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 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.
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.
Profender 2.5 x 12" Coilover, Remote Reservoir, No Springs
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:
The reservoir hose is marked "pressure washer hose".
The lower wiper seal sticks out and contacts the rubber bump.
The misalignment spacers appear to be glued into the bearings.
The bearings have a bit of side to side play in them.
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.
The retaining rings and o-rings on the seal cap are massive.
The shaft assembly took some force to remove because the seal cap and piston create a tight seal with the cylinder (a good thing).
There was a large amount of assembly lube and particles in the shock oil, but nothing metallic.
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.
Removing the top cap exposed a significant amount of excess assembly lube that appears to have rusted or corroded.
Not being able to remove the misalignment spacers from the bearing made removing the bearing snap rings a struggle.
The reservoir fitting was sealed with excessive amounts of Teflon paste.
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.
The components have a looser fit in the reservoir cylinder than the components found in the shock body.
The narrow reservoir fittings and excessive Teflon paste made removing the hose less than pleasant.
The exterior of the reservoir has a machined finish, possibly to help with cooling.
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.
The upper coil nut is well made and rotated smoothely and securly on the cylinder.
The stop nuts did not move freely and took a lot of work to remove by turning them bit by bit.
The slider is identical to many other shocks and is a tight enough fit to hold itself up on the cylinder.
The lower spring plate looks very nice, however, we noticed that 4 of the 5 springs we tested didn't fit.
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.
Piston and lower seal cap are a precise and snug fit in the shock cylinder with almost no play.
The wear band on the piston is thick, heavy duty, and closes to a very tight fit.
While the wiper seals feel a bit soft, the DU bushing is a snug fit to the shaft.
The lower rod end required a 24" wrench and a significant amount of heat to remove.
The non-removable misalignment spacers again made extracting the bearing a pain.
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.
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.
15.5 lbs. Overall Dry Weight with Hardware
1,916 grams of Moving Weight
1,860 grams Dry Weight Without Hose
Medium Weight | Gold / Yellow
17.322" Long | 2.596" OD | 2.366" ID | 0.115" Wall | 1,761 grams | DOM Steel | Clear Coated
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
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
35mm OD | 12mm Wide | 16mm Ball Width | 20mm ID | 52100 Steel | Requires Oil
45mm Overall Width | 16mm ID | Steel
17.938" Long | 0.865" OD | 1246 grams | Steel | Chrome
0.784" Thick | 2.343" OD | .355" ID Ports | 242 grams | Steel | Bare
0.634" ID | Various OD and Thickness | Steel | Bare
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
0.712" Tall | 0.226" Inset | Wiper | Aluminum | Red Ano
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
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
2.339" OD | 1.185" Thick | 0.595" Deep Hollow | 179 grams | Aluminum
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
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.