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Thread: Date codes on shocks or shelf life?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Peterborough Ontario

    Date codes on shocks or shelf life?

    I see another thread here discussing shocks & condemning them based on age(not nessasarily mileage)
    Do they deteriate just from sitting on shelf & is there a date code on them or any way to tell when they were
    manufactured? I bought 6 N.O.S. fronts & 8 rears in 2006 (I think-will have to look at receipt) when I found out they were
    N.L.A. I had local dealer bring in all he could find in North American warehouses & 1 pair of rears I bought directly from a dealer
    he said was showing them. He was very happy to get rid of, because Ford would not let him return a obsolete part #.

    I've used 1 set, but if they go bad from sitting- is there any point keeping? That was a bad choice I guess. I just thought with owning
    5 of these chassis I would need at some point.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Salem OR
    I don't think they have a shelf life. The seals only go bad when they wear, so... The gas is most likely nitrogen, meaning it is less prone to leaking. If you've every pulled an undamaged OE shock you'll see they still want to extend.

    I like to store them upright, tho, but that's just me.

    There use to be a good market for used ones (don't toss out!), so any way you look at it, you're sitting on gold
    Last edited by KMT; 03-15-2019 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Peterborough Ontario
    Good to know! After reading RalphP's reply in phils89sc thread that after 26-30 years they were likely no good
    I was thinking he was basing that strictly on age, since no mileage was mentioned in that post. That's also why
    I was wondering if there was a date code on the Motorcraft replacement as to when they were made-May only
    be 15-20? I think I bought 13 years ago, but no idea when they quit making or how long they were in P.D.C.
    2 sets of front & 1 set of rear were in the Ontario one according to shipping label.
    Last edited by DOUG H; 03-15-2019 at 10:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Salem OR
    Quote Originally Posted by DOUG H View Post
    After reading RalphP's reply in phils89sc thread that after 26-30 years they were likely no good
    I'd expect original shocks w/miles on them & exposed to the elements, vs. new shelf stock, to be different examples. But again, even used have value to some owners.

    If you can find any numbers on the fresh ones, post them here and I'll see what I can find about them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Probably no sense in keeping them Doug, I can help you out with disposal as a gesture of goodwill for a fellow enthusiast.😁

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    ARC shocks

    I would be of the opinion that new in box on shelf will NOT degrade.
    The seals wear from movement, and further I might suggest that seals can be damaged if the rust builds up beyond the “normal” area of operation and then for what ever reason you load up the car and they start operating on the “rough” area - a hypothesis.
    I have a 90’ with originals, 200k Kms and they respond pretty much as best I can tell “normally”
    My 92’ has similar miles, and I feel that it is more floaty in “normal” but definitely sharpens up in firm setting still.
    I have 4 new ones on the shelf, but then if I put them in my 92’ I won’t have any new left on the I keep holding out till I don’t know when!
    2018 F150 Super Crew Lariat for when it REALLY snows
    1990 Titanium Auto 110k miles (Winter Toy)
    1992 RED/Black 5Spd 71k miles (Pristine Toy)
    1971 Mustang Convt 5.0L EFI 5 Spd SOLD
    2006 Volvo V70R SONIC Blue

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Missoula Mt.

    Shock life

    My 89 sits way more than is driven as we have snow 5 months of the year. It has original 89 shocks. They work fine in both the firm ride and normal driving. I expect it has to do with the quality of ford parts and the low mileage of the 30 year old car at 135.000 miles. I know they will eventually wear out. But so far they work better than they should. I baby my car over speed bumps and avoid potholes like the plague. Good driving practices help suspension and brake parts last.

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