Shock absorber changes in the field (desert)

Submitted: Monday, Nov 07, 2016 at 22:30
ThreadID: 133735 Views:4568 Replies:20 FollowUps:44
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After doing much research (probably too much), I have scared myself silly. I may have to carry a set of shocks absorbers, front and rear for my Mitsubishi ML Triton dual cab while travelling the Canning Stock Route. Not only that, I think I may need to know how to replace the front ones where the shock sits inside the coil spring.

Failing shocks is number 1 enemy as stated by a resident mechanic along the track. (Mercedes needed to fly some in from Perth I saw on a U tube video). Because of the weight and quantity of fuel, water and tucker, I shall be so heavy and now 4 shocks as well - where does it all end ? Even before I get to this, track, I will have done The Plenty and the Great Central Road.

Am I in over-kill mode? , do I need to have a university degree or heaps of specialised tools like spring compressers etc. ? Any pointers in the right direction would be most helpfull.

I don't wish to way anyone down - BUT. Am seeking a travel buddy(s) (in own vehicle) to hook up with for mutual support. I am not a first-timer, have done Savannah Way, Cape York, Simmo (twice), Hay River, Flinders etc. and have Sat. phone, and most recovery gear bar winch. Leaving East coast early May, via Isa, Alice, GCR, Canning, then turning East at Halls Creek. ETA Wiluna ~ mid May - all times flexible
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Reply By: ian - Monday, Nov 07, 2016 at 23:19

Monday, Nov 07, 2016 at 23:19
Hi triton man,
maybe you are over-thinking it a bit. If u r concerned, replace your shockers before you go with good quality strong after-market shocks. I have flogged my Koni shockers for 120,000 kms without a whimper from them. Or, you could take your time and spare your current shockers the grief of going too fast
ian.
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Follow Up By: Gundarooster - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:38

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:38
Hi There,
I fitted Koni's to my new GU4 and now it has 235000km on it. Six months ago I had the GVM upgraded to 3500kgs and the shocks were examined and are fine.
So I's suggest you fit a set of Koni's before you go!
Gazza
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:40

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:40
Thanks guys, what a wealth of information lies out there with such enthusiastic 4WD drivers such as yourselves. There are 2 things I did not know, (among other things) is that (1) the vehicle is still drivable and (2) that speed is the killer. As a matter of fact I only changed them about 50,000 kilometres ago with "Lovells". As I am going a dam long way to get there to Wiluna to start the track, there is NO way I am going to speed and race thru the CSR. I plan to take it easy and stay cool.

Thanks Gazza and Ian
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 00:25

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 00:25
.
Hi T.M.,

I do carry spare shockers because I do go extensively into remote locations and over atrocious tracks.

But bear in mind that the failure of a shocker does not in itself render the vehicle un-drivable. Provided that you compensate and drive appropriately, you can continue to a place where assistance may be obtained.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:18

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:18
We broke a rear one in the Simpson, Allan. Couldn't get it off, even with the impact driver. So tied it up and drove home a little slower and a little more bouncier! I had done this with the Kingswood a couple of times a few years ago. (where we took that car would shock people these days) It's not difficult you just do everything earlier and slower.

But it would have been nice to have changed it. Even had one in the back.

Changed mechanics after that.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:16

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:16
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G'day Phil, I have had two total failures that were not ride-apparent. They only were detected by inspection. The Troopy ride is so rough that a suspension component failure does not make it worse!

The whole vehicle gets a thorough mechanic's inspection prior to a trek but it would seem that shockers do not always reveal an impending failure.

Anyway, I am about to fit Koni's all round and hope that will provide an improved reliability, and maybe even improved ride performance. One can only dream?
Cheers
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:34

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:34
Our breakage was the shaft itself that snapped near the top of the shockie.

The shaft snapped through metal fatigue. In our car the top and bottom of the shocks are not vertically aligned and we allow the flexibility in the rubber etc bushes to take up any sideways movement. The bolts must have been tightened with a rattle gun. Three runs of the 12V impact wrench to flat to get the bottom nut off. Three recharges and almost flat!!!! If the stupid mechanics tighten these two mounts too much as they did with us, then the bushes lose their flexibility and the shaft tries to bend to take up that horizontal movement. That's how the shafts snapped. They had to cut the topnut off with the oxy set.

