Forums General Counties Cars Discussion Damper conversion Reply To: Damper conversion


Hi again from Aussie,

I would agree with David that unless you intend to do some really “serious” driving, your best road to travel would be to opt for the original type shockers. Here in Australia, there were three telescopic conversions types that could be obtained, two using the original shocks to facilitate the top arms, (needing the internals to be de-activated and using the original main rear arm pin), and one where there was an arm assembly having a main pin that could be greased. Unfortunately though, these days, they are ultra rare.

In my first A90, a coupe, I travelled 300,000 miles, using three sets of Girlings, finishing in 1981 with a set Armstrongs. I have just rebuilt those to use in the rebuilding of the coupe.

My next A90, a convertible, undertaking 475,000 miles, if my memory serves me correctly, for the first half of that distance I went through either 3 or 4 sets of Armstrongs, and 2 Girlings, then I switched to the telescopics, only changing them shortly before parting with the car. These were the ones with the greaseable main pin, and the base to centre height of the pin was the same as an original shock, with the telescoping tower attachment projecting upwards from it.

When I acquired my prototype A90 convertible, in 1951, due to the extremely poor Australian country roads of that time, with only a few thousand miles on the clock, its original owner had them converted to the telescopics, and this was the type that used the original Armstong shocks, with the valving removed, though stilled filled with oil to lubricate the main pin. However, in this arrangement, the telescoping shock shock attachment tower was formed as part of a base plate that went under the original Armstrong shock, thus it resulted in a negative camber. This was a bonus, as it improved the handling significantly.

However, when I restored the proto suspension back in 2003, I retained the tower plate, but also reverted back to standard Armstrongs, which I rebuilt myself. I could have fitted newer gas shocks, as a colleague has done, and these are a further improvement to the handling.

These days, our roads are vastly different to that of yesteryear, and the Armstrongs can be set for either soft, or firmer ride. Not sure what company does them in the UK, but take Davids advise, talk to the Counties parts people, as well as being able to provide the new rubbers etc, I am sure they will also be able to provide you information on those who do shock repairs.