Effectiveness of coilover covers - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Effectiveness of coilover covers

I was wondering if anyone has been using coilover covers (like the neoprene ones from Icon) for 3+ years and has any positive or negative things to say about them. Have they protected the shocks without causing a buildup of dirt/mud? I'm particularly adept at destroying high end suspension parts so, I was about to order some OMEs (cheaper and look a lot more durable) but, if the neoprene covers do an effective job, I'd prefer to go that route.

As a related question, does anyone have an experience trying to get vendors to repair/replace leaking shocks after about 2 years of use? I'm very confident that I can destroy any high end coilover in less than 3 years so, a vendor with a 3 year warranty and good service might actually extend the shock lifetime to something useful.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 03:47 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

I've had my Icon neoprene shock covers on the front for two years as of a week from now. For reference I've seen a few times on the forum that the high end shocks last about 40-60k miles before needing a rebuild. My Icons are at 32k miles and 3 years since their last rebuild. (helps to keep a spreadsheet of all this maintence stuff)

All three of those years I've ran at least 3 miles of dirt roads daily. A lot of times more like 15 miles at 60 mph so they have definitely been used. The years haven't been so kind to the rear 2.0 shocks. The eyelets are completely sand blasted from the gravel and the shafts are fairly pitted. Both the front and rear are leaking a very slight amount of oil around the shaft/seal area. Not enough to concern me yet and not really even enough to "drip". I'm guessing they will easily last another 10k. Just enough to develop a sight film and be noticeable. I personally don't think its realistic to expect a shock to last much more than 3 years doing the things that we do, especially the adjustable coilovers and exposed shock shafts on the back.

Here is Icon's rebuild service costs. From experience a new shock shaft is not included in that $$ amount and a new shaft runs about $55. Both of my rear shocks will require new shafts when time to rebuild. My fronts will probably not. The 2.5" rear shocks have a heavier duty shaft that will more than likely last longer.
2.0 / 2.5 / 3.0 Shock Rebuild Service & Upgrade Information | Icon Vehicle Dynamics -

IMO running the front covers is an excellent way to get them to last longer. It doesn't trap dirt like the rear boots (That I don' t run for that reason) because the lower coil cup has a slot in it. Actually I rarely remove mine. Also if you go too long before rebuilding obviously the ride will suffer and the chances of scoring the inside of the shock cylinder increases. Just so you know, this has been my experience.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

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I've had my Icon neoprene shock covers on the front for two years as of a week from now. For reference I've seen a few times on the forum that the high end shocks last about 40-60k miles before needing a rebuild. My Icons are at 32k miles and 3 years since their last rebuild. (helps to keep a spreadsheet of all this maintence stuff)

All three of those years I've ran at least 3 miles of dirt roads daily. A lot of times more like 15 miles at 60 mph so they have definitely been used. The years haven't been so kind to the rear 2.0 shocks.
This is similar to the conditions that kill my stuff but, with an added dash of mountain snow. My rear SAWs lasted about 15k miles and I doubt if my fronts will make it to 30k. That shouldn't reflect poorly on the SAWs (I really like them) but, as you pointed out, any kind of exposed shaft design can't really handle extreme environmental conditions.

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Here is Icon's rebuild service costs.
So, about the same price as to completely replace an OME shock but, with extra downtime and it probably needs to be rebuilt more frequently than the OMEs need to be replaced. Makes it a hard decision.

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IMO running the front covers is an excellent way to get them to last longer. It doesn't trap dirt like the rear boots (That I don' t run for that reason) because the lower coil cup has a slot in it.
That's interesting. I replaced my rear SAWs with Toytec BOSS shocks specifically because of the boots. I really like them but, I guess I'll find out how well they hold up in another year or so.

From what you've described, it sounds like the covers will extend the life a bit but not in a miraculous way. I've heard of people getting crazy high miles out of OMEs so, I'm kind of torn. Maybe I'll try out the OMEs and, if they are awful, get the SAWs rebuilt and put them back on with covers.

Thanks for the detailed feedback.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 05:10 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

I forgot, but for the rears Icon sells the stainless shock shaft guards. Fox also sells a plastic "roost"
shield. Either of those combined with a larger shock shaft found on the 2.5" diameter shock should help extend their lives.

To add to the indecision I'm going to be swapping out my rear Icons to the OME 60071L long travel rear shock from the superflexy on the cheap thread.

I might miss the great ride the fancy shocks get me, but I will be gaining a lot of travel and a little more reliablity hopefully.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

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I forgot, but for the rears Icon sells the stainless shock shaft guards. Fox also sells a plastic "roost"
shield. Either of those combined with a larger shock shaft found on the 2.5" diameter shock should help extend their lives.
I actually don't think it's rock strikes that are killing things so fast. It's just that in the winter everything is covered in mud/slush/snow/ice and driving to town to wash it off just means that's it's kinda clean for part of the drive home and then filthy again by the time I get home. I kinda wonder if neoprene covered OMEs in the front would do the trick. Then decide what to do about the rears when the BOSS shocks die (which, hopefully, won't be for a while).

Also, to give people an idea of the conditions that are killing my suspension so quickly, this is a picture of my FJ in my driveway and it's very common for it to look like this.

(P.S. If any vendors want to test their suspension products in extreme environmental conditions, I'll be happy to do so...)
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 06:13 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

So this is what your looking for: Coilover Covers doing there job *update*

There really isn't one perfect setup. It's a give and take unfortunately.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

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So this is what your looking for: Coilover Covers doing there job *update*

There really isn't one perfect setup. It's a give and take unfortunately.
Wow. That just convinced me to stay with the high end stuff and use covers. That's extremely impressive, thanks.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 01:23 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

Just ordered FOX 2.5 coilovers. What covers you recommend for them?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 12:27 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

I just ordered a set of the Icon neoprene covers from MetalTech. They have free shipping posted on the website. They will be covering my 2.5" Radflo's during the winter. We get a mix of sand and chemical spray on the roads in my region, so I will post any feedback come Spring. Fingers crossed for good results.

2014 Quicksand -The Honey Badger-
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 03:27 PM
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Re: Effectiveness of coilover covers

^ Can't found from metaltech4x4.com, but from many other stores
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