||01-24-2009 10:35 PM
Most of the performance rebuildable shocks are typically rated upon what shim stacks they are using for compression and rebound. Allot of the stacks are made specific to the application for slow and high speed dampening. A shocks characteristics are a result of the amount of fluid that it lets pass through its piston. On the top and bottom of the piston there are shims- ranging in size and thickness. The easier the shock oil passes by the piston the faster the shaft speed resulting in a "soft" shock. The shims are made to flex to allow the fluid to pass, the shims are arranged in a descending pattern so the lower in the stack you go the harder it is to flex. Trail and error is what it really comes down to along with experience- knowing what shim configurations do what to the characteristics of the shock. The piston itself also plays a big role in the performance of the shock as well, there are different pistons with
different styles of bleed holes.
For this reason alone is why it is so important to know your getting when purchasing a aftermarket performance shock. Not all vehicles need the same valve stacks, so there is not a "universal" valve stack that will work for all vehicles. All performance racing shocks are built to order, meaning that they do not build the shock until the valving is specified. Many Off Road retail stores like to have a large inventory of these shocks because they are popular, but many of them order "popular" valving configurations. So Joe Blow comes in off the street and wants 4 reservoir shocks for the front of his F-250. John C. Counter guy himself is unfamiliar with valving and goes to his inventory and gets the right size and travel and away Joe Blow goes....... He installs the shocks on the front of his F-250 and thinks that he got the right shocks for his specific truck, meanwhile he received a
"popular" valving that was more suited for single shock application on the front of a torsion beam VW.
It's there job to ask the questions necessary to give you the customer a
"quality sale". Never settle for whats in stock! Demand the proper valving for your vehicle, the best way to do this is have them special ordered. The same goes for bolt on coil over kits- Not all Tacoma's are the same, some are single cab, extra cab, double cab- have a winch, winch with bumper, prerunner bar with lights........ the list is endless. The point is that all of these differences add weight to the vehicle, therefore changing the way the shock preforms. Allot of people do not realize what a difference a properly valved shock can do to a trucks ride. Take for example the Off Road Trophy Trucks- they can do over a 100mph over the nastiest terrain out there! They all have different weights and suspensions that have been properly tuned or preped allowing them maximize there performance...
If you have a aftermarket performance shock or coil over get the full potential out of your suspension! Find out what valving or shim stack you have and find out if it is in fact what you need...!