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Profender Performance Shocks Review

Profender was founded in Thailand in 1976 to build performance shock absorbers for pick-up trucks and commercial vehicles. They recently expanded into building performance shocks, coilovers, bypasses, and hydraulic bump stops to meet the growing demands of off-road enthusiasts in Thailand and around the world.

Profender Shocks

Profender has a US based distributor in Philadelphia, PA that handles their US sales and provides tech support, parts, and shock servicing. You can visit their website at ProfenderSuspension.com or call them at 585-259-1546.




Have Questions About Profender Performance Shocks? Check Out The Comments Section Below!


The Ordering Process

We called Profender anonymously and found their tech and sales support to be very good with adequate answers to our questions. They don't offer custom valving or any options other than what is already pre-packaged in their boxes so we were directed to their website to place the order, which we did. The coilover shipped out later that same day and we received the tracking number via email. Profender shocks are also available through a handful of reputable off-road shops, many of which offer slightly better pricing.



Shipping and Delivery

We received our Profender coilover several days later via FedEx and could hear all of the metal parts inside rattling around as soon as we picked up the box. Inside, we noticed there was very little padding used to protect the shock and our eye immediately caught sight of a large gash in the upper coil nut. Nothing appeared to be missing and all of the other parts, other than the crumpled reservoir decal, appeared to be in good shape.

Shock Details: Profender 2.5 x 12" Coilover, Remote Reservoir, No Springs
Manufacturers Price: $444.00 ($444.00 + Free Shipping)
Typical Dealer Price: $399.60 ($399.60 + Free Shipping)
Date Ordered: April 11th.
Date Shipped: April 11th. (Same Day)
Packaging: Poor - Shock Arrived Damaged
Reservoir Mounts: Yes (Blocks with Hose Clamps)
Pressurized Reservoir: Yes

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This Profender Shock Review is ©Copyright Crawlpedia.com - Do not reproduce or repost without written approval.



Initial Impressions

Other than the damage to the upper coil nut and the poor packaging, the shock as a whole appears to be well made with components very similar to the top manufacturers. Upon closer inspection though, we did find a few things that jumped out at us:

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Disassembly

Opening a Profender coilover is done by following standard performance shock servicing procedures. Profender uses three socket head cap screws to hold the wiper cap in place and once they are removed the cap will easily slide out of the way. Pushing down on the seal cap assembly exposes the retaining ring which can be removed with a screwdriver or pick. With the retaining ring removed, the shaft assembly can be pulled out of the shock and the oil can be drained into a clean container for inspection.

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Removing the top cap required a 24" adjustable wrench and moderate amount of heat from a torch but once the thread locker loosened up the cap came out nicely. The fitting on the reservoir hose has a narrow nut on it which was surprisingly difficult to remove and resulted in some unfortunate damage to the top cap. The upper bearing is a tight fit and held in place by two snap rings. An extra deep socket was needed to fit over the misalignment spacers to tap out the bearing since they are non-removable.

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Other than the awkwardly narrow reservoir fittings that are difficult to get a standard wrench over, the reservoir came apart smoothly. The end caps are held in place with retaining rings and each end was sealed with extra-large o-rings.

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This Profender Shock Review is ©Copyright Crawlpedia.com - Do not reproduce or repost without written approval.



Coilover Hardware

Profender coilovers use a pinch style upper coil adjustment nut with external ports for a pin style adjusting wrench. The threads on the cylinder are square cut and the coil nut rotates smoothly and securely along them. The stop nuts, however, were wedged and would not move freely. The slider is the same plastic style slider found on most other brands of performance coilovers and it is a very snug fit on the cylinder. The lower spring plate is a slotted flat plate design that sits securely on the lower rod end but, oddly enough, doesn't fit many 3.0 ID coil springs.

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Shock Shaft and Piston Assembly

The shaft and piston assembly in the Profender coilover contains all of the same components found in most high performance shocks and they all appear to be very good quality. The piston is CNC machined steel with nice compression and rebound ports. There are 2 bleed holes with a third marked for drilling if needed. Disassembly was straight forward and the shims were in a typical pyramid stack with a top out washer on the compression side.

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Shock Valving

All Profender shocks are pre-built and sold with the shims stack configurations listed below. Profender does sell additional shims and also offers a re-valving service for an additional fee. With this combination, Profender uses medium weight shock oil and 150 PSI in the reservoir.

CompressionRebound
.016" x 1.732" OD .016" x 1.732" OD
.016" x 1.732" OD .012" x 1.572" OD
.012" x 1.572" OD .012" x 0.632" OD
.012" x 1.572" OD .016" x 0.942" OD
.012" x 1.415" OD .008" x 0.782" OD
.012" x 1.260" OD .008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD .008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD .008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD .008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD
.008" x 0.782" OD
Top Out Washer



This Profender Shock Review is ©Copyright Crawlpedia.com - Do not reproduce or repost without written approval.



