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Future Shock: Latest and Greatest in Suspension Travel

Posted in How To on September 1, 2011
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Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of technology coming from the world of shocks. Everything from internal-bypass shocks, bolt-on direct-fit applications, to seven-valve external bypass shocks leaving the consumer with infinite adjustability.

The days of needing different shocks for different types of off-road vehicles are over. What this means is the shock companies are working more closely with vehicle manufacturers and racers to bring you shocks that will take insane amounts of abuse, are completely rebuildable, and have the ability to outlast the life of your truck.

The following are some shocks that have really stood out from the crowd recently.

Shock Name: Pure Performance Prodigy remote reservoir shock
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: 6063 Aluminum with a hard anodized coating inside and out to military specifications
Remote Reservoir: Includes a billet aluminum floating piston
Shaft Material: 1 inch OD, gun-drilled Nitrotec steel
Valve Circuit: Hard anodized, machined from billet 6063 aluminum
Seals/ Wipers/Wear Bands: Combination of Buna N and Viton O rings for seals. Double-lip wiper made from Buna N material. Wear bands are made from a special Moly/Teflon blend.
Shock Shaft Bearing: DU Bearing
Body Sizes Available: 2.0 and 2 5/8
Stroke Lengths: 2.0 shock, 6 to 16 inches
Styles Available: Emulsion, internal floating piston and remote reservoir with internal floating piston in both coilover and non-coilover models.
Ends Available: Spherical joint and bushing

In a battle of pound versus pound, the Prodigy shocks would win the battle. If you are looking for a lightweight shock, the new Prodigy shocks are some of the lightest on the market today. The fluted bodies of their 2 5/8 shocks have the cooling properties of larger 3-inch body shocks. The fluting body provides the structure required to ensure the aluminum cylinders will be as strong if not stronger than their steel counterparts. Another new feature is the Nitrotec steel shock shafts used. The Nitrotec shaft is coated with Nitride to achieve surface hardness and since the shafts are bare, there is no worry about pitting or flaking that occurs on chrome plated shafts. Pure is also using top quality Amsoil oil in these shocks. For more information, go to www.pure-performance.biz.

Shock Name: F.O.A. Omnipass
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: 1026 steel body, 6063 remote reservoir
Remote Reservoir: 2.5 inch with floating piston, 3.5 with 3.0 inch floating piston
Shaft Material: 1045 induction hardened, hard chrome plated shaft .875 inch OD
Valve Circuit: Piston valving with shim stacks, manifold bypass circuits
Seals/Wipers/Wear Bands: D-style wiper Buna N, Polypak main seal, Molybdenum filled wear band
Shock Shaft Bearing: Extra long Teflon coated shaft bushings
Body Sizes Available: 2.5 and 3.5 inch
Stroke Lengths: 10 to 18 inches, custom lengths available
Styles Available: Externally adjustable with reservoir
Ends Available: 2.5 and 3.5 inch Comm9 Teflon lined spherical joint

How’s this for a new take on a shock absorber? Although the shock you see here is still a prototype, F.O.A. assures us this shock will come to life very soon. Looking to build a shock with infinite adjustability to run on the rigs tackling the King of the Hammers race, the Omnipass was born. Each one of those valve openings down the body of the shock allows the user to adjust how the shock will react throughout any portion of its travel. A simple turn of a screw and you can gain more rebound, add stiffness, increase compression load and more. On their 18-inch shock you can have up to 9 separate adjusters. The aluminum manifold reduces cost over welded bypass tubes and aides in cooling as well. The smaller overall package compared to traditional bypass shocks allows for the ability to add this shock to more vehicles where space is often an issue. For more information, visit www.f-o-a.com.

Shock Name: King Internal Bypass (IBP)
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: DOM steel (body), 6063 aluminum (reservoir)
Remote Reservoir: Piggyback or hose remote
Shaft Material: Hard Chromed, Centerless Ground, 1050 steel
Seals/ Wipers/Wear Bands: Buna rubber, Urethane, Rulon
Shock Shaft Bearing: Teflon-impregnated bronze
Body Sizes Available: 2.0, 2.5, 3.0
Stroke Lengths: 8 to 16 inches
Styles Available: Piggyback style reservoir or hose remote reservoir. Coilover or smooth body.
Ends Available: Several rod ends and top caps available depending on application.

We never thought we would see the day when the words bypass and coilover were in the same sentence. The King IBP, internal bypass shock delivers velocity sensitive and position sensitive damping as well as a hydraulic bump stop in a bolt on monotube shock. Unlike twin-tube internal bypass designs that retain heat and have a reduced piston diameter to fit within the smaller inner cylinder, King’s IBP, is a monotube design for superior cooling that uses a full diameter cylinder and piston with standard, full-size valving. King’s patented design allows sensitive slow speed control as well as unparalleled high-speed performance and a suspension arresting bump zone in a compact efficient package. For more information, go to www.kingshocks.com.

Shock Name: Fox Racing Shox ICS (Integrated Cooling System)
Sizes available: 2.5, 3.0. 3.5, 4.4
Body Material: Machined billet aluminum

The number one reason that shocks fail is due to heat. As the shocks and shock oil begin to overheat, their performance fades and that is why the new Fox ICS was created. After multiple design changes, the final design concluded just before this year’s San Felipe 250 race and the first prototypes were installed on Jesse Jones’ TT. These coolers will be available to everyone and can be retrofit to existing Fox bypass shocks. The cooler is mounted to a long bypass tube with hose fittings at both ends using Fox’s current check valve assembly to regulate flow through the cooler. The shock fluid is pumped out of the shock, through the externally-mounted cooler, and then back into the shock using the self-created hydraulic pressure from the normal shock function. During the San Felipe race, Fox collected data showing the shocks reaching temperatures anywhere from 380 to 500, anything over 450 degrees is beyond oil limitations. With the coolers installed, they saw a 100-degree drop in overall bypass temps. Jesse Jones took second place overall at the San Felipe 250. For more information, visit www.foxracingshox.com.

