About Shock Absorber Setup
It’s possible to tune your shocks to change your car’s behavior. Keep in mind however, that regular maintenance and making sure the car functions correctly are even more important than tuning. Differences in suspension, steering angles and poor movement of the suspension have a significant impact on the steering capabilities of the car and will eliminate the benefits gained with tuning.
So, after you’ve checked the proper functioning of the chassis and the drivetrain, you can tune the car the way you want. In this article, we’ll discuss shock oils and how they’ll affect your car’s behavior.
We’d recommend re-oiling your shocks 2–3 times during a season even if you’re not making any other changes or adjustments to them. The oils lose their damping properties over time. The shocks tend to get air into them during runs which will affect damping, making re-oiling necessary. The O-rings of the shocks wear out in use, so check their condition when re-oiling the shocks and replace them if necessary.
The oil delivered with your car is 30 WT according to the manufacturer, which is roughly equivalent to 300 cSt oil. The 30 WT / 300 cSt oil is ideal for hobbyists and beginner racers. The damping is soft enough to drive in parking lots as well as for faster driving. One important thing to bear in mind is that the shocks consist of spring and damper. Neither of them can be indefinitely stiffened/thickened or softened without affecting the other one. In other words, the default spring has it stiffening limit on damping and you can’t use a stiff spring with soft damping. The oil affects the damping in the following way: less damping is gained with thinner oil and more damping with thicker oils.
The basic 30WT oil is a good choice for multiple purposes and it gives a good traction and handling in slippery surfaces.
For faster driving on better grip, like on clay track, we’d recommend 400 cSt oil for the front and the rear with default springs. The 400 cSt oil is a little thicker than the default oil, so the car moves steadier with higher traction and with high speeds it provides enough damping.
If it seems like there’s enough traction, you can try 450 cSt oil for the front to keep it from diving at bumps and entering corners. Thicker oil in the front improves steering when entering corners.
When moving to high-traction surfaces or when better jumping properties are desired, you can try stiffer springs in the front and the rear. A stiffer spring results in better response when entering corners and steadier jumps over speed bumps. If there’s a decent amount of traction and the rear of the car is following behind ‘lazily’, you can try a stiffer spring in the rear as well.
With high-traction surfaces (mat/asphalt) we’d recommend switching to stiffer springs and for damping, 450 cSt oil in the front and 400 cSt in the rear. This will improve the car’s behavior when cornering.
How damping in general affects the car’s driving properties:
- Better steering with low traction surfaces
- Slower response
- Over-steering when exiting corners
- Faster response
- Better steering when entering corners
- Under-steering when exiting corners
- More traction when exiting corners
- Less traction when exiting corners
Our product recommendations:
HUDY Oil 400 cst
HUDY Oil 450 cSt