Trickster Gabriel

The shock absorbers of the American company "Gabriel" did not pass on domestic cars and 15 thousand kilometers …


We shared our first impressions of them in ZR No. 1 for 1999. Some probably remember: shock absorbers with a "sporty character" improved the handling of cars with some deterioration in ride. It would seem - all is well! But we decided to “skip” American shock absorbers through fairly lengthy operational tests. And, as it soon turned out, not in vain.

Problems with the "hydraulics" appeared on the VAZ 2108 very quickly - after three hundred kilometers. The first kilometer or two after night parking was accompanied by a light tapping in the rear suspension. Then, as the shock absorbers warmed up, the knock gradually subsided. And after 700 kilometers, the rear struts really rumbled. Moreover, both almost simultaneously. First impression - the upper nuts for attaching the rods to the body were unscrewed. Checked: the nuts are in place, the lower bolts with rubber bands too. It’s just scary to drive - the body responds with an echoing sound to every crack in the asphalt. They returned home "on tiptoe" - slowly and sadly.

Sawing up the shock absorber (it is non-separable), we saw that the bypass valve washer was deformed, and it freely passed fluid in both directions. The function of the rebound stroke especially worsened when the shock absorber practically did not work. What happened: the washer is made of the “wrong” metal or is the technology of its heat treatment violated? Unfortunately, we definitely cannot say this. The exact answer can only be given by the specialists of Gabriel. But honestly, we did not expect this from an American company.

The second "Samara" with "carbonated" shock absorbers drove without comment a little more than 10 thousand kilometers. First, the rear pillars and after a couple of thousand the front struts lost effectiveness. And again - without leaks!

Subject "six" lasted longer. She began to bother the driver and passengers with light knocks in the rear suspension on the 15th thousand. They arose on small and “sharp” irregularities, while with large suspension moves on a wavy surface, extraneous sounds did not annoy. Of course, we started with broaching mountings of silent blocks of jet rods and shock absorbers. Uselessly. Then, remembering the G8, they removed the rear gas-filled shock absorbers of the Gas Ryder - they knocked familiarly at the time of the change in direction of application of force, and they resisted clearly less than they should. Strangely enough, the gas did not come out of the whole gas - the shock absorbers removed were in a stretched condition. It was obvious that a certain internal defect again appeared here.

The next turned out to be a VAZ 2107 car with hydraulics Red Ryder. All the same knocks. Now they did not begin to stretch the entire suspension, but immediately took up the "Americans". The same embarrassment - “internal” loss of performance - without any fluid leakage. The car with them passed a little more than 15 thousand km.