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510 wagon short body shock choices


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Wanted to share on the channel for the wagon folks. I have been using the T3 leaf spring kit but wanted a short body shock as I felt the stock dimension ones were bottoming out. KYB support was helpful with dimension and mounting points so ordered a couple of choices to compare. Got them installed. Here are some pics and part #'s for any that want to know. The KG5519 is for a Ford Thunderbird and the KG4616 is for a Suzuki Samurai front. Since I am using the Technotoytuning leaf springs this did change the shock mounting location or moved it up compared to a stock leaf spring. I decided to go with the Suzuki shocks as based on my measurements this shock will give the car full stroke. The Thunderbird model would work too and may be more heavy duty in case you carry more stuff or want a stiffer suspension. I am using at the moment the 2" lowering blocks as well. The shocks fit with no modification and initial feeling is it smoothed out the ride. I can tell I was probably bottoming out the stock dimension Tokicos at times. Since I am using the 2" blocks that did move the axle closer to the differential/drive shaft tunnel so if the road is rough or big dips it does hit or bang hard. I may go back to the 1" blocks or try a 1.5" block to see how it is but so far the short body shocks are working. If you live in an area with smooth roads or not too bad you will notice the difference. I chose KYB as these were inexpensive to test ( about 30-40$ each) but if you want to go Koni or Bilstein or QA1 sure those will be great!





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I can't remember if you did the lowering blocks at the same time as the T3 spring kit or did you add them later.

If you added them later, did you get a bottom out situation prior to adding the blocks?

I am also running the T3 spring kit but with "stock" rear shocks...just haven't driven the car yet.


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Just to be clear lowering blocks by themselves do not change the shock length at all. When the suspension is fully compressed you should be on the bump stops and I don't think Nissan would have shocks that bottom out under these conditions. For the suspension to work on a lowered vehicle it must have some travel left for the shocks to act on. The more it is lowered the more the springs should be stiffened to avoid full compression bottoming out.

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@KELMO I added the 1" blocks initially and it drove and rode fine on the stock dimension shocks. I went to the two inch blocks and that's when it started to hit the diff/driveshaft tunnel. The shocks helped but I believe if I go back to the 1" blocks or maybe a 1.5" block it won't or shouldn't make contact. The leaf springs themselves did changed the shock position so going to a short body shock would help.


@datzenmike Yes you car correct. The blocks themselves don't change the shock length. I changed the leaf springs to the T3 kit so that changed the length this is why I went with a short body shock. When i added the 1" blocks it was ok or wasn't hitting the diff/driveshaft tunnel. Even now it doesn't hit as much but does if the road is really rough and hit something hard but if I go back to the 1" blocks I should be ok. I may try 1.5' blocks to see what happens.

Edited by benzo
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Yes! Re-arched leaf springs might need shorter shocks, maybe. There should be bump stop rubbers clipped to the axle tube by the leaf spring U bolts. Eben if you cut them down it's better than none at all. 





My 710 has figure 8 shaped rubber bump stops. (I should maybe cut the tops off?) I've hit some insane dips at speed and you can feel the back abruptly stop moving down as the stops cushion it. It's lowered till the rubber is about an inch from touching the axle tube below it, but as it's 8 shaped with openings and there is room to compress. Also added 1 or 2 extra leaves to stiffen and reduce the travel.

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@datzenmike Thanks Mike for the pics and info. I still have my bump stops and the diff bump stop but I did trim them down some.  Definitely don't want to remove them. I am going to try 1.5" blocks to see how it feels as it's inexpensive but worst case I'll leave it where it's at on the 2" ones or go back to 1" blocks. 

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I had re-arc'd springs (with an added leaf) on my old wagon with 2" blocks, and I used air shocks from a Camaro. 


They seemed to work just fine.  I ran around 15lbs of pressure.  It didn't ride like a Caddy, but it wasn't terrible.  It never bottomed out..



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7 hours ago, benzo said:

@Duncan Thanks for that info. I had seen others use air shocks with good results.  This is good info for other wagon owners so they know choices.



The added leaf in the spring pack cured it of the dreaded "wagon squat" under acceleration.  Without the air shocks, it probably would have been too low, but between 10-15 pounds of air pressure, it brought it back up and stiffened it up just enough.  All IMHO, of course.


The old wags.  It had 15's on it.






Edited by Duncan
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@Duncan That's good to know.  The pic of the wagon looks good! Who did the de arching of the springs? With the T3 kit I don't have any squat or axle wrap compared to when I had stock spring and 2" blocks. For the air shocks does it have a guage or do you base it off the air nozzle if the nozzle has a guage to show how much is going in? also what is the capacity of air the shocks can take and how often do you have to fil or recharge?



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I had the springs done at a local spring shop.  The place I used was called Deaver Spring in Santa Ana, CA. 


There's no gauge on the air shocks, I just filled them like you would a tire.  Put some air in, then use a tire gauge to check pressure.  I'd check them every couple of months, and the air loss was generally minimal.  I'm really not sure what maximum psi is on air shocks.  I'm pretty sure I was never close to max.  The wagon is long gone, btw.  😞



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@Duncan Oh good to know. Checked and Deaver Spring is still in business. 


That's pretty good the air shocks hold air for a bit or loss was minimal. 


Sorry you don't have the wagon anymore. 

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