Just Commodores Forum Community

It takes just a moment to join our fantastic community

Register

Shocks for improved ride in SV6

Discussion in 'VF Holden Commodore (2013 - 2017)' started by andrewr, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. andrewr

    andrewr New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    Ballarat
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6
    I have a SV6 sedan with stock FE2 suspension and about 65000 km.

    In general I like the FE2, but I find it a little harsh over small bumps and poor sections of road. I am wondering whether replacing the shocks would improve it.

    There seem to be a few options I could look at:
    • Monroe OESpectrum. I understand Monroe make the original shocks. These seem to be the only ones Monroe list for the SV6 - are they the same as original, or better?
    • Koni Special Active (FSD). They sound good, but they don't seem to offer a specific FE2 version like e.g. Monroe do. As far as I can tell they have the same part number for all the SV6 sedans. I wonder how well the damping is matched to the FE2 springs?
    • Factory original? Maybe after 65000k the shocks have worn enough that they are rebounding too fast from small bumps giving a poor ride? However even when the car was new it was in the back of my mind to look for something better when it came time for replacement.
    I don't want to lower the car or go more sporty than the FE2 - I want to keep it as close to stock as possible.

    Can anyone make any recommendations or offer any experience? I don't want to replace the shocks and find it makes no difference at all.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,162
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    North Tas
    Members Ride:
    VR Ute V6
    I have looked into this and it would seem Koni adjustables are the best under $400 shocks. They are are close to $400, so are more expensive that a few others.
     
  3. [paradox]

    [paradox] Active Member

    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VF2 SSV-R
    From memory all factory shocks are the same part numbers, swaybars and sping combinations determine FE1/2/3
    And because of this you wont really find any aftermarket offering say FE2 versions, its irrelevant to the aftermarket company.

    Koni FSD change the damping rate based on how fast the shock is moving. They are supposed to be a good piece of kit.

    I bought some second hand ones for my VE and did a DIY install (followed by an alignment), and i wasnt really happy with them.
    But that could have been 300 different things. Every place i went to diagnose it told me something different was wrong.
    Ended up being cheap and paying twice (never again buying second hand suspension), and getting coilovers, from a company i also wont recommend.
     
  4. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,557
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Members Ride:
    Zenki S14
    Shocks are pretty much nearing the end of their life, or could be there depending on how old they are too. Are they leaking at all? Cheapest I would go are KYBs, they're pretty good compared to other stuff at the same cost (Monroe, Pedders etc...). Just FYI too shock absorbers won't change your height.

    What about tyres/wheels - diameter, pressure, tyre type/age?
     
  5. andrewr

    andrewr New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    Ballarat
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6
    I don't think they're leaking. Nearing end of life is one reason I was thinking maybe the cheaper option might be satisfactory vs. e.g Koni. Particularly if the Monroes were an upgrade on an original replacement. On the other hand, the price difference isn't large enough to make it worth doing twice!

    I know it won't change height, but every other suspension thread seemed to be about lowering so I figured I would emphasize that's not what I want.

    Wheels are standard, 18" I think. Front tyres are new, same type as original fitment. Rears are same type, but close to replacement time.
     
  6. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

    Messages:
    5,245
    Likes Received:
    863
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VE Berlina
    If you don't want to spend a mortgage payment on the struts but still want decent quality, KYB EXCELG would be one of the best you'll find. Sachs great too but harder to get.
     
  7. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

    Messages:
    5,245
    Likes Received:
    863
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VE Berlina
     
  8. Big Red VF-SII Go-kart

    Big Red VF-SII Go-kart I love puddles.

    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    Geelong VIC
    Members Ride:
    VF-SII SV6 (MY017) Sportwagon
    End of life at 65,000km!?
    Not a chance. 100,000km, inspect.
    When Holden replaced my shocks, I was told that MonroeGT are the ones for Commodores with FE2 suspension. This was for my VZ Executive, changed out at 192,600km (12 years service, one with a broken cover rattling!). The MonroeGT shocks immediately improved stability at the rear, and maintained the characteristics of FE2 (no roll, tilt cornering, or bounce and bumps barely felt). I think this was $370, fitted.
    The VF also has FE2 suspension - - I can see the shocks are yellow, so I have no idea what they may be. There should not be any choppy or rough ride, unless you are using midi or low profile tyres (wrong way to go if you want to experience the comfort of FE2).
     
  9. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,557
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Members Ride:
    Zenki S14
    Eh, buy something else. Holden don't necessarily fit them because they're the best, usually it's because it's some known brand name that they got at a good price by buying in bulk (big brands make budget tyres too, even if the price doesn't reflect it). See this post from last week: https://forums.justcommodores.com.au/threads/sv6-e2-bumpyness-problem-need-help.179448/#post-3064458

    Whatever it is doesn't have to be as good as Pilot Sports, but there are better tyres out there for cheaper than what was OE.

    If you're a fan of Monroe they say replace at 80,000. It's a linear(ish) drop in degradation (which is so slow that you never notice) so IMHO waiting for a number to tick over is pointless anyway. Will also depend on what surface you're driving on and how often.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    426Cuda likes this.
  10. andrewr

    andrewr New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    Ballarat
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6
    That's what i've heard.

    But are the ones Monroe sell to the public the same, or do they e.g. sell shocks built to a particular price point to Holden, and sell more expensive, better ones under their own brand?
     
