When you drop a truck 6″ you can expect the factory shocks not to work. I know, I know there are a few lucky guys who say there factory shocks work just fine compressed 6 or more inches, but I have never been that lucky. The new Monroe shocks blew out within a few miles. Not like it mattered, they were bottomed out anyway.
Typically it takes a while to figure out the best shocks for your application. Thankfully, now a days we have the internet and in this case a Mazda Facebook Group. I simply posted a question asking what shocks would fit in the rear. The common answer was VW Bug air shocks.
Well… that idea worked for me. I headed over to my local Carquest. Owner is a friend. He looked up the details and it sure seemed like they would fit. Our searching ended up with me buying 1968 VW Bug shocks.
Yah… ok… so they are on the truck. Im not sure of your definition of fitting. If you don’t have a press sitting at home, your not going to get these shocks on your B2200.
The factory shocks use a rubber bushing and no dowel pin. The VW shocks have the dowel pin pressed into the bushing and will not fit over the stock bolts. I was able to press the pins out. But that wasn’t enough.
Since the dowels were pressed in you would need to press the shock mounts on to the rubber bushings. I opted to drill out the rubber bushings. I happened to have a huge drill bit. Probably something around 3/4 inch. It was close enough to get the job done. I put the shocks in a vice and spun the drill bit till it was hot then slowly pushed into the bushing kinda melting the bushing as it cut.
Once done, the VW shocks fit over the Mazda mounts. Now it seems they are to short. I had to put the axel on the ground to compress the spring enough to get the shocks on. Yes, this will effect full travel but since the others were bottomed out I decided to try it.
Got everything installed and added 50 pounds of air. Truck is sitting where I want it and it seems to have much more travel then it did. I will take it for a drive when I get done painting the front fender and roll pan.
If your thinking about trying these, make sure you have a press and that large drill bit. Wasn’t a big deal for me but not at all what I was expecting.
UPDATE: These were a FAILURE.
The VW Shocks held the axle at a weird angle. One side was higher then the other. Ride was terrible and not safe to drive with the one side hung up. I removed the shocks and went with ones I had on the shelf from a 73 Nova.
Those parts are coming in handy with this project…….
The Nova shocks actually compress smaller and extend farther. I had to do the same thing with the top bushing to get them to fit. Very happy with the ride now.
Don’t bother trying…. use Mazda air shocks or go with Nova, Camaro, or Chevelle.