A. How a vehicle "rides", or "feels by the seat of your pants", depends on many different things.
Shocks are only ONE part of a suspension. What you "feel" is a combination of the list above, and other things, including all the other suspension parts, from swaybars, springs, frame-type, etc. Shocks (or Struts) are only ONE part of the total suspension.
Remember: a shock or strut's PRIMARY function is to hold the tire in contact with the road. Just changing the shocks / struts is not likely going to change what the vehicle manufacturer built into a vehicle's characteristics. Car companies spend MILLIONS of dollars to make a vehicle feel a certain way when driving. Spending a few dollars on shocks is not likely to alter what they have done.
How a vehicle rides is something that cannot be "plotted or graphed" scientifically, it is a matter of opinion. There is no 'measurement' or 'scale' for 'ride'. 10 people can drive a vehicle, 5 will says it's a Lincoln ride, the other 5 will say it's a dump truck. It's up to the individual.
We do not recommend buying shocks or struts specifically for trying to change the "ride" of a vehicle, that is not what shocks or struts do. The products we carry typically are designed to give a vehicle better handling, control, and safety. Will they maybe change the "ride", what you feel in some way? Probably. Can that be predicted ahead of time? No.
We know it's a tough decision sometimes to choose the right shock. But we want you to purchase a product for the right reasons, and get something that's right for you and your driving.
A. The straps serve only one purpose, and that is to fit the unit in the box. All the manufacturers use certain size boxes. If the boxes they use are, say, 20 inches long, and a strut or shock is 29 inches long, that unit will get a strap to compress it to fit in the box. And if the shock is shorter than 20 inches, then a strap is not needed, since it fits in the box with room to spare.
Sure, sometimes they can help with an installation, but that was not the intended use of the strap.
A. The term "Heavy Duty" is a generic one. It is our opinion that a shock that has more dampening power and durability over an OE or low pressure design unit, is for heavy-duty use. To us, that means any shock that is a monotube design. CLICK HERE to find out why monotube shocks have better dampening, run cooler, and last longer, that's a matter of science. Any company can slap the word 'heavy-duty' on their packaging, but that term does not give you any facts.
Note that not every vehicle needs a 'heavy-duty' shock either. There is nothing wrong with using a low pressure gas unit if light-duty use is all you need.
A. The shocks and struts we carry in most cases are considered an upgrade by the U.S Government, over the stock, O.E. suspension units. They can be changed at anytime, even right after you purchase a new vehicle. If the vehicle you drive is not up to your expectations, or un-controllable, you may want to consider better parts for your suspension to improve it's handling and safety. Also, you may have special needs for your vehicle that may not have been incorporated into it's design, such as some off-road driving, or towing.
Also, despite what some people say, there is no time limit, by years or miles, on when you have to change a unit. Though we do recommend, as part of normal maintenance, to routinely give your suspension a visual inspection to make sure it is in good, safe, working order.
A. Shocks (or Struts) do not really
hold up a vehicle. For example, if you ever took shocks off your
pickup-truck or RWD car before, you know when you set it down off
the jack, it sits pretty much the same as it did before you took
the shock off. What "holds" the vehicle up is the coil
springs, leaf springs, or in some cases, a torsion bar.
The primary uses of these type products is to keep the rear of the vehicle level with the front, so you have a more balanced suspension while driving or towing.
(On strut installations, it is important you get the springs seated correctly, or that can effect installation, and may effect height. Follow your repair manual's instructions carefully, every vehicle is different).
A. That's not really the way it works. The Nitrogen gas only prevents aeration (foaming bubbles) inside the unit. How soft or stiff a shock / strut is, that is determined by valving.
Aeration inside a shock or strut 'kills' the dampening ability of the unit, so the higher the pressure (for instance, Bilsteins have 360 psi ), the less chance you will get any aeration and heat, and less chance the units dampening ability will fade.
Valving in a shock or strut is calculated using "Rebound" and "Compression" figures. While shock manufactuers rarely publish these figures, their engineers work hard to come up with the best valving for maximum control and performance.
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