Apart from a broken shaft the Bilsteins are still my preferred shockies. It wasn't a fault with the Bilstein.

The mechanics don't like it when you say "Don't tighten everything with the rattle guns etc". Bad bloody luck. If the book states a tension then that is how I want it. And the place I go to is fine with that.

Lets face it mate, as solo travellers, we rely on the cars to bring us home more so than just to get us there. We didn't see anyone on the Madigan between Old Andado and the Hay River track. Five days and not a soul.

Going back to Bilsteins after a set of old man emu's.

Phil
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:10

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:10
Horror of horrors ... I've found a mechanical business that sells tyres ( and does a good price), employs qualified mechanics to do wheel alignments and they use a torque wrench to tighten wheel nuts .

cheers
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 07:55

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 07:55
Now THAT IS RARE
Phil
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Reply By: Tony G15 - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 06:07

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 06:07
Our last trip down the CSR, I carred new rear shocks for the GU, but never needed them. Allow plenty of stops for shocks to cool, don't drive to fast and you should be ok. Have done the CSR twice, and never had to replace a shock.
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Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 11:30

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 11:30
As Tony has pointed out "Plenty of stops for Shocks to Cool"
We saw the extreme amounts lining the track in 2011, and almost all failures were caused by excessive heat.
I carried a spare set complete, and only served as extra weight to carry, but new ones fitted prior to leaving certainly is the better way to go.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:50

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:50
Thanks Flighty, good advice and I will be following that. Did you fit Konis or are the Lovells good enough, I think I bought on price, not on quality. I am a klittle older and wiser now. I did rest my shockies on the Simmo, who wants to end a good ride ???

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Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 10:32

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 10:32
I fitted a "constant load" iron man 2" lift kit to my vehicle prior to trip, and found it quite good.
Really wasn't interested in spending the "big bucks" on big name brands, and found for the constant heavy nature of my vehicle this system fits my needs very well.
Like everyone, we all have different preference's to vehicle equipment when fitting them out for such a trek.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:14

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:14
Triton Man

You could carry one front and rear. As noted above, check out the suspension before you go and replace shocks in need.

Your greatest defence against suspension failures in remote areas and on rough tracks is to drive the vehicle in a way appropriate to your load and track (read slow down) and check and tighten bolts every other day.

Most suspension failures occur due to either a lack of pre-trip preparation and inappropriate speeds over corrugations - or both!

In terms of our vehicle weight, I suggest you do a couple of reviews over time of the gear you are taking, usually on reflection you will find plenty of items you can discard before you go...

Enjoy your trip...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:57

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:57
Baz,

Think I got the weight right, I observed after doing the Simpson twice and away from home for 4 weeks, we were the ONLY vehicle that did not have roof racks or a trailer. All our goodies were in the rear tub and straight canopy and the converted back seat. This trip we anticipate 9 Gerry's of diesel from Wiluna to Halls creek plus main tank of 75 litres for 255 litres all-up. Oops, forgot the beer and water. Leaving the gas BBQ, the LPG gas bottle and the camp oven at home, just take the BBQ plate, not the whole device.

Other replies confirm your experience, will be travelling NOT to a timetable.

Thanks Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 13:18

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 13:18
Baz is right and yet......

Travelled the CSR in 2013 in a 83 HJ47. I took the trouble of replacing all my shocks before the trip with a new set of OME's and took a spare for front & rear from the best of the replaced shocks. Should be fine I thought.

Nope ! - snapped 3 of the buggers, all where the top mount joins to the outer bell housing. Both front & rear (so it wasn't load). Wound up doing the last 300 k's with no shock (not a big issue as the the HJ has heavy duty leaf springs). Replaced one at great expense in Kunnanurra .... when I got home could only find receipts for 2 of them. After a lot of arguing I only got 2 replaced. Found out on the web that other OME users were having the same problem .... sh*t quality batch from somewhere in SE Asia....

