Some new vehicles come with coilover suspension, which allows companies like Bilstein and
The first change to shock design for 4x4s has been larger shock bodies. This is a relatively inexpensive way to increase oil volume. Shock lengths for lifted vehicles are generally longer, but the diameter of the shock body may also be increased in some applications, depending on the space available under the rig. The second way to increase oil volume is by employing a remote reservoir. This solution was developed for off-road racing, and has become popular for all types of 4x4s. A remote resevoir allows you to use a smaller shock-body diameter, while increasing oil volume by putting it in a separate reservoir connected by a hose or tube. There is also some additional heat dissipation realized through a greater combined surface area of the shock and remote reservoir.
Another type of shock that you'll see on modified 4x4s is a coilover shock. This combines the shock and spring of a suspension system into one assembly. These are popular in a custom setup because you can combine components within the same space. Coilover assemblies also allow taller springs than a traditional coil-spring suspension because the springs are completely captured. You can change springs easily to alter the spring rate, or "frequency", as suspension engineers prefer to talk about. You can also create a dual, or triple-rate springs by putting two or more springs with different frequencies on one coilover assembly. This can give you a soft ride for the first few inches of compression, and a more aggressive spring frequency for situations when suspension travel moves beyond the normal range.
A coilover shock combines the spring and shock in one unit for excellent packaging. They g
Almost all current light-duty pickup trucks come with coilover shocks from the factory, including the new Dodge 1500, GM 1500s, Ford F-150, as well as all Nissan and Toyota vehicles. This has created an opportunity for traditional shock companies to offer a combination of a improved dampers and a lift in one component.
Shock valving is typically engineered specifically for each application. For example, a high-quality shock absorber to fit a GM truck that's lifted six inches has been valved to accommodate the larger tires and handling characteristics of that lifted vehicle. Additionally, some shocks have user-adjustable valving, allowing you to soften the shocks when desired, such as during rockcrawling, and tighten them for towing or generally highway driving.
It's not too surprising, but you generally get what you pay for. If you simply drive back and forth to work, a low-dollar shock will suffice, though additional performance gains can be attained from a higher-quality shock-a must for serious trail work.
The Rancho MyRide wireless remote control system uses air pressure to adjust the RS9000XL
Shock Swap: One of the Easiest Mods to Do Yourself
Unlike changing gears in your axles or installing a complete IFS lift kit, changing shocks is an easy job to do yourself. And the improvement in ride and performance can be very gratifying. To show you just how easy it is, we installed a set of Rancho RS9000XL shocks on a 2008 Wrangler. This installation is typical of most non-coilover applications.
The RS9000XL shocks feature nine valving levels that you can set and adjust whenever you want. Adjustments are made by turning a knob at the base of each shock. You can also tune the shocks differently front-to-rear. We like a moderate setting for highway and a super-soft setting for rockcrawling. We took our install one step further by adding the Rancho MyRide system. This is a wireless remote control system for the adjustable RS9000XL shocks. With the system, we can program our specific front and rear settings for highway, rockcrawling and other driving conditions, and then choose each singular setting with the push of a button. Then we can put the controller in the console or glovebox when we're done. No need for permanently mounted switches or gauges.
Generally, installing shocks takes less than one hour per shock. Our installation took most of a day because we added the MyRide system.
Because we were installing the MyRide system, the first step was to remove the manual adju
To install the front shocks, we raised the vehicle and secured it on jack stands so we cou
The shock is gas pressurized, so you will need to compress it to get it in the lower mount
Mount the compressor underhood, near the battery. In our application, there was enough spa
Route the black air line along the chassis, making sure that it won't come in contact with
With the system completely installed, you can program the specific settings you like in th
1 International Drive
Pro Comp Suspensions, Inc.
2360 Boswell Road
Walker Evans Racing
P.O. Box 2469
14102 Stowe Drive