drain at speed but any slower and the suspension was useless.[ Tried to gain a little comfort]


AnswerID: 553615

Reply By: kym111 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 21:04

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 21:04
Hi Holly
we have a Nissan Patrol, when we upgraded the suspension to tow an off-road caravan, we used Tough Dog springs with foam cell shocks (I think these were Tough Dog as well). These haven't let us down. We upgraded our springs to 200kg in the front and 400kg in the back, due to the weight of the carvan (down weight of the tow ball). It gave us a 2 inch lift, but when the van was hooked up, everything sat level. Our research indicated that the foam cell shockies were the best for lots of travel on corrugated roads.
Hope this helps a little.
AnswerID: 553656

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