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Unused shocks - shelf life? #5426929 05/12/20 12:47 AM
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JHZR2 Offline OP
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I’ll caveat this with the fact that the shocks that will be replaced are almost 40 years old, and around 168k, and only just went bad...

I have a set of bilstein rear shocks in my basement, probably 8 years old. Have been sitting on their sides, not vertically.

Is there anything I should be concerned with, in terms of putting them in service? I think I read once that they should be stored vertically...

Thanks!

Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5426939 05/12/20 01:39 AM
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oldhp Offline
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If they're under gas pressure I would think they're still good. If not leaking or the exposed rod not rusted, I'd say try'em.


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Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5426945 05/12/20 02:16 AM
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Having taken apart a few shocks (kids, do not do this at home) I would suggest just flipping them 180 degrees and sit for a few days, then install them. When I say flip- think of rolling a hotdog on the grill. That should let some of the oil get to the internal o-rings so that they do not get some dry cycles.

Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5426958 05/12/20 03:11 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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I know this doesn't answer your question but, I just though that I'd throw it in. Shocks & struts are stored horizontally on warehouse & parts store shelves til we buy'em.

I bought the Firebird FORMULA in my signature brand new in 1980. I never liked the OE shocks in this car(same as the TRANS AM). On a cold(er) day, they'd ride harsh. On a hot day, they'd ride mushy. So, it was the inconsistency that I didn't like.

In 1988, I decided to change all 4 shocks. I bought 4 Monroe Gas-Matic BLUE(not Gas-Magnum YELLOW)when Monroe was still a good product. These shocks are still in the car and working fine. I bought these shocks when "GAS" was becoming the new thing in shocks & struts and I had become aware of them.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427001 05/12/20 06:21 AM
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Shocks are typically stored horizontally in the shops (at least my shop). I have a few Red Riders that I've had in the basement for about 8-10 years that are going into my Son's YJ Wrangler. They should be fine.


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Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427016 05/12/20 06:39 AM
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Imp4 Offline
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If you're really concerned, try contacting Bilstein and asking them.
Then you can come here and report back.
I'd like to know what they say.

Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427023 05/12/20 06:47 AM
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Lubener Offline
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I wouldn't believe there is a shelf life as long as the piston rod surface doesn't rust which will eat up the seal after installation.

Last edited by Lubener; 05/12/20 06:48 AM.

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Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427058 05/12/20 07:22 AM
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Trav Offline
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I wouldn't loose any sleep over it. Some of the NOS OE parts I get inc shocks that are not even made anymore (neither is the car) are a lot older than that and have no issues.


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Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427232 05/12/20 10:48 AM
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zzyzzx Offline
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NOS struts are often bad out of the box. I would find a way of testing them before installation.

Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: zzyzzx] #5427261 05/12/20 11:23 AM
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Trav Offline
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Bad how? Oil leakage, lack of resistance? I cant say I ever run into any of that on brand name NOS if stored in a dry place, I had some original NOS here for a 1941 Plymouth that were fine.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427269 05/12/20 11:37 AM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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If the shocks are easy to install on that car, you have nothing to lose by trying them. Worst case scenario is the shocks are no good and you need to buy another set of shocks smile

Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427401 05/12/20 01:46 PM
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splinter Offline
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Originally Posted by JHZR2
...Is there anything I should be concerned with, in terms of putting them in service? I think I read once that they should be stored vertically.
After 168k even the old Bilsteins might feel better.

Horizontally shouldn't be much of an issue.
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Re: Unused shocks - shelf life? [Re: JHZR2] #5427474 05/12/20 03:26 PM
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The only thing to worry about is if the nitrogen leaked past the seals. If that happens, the nitrogen and oil mix together. Shock won't work properly. It won't hurt or damage anything though. The shock should be very full of oil. So nothing should be "dry". If it is, you don't have enough oil in it anyway and it needs to be freshened if rebuildable or tossed if its a sealed shock.

Collapse the shocks on the floor. They should all come back extended at close to the same rate. Shocks are a very basic design, its the tuning that can be an art form.


Last edited by Srt20; 05/12/20 03:29 PM.
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