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SDi E-CLIK Ride and Drive

We get to spend time with the digital aftermarket.

Verne SimonsAuthor, Photography

A couple weeks back we introduced you to the suspension company Suspension Direct inc. (SDi) and their newest electronically controlled E-CLIK shock system for JK and JL Wranglers with 2-4 inches of suspension lift here. Since then we had the opportunity to get some seat time in an SDi E-CLIK-equipped Jeep JL Wrangler Rubicon. The only modification on the Jeep other than the SDi E-CLIK shocks, computer, sensors, and wiring are a set of RockJock4x4.com progressive rate coil springs. The price tag on the E-CLIK system is hefty, but you're not just getting the near constant real-time feedback suspension performance, you are also getting a set of American-made piggy-back reservoir 2.5-inch shocks with Walker Evans' Velocity Technology shock bodies a 7/8 stainless shaft, and all the best parts available.

We can continue to tell you more about the system, and having driven a vehicle equipped with E-CLIK PRO (which retails for $4,999), we can assure you that the system does work. You can see the changes the system makes to the shocks via the innovative shifter-mounted controller as well as feel the shocks change valving when the vehicle pitches around a turn, hits a big bump, climbs a waterfall, and more. You can also make changes to how the system reacts for different terrains you encounter.

To elaborate on that, the system does the following:

In a climb the system will soften the valving of the front axle so the front axle will droop out and grab the terrain below. At the same time the rear shock valving is ramped up to keep the rear tires planted and to keep the back of the vehicle from sagging under most of the vehicle's weight.

On a steep descent the opposite occurs. Rear shocks open up, lowering the valving settings of the shock (softening) while the valving on the front axle ramps up. Front shocks can also soften if the tires drop off a ledge to absorb the landing and allow the axle to stretch downward and "catch" the vehicle. Feedback on the vehicle's body position, driver steering position, vehicle speed, throttle input, and/or brakes is sampled 250 times a second.

On a side hill the SDi E-CLIK will harden the valving of the shocks on the downhill side while softening the valving on the uphill side. That helps keep the vehicle feeling stable despite the side hill.

In a sand wash or fire trail with bumps, the valving on all four corners opens up or softens so the suspension can react to bumps and whoops at speed. If you turn sharply or pitch the rig the outside shock valving firms rapidly as the inside shock valving drops.

On road the system maintains a medium valve setting to absorb any surface irregularities, but if you swerve right or left the valving changes rapidly enough to keep the Jeep level and stable in even the tightest turns. The effect is like having very heavy sway bars, front and rear, on the Jeep on-road but soft sway bars off-road without changing any hard parts. You can also set the system to have very hard valving for really carving the turns.

During braking, the SDi E-CLIK hardens the valving of the front shocks while lowering the valving setting on the rear shocks. This helps keep the vehicle level and allows the tires and ABS system the maximum traction.

During acceleration, the rear shocks increase in valving while the front decrease. This allows weight transfer to be sent to the rear tires while also allowing the front tires to hold the ground.

Enough talking? We could continue to wax poetic on the benefits of the SDi E-CLIK system or show you some pictures and videos from our day in the desert with the system. At the end of the day, know that finally aftermarket suspension is leaving the analog world and going digital.

In the rocks:

 

In the sand:

 

In the bumps going fast:

 

On the road:

 

On the inside:

Source:

SDi, 714.464.2050, www.suspensiondirect.com