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Re: [T3] another question about shocks

On 28 Oct 2005 at 9:32, Steve Jackson wrote:

> Hey Jim--I always heard those Gas Shocks were filled with Nitrogen...kinda
> hard to put that back isn't it?  I would be interested in seeing the inside
> of one myself...never heard of rebuilding a shock!  You're ingenious!

It's not so hard if you have a cylinder of dry nitrogen handy. You just blow 
some in there, enough to flush out most of the air which is mostly nitrogen 
anyway, and then put in the piston. Gas shocks have an extra "floating" piston 
inside which compresses the gas ahead of it. The chamber on the other side 
contains the usual damping oil and the damping piston that runs in that oil.

I haven't actually put one back together, but it looks like it would be 
relatively easy. You just flush with N2, put in the floating piston and follow 
it with the damping piston and shaft, with the end cap assembly preplaced on 
the shaft. Then use a press to compress the N2 ahead of the floating piston.  

Once all those parts are compressed you would have to fill the upper chamber 
with oil and slide the end cap and seal into place. On Bilsteins they are just 
held there by a kind of snap ring.

It's all rather simple once you see how they come apart, but if you did this 
you'd have to be VERY careful that you could hold it all together with the 
press until you get that snap ring into place.

I wasn't ingenious, just persistent and curious. I noticed a sentence in one of 
my Mercedes manuals that said something like, "Replace the shocks with a new or 
rebuilt pair." That got me to thinking that disassembly might be possible, and 
it was. 

Note that the OE VW shocks are NOT disassembleable.

Jim Adney
Madison, WI 53711-3054

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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