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Do-It-Yourself Projects
Adjustable Shocks
By Wayne Scraba/autoMedia.com
Printable version
Degree of DifficultyModerate
Moderate
Estimated Time180 minutes
180 minutes
Which end of the car (front or rear) do you adjust first? If the car bounces on the gear change (more common than you might think), adjust the front shocks first. If the car wheel hops or has way too much body separation, then adjust the rear shock absorbers first.
 
Obviously, each vehicle will require a different setting when it comes to sophisticated double adjustable shocks. A good starting point or “baseline adjustment”, particularly for rear shock adjustment is to initially set the rebound adjustment tight and the bump adjuster loose. At this point, you have to work your way through the respective adjustments (compression and rebound) until the suspension is responding for your specific application. The final settings front and rear that prove best for your vehicle must be found with some thoughtful trial and error and may change with conditions. That’s why there are no real hard and fast rules when it comes to adjusting double adjustable shock absorbers (only “baselines”). This is also why racers of all sorts keep accurate records of what a specific shock setting accomplishes on each corner of their car.
 
As you can see, shock absorber adjustment can range from basic to extremely sophisticated. It takes some time to work out the final settings, but with the information presented here, you should be armed with a basic knowledge of what each knob does. See the photos for a closer look.
This set of front shocks are single adjustable. The knob is located right here for easy access. You can just sneak in between the spring coils with your fingers to turn the knob without removing the shock from the car. If you can’t access it easily, it’s simply a matter of pulling out the pair of lower mount bolts and then pulling the shock down for adjustment. In either case, it makes adjustment a straightforward process.
Front Shocks that are Single Adjustable
Front Strange Engineering single adjustable shocks are set here at the adjuster. Turn the adjuster fully counterclockwise. That’s the beginning of adjustment or full soft. From this point, you can establish the baseline for your car. See the text for initial settings based upon application (street or strip or road race).
The Adjuster is Where Front Strange Engineering Single Adjustable Shocks are Set
At the rear, this car is equipped with a set of double adjustable Strange Engineering aluminum body shocks. This knob sets the compression.
This Knob is What Sets the Compression on these Double Adjustable Strange Engineering Body Shocks
The second knob on the shock body adjusts the rebound. Double adjustable shock absorbers are more sophisticated than their single adjustable cousins and (obviously) mandate a more complex adjustment procedure.
The Second Knob on the Shock Body Adjusts the Rebound
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