Wound up replacing them all with KONI's - haven't looked back/
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 20:18

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 20:18
Thanks Scott,

What a bummer, everyone raves about Koni, seems the way to go. I suppose the old ones you put back on survived the balance of the trip.

Triton man
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Nov 11, 2016 at 02:14

Friday, Nov 11, 2016 at 02:14
Yep - the replacements survived, however after that I was over OME's.

One of the advantages of Koni's is they're rebuildable
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Nov 11, 2016 at 11:52

Friday, Nov 11, 2016 at 11:52
Any shock is rebuildable, just some aren't worth even thinking about it.
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Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:57

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 08:57
What suspension do you have now , is it still std or has it been changed , std shocks are very prone to failure on corrugated roads .

I would be more worried about overloading the Triton and breaking it in half .
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:02

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:02
Hi Jackolux,

Suspension is stock standard with all 4 shocks replaced about 50,000 kilometres ago, from originals to "Lovells" and that's all. I do have thorough checks pre and post trips and have had no problems. Biggest load will be 9 gerrys with 180 litres over the rear axle from Wiluna and decreasing weight as fuel is burned. Will be going extra extra carefull setting out whilst at heaviest stage.

Thanks Jckolux
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:05

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:05
replacing shock absorbers is not a difficult job.

Most of the shock absorbers that are inside coil springs on cars load from the bottom.
Bolts up into the lower wishbone from below and the top fixing bolt from above.
It does mean you have to get the front end quite a bit off the ground to allow withdrawal and insertion of the shock.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:53

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:53
You have to remove the whole strut and would need a spring compressor.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:05

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:05
Thanks Bantam and Jackolux, I have decided not to carry the shocks, carefull driving or getting som good shocks on at start will be my comforter. Jackolux, I did use a spring compressor on my last change from originals to Lovells about 2 years ago, lucky me, my mate has a 3 phase electric hoist in his garage so I had room to move.

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:16

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:16
If you have a strut suspension ( was thinking of whishbone) ..... you realy have no option but to carry a complete strut with the spring fitted ...... hopefully it is a manufacturer that uses interchangable (left for right) struts.

It is far from uncommon for some of the 4wd strut systems to fail at the bottom link, between the shockabsorber housing and the bottom pivot point ...... it that happens you ain't limping home. ya dealing with a complete suspension colapse.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:01

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:01
Thanks Bantum, I follow what you say, would have to off-load beer to take coils and springs for both sides. Carrying the extra weight may just be the straw that broke the camels back (read strut / spring).

I'll stick to the XXXX !!!!!!
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Reply By: B1B2 - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:55

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 09:55
Triton Man,
I have melted the bushes on my front suspension on the CSR. A lot of the driving on corrugations requires speed.
Have a practice at removing a shock absorber at home. The No1 thing I have done is get rid of the nylox nuts and fit 2 lock nuts. It can be very difficult to undo a nylox nut as you need to hold the shock absorber from turning - not easy even at home.
The styrene type bush is best for the corrugations. I did carry a spare front and rear shocker as well as bushes.
Enjoy the trip.


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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 12:11

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 12:11
Whilst respecting your viewpoint, I believe going too fast on corrugations is the number 1 suspension killer.

And damage due to speed on corrugated roads won't be limited to suspension, plenty of other things one can damage or crack due to the forces and vibrations created by corrugations.

I've done plenty of outback driving, both on and off-track on heavily corrugated roads and have never suffered a suspension problem once.

Slow down, and give the shocks time to cool regularly...it will be your best defence against any problems, including melted bushes!

My take on it in any case...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 12:49

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 12:49
.
I agree with you Baz.

Travelling at increased speed over corrugations may result in an apparent more comfortable ride as the vehicle body does not respond to the increased frequency of the wheel & axle oscillations. However, those oscillations continue on the suspension at the increased frequency and with greater energy.

I am not surprised that B1B2 melted the bushes on his front suspension.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:13

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:13
Holy sheet,

Melting the bushes is serious stuff but for comfort and other possible damage, I will be taking it easy. I do get frustrated with corrugations day after day but hey, that's the name of the game out there. Thanks for your input B1B2, it has been noted but I must go with Allan and The Landy on this one. Yes, I have changed shocks at home, would hate to do it trackside sooooo, prevention is better than cure.

