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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are a bunch of threads on the topic of suspension but I haven’t found anything specific on the Avo setup sold by PNM in the U.K. They state that they’re built to the same spec as the Eibach setup for the Sport 300.


I discovered a seeping right rear damper on my newly acquired ‘91 SE so it probably makes sense to just do all four corners. By my calculations the Avo shocks and springs for all four corners should come in around $1,000 shipped to the US. I’m curious if anyone else here on the forum has opted for these shocks/springs and what you think of them. Right now I intend on sticking with the stock wheels and brakes on the car and ideally I would just get the stock dampers rebuilt and keep the stock springs. The problem is finding someone who could actually rebuild them.

On a side note, I did 400 miles today up in the Sierras, pushing decently hard at times. While you definitely have to plan ahead and brake earlier than on most modern cars, I experienced zero fade all day and the brakes were easy to modulate on the verge of lockup. The Esprit is definitely a vehicle that demands your full attention, but to me part of the challenge is driving a 30-year-old car quickly with its original technology. Newer vehicles do everything for you. I was with two buddies, one in a Merc AMG CLS 53 and the other in an Alfa Giulia QV and despite their best efforts they couldn’t drop me, even on the long straights. Weight is the enemy! 😉

-Eric
 
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I put adjustable (spring perch and rebound) AVO shocks and springs on two Elan’s and one Europa Twin Cam. Well built and performed as I expected. All the cars had less than several thousand miles on them before I sold them so I can’t tell you about long term use. $1000 for all 4 corners is cheap. I just spent almost $4K on Penske DA shocks and springs on my Elise.

Driving a 30 to 50 year old light weight Sports car with new shocks, springs and radial tires completely changes the experience. Be careful that the rest of your suspension is well maintained as you’ll be putting higher stress levels on the car in corners. And smiling all the time.
 

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The PO installed them on the rear only of my 94 S4. The are paired with the stock springs I believe.

They work fine.

One complaint. They use a red poly bushing on the mounts on either end. The bushings have deteriorated and chunks have fallen out. I need to reach out to PNM and see if I can buy just the bushings.

It looks like the shocks have been on the car for quite a while, maybe the newer versions have a different material.

Would not hesitate to buy them.

Oh - did I read in a few threads that some folks had an issue getting the front spring perch low enough to achieve proper front ride height? I could be remembering a different brand or that only certain years had the issue. If that was the AVO you may want to discuss with PNM.

Shock tech has come a long way since the 90s (80s since designed probably), I wonder if anybody can put modern digressive shock valve technology in an original shock body to give the appearance of being stock?
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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The ride height issues applied mostly to Spax shocks I believe.

For sure, pay attention to the state of your suspension bushings. Take a close look at the LH upper link inboard bushing (where the exhaust heat is). Many poly bushings just 'melt' in that position.

1265406
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. Appreciate the feedback. Sounds like the Avo units are worth a go. I had the car back up on the lift today to do the tranny fluid and the right rear damper was bone dry (I wiped the little bit of seepage off of it prior to my 400 mile drive yesterday) so maybe I’m OK for a bit longer. During the drive yesterday I tried to be cognizant of any differences between right and left hand cornering and didn’t feel any noticeable difference. If that seepage was 5 or 10 years worth, given the low amount of miles the car’s been driven in that time, maybe the damper has some life still left in it. I have a buddy with a shock dyno so perhaps I’ll pull them all off and have him check them out.
 

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1990 Esprit SE
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OK for a bit longer
Hi Eric,
If one has leaked oil, I'd replace them asap. Over the years, you have no idea how much oil they have actually lost. If you remove the shock and operate it through it's entire travel, you may be surprised how bad it is. They will definitely be spoiling the handling and may even be dangerous.
You might never have to replace them again so you'd might as well get the maximum time benefit from new shocks that you'll eventually have to buy anyway.

Just my advice,
Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Eric,
If one has leaked oil, I'd replace them asap. Over the years, you have no idea how much oil they have actually lost. If you remove the shock and operate it through it's entire travel, you may be surprised how bad it is. They will definitely be spoiling the handling and may even be dangerous.
You might never have to replace them again so you'd might as well get the maximum time benefit from new shocks that you'll eventually have to buy anyway.

Just my advice,
Andy.
Yeah I know you’re 100% right Andy. Trying to convince myself that they’re ok to save a few bucks but it’s absolutely not worth risking safety.
-Eric
 
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