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Shock Absorbers
#1
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steve828
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Thinking of purchasing a set of extra heavy duty hydraulic shock absorbers for my '54 Packard Clipper Super two-door club sedan. Has anyone out there used a set of these? Has anyone tried gas filled shocks as opposed to hydraulic, and, if so, would you consider the ride better or worse with gas-filled shocks?
The extra heavy duty hydraulic shocks I'm considering cost $419 for a set of four. That seems pricey, unless I'm going to notice a big difference in ride quality and stability with the extra heavy duty shock.
I can get a regular set of new Monroes for $108 dollars.
Appreciate your experiences and thoughts.
Thanks again!

Posted on: 2014/12/15 21:36
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#2
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Mark Buckley
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Hi, I had a very similar question and posted it here:

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... id=130656#forumpost130656

FYI: I own a 1950 23rd series that I use as a daily driver. I was curious about NAPA and Monroe shocks.

I followed up on my own question and I posted this response, below. The last paragraph may be useful to you.


The guy at my local Napa store says the only upgrade he can find for the 94080 shock is Napa's KYB shock, which is imported and metric and designed for import vehicles.

I was still curious about the possibility of upgrading my shocks and called the Monroe Shock Absorber company, where I spoke to a technical support guy. He informed me that Monroe does indeed make shocks for NAPA and that the Napa 94080 corresponds to the Monroe 31094.

He reported the shock is part of the "Monroe-Matic Plus" line, which is designed to replace OEM equipment at an economical price. He said Monroe had a comparable shock in its higher-end "Reflex" line, but in his opinion I would be wasting my money with the Reflex shock. He advised me to go with the Monroe 31904/Napa 94080 and save my money.

All the best,

Mark in Seattle

Posted on: 2014/12/18 22:06
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#3
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Troy Taylor
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Mark, I have another post about this subject. IMO, KYB are one of the best shocks on the market and is the ONLY shock I run on any car.

KYB is the Aftermarket supplier that is supplying the Big 3, I buy these by the thousands for Ford and GM daily. These are NOT import only shocks. I run them on my Dodges, Pontiac's, and yes, My 55 and 56 Packard.

They are a wonderful shock with great handling and performance, you would not go wrong, At least I never have. In addition, if you purchase shocks from one of the "usual" Packard vendors, you WILL receive KYB shocks, but of course and a two to three times the cost, same with Napa, they are way more expensive.

Believe it or not Amazon has some amazing prices for KYB along with simple KYB searches. You can put four on a car for under $100 by shopping around vs. paying a distributor.

If you get a shock number for your specific application, go to KYB on line catalog and cross it to a KYB and go shopping.

Posted on: 2014/12/18 22:19
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#4
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Ross
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Steve: Extra heavy duty shocks will only give you a lot of extra harshness. If you are looking for best ride quality then go with the normal ratings. If you want snappier handling, then go to a heavy duty. In normal driving, I doubt you will hardly notice if the shocks are gas charged or not; that feature is to prevent shock "fade" under rough going.

Posted on: 2014/12/19 8:07
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#5
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JWL
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I have mentioned before that a couple of owners of 22nd series Customs have installed air shocks on the rear of their Packards. They are most pleased with the improved handling and especially less 'wallowing' (that's a technical term) of the back of the cars. Anyone else tried this?

(o{}o)

Posted on: 2014/12/19 11:14
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#6
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Dave Kenney
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I had Napa gas filled shocks on my 47 Super Clipper and had no complaints. I agree with Troy that KYB are an excellent choice also as would be Bilsteins if you can find a version that would fit your car. I have Bilsteins on my BMW and GMC Motorhome and they really make a difference in handling and stability. They aren't cheap however!

Posted on: 2014/12/19 11:31
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#7
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steve828
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Thank you for all those very helpful responses.
Happy Holidays and best regards
Warren

Posted on: 2014/12/20 5:07
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#8
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jfrom@kanter
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We do offer a Bilstein version for Packards if anyone is interested.

Whether a shock is termed "hydraulic" or " gas" the damping is done the same way, by forcing hydraulic fluid through an orifice thus they are both "hydraulic". A gas charged shock has gas pressure on the hydraulic reservoir which keeps it from foaming and making the shock less effective or "fading".

Heavy duty shocks have a higher damping rate thus are "stiffer", this is accomplished with a bigger reservoir, a larger piston and a smaller orifice some of which keep the hydraulic oil cooler and thicker. They will give a stiffer ride which is left to your taste, a 41-50 Custom rides like an elephant so more control may be to your liking if the stiffness is acceptable.

KYB is a Japanese company with production facilities in the US and makes shocks of many US cars and all fasteners are in US specs, not metric. They make a very good product.

Plain hydraulic shocks are scarcely made any longer so many of the shocks we sell are gas charged. We have a good NORS stock in many numbers some of which we bought 30 years ago.

Posted on: 2014/12/22 11:09
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#9
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64avanti
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Well done James.
Is it true that the torsion level system does not always play well with a firmer dampener?

Posted on: 2014/12/22 13:12
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Re: Shock Absorbers
#10
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Owen_Dyneto
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Is it true that the torsion level system does not always play well with a firmer dampener?

It was the recommendation of Bob Allison, the man who developed the system, to NOT use heavy duty shock absorbers on TL cars; I believe he made this statement in later years. The 55/56 Packards with TL built for export (including Canada) did have heavy duty shocks, though "heavy duty" is a relative term.

Posted on: 2014/12/22 16:33
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