Doetsch Tech 8000 Pre-Runner Series
By Robin Schmidt
If you're reading this then you're probably one of those people who has done some offroad
modifications to your vehicle in the hopes of gaining better offroad performance. You probably also
know that one modification leads to another, and another, and another (you get the idea).
Well, I was in need of some new shocks in a bad way. My current shocks were no longer handling
their damping duties and were also severely limiting my axle travel. After some careful
investigation into the different shocks available I settled on the Pre-runner 8000 Series
shock absorbers from Doetsch Tech.
Well the say a picture is worth a 1000 words so I'll let the picture do just that.
One thing you can clearly see is that these shocks are BEEFY! The piston assembly is extremely
well made and the chrome shaft is noticeably thicker than the old Rancho RS9000's I had on the front.
Another thing you'll notice is that these are WAY longer than my original shocks which is going to allow my axles their
full range of motion.
The old, and the new. Also shown is the supplied mounting hardware.
The shocks that I chose were the model number DT8403's which have an extended length of 32 inches
and a compressed length of 18.5 inches for a resulting 13.5 inches of travel. These were the longest
travel 8000 Series I could get with the EB1 Loop style upper and lower mounts. The shocks also came with
the following hardware to fit a variety of applications: 1 1/2" sleeve, 12mm sleeve, 10mm sleeve,
9/16" sleeve, 1/2 x 2.235 ext. sleeve, and a 3" crosspin. All in all a very complete package guaranteed
to fit almost any application. A full listing of the available applications and sizes can be found on the
Doetsch Tech website on page 20 of their online catalog.
Remember what I said about modifications leading to other modifications? Well, here's the prime
example; the addition of new long-travel shocks required new upper shock mounts. This is the kinda
stuff we live for though right?
I already knew that I was going to need new mounts to be able to mount the new shocks in the front so I
previously went out and picked up a set of Ford shock towers (PN E5TZ-18183-A). These I would
mount in place of the old upper mounts and would allow me to install the shocks at the proper height
so that I would get the maximum upwards and downwards travel.
Say bye bye to the old shock mount. Here I've just painted the frame after grinding off the old shock mount and drilling a hole for the new one.
A shot of the Ford shock towers, oooohhh shiny.
The new upper mount bolted into place.
The new shock bolted and welded into place, ready for action.
In the rear of the vehicle I had already located the top of the old shocks inboard to allow for longer
travel so the swap was a simple bolt-off, bold-on procedure.
New shocks mounted in the rear.
The test included a couple of weeks and weekends spent driving on
a variety of on and offroad terrain.
My on-road impression with the new shocks was great. The speed-sensitive
valving kept the suspension tight when turning corners while soaking up
the bumps and potholes on the local Vancouver roads. In fact, the new shocks
made such a difference in the ride quality that I've started driving my
trail-only vehicle to work during the week.
After driving around town with the new shocks I had a good feeling that
I would really like the shocks once I left the pavement. One of the daytrips that
I took was to a local offroad area called Eagle Ridge. This area consists of
several rocky trails with a few small technical sections thrown in. While
manouvering up the trail at a slow speed the shocks allowed the tires to easily
move through their full range of motion. This, along with the now longer shocks,
allowed them to constantly remain in contact with the ground. On the less
technical sections I was able to comfortably travel at a good pace while the
shocks tirelessly worked away. I was also comforted with the fact that the shocks had
the built in bumpstops to take the hit in the event that I encountered any large
obstacles while at speed.
If you're looking for a great shock with tons of great features then you'd be doing
yourself a favour to pick up a set of the DT 8000's. With the integrated bumpstop,
speed-sensitive valving, lifetime warranty, and more, these shocks have more features
than most of the other leading shock-absorber manufacturers, not to mention that you get
all this for a price you can afford.
Doetsch Tech makes a large variety of shocks for many different applications so finding
a set that will suit your needs and budget won't be a problem. Visit their
website or call 1-800-8-SHOCKS for more