Triton man
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:07

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:07
Fit Koni shocks, they're built for it.

As one guru said, shocks are devices for converting motion to heat.

On long corrugations the average unit can't dissipate the heat fast enough for long enough. Even if the shock doesn't fail catastrophically excess heat trashes the oil and shortens the service life.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:17

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:17
Thanks Sigmund,

This is about the 4th time I have been recommended to fit Koni so they must be good stuff. Will seriously look at this well before I go.

It is great to get sound advice repeated by others, saves me re-inventing the wheel.

Triton man
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 03:53

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 03:53
Yeah. Common advice from 4wd suspension specialists.

I'm p'd off cos they aren't made for my wagon. Basic aftermarket shocks (2 sets now) have had a 25% early failure rate in the rough stuff.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:48

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:48
What are you driving, a Mahindra or a Great Wall ??
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:57

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:57
No, an Isuzu MU-X.

Disappointing.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 08:52

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 08:52
Hmmm, never had them but never heard a bad word about them. My Triton has only bush kisses all over it, would shudder to get a new one all messed up
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Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:19

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 13:19
If you are worried, change out the shocks before you leave and carry the rear ones as spares.
I'd also make sure your springs are up to the load. The springs carry the weight and if they are not up to the job, then the shocks have to work so much harder through a much longer stroke to control the movement. Stiffer springs that don't allow the vehicle to oscillate up and down, or regularly bottom out, will allow the shocks to cope much better.

I replaced the the front springs on my BT50 (similar setup) and if you have heavier springs fitted, then taking the strut assembly out and replacing the shock adsorber component, then it isn't something I would want to do track-side. It was a real struggle to compress the spring and failure of a spring compressor could easily result in the loss of fingers.
I had 3 x h/duty spring compressors on there and they ended up in the bin after as I had no confidence they would safely do the job again.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:23

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:23
There's one good thing about the Troopy Hoyks........ in fact the entire 70 Series.
The front shockers are outside the coil springs. Remove the wheel and you have easy access.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 17:48

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 17:48
Same with my Terrano II, Courier and HJ45.

Nothing is easy to work on with this new vehicle though.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:22

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:22
Thanks Hoyks and Allan again, another suggestion to follow through on, the rears on the Triton were a piece of pi$$ to change, the fronts within the coil springs was scary, I agree with the spring compressors, what a scary tool to work with.

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:53

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 14:53
Mick Hutton (Beadell Tours) has written a comprehensive article about shock absorbers with the focus on Koni brand. (Click here)
I know Mick and place great trust in his experience, knowledge and skills.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:26

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:26
Thanks for the link Allan, had a quick read, will go back to it later but very detailed indeed. I will shop no further than Koni.

Triton man
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Reply By: rumpig - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 19:21

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 19:21
Talk has it that Mercedes needed more shocks flown in due to the speed they tried to traverse the CSR in, so i wouldn't be concerned with that in relation to your travels.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:31

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:31
Thanks rumpig, you obviously saw the same video clip as I did and I concur, they could not give a $hit, I need my dual cab to get me back home, minimal cost and then plan another. Think Mercedes were trying to make a statement, appears it backfired on them. I'll back my Triton over there Mercedes that were designed for autobahns. As a matter of fact, I have never had a puncture, leaking tyre, bits fall off or break in all my outback adventures, I do it all carefully and pre-plan as well as pre and post vehicle checks.

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:44

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 20:44
If you are serious about taking spare front struts (shocks) you need to take an assembled strut complete with spring. That takes the hassle out of taking spring compressors. But it can still be a difficult repair, depending on vehicle. In my experience for example 90series Prado were easy and 200series Landcruiser very difficult. Have no idea about Triton.
I have had friends who have had to repair broken aftermarket torsion bars or struts on the Canning. Not much fun.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:36

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2016 at 21:36
Thanks Phil G, decided on going slow and regular stops, given up the idea of carrying shocks, all too hard as you say. Am going for fun, will face this problem if it happens. Census of opinion says if you don't race, have breaks to cool down shocks, they should last, or prefit Koni's before setting out and that a busted shock will still allow limited driveability.

