How Can I Tell If A Shock Is Good?

[NM] The service manual describes the only reliable way to test an individual strut. Unfortunately it involves removing it from the wheel well.

Basically once you remove the strut, you compress the spring, remove the strut bolt, and remove the shock. Place the shock bottom on a piece of wood and push from the top. The shock should travel smoothly (not too fast) and

 rebound smoothly. It moves about a slow as molasses and should not have any binding or  leaking over the travel.

Many people just replace the shocks after certain mile intervals because they "feel" they may be worn, leaking, etc and really testing them requires removing them anyway. I have heard of list members getting a lot of miles on stock shocks and theoretically – since it is a closed system based on the compression of gas – if they are not leaking or binding – their should be little reason for them to be worn out.

[CMI] We were told, at the Honda test center, during NSXPO 98 that the way their drivers check if the shocks were still OK (after an endurance run on the big oval), was to see if they were hot. If it’s hot, it’s still working.  If it’s not hot, it has failed.