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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellas,

I've replaced my share of shocks (on non-Foci) and never encountered this problem.

I replaced my rear shocks with the Autozone default (Gabriel Ultra). Before installing, I compressed them by hand many times to verify they were fine. Installation was trouble-free.

Now, the ride feels okay - except on an older section of freeway that has minor bumps (frost buckles? pavement gaps??) every 75 or 100 feet. On that pavement, the entire car oscillates up and down like a merry-go-round. If I deliberately run over a bump or pothole, it disrupts the oscillation and the car returns to normal for a few moments, but then starts bouncing again. A few miles later, the pavement improves and the bouncing disappears.

The bouncing is almost enough to make me carsick - worst than the old pickup truck in "Sanford & Son". [rant]

My mechanic checked out the front end & it's fine. I had a 4-wheel alignment within the last 6000 miles; checked it on Sears alignment computer last week and it's pretty good. All four tires are newly balanced & properly inflated.

Any ideas? Has anyone else installed Gabriel Ultra's on an old ZX3??
 

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Clearly the shocks are not doing their intended job of damping the springs. I'm assuming your springs are stock and not aftermarket lowering springs which can easily overpower a stock shock. I'd check and see if Autozone would replace them (have the manager take a ride with you if possible). While I know it may be too late, KYB Gr2's are one of the better inexpensive stock replacement shocks available.
 

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Or they might be sticking and damping too much?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the recommendation of the KYB's; I'll check them out.

I had glanced thru this forum looking for shock recommendations, but most are in regard to modified suspensions.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE - Gabriel vs. Monroe shocks on ZX3

UPDATE - I replaced the Gabriel Ultra's with Monroe SensaTrac's and the ride quality improved a little.

Prior to installing the Monroe's, I performed a side-by-side test with the Gabriel's: a Gabriel Ultra requires 50 lbs of compressive force, while a Monroe SensaTrac clocks in at 30 lbs, a 66% difference. That may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that the ZX3 rear ends are light!! This leads to Monroe's softer, OEM-like ride.


Here is a side-by-side snapshot of the two brands. Note that Gabriel Ultra relies on all of your old hardware, while Monroe SensaTrac is a minimalist design, replacing all of that garbage with two small bushings/caps:




Note that the nut on the Focus bottom mounting bolt is probably factory-welded to the control arm, so your only option is to access the bolt from behind:




The Monroe SensaTrac installation is a snap. Place one bushing/cap on the piston rod:




...and install as-is:




The upper mounting bushing is the mirror-image, installed inside of the trunk as-is:




In summary, both shocks are easy to install and are good stock replacements. If you want a soft OEM ride, buy the Monroe SensaTrac's; if you want a slightly stiffer ride, go with the Gabriel Ultra's.


Good luck!!!
 
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