Thanks to you all who replied, cant get over the wealth of info out there.

Triton man
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:40

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 07:40
Triton Man,

Out of interest, I have Lovell's suspension and shocks on the vehicle installed at the time I purchased the vehicle new as part of a GVM upgrade. The vehicle has now done 80,000 klm, plenty of it on corrugated roads and off-track in desert regions.

The shocks are going strong and as a matter of course I have replaced bushes.

I use Koni's on my TVAN camper trailer and they haven't given any trouble either.

Good luck with your preparation and trip...

Cheers, Baz - The landy
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 08:56

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 08:56
My Lovells are newer than yours, you fill me with confidence. My fears are gone. Went to the library yesterday, got a great bok by Eric Gard to bone up on and a 2 x disc Pat Callinan DVD set on the Canning. Wish early May was next week !!!!
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 09:30

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 09:30
My rule of thumb with suspension is when it's worked hard to change the oil at least every 30,000 kms. The damping gets erratic if you don't.

Any shock can be serviced but with something worth $150 eg. it's not worth it. Just turf it.

On my motorbikes the forks get worked hard and you can feel them going off around the 15,000 k mark. Thankfully they're easy to DIY service.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:25

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 11:25
I think one of the messages here is ..... if you are planning long remote travel select you vehicle carefully ......... some vehicles are relatively easy to repair on the side of the road others are near impossible

cheers
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 13:07

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 13:07
Yep, there is a roll of 3mm fence wire in Troopy's spares box.
And no need of a ScanGauge either.

But we can still come to grief and that's where the welding kit was handy.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:29

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:29
Bit late to change vehicles now, midstream. I'll stick to my Triton, it has never let me down, not even a puncture. Some equipment problems like screws coming out but that was on the swag frame.

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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 13:59

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 13:59
Hi

For a good read on the CSR.

It goes to show the best plans can go wrong.

[url=http://sharkcaver.blogspot.com.au/]

Regards
Rowdy
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:50

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 15:50
Interesting account Rowdy. I felt his desperation.

I noted a comment that mirrors my earlier one above........"Funny enough, the track being so poor, I couldn't even tell I had a non functioning shock".
Cheers
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Reply By: splits - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 20:18

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 20:18
Triton man

I think you are worrying a bit too much. The reliability of shocks depends a lot on the driver. If you pound the living daylights out of the car at high speeds over rough roads then you are well on the way to breaking or overheating them. If you take it easy then you should not have any trouble.

Over the last forty nine years I have driven over thousands of ks of Outback roads/tracks using the car manufacturer's standard shocks and have never had a problem. I have also never carried a spare. Those roads have included good ones like the Birdsville Track, the Great Central Road and four trips over the Nullarbor when there was still around 500ks of unsealed road in SA. The not so good ones have included many of the Beadell Roads.

Most of that driving has been in a EH Holden, a 504 Peugeot and a Hilux 4x4.

Shocks have not been designed to fail. Keep the car within its design limits and never push it along trying to keep to a time schedule on those roads and you should be fine.
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Reply By: backtracks - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 21:41

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 21:41
I havn't read all the replies, so I might be repeating other people, simply put , check shocker temp, hot, rest and slow down, warm, keep going. If you cannot hold your finger on them for more than a few seconds, too hot. If you can hold fingers on them easily, all good.
AnswerID: 605790

Follow Up By: Triton man - Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 21:53

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2016 at 21:53
Hi Guys, yep 95% of us are on the same page. I am not worried at all now, I intend to get home the same way I went out - in my Triton as serviceable as possible. I don't drive to a timetable so I will be taking it easy. The longer it takes, the more fun I'm having
Triton Man

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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 07:02

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 07:02
I carry a full set of spare shocks on any remote trip.
Its not just about overheating but also mechanical failures - in fact any type of failure.

Example-Bilstein shocks are known to fall apart with the top locating threaded part unscrewing itself and disconnecting the shock from the car.
Had this happen to 3 of mine so far and is a very common problem.

