Volume X, Issue 7, Page 86

SIMPLY SHOCKING – Part 1

The Latest In Shocks For Stock Suspension Systems

There is a simple truth in making a fast drag race car or fast small tire street car or any other small tire, stock style suspension car work – and that simple truth is the shock absorber.  The reason for this is simple:  If you can control the wheel motion, then you can control the dynamics of the car.  The better the control of the wheel motion, then the better the control of the dynamics of the entire car.  Interpretation?  In the world of the drag racer, this boils down to "hook".  It also means your tuning capabilities are amplified manifold.

Certainly there are cases where one can still get a car down the track with a simple set of worn out stock front shocks or a set of out dated non-adjustable 90-10's, but how good is that particular car really working? In the old days, a loose front shock (worn out stocker or 90/10) was used to allow the nose to rise quickly.  That transferred as much weight as possible to the back wheels.  It was simple because there were virtually no rebound forces at work (the “10” in the 90/10) coupled with a whole bunch of bump at work (the “90” in the 90/10).  With the 90/10 up front, the nose remained in the air. You can imagine how this messed with the racecar aerodynamics. 

There’s more too:  What happens when the conditions change, and you’re stuck with old 90/10 technology?  What do you do when you venture away from your home track (where the car "works"), and race at that rough old back woods track down the interstate (where the car doesn't "work")?  That’s where adjustable shock absorbers enter the equation.  And typically, as the prices for shocks increase, so does the adjustment range (you can get inexpensive three-way adjustable shocks that range from 90/10 to 70/30 and perhaps, 50/50 or there about).  On the other end of the spectrum there are shocks such as those manufactured by Strange Engineering (available as single adjustable and double adjustable assemblies. A single adjustable Strange Engineering shock allows adjustment of the rebound while the shock assembly is still mounted in the car.  A double adjustable shock allows adjustment of the compression valving and rebound valving. Because of the increased sophistication of the internal valving, the double adjustable shocks cost more than their single adjustable counterparts.

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