Trouble Shooting Shocks at the Track

Courtesy of Bilstein Shocks

Racers are constantly looking for the perfect winning setup.  When working with shocks, you may need to select a shock with more compression damping under extreme rough track conditions.  Keep in mind that there are many adjustments on your chassis other than shock absorbers. The versteer/understeer balance may be affected by stagger, tire compound, wheel spacing, spring rates, sway bar, panhard and others. Shocks can be used to fine tune your chassis to gain that last few tenths of a second on the track.

Utilizing the “Think Track” below, study the following list of suggestions. These are not rules, not even rules of thumb, but they are tendencies that are more often true than not when racing late models and modifieds on asphalt or dirt surfaces.

Think Track

If your car is:

Loose (Oversteer) from 0° to 90°

• Increase compression rate on front.

• Decrease rebound rate on rear, or only on left rear.

Tight (Understeer) from 0° to 90°

• Decrease compression rate on front, or only on right front.

• Increase rebound rate on rear, or only on left rear.

Loose (Oversteer) from 90° to 0°

• Decrease rebound rate on front.

• Decrease compression rate on rear.

Tight (Understeer) from 90° to 0°

• Increase rebound rate on front.

• Increase compression rate on rear, or only on right rear.

When analyzing corner entry, or deceleration handling, realize that the chassis is affected by:

  • Compression rate in front.
  • Rebound rate at rear.

When analyzing corner exit, or acceleration handling, realize that the chassis is affected by:

  • Rebound rate in front.
  • Compression rate at rear.