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Old 11-06-2013, 04:45 PM
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Shockwave 9000 rear shock problems

FYI, for anyone running these shocks. I just disassembled mine to find out why I was getting zero dampening. I thought the shocks lost their oil, but it turns out that the internal valves had disintegrated. These were made by Chris Alston Chassisworks out of California, and when I contacted their tech department to purchase replacement parts, I was told that they would not sell me the valves to repair my shocks, and that they wanted me to ship my shocks to them so that they could repair them at a cost of $300 plus Aprox $150 shipping.

The actual shock used for Shockwaves are called "Vari-shocks", and IMO anyone contemplating purchasing these should consider going to a better brand, because I feel they are poorly designed, and their customer relations are horrible.

The valves that rendered these shocks (with only 20k on them) unusable, are made from .006 thick steel shimstock and couldn't cost more than a couple bucks each to make. They could have shipped me the parts to repair my shocks for less than $10, but instead the chose to screw their customer instead.

Ride-Tech which originally sold me these, offered a $200 discount towards a new set of Shockwaves, which now use FOX shocks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:26 PM
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First, we did not build the shocks; Ride-Tech actually built and sold the shocks, with parts made by Chassisworks. That said you did not purchase the items from us, but Ride-Tech no longer supports customers with those shocks. They commonly try to sell the customer new shocks and if that fails they refer them to us.


As I said when we spoke, we do not offer individual internal shock components. The main reason is it can be difficult to pin down exactly when a shock was made and if the internals have changed over the years, thus we may not make item you’re asking for exactly the same. Plus we are always weary of having customers tear into a fairly complex part like a custom designed modified twin tube shock. Can the customer get the correct oil and do they have the correct tools to properly reassemble them. The seals are almost certainly going to be an issue if you try to reuse them. Then how will you dyno the shock, etc.


As far as your critique of the design; I not exactly sure what you’re referring to, although I can assure you the valve is not made of shim stock, or of your qualifications to make such statements.


Our policy is to offer the service of rebuilding the shocks. This generally runs approximately 150.00 per shock, but this is just an estimate. This cost covers a complete rebuild as well as upgrades to the most current components, to assure you’re getting the most current technology VariShock can offer. I cannot control freight costs, and we never spoke about, nor did I estimate what those costs might be.


In the end we feel this is the best course of action. It insures you get an up to date, properly rebuilt and “like new” performing pair of shocks. In our opinion it is also reasonable seeing how we’re dealing with a 900.00 – 1200.00 pair of shocks. Tossing them makes no sense when they’re made so they can be rebuilt if the need arises. And you’ll have a better performing, more widely adjustable shock than the shock you would get on a trade-in. I’m sorry I could give you want you wanted, and that that was interpreted as poor customer service. I try my best to help people, but have limited options available to handle certain citations. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.


Nick Spinelli

Chris Alston’s Chassisworks

916-388-0288 Ext #233
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:56 PM
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Nick;
I sent an e-mail to you stating how to resolve this.
The shims are in fact made from shimstock, and I am qualified to make that statement because I've been a tool & Die maker for 30 years and have used this product quite a bit. I am more than capable to rebuild my shocks,and by just replacing the valves the shocks would not have to be re-calibrated. As far as oil, none was lost and can be reused. It's sad that a customer has to go to these lengths just to get his car back on the road because the manufacturer won't give him access to $10 worth of parts.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:41 AM
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Dan,

You’re dealing with approximately 6-7 year old shocks that have wear issues. Fixable issues, but we have to rebuild them in house. The exact cost repairs are hard to predict. Plus there could also be wear on other parts like seals, scratched piston rods and especially things like the airbags, which cannot be seen until there removed. Parts that would usually not be included in the base repair cost. We’re happy to make the needed repairs and upgrades, and will even cover the cost of parts, except for air bags. We’ll also split the freight cost with you if you want. You ship them and well cover the return freight.

Thats the best I can do Dan.


Please let me know if you would like to proceed.


Nick Spinelli

Chris Alston's Chassisworks

916-388-0288 Ext #233
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the offer, but it's still not worth dishing out hundreds of dollars because of the failure of a two dollar part.
I agree rebuilding shocks should not be attempted by everyone, but some us that have a mechanical/technical background are more than capable. It's only a shock, and there's no secret recipe to rebuilding them if some of the parts are made available.
I've drawn up new valves on CAD and will be waterjetting new ones to salvage my shocks, but those are extreme steps that I have to take because of your policy.
I understand that these shocks are 6 years old, but they should not have failed because they were used on the street and have low mileage. If they were used off-road under severe conditions, I could see a problem, but this part failure IMO is purely a design and/or material flaw.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:41 AM
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I still think you will find other items are going to need replacing, specifically seals, but you can no doubt conjure up some of those items.


Personally I agree those are extreme lengths to go to just to avoid spending the money to properly rebuild and updated to like new condition a 1200.00 pair of shocks for a few hundres dollars, especially since we have made offers to help offset the cost. And so you know we're not making money on shock rebuilds. We would be better off doing what Ride-Tech did and just make people buy new shocks.

Sorry I was unable to convince you....

Nick Spinelli
Chris Alston's Chassisworks
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:46 AM
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Here's the new valves I waterjet. I made extras, because I've already had a couple people requesting some. I don't think this is an "extreme length" to go through to save a few hundred dollars. Besides, you learn something in the process and best of all it's gratifying to stick it to companies that have poor policies, and claim that their customers don't have the ability to rebuild something as simple as a shock.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:16 PM
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Good for you, hemi43. I wish I had your talent and equipment.


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Old 11-16-2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemi43 View Post
Here's the new valves I waterjet. I made extras, because I've already had a couple people requesting some. I don't think this is an "extreme length" to go through to save a few hundred dollars. Besides, you learn something in the process and best of all it's gratifying to stick it to companies that have poor policies, and claim that their customers don't have the ability to rebuild something as simple as a shock.
Awesome work.
I was going to suggest taking the shocks to a rebuilder as the parts are not that unique.
Pardon my negative review, but I have never found any of the air ride stuff to be of any performance or cost benefit.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
Awesome work.
I was going to suggest taking the shocks to a rebuilder as the parts are not that unique.
Pardon my negative review, but I have never found any of the air ride stuff to be of any performance or cost benefit.
My car is setup for Shockwaves, so that's why I want to keep the air ride on it. It has been a good system, but will definitely use coil-overs with springs on my next build.
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