Suspension Tech

Minimizing & Controlling Bounce

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When it comes to improving your vehicle's performance, shock absorbers are probably one of the last things you consider. However, shock absorbers as an integral part of your vehicle's suspension, work to maximize the ability of your tires to perform.

The springs in your suspension hold up the weight of your vehicle and help resist pitch to the front and rear, and (in conjunction with the vehicle's sway bars) resist lean to the side. Your shock absorbers are the primary suspension components that actually help "absorb shock" preventing continued bounce every time you accelerate, stop, corner or hit a bump. Shock absorbers are designed to slow and reduce these movements to help control the weight of the vehicle during transitions and allow your tires to perform better as they accept your input.

When shock absorbers wear (often very slowly over tens of thousands of miles, making the deterioration less noticeable), their resistance to movement weakens, your vehicle's handling suffers, and tires and suspension components wear abnormally. New shock absorbers can restore the performance that has been surrendered by weak shock absorbers on used cars. Even new cars can improve their performance by upgrading their shock absorbers.

Shock absorbers work by converting suspension movement (kinetic energy) into heat (thermal energy). Fluid in a telescopic shock absorber is forced to pass through restrictive valves as the shock's piston is compressed (bump stroke) and extended (rebound stroke). Many shock absorbers are gas-filled to reduce foaming as their piston is forced through the fluid, and have a "floating" piston to separate the fluid from the gas. This helps eliminate performance fade to maintain good ride and handling characteristics, even in demanding driving conditions.

Most "heavy-duty" shock absorbers, by means of larger diameter rods and pistons, better seals and valves, more fluid, and stronger mounting points, are stronger and better suited to the demands of hard driving, than are Original Equipment shocks. Some performance shock absorbers are adjustable allowing the driver to tune the behavior of the vehicle to meet their preferences for ride comfort and handling balance. This feature also allows the driver to adjust the shock absorber's dampening to compensate for the wear that occurs over tens of thousands of miles.

KONI, best known for high performance and racing shock absorbers, began making shock absorbers in 1932 and since 1955 has been committed to motorsports as a test laboratory of invaluable importance. KONI shock absorbers have been an integral component on cars that have won the 24 Hours of LeMans 10 times, 220 Grand Prix race wins (which in turn earned 13 Formula 1 World Championships), the Indianapolis 500, and numerous victories in other formula car and full-bodied racing categories.

KYB produces a full line of ride control products for vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market throughout the world, including gas-filled monotube and twin tube shock absorbers, gas cartridges, gas struts, strut mounts and strut boots. When you select KYB shock absorbers you benefit from their expertise dating back to their first hydraulics lab in 1919. You get performance from KYB that everyday shock absorbers just don't have and more shock for the money.


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