  11. greenacc

    greenacc Searching for the billion

    Messages:
    5,245
    Likes Received:
    863
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney
    Members Ride:
    VE Berlina
    I doubt Holden would have asked for an inferior version of a Monroe shock since Holden had to provide the warranty. I don't think Monroe are that fantastic to start with. I don't use them in my cars. I use KYB or Sachs/BOGE instead and have always been happy with them. But the general rule is don't get the cheapest model of any brand, you need a sports gas shock for a decent ride.
     
  12. SilverVKberlina

    SilverVKberlina New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Location:
    melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VF Evoke
    If your enjoying your VF try the evoke, I just got a 2015 one and it's ride quality/ body control is superb. I have driven a VF SV6 and I am surprised just how close the smaller engine evoke feels to the SV6 but I wouldn't want the evoke to ride any firmer than it does I think they have the balance of ride and body control just right.
    It really sounds like your tastes have changed and value comfort over sportiness.
     
  13. panhead

    panhead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Location:
    NSW Central Coast
    Members Ride:
    Cars
    Everyone's entitled to their own tastes but give me the thrill of the feel over comfort any day.

    And Holden has done a fair job with the FE2 & FE3 suspension packages they are a good balance of compromise.

    If you want to soften the FE2 look into the parts that make up the FE1 and FE1.5 packages for the Evoke & Calais




    .
     
  14. andrewr

    andrewr New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    Ballarat
    Members Ride:
    VF SV6
    There's some truth to this. When I bought the car I was seriously considering a Calais for exactly that reason, and tracked down one for a test drive. The loop included a section of freeway which had a big dip in it and the Calias felt like it did this big bounce and float which I didn't like at all. In the end I also liked the overall looks of the SV6 better, so bought that with the idea that if I felt strongly enough I could change the suspension later.

    Changing the suspension still seems easier than changing the car.

    I agree in general. I find the FE2 is very good at 100km/h on Australian roads. Between 60-80 on poor roads it's not so good. I suspect grip would actually be better in this situation with softer suspension.

    FE1.5 actually sounds ideal but I don't know whether components are available for the VF? I did consider it, but I don't know what other complications that sort of change would introduce, e.g. mismatched sway bars etc.

    I'd rather keep the car close to stock, and make changes that make at least some objective sense. Koni FSD might be the best option.
     
  15. panhead

    panhead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Location:
    NSW Central Coast
    Members Ride:
    Cars
    The VF Calais has the FE1.5 suspension and it's underpinnings are the same as all the other variants so any changes to shocks or sway bars will just be a bolt on.

    You can't have you cake and eat it too.

    If you want it stock as possible while changing the ride characteristics then using OEM Holden parts is the way to go.

    Koni has a good rep but it may be a trail and error to start with and you could end up spending good money to find they ain't what you're after.

    Go to a good suspension shop and tell them what you're after and see if they can offer you what you want.

    While you're there ask them to guarantee if you're not happy with the outcome that it can be changed back at a minimal cost and see what they have to say.





    .
     
  16. MattSAU2XR8

    MattSAU2XR8 Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    60
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Location:
    Caloundra
    Members Ride:
    VE SS Auto 2007
    I put Koni Yellows in my low mileage VE SS with stock springs and the ride was nicer. I think less compression damping and maybe a little more rebound. Not sure it actually went around corners any faster, but had sla nicer ride. So suspect FSDs would be similar. Cheaper I think, not rebuildable, but having to remove the shocks and send them off for rebuilding sounds like a pain anyway.
     
  17. SilverVKberlina

    SilverVKberlina New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Location:
    melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VF Evoke
    I was driving my evoke today with this post in mind and I thought to myself if the evoke was any firmer it would ruin the cars beautiful balance. I think there is a perception out there that the evoke isn't very sporting in its handling or the way it drives because it's the base model but I can tell everyone it's the most BMW like base model commodore I have ever driven it has wonderful handling and brilliant body control with a firm yet graceful ride. Our other car is a f30 320d
     
  18. panhead

    panhead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Location:
    NSW Central Coast
    Members Ride:
    Cars
    It's good to hear you are so happy with your car but wow you must have an exceptional Evoke as none of my Commodores in stock form come anywhere near as well balanced as my BMW.





    .
     
  19. Clay1391

    Clay1391 Active Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Location:
    Warragul
    Members Ride:
    Ssv redline
    Im looking at replacing my shocks too, just spoken with Fullcrum suspension in Pakenham and they recommend putting in formula shocks in my vf ute. They were saying the Bilstein and Koni are inserts only and are more expansive around the cost of Coilovers themselves, including fitting. Koni only make front insert shocks too.
    Anyone had any experience in Formula shocks? cost around $1100 inc install for all 4. Id hope they would be a massive improvement on current stock shocks.
     
  20. SilverVKberlina

    SilverVKberlina New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2020
    Location:
    melbourne
    Members Ride:
    VF Evoke
    Not sure I'm dealing with the smartest bunch of specimens here, people see one or two words and come to their own conclusions . I said most BMW LIKE does that mean it's as good as our beamer ?of coarse not! Just saying it's closer than previous models Holden were trying to bench mark.
    Please don't take that last bit as ' a guy at Holden called Mark was the one who did all the benchmarking against BMW,s '..........
     

Share This Page