Heads-up on OEM Shock Replacements


nota4re

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
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Feb 15, 2006
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For the second time in approximately the last 90-days, we have received a defective rear OEM shock through Ford parts. Both of these shocks were outwardly very new in appearance. The first time this happened to us, the shock was very obviously "frozen" in its fully extended position. With the full weight of the car on it and even driving the car, the shock simply wouldn't budge. Ford replaced the shock at no charge and the replacement was fine. That was about 90 days ago.

We had a different GT in our shop recently and we noticed a leaking right rear shock. The owner asked us to replace it, and we did. Now, given our previous experience with a bad shock, I want to think that we watched that shock compress as we lowered the weight of the car onto it. But, in retrospect, we may have seen what we wanted to see. This rear shock is also frozen in the extended position. The owner drove the car a bit - and this shock is locked solid. Of course the ride is HORRIBLE when you have essentially a fixed rod in lieu of a shock!

One of the first thoughts I had is that we got the same frozen shock we returned back. However, with the tight-fitting metal perches, it is pretty much impossible to slide them on and off without some witness marks. I really think it is unlikely that we received the same frozen shock back.

My theory - and I think is is a very plausible one (and hence the post), is that the shocks are becoming "bad" having been stored in the pressurized, fully-extended position for the last 15 years. This is not a normal shock position because when they are on the car, they are in a slightly compressed state and they are not at their extended limit. Almost all shocks that we have worked with - even inexpensive shocks, are packaged and shipped in their most-compressed state. You typically have to cut a tie or strap to allow them to extend.

So, heads up out there. If you are putting "new" OEM shocks on a GT - make sure that you witness the shock compressing when you put the weight of the car on it. I'm nearly 100% certain that we haven't seen the last of "bad" (frozen) GT shocks that Ford may unwittingly have in their inventory.

DBK - you have much better connections than I but it may be worthwhile to whisper in someone's ear. The bad shock that I have will be going back to Galpin tomorrow.
 
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Specracer

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Nov 28, 2005
6,468
MA
Another reason to use Ahlman's Ohlins shocks. They will be fresh, and are a better long term solution, as they are serviceable down the road (they can be rebuilt).

Added bonus, that they ride better also.

Kendall, I know you know this already, I was just adding my 2c on the topic.
 

BtwoG

GT Owner
Dec 8, 2013
899
Atlanta, GA
Thanks Kendall,
Based on this, is it safe to say that for those of us who have aftermarket shocks and are storing the stock shocks, we should compress the shocks and zip tie them into that position?
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
5,331
Las Vegas, NV
Thanks Kendall,
Based on this, is it safe to say that for those of us who have aftermarket shocks and are storing the stock shocks, we should compress the shocks and zip tie them into that position?
I'd be cautious. First, with the force required to compress the shock from the extended position, how are you going to do that? Second, given the stored force, single zip ties long enough to reach probably don't exist meaning you'll double up. Those aren't that strong given the force involved and they deteriorate too under the tensions involved. I wouldn't want to be near when one of those lets go.
 

DBK

The Favor Factory™
Staff member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 30, 2005
14,878
Metro Detroit
Working on it.
 

nota4re

GT Owner
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Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 15, 2006
3,764
Thanks Kendall,
Based on this, is it safe to say that for those of us who have aftermarket shocks and are storing the stock shocks, we should compress the shocks and zip tie them into that position?
My "non-expert!" opinion would be to store these shocks in SOMETHING less than their fully extended state. I wouldn't think that they have to be FULLY compressed, but maybe so they are not at their max limit. Anyway, I'm far from an expert in this area, but I guess that's what I would do if I was storing them. (Oh, and just to be perfectly clear, I would separate the shocks from the spring assembly. There's no need to be trying to compress the OEM spring.... maybe that's Tony's expressed concern. I don't thing there would be any worrisome event around a shock that transitioned from a slightly compressed state to a fully extended state..... that process is done all of the time as most shocks are stored/shipped that way!)
 

centerpunch

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Sep 16, 2005
809
OH/NC
Hmmm.. I bought a set via Mr. Brooks a few months ago but haven't installed them yet. I guess I better check 'em.
 

KJD

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Dec 21, 2005
948
Location, Location
That Brooks guy is shaky, better check 'em! :)
 
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CanadaGT

GT Owner
Sep 28, 2006
176
Edmonton Alberta
I have a new (old stock) set unopened in boxes if anyone wants to PM me. Not sure if this is allowed. I am sure i will find out.
 

BM SoCal

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 2, 2009
192
Orange County, CA
So that was my car that Kendall referenced in this thread, couple things...