Consider this- Driving the Bloomfield track heading down a very steep dirt section with a cliff face drop on one side and a nice sharp blind corner ahead. Truck is fully loaded and very heavy.
Shock lets go and starts rattling around the wheel arch. Brakes are applied but due to the non controlled front wheel bouncing about, the ABS decides that wheel is sliding so lets go the brakes and we vear off for the cliff drop at the corner.
Didn't fall off the cliff and very happy that I had spare shocks to sort it out before tackling Cape York.

People who have not had a catastrophic failure often do not see the need for carrying any spares.
AnswerID: 605798

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:46

Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 at 11:46
People expect too much of their suspension.

If you go for a system that will provide a compliant long-travel ride while rock crawling you can't expect it to perform well on long stretches of corro or twisting mountain blacktop. In the former it packs, in the latter it rolls.

Coping with varying load is the biggest problem. The more load the more the sag - robbing you of compliance and damping performance. Or you go for stiffer springs and live with the harsh ride when unloaded. We are now seeing some coilovers come with adjustable spring preload so if you're keen you can crawl under with a C spanner and try to adjust the sag.

We're also seeing some shocks with a remote reservoir and that helps keep the oil temperature down and extend the service life.
AnswerID: 605806

Reply By: Member - Young Nomads - Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 15:28

Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 15:28
As others have said..how you drive will determine what you have to repair/ replace.
We put on new shockers before we left for the Madigan last year..but took 1 front and one back of the older ones with us..they were still in good condition.
keep the wheels on the ground when driving over the rough/ lumpy stuff (crab holes) and you'll be fine.
Cable ties, grey tape, winch straps, tie wire and good rope can get you out of a minor jam.
Any parts that are "trip stoppers" such as radiator hoses, belts etc, car specific bolts (metric/ imperial)..some essential car fluids..
Carry an Epirb and Sat phone...had an experience recently where my appendix decided it wanted out..fortunately we were not far from Alice Springs. A day before we were remote and out of phone range...We probably would have delayed calling/ setting off our distress beacon..until we were absolutely sure it was all bad!...it would have been a helicopter retrieval at the least...and potentially fatal...
Lets face it..really..there are people everywhere now, so help is usually not too far away!
According to our friends who did the entire Canning a couple of years ago...idiots/ people are your worst problem..they also took time to level out some badly chopped up sections of the dunes, before they attempted to head up. They were towing a TVan with a Nissan ute(canopy)...no problems..took it slow....The Canning is as busy as your main street at home apparently!
AnswerID: 605860

Follow Up By: Triton man - Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 17:25

Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 17:25
Young Nomads,

Thanks for that sound advice, would love to do the Madigan Line, another day I hope. Did the Hay River track and we saw the exit to the East and at the Camp before, the other exit to the West. So much to see, such little time left. Sat. phone I will have but not an EPIRB. You can talk on a sat. phone for advice, once you set off an EPIRB, it is last call, no turning back. Carry the rest of the spares you mention which is fairly light, but springs and shockers are bulky. I will drive like I am on egg shells......
Triton Man

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Follow Up By: Member - Young Nomads - Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 19:34

Saturday, Nov 12, 2016 at 19:34
Yes..your right about the EPIRB..wouldn't deploy that unless the sat phone didn't connect for some reason..don't need that much attention if it only turned out to be a big bad belly ache!!!! LOL..wouldn't worry about the springs..shockers slide in a narrow space. Although shockers aren't a game changer..it isn't the most firmest ride you've ever had!...Sounds like you would be VERY inclucky to do your springs. The most important thing..maintenance, maintenance and maintenance!
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FollowupID: 875655

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 at 08:57

Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 at 08:57
My understanding is that if you're in outback woop woop and activate your PLB the likely response if that you'll be air dropped an emergency bag containing a satphone. Obviously saves a long drive if talk can solve the immediate problem.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 at 11:29

Sunday, Nov 13, 2016 at 11:29
I agree and it is a point that many miss. They think a Epirb covers your bases but there are so many scenarios where being able to phone someone for advice be it medical or mechanical is invaluable
Apart from saving a lot of time it also saves a lot of money both your own if you can get yourself moving again or the Govt's responding to a distress signal.

Regardless of what preparation you do things still go wrong and it is good to have the " phone a friend" option available to you
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