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I decided to do a little preventive maintenance on my 2001 ZTS. Timing belt, etc, prepatory for a cross-country trip this winter. I removed both rear shock absorbers expecting to find them having flabbiness and general decrepitude at 78,000 miles. Instead, I found them to both be in perfect working order with good gas charge and plenty of damping left. In fact, they bench tested as good as the new ones I replaced them with. They'd have gone to 100,000 miles with zero problem.

What wasn't good were the two lower shock mounting bolts. They were very badly rusted and in dire need of replacing. It took impact tools to get them out. Interestingly, the new replacement bolts from Ford are of an improved shoulder-bolt-style design with no washer, a beefier flange head, and were GALVANIZED! (Way to go Ford!) Also, I encountered a fair amount of rust in the shock tower that I cleaned out, then sprayed with cold galvanizing compound (good for salty environments) and rust-proofed the area with 3M's "888" rustproofing compound.

Moral of the story: Shocks these days seem to last a lot longer then they used to. At least mine did.
 

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thats great man, most of us ant as lucky, i think i replaced mine with around 80,000 and they were shot and then my roush replacements only lasted 20,000. but more power to ya if they are in great shape!

where abouts in WNY are you? i grew up near rochester.
 

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Thats pretty cool. Good thing you found those bolts before they permanently rust-welded themselves in. haha
 

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you can push down on the corner of your car and watch to see if your shocks are bad. It shouldn't require taking them off the car. My Mazda MX3 has 210,000 miles on it and the factory struts/shocks are fine. I would be very pissed off if mine were trashed my 80K.
 

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you can push down on the corner of your car and watch to see if your shocks are bad. It shouldn't require taking them off the car. My Mazda MX3 has 210,000 miles on it and the factory struts/shocks are fine. I would be very pissed off if mine were trashed my 80K.

The old bounce test doesn't work well with gas charged shocks. The seals/valving are so much better now as well. It was a decent indicator when shocks had only fluid in them.
 

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The old bounce test doesn't work well with gas charged shocks. The seals/valving are so much better now as well. It was a decent indicator when shocks had only fluid in them.
It seems like bounce and overshoot would be the same regardless, but I'll take your word for it.
 

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The gas, although not its intended design/function, can provide some dampening at low levels of compression and rebound. Hand bouncing it is about the lowest/least work a damper will do, besides sitting still.
 
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