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PB -PC Challenger 2009 - 2014 Covering 2.5 HP diesel

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Old 06-12-16
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Default Front strut failures

Hi Challenger Owners,

I have had 3 front strut failures with my Bilsteins, apart from being inconvenient it is also getting expensive. I love the ride and handling of the Bilstein but not the life.

Failure 1. RH after 39,000km and 1.5 years, leaking oil, shaft had bubble under chrome and seal chopped out. Replaced under warranty after a short discussion under goodwill even though they were double the warranty period.

Failure 2. LH after 64,000kms and 4 years, leaking oil, shaft scored on one side, upon disassembly and doing a runout check shaft is bent by 2.5mm. Replaced at my cost.

Failure 3. RH again after 33,000kms and 2 years, leaking oil, shaft scored, so I suspect another bent shaft. Still fitted to vehicle whilst I consider my next move.

Scored shaft.


Spoken to Kierion at Bushskinz and he and his suppliers opinion is that the standard duty Lovells spring is putting a side load on the spring because the top of the spring is not ground flat and it does not sit in the tophat seat squarely and this is flexing the strut. Suggesting changing over to King coils.

Spoke to Lovell's and they have had no reported problems with their struts when fitted with their springs.

Spoke to Brendan at Ultimate, he uses Lovell's springs in their kits. He has not seen this problem before and thinks it maybe either the shocker topping or bottoming out (I have since checked this and they are not).

What to do?
Replace again with Bilstein and change both to King coils?
Replace with Dobinson MRR or Monotubes and Dobinson coils.
Replace with Terrain Tamer Pro-Shock or twin tube and Smart coils.
Replace struts with Ultimate Twin Tube Gas or Lovell's Gas and reuse existing coils.
All options require both front struts to be removed and disassembled so not a cheap or quick job.

When I look at the fitted strut I can see the strut shaft is not parallel to the strut body and it is not sitting centrally within the coil, see photo below;


Has anybody else had a similar problem?

I would be really grateful if anyone with any aftermarket suspension could take a photo and post it, of their left hand suspension at full extension with the wheel off. I need to see the top mount down to the upper control arm.

Many Thanks,

OJ.
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Last edited by old Jack; 11-01-17 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Auto correct correction.
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Old 06-12-16
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Watching with interest, I just noticed my Billies on both sides at the front have now split the boots. They have done 100,000 km so it's time to change them I guess. I am also wondering whether to go the Bilstein/Lovells or to swap over to Dobinsons MRR and Coils, or something totally different?
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Old 06-12-16
MiteeWidge MiteeWidge is offline
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Sorry to hear of your Dramas OJ. I'm out at work at the moment but soon as I get home won't be a problem to grab a photo. I have Lovells front struts with TJM XGS springs that gave a 20mm lift.
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Old 06-12-16
coughy coughy is offline
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hay jack is that bush at bottom arm on both sides ok?? looks like there is movement or fresh rubbing there???
where the bottom swing arm bolts to the chassis front and back??? lower control arms
same as the top uca bushes??
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Old 07-12-16
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Here's my RH front OME (weight on). They have been on since late 2010 (110k kms). No issues, just a firmer ride which I want.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7340.resize jpg.jpg (192.2 KB, 206 views)
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Old 07-12-16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coughy View Post
hay jack is that bush at bottom arm on both sides ok?? looks like there is movement or fresh rubbing there???
where the bottom swing arm bolts to the chassis front and back??? lower control arms
same as the top uca bushes??
Thanks Coughy,
I had a quick look tonight and with the weight on the suspension it all looks fine but I will pull the strut out over the next few weeks and check all the bushes. Less than an hours work so worthwhile checking to be sure.

OJ.
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2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT245/75/16, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Nightbreaker +130LB & Phillips +100 HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 900canoes View Post
Here's my RH front OME (weight on). They have been on since late 2010 (110k kms). No issues, just a firmer ride which I want.
Thanks 900, I will do some comparisons and report back. What is your front EBH?

OJ.
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2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT245/75/16, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Nightbreaker +130LB & Phillips +100 HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
MM4x4 Lockup Mate.
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Old 08-12-16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old Jack View Post
Thanks 900, I will do some comparisons and report back. What is your front EBH?

OJ.
560mm on that wheel.
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Old 08-12-16
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I reported this same problem with bilstein shocks around 5 years ago, should even be on here somewhere

My failures were at 55 and 60 thousand neither fixed under warranty
First time I was willing to say oops stuff happens so bought a new bilstein strut, but after the exact same type failure 5 k after the first I gave the bilstein struts away to try a different brand

I had the first strut sent to bilstein to assess warranty and rebuild if required, parts and labour made it $50 more expensive to buy new, so that's what I did

Their response/ diagnosis was the same as yours the dobbinson spring was not ground flat so didn't sit/ suit the strut

I ran those same coils in a different brand strut for 100,000 kms without a problem with either coil or strut

I loved the ride of the bilstein struts in the front, but something does not work right for my style of driving to give the longevity of the premium price
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Oh and I'm away at Fraser Island this week
When I get back I have heaps of photos of different setups and the bilstein struts are still here (were used as remote country spares)
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