Ford Fi­esta Mk7

Part five: We fit a new set of dampers to sort the crashy ride, but it doesn’t seem to help.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

By 100,000 miles, most car shock ab­sorbers – or dampers, to use the cor­rect term – are usu­ally fin­ished. Leak­ing oil, they’re so knack­ered that the car has a re­ally crashy ride. Our Fi­esta Mk7 is renowned for ex­cel­lent han­dling and ride qual­ity, but while ours han­dled fine, the ride was a bit noisy. So we or­dered a set of four dampers – Mon­roe fronts and Boge Sachs rears – from GSF Car Parts. Dampers for the Mk7 are sur­pris­ingly ex­pen­sive – well over £300 for the fronts and £200 for the rears. We didn’t get a price from Ford as a com­par­i­son, but sus­pect they would have made GSF look cheap!

The new dampers are gas-filled units, as oil-filled ones are just about ex­tinct. You can fit dif­fer­ent brands front to back, but it’s not the best idea to do them side-to-side. Al­though the dampers are near enough what Ford spec­i­fied, you may find a slight vari­ance as they age at dif­fer­ent rates. The job of fit­ting them was pretty straight­for­ward, with a cou­ple of pro­vi­sos, and took about three hours.

Un­for­tu­nately, af­ter­wards the Fi­esta was driv­ing ex­actly as it did be­fore. The old units were still per­fect and with strong damp­ing and no fluid leaks, so we put them to one side rather than scrap them. Hav­ing said that, UK roads are an ab­so­lute dis­grace, so the prob­lem may be the car body and trim shud­der­ing over our rut­ted, patched-up tar­mac rather than the dampers them­selves.

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