Issues with Ironman shocks on my Renault Duster AWD

When I contacted the Ironman dealer, the first thing he said was “this has never happened before”.

epijay recently shared this with other BHPians.

Customer Service in India is a thin veneer consisting of selling you a product. But if there are issues with a product, blame-shifting will start to occur instead of the seller/provider striving to understand the product and trying to fix the problem for the customer.

I purchased a set of Ironman Shocks from a dealer in Bangalore for my AWD Duster a little over a year ago. The top mount was replaced because the bearings had become jammed. Fast forward a year plus later, and the replaced top mounts were again jammed. I got a pair of new OEM top mounts from the Renault dealer, took them to the Ironman dealer in Bangalore, who replaced them and re-fitted the shocks. A week or two later, (see pics), the top mounts were unevenly jutting out.

When I contacted the Ironman dealer, the first thing he said was “this has never happened before”, thus starting the CVA procedure for not taking responsibility and standing behind a product that cost in excess of Rs. 1 lakh! The conversation turned hostile and he got very defensive about it. Words like “can’t do anything about it” were used by another Ironman Dealer in Coimbatore. As it stands, the Bangalore dealer has asked me to drive over (on defective mounts) to Bangalore but doesn’t seem to have any plans in place to recognise and take care of the problem.

The solution seems to be that Ironman should have offered extra re-inforced top mounts for each make of vehicle they have recommended. On their website, they have, for example, made available re-inforced mounts for the Pajero. If they cannot guarantee the shocks’ performance for your particular make and model, they should NOT be selling them to you in the first place. “It has never happened before” is a logical fallacy and subterfuge for CYA because, NOW, it HAS happened, but then they try to shift the blame on to the driver; this shoddy customer service has kicked in!!! Buyers Beware!!!

Here’s what BHPian Sankar had to say on the matter:

This is a perennial issue with many VW Polos, Ventos, MK1 Octavias with a lowered suspension or a worn out mounting bush. Duster has the same suspension design up front.

Blame the el cheapo type front strut design in these vehicles including the Duster, and any other new-gen car with a front McPherson strut suspension. Gone are the days of three bolt or two bolt strut top mounting system of cars like old – Lancer, Baleno, Esteem, City etc. and not so old Ecosport.

Bolted in front McPherson strut top – Eg: Ecosport. Marked in blue circles:

Retainer/Cap type front McPherson strut tops. Eg: Venue. Marked in yellow circles. Duster, Polo, Swift etc. is of this type. Almost all McPhersons are of this type now. Its cheaper.

This type of front strut mounts are simpler (read cheaper) in design, the large bush on top of the strut sits into that upside-down bowl looking mounts. The strut rod passes through the large hole in the center and a retainer/cap is bolted on top in place. Basically, the strut is sandwiched in the strut mounting by the bush below and the retainer cap on top. The cap’s function is not to let the struts fall out of the car if the wheel goes into a dip or catches air. The whole weight is taken by the bush sitting inside the bowl. Its not positively held in place and moves about when the vehicle is moving. Its a cheap design like the torsion beam rear suspension but works.

If the bush wears out it sticks too much into the engine bay, if lowering springs are used it sticks too much, if there is a difference in length of the shocks and the bush isn’t matched for it, it sticks too much.

In my old Octavia RS with H&R OE sport springs and Bilstein dampers, it stuck out like this. I fixed it using aftermarket top mount bushes. On my ex Polo GT, it stuck out a bit like this even with stock suspension. In a Vento with Bilstein Coilover, it stuck out far too much and was an eyesore. But in VW it can be fixed using aftermarket top mount bushes. In my current i10, it sticks out a little because the top mount bush is worn and makes clunking noise when going over potholes. That sound is the retainer cap hitting the strut mounts.

The Duster has the exact same front McPherson mount design and if you want to fix it, you may have to get a thicker or less compressible aftermarket top mount bush. BTW, why did you have to change the bush for the bearings? Is the strut bearing built into the bush?

When I had the VWs, I thought there was something wrong with the suspension till I figured that this is how the el-cheapo design is supposed to be.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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