Shock Details

The following is a list of component materials, dimensions, weights, finishes, and other important details as they pertain to each individual part. Each component was measured multiple times with a highly precise caliper and scale.

Complete Shock 15.5 lbs. Overall Dry Weight with Hardware
Shaft Assembly 1,916 grams of Moving Weight
Reservoir Assembly 1,860 grams Dry Weight Without Hose
Shock Oil Medium Weight | Gold / Yellow

Shock Cylinder 17.322" Long | 2.596" OD | 2.366" ID | 0.115" Wall | 1,761 grams | DOM Steel | Clear Coated
Top Cap 4.04" Tall | 2.639" OD | 0.986" Ear Width | 0.30" Bearing Wall | Aluminum | Red Ano
Top Coil Nut 1.09" Tall | 0.39" Spring Perch | 3.07" OD Spring Seat | 274 grams | Aluminum | Red Ano
Stop Nuts 0.48" Tall | 0.10" - 0.125" Wall | 18 grams | Aluminum | Bare
Slider 2.324" Tall | 4.155" OD | 2.608" ID | 0.529" Wide Spring Seat | 0.214" Wall | Plastic
Lower Spring Plate 0.786" Tall | 0.392" Thick Seat | 4.13" OD | 0.908" Slot | Aluminum | Bare
Bearings 35mm OD | 12mm Wide | 16mm Ball Width | 20mm ID | 52100 Steel | Requires Oil
Misalignment Spacers 45mm Overall Width | 16mm ID | Steel

Shock Shaft 17.938" Long | 0.865" OD | 1246 grams | Steel | Chrome
Piston 0.784" Thick | 2.343" OD | .355" ID Ports | 242 grams | Steel | Bare
Valving Shims 0.634" ID | Various OD and Thickness | Steel | Bare
Shaft Spacer 0.987" Tall | 1.438" OD | 0.882" ID | 44 grams | Aluminum | Bare
Seal Cap / Guide 1.496" Tall | 2.357" OD | DU Bushing + O-Ring + Wiper | 224 grams | Aluminum | Bare
Wiper Cap 0.712" Tall | 0.226" Inset | Wiper | Aluminum | Red Ano
Bump Stop 1.952" OD | 0.473" Thick | Rubber with Internal Washer
Lower Rod End 3.062" Tall | 1.923" OD | 0.981" Ear Width | 0.29" Bearing Wall | 177 grams | Aluminum | Red Ano

Reservoir 11.75" Long | 2.582" OD | 2.368" ID | 0.107" Wall | 1,238 grams | DOM Steel | Clear Coated
Reservoir Valve End 2.357" OD | 1.264" Thick | Brass Schrader Valve | Aluminum | Red Ano
Reservoir Hose End 2.359" OD | 1.269" Thick | 0.596" Bore | 3/8" NPT Thread | Aluminum | Red Ano
Reservoir Piston 2.339" OD | 1.185" Thick | 0.595" Deep Hollow | 179 grams | Aluminum
Reservoir Hose 22.25" Long | 0.667" OD | 0.40" ID | 5,000 PSI | Double Steel Braided | 3/8" Fittings | Rubber


Summary / Conclusion

While there are many things to like about this Profender coilover, it is a difficult shock to recommend for the simple fact that it has too many flaws to justify a $400 price tag. For example, the Walker Evans coilover costs about the same with the King PR series coming in at only $45 more. Alternatively, for about half the price you could have an FOA coilover that is similar in quality and made in the US.

The Good Stuff The Bad Stuff
Good customer support and service No custom valving option
Many well-made components Poor packaging, shock arrived damaged
Easy to service Only available with 16mm misalignment spacers
Replacement parts available Misalignment spacers attached to bearing
Tight seal cap and piston fit Bearings require constant lubrication
Heavy duty wear bands Both bearings had noticeable play in them
Extra-large retaining rings Stop nuts are very difficult to move
Tight fitting spring slider Most springs do not fit lower spring plate
Fast shipping Pressure washer hose used for reservoir
Bump stop contacts wiper seal at full bump
Excessive use of assembly lube and Teflon paste
Poor value for your dollar
Not made in the USA

The Final Word: Most of our complaints with the Profender coilover are easily fixable and we feel that with those simple changes we could see them become a much stronger contender in the performance off road shock market, especially if they can also bring their price down a bit, too.



Have Questions About Profender Performance Shocks? Check Out The Comments Section Below!


Related Resources

Crawlpedia Shock Shootout
Shock Tuning Guide
Shock Valving Guide
How To Measure For Coilovers
Coilover Install and Setup Guide
ORI STX Struts Guide




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