Why Buy Adjustable Shock Absorbers?

by Rob Schermerhorn on April 11, 2012

So, I know what you’re thinking…”Why in the world would I spend $3,000 or more on one set of shock absorbers for my car? If I can get ______ shocks, which are marketed as performance shocks, for $100 each, what’s the difference?”

MotonPorsche-adjustable-shock-absorber Moton adjustable shock absorber for Porsche

Simply put, the difference is in the details. Of course, the real answer is not so simple; its foundation is in market factors, which drive engineering ideas that turn into successful designs that solve specific problems. An enthusiast can justify the investment in high-quality, high technology dampers if you can answer “yes” to any of the following:

  • You race (even if your class rules outlaw “racing” shocks). This applies to all forms of motorsport, from grassroots autocross, ¼ mile dirt track, street stock drags, to all forms of professional racing. If you compete, you need more control over the way your car absorbs and reacts to power input, track surface, braking, cornering, aerodynamic load, weather, driver input, etc. Racers spend countless hours and dollars to win or just participate; you need this tool in your arsenal.
  • You take your daily driver to the track for fun. Whether road race or drag race, dual purpose cars require the most sophisticated dampers due to the huge variance in operating environment and desires of the driver. If you’re this guy, you want it all: comfort within reason on the street, and responsiveness and quick tunability at the track. You require a set-up with huge range of adjustability and ease of making and repeating that adjustment.
  • You’re an automotive enthusiast that needs all the latest technology on your car, especially if it didn’t come from the factory. You’ve already bolted on the turbo, nitrous, wheels, megawatt stereo, paint and body kit, satellite uplink, and you’re looking to control the beast you’ve built. You’ve added power and weight to your car and inexpensive aftermarket suspension makes too many compromises.

Now for the social proof:

  • The Pro-racers already understand why they require investing tens of thousands of dollars and hours in suspension technology; if you’re a weekend racer, you may need more convincing because your budget is tight, resources are limited.
  • Increasing horsepower is easy to justify, easily measured both in the shop and on the track. Suspension technology is different.
  • Many people are uncomfortable with the dynamics involved; we’re here to help.
  • Designing and tuning suspension is seen as a “black art” by most racers, and even many engineers. There are many subtleties, many discoveries yet to be made. We won’t say we understand all, though we do have the experience and resources that only the highest echelon of motorsport organizations and automobile manufacturers have. There is an important reason Delta Vee Motorsports is located in Michigan. Arguably, the OEM’s know much more about suspension ride and damping technology than dedicated racers do.
  • For most racers tuning by the “monkey see, monkey do” method, suspension tuning gets frustrating quickly. Many give up, afraid to make changes, fearing that they will destroy what little drivability they have achieved. Not willing to risk that so they can learn.
  • Other racers are perpetually in “survival mode”, just happy that nothing broke last session. No time to tune. WE CAN HELP YOU!
  • We need to work with racers who want to learn, call us if that’s you. Don’t be intimidated that you may be venturing into an area you are mostly unfamiliar with, or afraid it will cost too much. We can help you. Look at what you’re spending already just to run mid-pack.

techarticles_picDelta Vee Motorsports has three types of customers:

  1. Those who know very little about suspension technology, and understand less.
  2. Racers who know and have experience turning the adjusters on their shocks, know that it does indeed influence car behavior, but don’t know why.
  3. Teams that come holding spreadsheets of data on their car and tracks and say, “Build this response curve into our shocks.”

The percentage breakout is: 1) 85%, 2) 14%, 3) 1%
So, don’t worry that you’re the only one asking “dumb questions,” you’re actually the smartest one in your race group.

Send an email via our Contact Me page or call us 888.407.5122 for more information on how to get your car to handle better and be more consistent.

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