Shock absorber replacement tips from ZF Services Australia.
Following the announcement of the new range of SACHS MAX shock absorbers, ZF Services Australia has provided some useful tips about replacing shock absorbers.
Step 1: Vent The Shock Absorbers Before Installing Them
During transport and storage, shock absorbers tend to be stored horizontally, which can cause the gas and hydraulic fluid to mix together.
If workshops replace shocks without venting the new ones beforehand, the optimum damping effect will only be achieved once the vehicle has moved up and down several times. This may lead to an increased build-up of noise (hissing).
To prevent this occurring, the piston rod must be manually pushed and pulled several times in the operating direction. This separates the gas and hydraulic fluid, and ‘vents’ the shock absorber.
Step 2: Replacing Worn Shock Absorbers
Note: due to the many different types of shock absorbers, only a few basic replacement instructions have been provided.
Make sure to use a suitable tool, such as a transmission jack to support the wheel suspension before removing the shock absorbers.
When replacing shock absorbers or struts, it might be required, where appropriate, that the cables are detached from the ABS sensors and electrical lining wear indicator, and the brake hose is detached from the corresponding brackets.
Loosen and remove all mounting bolts, and remove the shock absorber and/or spring strut. If you also remove a spring strut, make sure to observe the manufacturer’s installation instructions and safety regulations.
For assembly and installation, replace all of the mounting bolts and install the supplied accessory, while observing the torque specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Secure any cables that may have been detached from the ABS sensors and electrical lining wear indicator before replacing the shock absorber, as well as the brake hose, back into the corresponding brackets.
- When working on the rear axle, make sure to remove any trims from the vehicle interior in order to reach the damper’s upper mounting bolts
- There is the risk of serious injury caused by the sudden release of springs. Always use a suitable spring compressor
- To ensure safe vehicle handling, always replace both shock absorbers on an axle
- After changing the shock absorbers, carry out an axle alignment
- Then carry out a test drive in order to check that they are working correctly.
SACHS MAX Shock Absorbers
The SACHS MAX range of big-bore heavy-duty shock absorbers for four-wheel drives, off-road and utility vehicles provides superior handling with maximum safety in extreme conditions and under heavy loads.
The heavy-duty larger bore design incorporates larger pistons and cylinders for a more durable shock absorber and a more comfortable and safer ride.
This increased bore size results in a reduction in heat and improved consistency under repeated loads.