Price quality


Non-collapsible “Zhiguli” shock absorbers from the oldest VAZ supplier, the Skopinsky auto-aggregate plant, appeared on sale.


Changing the design of old, familiar parts sometimes causes distrust of the buyer.

“I am satisfied with these shock absorbers: they serve 60–80 thousand, what else is needed? - says the owner of the Lada with experience at the counter. “Go and know how the new ones will work.” Or maybe he is wrong?

Let's figure it out. Most shock absorbers fail because fluid flows out through a worn stem seal or if it “flows” incorrectly through valves - the piston assembly and cylinder are worn out.

Skopin improved the stem seal. Previously, the assembly consisted of seven parts, now it consists of only two (!), But completely new ones - an oil seal and a guide sleeve (see. Fig.).

The gland has two (and not one, as before) working edges, and the coil spring draws the lower one, which compensates for wear and extends its service life. The gland also has a drain valve, it prevents foaming of the shock absorber fluid. This is very important because it improves the damping of the shock absorber when it has to work in heavy duty. Moreover, now it will be possible to manufacture gas-filled shock absorbers - with increased gas pressure in the compensation chamber relative to atmospheric pressure. Production of such shock absorbers is already underway.

Another advantage of the new parts is that they significantly reduce dry friction in the seal assembly.

Advanced shock absorbers have successfully passed rigorous bench and road tests in summer and winter conditions.

But why is the design called non-separable? Here, the nut that is screwed into the reservoir to secure the assembly has given way to rolling the edges of the reservoir. And this ensured tightness, eliminated the threading operation and the accompanying shavings, metal dust, which could remain in the tank.

All this is good, but the quality of the products depends not only on the design, but also on the production technology: shock absorbers require high accuracy in the manufacture of filling parts and almost sterile assembly conditions.

In recent years, much at the plant has changed markedly. A new, modern equipment has appeared - one two-story installation for chrome-plating rods is worth something. Working in automatic mode, she will not release a single defective one.

An assembly began to operate for the assembly of new non-collapsible shock absorbers (it was created by specialists of the Tula OKB “Rotor”). Cylinders are placed in the nests of the rotating table, which are automatically filled with shock-absorbing liquid, then the rods assembled with valves, the guide sleeve and the gland are inserted into them, after which the machine rolls the edges of the cylinder. Everything! Beautiful, fast and with minimal manual labor.

Director General of SAAZ Alexander Mamontov answers the questions of ZR.

- There are a lot of fakes on the market for your shock absorbers. What, the same fate awaits and inseparable?

- To their advantages we can safely add the increased difficulty of counterfeiting. Silently flaring and rolling the cylinder after a repair will be much more difficult than unscrewing and tightening the nut.

- But what about the repair kits that are on sale? One of our readers asked me to tell in detail and show in the photo how to use them.

- Motorists believe that these sets are produced by our factory. Must upset them - the sets are fake. Some parts may have been stolen from us, others are made in some workshops or in the kitchen. Not only are they most likely unusable, but the repair of most shock absorbers is useless. What is the use of putting a new filling in a worn cylinder if the stem is also worn or bent? It is possible to check the shock absorber operation only at a special stand, which, in the country, has been handled once or twice. We have 100% performance control. In general, fake shock absorbers are our misfortune. In most cases, when we are presented with complaints about products, it turns out that they were not made by SAAZ. And the brand of the plant suffers. Of course, we are not without sin, but the proportion of defective products in comparison with the total output (only last year we made 6.3 million) is insignificant.

- I remember that several years ago you hardly sold much less shock absorbers.

- We managed to quickly rebuild. We will not discount the fact that a consumer who made a choice in favor of foreign products during the crisis was forced to abandon it, fortunately, our price was three to four times lower, and the quality, if it was inferior, then to the most branded one, dear. This year we plan to increase production by 12-15%. We invest most of the proceeds in production, which is constantly being improved.

- Your wish to the readers of the magazine?

- Trust our shock absorbers - they meet the requirements of manufacturers for a particular model and therefore work better than other foreign ones.

Collapsible (left) and non-collapsible shock absorbers externally differ in the sealing of the stem seal.

The highlight of the non-separable shock absorber is the oil seal and the guide sleeve of the original design (above).

A two-story installation for galvanic coating of rods operates in automatic mode.

A revolving unit (with a rotating table) for assembling shock absorbers replaces the conveyor line.