G-Class Suspension and Steering
Most G-Class owners feel that their stock suspension is a little too stiff. Our selection of coil springs and shocks help resolve that issue. Below, find some general information on how to decide between suspension and steering ítems for the G-Class that our customers buy most often.
DECIDING TO CHANGE SHOCKS/SPRINGS
See our most FAQ on this topic down below. To soften the ride, shocks will handle most of the job of improving ride comfort. Our very rough (non-measured) estimate is that shocks make up approximately 75-85% of the difference in ride comfort. The balance will come out of a change in springs.
Viking Offroad does not currently offer springs to keep your ride height the same. If your springs are in good shape, keep them and only change your shocks. If you are looking to lift your truck, we recommend you change your springs to either of the brands we offer. Both offer a two-inch lift. Even though you will see it being done by some auto shops, we do not advise lifting your G-Wagen above 2 inches because it can damage your suspension. See further info below.
The shocks below and all the shocks sold on our website are suited for any G-Class of any height ranging from a stock ride height all the way up to a 2-inch lift (exept G55). If you are changing the front shocks on a G55, you will definitely need to change the coil springs because the stock springs on the G55 are shorter than those on all other models of G-Class. Without taller springs on the front, the front shocks we sell will not properly fit your G55 as your stock springs will bottom out before the replacement shocks and will likely damage your shocks. The shocks themselves will not lift your truck. For that, you need a lift kit (2 front and 2 rear springs).
The shocks are listed in order of preference for ride comfort. They are listed with price and approximate lead time for getting the shocks out the door and shipped to begin transit. Read the respective product pages for updated information on pricing and lead times):
Please see info on the Öhlins product page.
Lead time: Varies, but usually in stock, if not in stock, lead time may be 1-2 months.
These shocks are by far, the best in every way. Customers that want the absolute best and don't mind the significantly higher price than the next best (FOX) go with these. Most recently (past month and a half), most of our shock buyers go with these for their quality and quicker availability than the next best (FOX). RENNtech is priced highest, but ride comfort for RENNtech similar to FOX's ride comfort...both are very good. Öhlins, however, is by far the superior product in our experience and that of many of our customers, including a Rally Race champion of multiple years. Because Öhlins are significantly less expensive than RENNtech AND significantly better than all others of our shocks, many people believe their purchase of Öhlins to be the greatest value.
Lead time: Usually in stock. One to two months when not in stock.
Most people believe these to be the greatest value because the price is relatively inexpensive even though the ride improvement is better than all others except Öhlins. Throughout most of 2017 (until late summer 2017 when Ohlins began selling more regularly than all other shocks), most of our customers that buy shocks have chosen the FOX Shox. These are especially a great choice for customer that don't mind the wait and prefer to save money on their purchase of shocks. If you have the time and prefer to buy something of very good quality at a very good price, go with these...the approximate 1 to 2-month wait (sometimes more) is well worth it!
Lead time: 3-4 weeks
These offer a very noticeable improvement in ride comfort over the stock shocks, and even slightly more comfortable than FOX. Somewhat better at off road performance, however, than FOX (although FOX is pretty good at off road performance too). The Kings are very well-built high-quality shocks. Buyers that don't want to wait more than a month to get shocks, but still want a noticeable improvement in ride quality for daily street driving while serving the best out of all shocks (except Ohlins) for off road performance, and want shocks that are built well....those customers will choose King shocks.
We have found that the stock steering dampers on the older G-Class trucks are often no longer operable. Note that a change of the steering damper will make your steering feel more control and less twitchy, a feeling you may get when you lift your truck.
The reinforced track bar offers some improvement in steering, but the main reason we recommend track bars for G-Wagen owners is aesthetic. The higher your truck is lifted, the more your front tires will shift to the left side of the truck (perspective of the driver facing the road). The track bar helps to bring the tires back to their oringal position.
We recommend our variable rate springs, the THOR Motorworks namebrand. An alternative is the heavy ORC-Eibach Springs. Both springs fit any G-Class and make for a more comfortable ride. One exception to ride comfort are the short wheel base G-Class trucks as well as G-Class trucks with a pickup bed. Those trucks are too light, so the springs feel stiff on those particular trucks. Both springs perform at about the same high performance level and are of the same quality. Both lift the vehicle 1.5 to 2 inches (depending on vehicle weight). Both are variable rate springs. The differences are in price ($749 vs. $1,133), appearance (Mercedes-Benz Racing Silver vs. Blue), country of manufacture (US vs. Germany) and time to deliver (generally 2 to 6 vs. 7 to 12 business days). Much of the higher price you see in the ORC-Eibach springs is the price of inbound shipping. Also, because THOR Springs are our product, we can offer them at a very competitive price. THOR Springs are 100% made in the USA.
US-Made THOR Motorworks Coil Springs vs. German-Made ORC-Eibach Coil Springs
- Q: My G-Wagen’s suspension is too stiff (bumps and potholes on the road are jarring). How can I soften my truck’s suspension (make it more comfortable)?
- A: If your suspension feels stiff, perhaps it's worn or deteriorated...Feels like it's not functioning properly somehow? It may be time to replace it. Before you do that, though, take a look at them and see whether they actually are worn out or whether the stiffness may simply be something else....could it be that the shocks just need to be adjusted in some way if they're adjustable or the pressure is low?
- Conduct a visual inspection of your shocks and springs. Does anything look obviously wrong? If you see leaky shocks or broken/rusted springs, they should be replaced immediately. We'll note here that broken or worn springs may actually make your suspension feel softer. Similarly, depressurized shocks may feel softer too. If something else is not working with the shocks, there is a possibility that they could feel stiffer. If you easily determine that it’s time to change your shocks or coil springs, please scroll up to the shock/coil springs section(s) where you can see information that is helpful in selecting the right shocks and springs for your needs/application.
An Obvious Sign It's Time to Change Springs
- Check whether your shocks are adjustable. Adjustable shocks often have an adjustment dial somewhere on the shaft (examples below). If they are adjustable, try adjusting all four of your shocks to the same extreme on the adjustment dial and then drive test whether that adjustment made your ride more comfortable. If it didn’t, then try the other extreme. If you don’t know how to adjust your particular shocks on your own, and you did not purchase them from Viking Offroad, that’s understandable. Please contact a mechanic who can adjust them for you. Perhaps you already have a mechanic that knows you and would be willing to explain over the phone how you can go about doing it. Or contact the retailer/manufacturer of those shocks.
Examples of Shock Adjustment Dial Location
- Check the pressure on your shocks. Standard pressure on the shocks we sell is 200 PSI ±10. If the PSI is outside of the normal range, have your shocks evaluated by a mechanic to know whether they can simply be adjusted or whether you have to have them changed. If a change is necessary, please scroll up to the section on shocks to know which shocks we recommend that you get.
Another reason you might opt out of buying new springs and shocks is this: If you intend to weigh down your truck with a lot of gear for purposes of overlanding, this may be all you need to do to make your ride more comfortable. Most people don't use their truck exclusively for overlanding, however. In that case, if your suspension is old or damaged or it's relatively new but very stiff (this is common), you may consider a change of springs and shocks.