When I ordered my new shocks it said they didn't come with boots so I asked the guy if I could order them he said I could but.. it voids the warranty, supposedly they are bad and trap all sorts of dirt and grim ruining the shaft. I have researched and some guys (on the Jeep forum) have put them on but didn't strap them at the bottom so they could be lifted up and washed out. What is everyone's opinion on this? Obviously with my luck I can't void the warranty, but just curious on everyone's opinion.
That's always a big debate on the Jeep forums. When I installed shocks on my ZJ I used the shock boots. I would imagine what Metal said is true but if dirt or mud did get inside the boot it probably wouldn't find it's way back out.
My vote goes for putting the boots on because that's what I did.
Ive not had them for nearly 6 years with no problems.
When I did have them fitted they where tightly sealed but still filled up with silt and grit.
Ive no pitted rods since taking them off.
My thinking is if your rallying on a gravel track at speed you will need them to deflect the gravel chippings but at the slow speeds we generally wheel at this is not an issue.
Don't put them on. Even if dirt cant get in they will still cause condensation to form on the cold steel parts. Then it will sit there is slowly corrode the metal. Even a chrome shaft wont last if a little salt and dirt get in there and mix with water.
I think the best setup is the shocks with the steel shield over the shaft that prevents damage but lets plenty of air through. My rear ARB shocks have this but the fronts don't.
Do you ever see construction equipment with boots over their hydraulic rams? They get covered in dirt, concrete, rain and snow. They seem to hold up just fine.