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Front shock premature failure- what could cause this?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Family Force 6, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Family Force 6

    Family Force 6 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Just got back from a 1600+ mile road trip with the 99 Suburban and she did great (for the most part). However, on the way back there was a lot of rattling noise coming from the front of the car which progressively got worse. The noise sounded like a bad shock, and sure enough the front left shock had oil all over it. It is a Monroe Reflex monotube that I installed in February. What would cause this to go bad? I read on Monroe's web site that a missing suspension stop could be the issue, but that's not the case on mine (though I'll double check).
    This is the second set of Reflex shocks I've put on the front (the first ones lasted about 15 months). The reviews I've read is that they are good shocks, but I don't want to have to replace them again. Any ideas?
    Also, suggestions on what I should switch to? I'm thinking Bilsteins.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    As said many times.. Bilsteins!!! The only way to go Is there any lift on this truck?
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Yea normally lift or lowering will cause early failure of the shocks.
    How worn is your front suspension? Could the front end be sagging and placing to much force/weight on the shocks?
  4. TimTom64b

    TimTom64b Member 2 Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner Gold Member

    Bilstein and fox are both great shocks. I just put a set of ReadyLIFT shocks on my truck... so far I am liking them. My main decision with going with ReadyLIFT was that they are rebuildable and their product warranty. The only downside is they are a little pricey.
  5. Family Force 6

    Family Force 6 Rockstar 100 Posts

    No lift- just stock.

    I just replaced the bad shock (under warranty) and noticed that I had to lift the control arm to get the shock to line up (fully extended). I then realized that this is the second time that the shock on the same side went bad. I'm thinking the torsion bar needs to be adjusted to give it a little more lift and that it is sagging too much, overextending the shock, especially when I have the front end lifted. Does that sound right?
    Starting my search for measuring and adjusting torsion bars.
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have a set of reflex on my truck. they lasted a year. When I pulled them off to install my bilsteins they would not extend on their own after pushing them in. Bilstein is the way to go. The monro are crap
  7. Family Force 6

    Family Force 6 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Here we go again

    I'll have to agree w/ the Monroe's being crap. My fronts are rattling like crazy (sounds like a completely blown strut on a small front wheel drive car). Purchased them at Advance Auto so they'll warranty them out but they don't carry Bilsteins. Ugghh.

    I did end up LOWERING my front end via the torsion bar adjustment but it made no difference, those shocks still blew out. Still can't figure out why they were too short right out of the box. I'm thinking that whenever I jacked my front tires up it just over-extended the shock and ruined it. Oh well, at least it's an easy job.

    -Sean
  8. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I ordered mine from autoanything. they price match the lowest price you can find online and ship for free.

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