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Replaced shocks, what a difference

Oct 7, 2007
Amherst, NY
1996 Torch Red Coupe (Prior 1988 and 1989)
Prior owner had installed KYB gas-a-adjust shocks. I'm not sure how they drove when new, but I was tired of feeling every road imperfection. My 1989 has the base FE1 suspension. Gabriel Ultras were recommended by several local C4 owners, and I was impressed how they drove on a 1984 (darn stiff suspension to begin with). The difference was noticeable in the first mile. Gone was that stiff initial road shock caused by road imperfections and they rebounded quickly when hitting hard bumps when exiting and entering thruway ramps. Not sure how long these low cost shocks will last, but I'm enjoying the new ride. I'm sure there are better shocks for optimal performance like the Blistins, but roads in my area are far from perfect. Regardless of the shocks you install, replacing them did not take that long at all. First shock took a little over an hour as I collected all the right tools. The remaining three consumed two hours. That included cleaning inside the wheel rims and greasing the front end. Top shock stud nuts were torqued to 19 foot pounds as per FSM which collapses the rubber bushings properly and locks the nut to the stud.
I've had the same experience with KYBs - hard riding. But they DO seem to last forever. I have no doubt the Gabriels made a world of difference.
Mine 86 had Gabriel when I got it who knows how long they were on the car before I got it the car sat out side in a field for 7 years before I gone thought the car so it could be driven on the road again.

It was almost 1 year after I put back on the road when I started to notice a oil leak under the rear left shock the seals were blown.

The car had a ok ride to it but for me my Koni Reds are a much better shock, But again I dont know how old the old shocks were and how they rode when they were new.
If I get 5 years out of them, I'll be happy. Mine sits in a garage most of the time. :L The KYBs had no leaks. Couldn't find a date code, but the prior owner service records seem to indicate they were installed 9 years ago. It takes forever for the road crews to repair the roads, and I was after something that was a little more forgiving. Was out for a drive today, and caught up to two other red C4s. Looked like 85-87s based on the rims. Save the wave. :w

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