Shock Name: Revolution Racing EVO Series
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: Steel
Remote Reservoir: Piggy-Back is standard
Shaft Material: Induction-hardened chrome plated
Seals/Wipers/Wear Bands: Viton and proprietary Revolution seals
Shock Shaft Bearing: Teflon-coated
Body Sizes Available: 2.5, 3.0, 4.0
Stroke Lengths: 8 to 18 Inches
Styles Available: 4-Valve, 5-Valve, 7-Valve
Ends Available: 7075 various custom lengths

Looking for an externally adjustable internal bypass coilover shocks with seven valves and up to 18 inches in length? Look no further; the Revolution Racing EVO Series shocks have just what you ordered. When the time comes to choose exactly what you need from a shock company, RR should be on your list of calls to make. Their EVO shocks are built to order and come in the largest variety of sizes and styles we have seen. For more information, visit www.rrshocks.com.

Shock Name: Bilstein ACV Coilover Shock
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: Steel
Remote Reservoir: 60mm ID x 15 inches long
Shaft Material: Case hardened steel
Valve Circuit: Deflective disc
Seals/Wipers/Wear Bands: The rod guide seal uses a wiper, cup seal and also includes an additional high-pressure seal. The wear band on the piston is bronze with a DP4 coating and is O-Ring backed for better sealing qualities.
Shock Shaft Bearing: 22mm ID x 30mm long, DP4 coated
Body Sizes Available: 46mm or 60mm ID
Stroke Lengths: 10, 12, 14, 17 inches
Styles Available: Threaded body coilover or smooth body
Ends Available: 1/2 inch, 15mm, 3/4 inch

Looking for a shock that won’t fade, as your day grows long in the desert? The new ACV shocks from Bilstein, or “Anti-Cavitation Valve” is designed to exponentially increase pressure as the shaft velocity increased. This will help eliminate the possibility of cavitations, otherwise known as shock fade. The ACV offers an additional valving circuit as the fluid enters the reservoir, which is actually a stationary piston with a traditional valve stack. This new system helps Bilstein offer a much wider range of dampening possibilities offering a more comfortable ride while maintaining a superior level of performance on high-velocity impacts. For more information, go to www.bilstein.com.

Shock Name: Rancho RS7000MT Monotube
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: 1010/1015 hot rolled steel
Remote Reservoir: None
Shaft Material: 1045 cold drawn, induction hardened steel
Seals/Wipers/Wear Bands: Fluon banded piston, HNBR seal and wiper
Shock Shaft Bearing: Teflon impregnated rod guide bearing
Body Sizes Available: 2-inch body size only
Stroke Lengths: Direct fit applications and extended travel lengths
Styles Available: Brushed and plated, then clear coated
Ends Available: As needed by specific applications

Rancho RS7000MT monotube shock is a departure from their traditional twin-tube shock design and offers exceptional response to overheating during hauling or on rough roads and trails. Delivering a fast, precise response required by many late-model vehicles in a variety of on- and off-road driving circumstances. They also feature a high-pressure gas charge separated from the internal oil to provide maximized damping efficiency and control. Each RS7000MT is engineered to the highest tolerances and includes the strongest seals to maintain oil integrity and performance. Includes a 46mm bore and piston for precise control and a 14mm chrome piston rod for added strength and durability. For more information, visit www.gorancho.com.

Shock Name: ICON Omega Series for OE Applications and Zeta Bypasses
Body and Remote Reservoir Material: Honed 1026 Steel, Alum 6063-T831 ACQ reservoirs
Remote Reservoir: Piggyback and Hose Remote. Piggyback smooth-body shocks have a bump zone that increases valving by 20 percent to reduce bottoming and control “kicking”.
Shaft Material: Nitro Steel 7/8-inch, 1-inch on 3.0 shocks
Valve Circuit: Linear/Linear, Linear/Digressive, and Digressive/Digressive that all use deflective disk valve shims.
Seals/Wipers/Wear Bands: Standard O-rings used in all high grade Viton and Buna compositions. Our wiper seal and wiper cap is incorporated into the seal cap, helping to further reduce the overall length of our shocks. The shaft seals are made of either Disogrin for long wear and to resist medium-high temperatures, or Viton for extremely high temperatures on race vehicles.
Shock Shaft Bearing: 5/8-inch and greater bearing sizes.
Body Sizes Available: Omega Series in 2.5. Zeta series in 2.5 and 3.0.
Stroke Lengths: 9 to 18-inches.
Styles Available: 2.5 Omega series are made with a billet pin top mount making it very compact to fit in many OE applications. 2.5 and 3.0 Zeta bypass are made with standard eyelets on both ends.
Ends Available: 0.5 to 3.5 inches in size.

Zeta series shocks come with dual reservoir line options to help increase oil capacity and increase the cooling efficiency of the shock with circulation. Both series bypass shocks come with tunable bypass cartridges, allowing different levels of adjustment out of a single bypass tube. All bypass tubes are replaceable in case of damage. Zeta shocks incorporate an air bleed valve in the top cap to ensure that there is no emulsification of the oil and for easier rebuilding. High-flow bypass junction blocks allow for larger can ports than a welded tube style and the tubes can be placed closer together and closer to the body for compactness. For more information, visit www.iconvehicledynamics.com.

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