It’s incredible what a difference one shock can make on the car. Luckily Kendall and Ryan had a used one they’d kept and put it on temporarily. Drive up (60 miles +) to their place was awful in stretches. The way back was like a magic carpet ride in comparison. And what a ride it was on a gorgeous night at sunset, windows down and freeways pretty open. That Ricardo transmission with the short shifter mod is just the best.

I’d thought that I likely had a bad joint as we’d replaced the previous leaking shock but things got worse. I posted on that previous. Ryan spotted the problem in about three seconds as the right rear was higher than the left.

While there I had the shocks for the clamshell and front trunk replaced as they were fading. All done in the course of an hour, great guys to work with.
 

GTinTN

GT Owner
Jan 17, 2019
82
Brentwood, TN
I noticed what appears to be a small bit of leakage on both my rear shocks. I have not noticed any ride impact at this point and I do not track the car, just joy rides and local car shows. Any recommendations?
 

Mark McGowan

Ford GT Team Alumni
Jul 31, 2006
119
Kendall can you give us a call via my PM. Us old time engineers want that shock to see what the hell is going on. I have a few people lined up to do a teardown to find out what happen.
 
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nota4re

GT Owner
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Feb 15, 2006
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Hi Mark, man.... long time no see! You'll need to wrestle it away from Galpin. I went there today to see if they would refund or exchange. They were agreeable to an exchange and they've ordered a new one. They told me to hold onto this one until the new one arrives and then they'll swap me. This "frozen" bad one, but all outward appearances seems perfectly fine. Brand new looking and no marks, etc. Just like the last one that we got that was frozen.

But now you've raised my curiosity and I've got some old, leaky shocks around that I just haven't thrown out. Maybe I'll bandsaw one of them in half to see what makes them tick.

But, if you're serious and know some way to get this frozen one where we can still get a replacement - let me know. (BTW, see post #10 above. That's the owner and he drove maybe 80 miles or so - perhaps most of it on crappy LA freeways and that shock is still frozen!)
 

Mark McGowan

Ford GT Team Alumni
Jul 31, 2006
119
My concern is that seeing this is a 15 year old car it is not a warranty issue so the damper at Galpin will not make it back to Multimatic to see what happen. I will most likely end up in the trash somewhere. I have made contacts to see what happen give me a call
 

nota4re

GT Owner
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Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 15, 2006
3,764
Thanks DBK and Mark.... we'll figure out a way to get the true experts to determine the cause.
 

sahlman

Ford GT Team Alumni
Jul 21, 2011
261
Verona, WI
Hmmm, this locked shock at full extension/rebound I have not heard of or seen, but I do not have a lot of experience with other manufacturers beyond Ohlins and Multimatic (I was the design and release engineer on the stock FGT dampers with Multimatic). To my knowledge, Ford did not store nor ship replacement dampers in a compressed state. I am guessing that frozen damper has been sitting on the shelf for a very long time...decade plus.

Ohlins dampers always come fully extended. I am guessing some type of galvanic corrosion (disimilar metals) is happening on these stock FGT dampers, but not sure.

Will check in with McGowan.

Must be time for our Ohlins SL-1 FGT coil-over package that everyone has been running starting in 2014...without one rebuild needed...even very high mileage Larsen.
 
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jaxgt

GT Owner
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Jul 12, 2006
2,476
Love mine ^^
 
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Mark McGowan

Ford GT Team Alumni
Jul 31, 2006
119
Scott I have Murray in the loop and is waiting for the damper to arrive back at Multimatic. We talked for quite some time and are a bit baffled by this. Kendall send me a photo of the damper and it is from 2017. I was thinking the nylon rebound stop may have extruded into the bleeds but Murray reminded me that the shim stack would still funtion
 

BM SoCal

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 2, 2009
192
Orange County, CA
Hmmm, this locked shock at full extension/rebound I have not heard of or seen, but I do not have a lot of experience with other manufacturers beyond Ohlins and Multimatic (I was the design and release engineer on the stock FGT dampers with Multimatic). To my knowledge, Ford did not store nor ship replacement dampers in a compressed state. I am guessing that frozen damper has been sitting on the shelf for a very long time...decade plus.

Ohlins dampers always come fully extended. I am guessing some type of galvanic corrosion (disimilar metals) is happening on these stock FGT dampers, but not sure.

Will check in with McGowan.

Must be time for our Ohlins SL-1 FGT coil-over package that everyone has been running starting in 2014...without one rebuild needed...even very high mileage Larsen.
On order!
 
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sahlman

Ford GT Team Alumni
Jul 21, 2011
261
Verona, WI
Mark, Sounds good. Yeah I have not seen or heard of the shaft "freezing" at full extension like this before.