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Old 09-24-2015, 06:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Damper valving

Hi everyone,

I think its time I got some appropriate dampers for my truck for comps, I'm looking at bilstein, with 2" body, 14" stroke, but I'm getting a bit bogged down with the valving, at the moment 360/150 front and 340/140 rear (newtons @ .52m per sec). I'm also going to aim for a linear damping force. All this might change when I fit and try them, along with the coil springs, but I have to start somewhere!

Obviously other people have set up suspensions and have been through this and I would really appreciate any comments, advise, tips or discussion on any aspects of this any of you may have and weather the above is a good starting point.

My vehicle is a land rover based 88" hybrid, with standard land rover coil spring suspension setup front and rear, 4.2 LR V8, I am planning to mount the dampers vertically and as close to the axles as poss, with one damper per corner.

Many thanks
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you in the UK or the USA?
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In the UK!
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What made you ask?!
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Talk to Paul Jones at Prolinx, he prefers Fox but will probably help.

UK based?
Where else would you find:
  • 88"
  • Land Rover components
  • Comp

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Old 09-25-2015, 02:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thought I add a couple of pics...
The first is from a time trial, the second is after a comp safari (a muddy one!)
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What are your sprung weight and spring rates?
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi,

Wheel base 88"
Kerb side weight 3640 lbs
Sprung front axle weight 1530 lbs
Sprung rear axle weight 1450 lbs
Both axles are live beam
Front axle has 10"/14"of wheel movement
Rear axle has 14" of wheel movement

Many thanks
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I suppose it is a bit of a giveaway!
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 100SRV View Post
Talk to Paul Jones at Prolinx, he prefers Fox but will probably help.

UK based?
Where else would you find:
  • 88"
  • Land Rover components
  • Comp

100SRV
I did try Paul at prolinx a little while ago, but they only deal with fox, but I want a damper without a reservoir, (tight on space), and fox only do emulsion where bilstein have a IFP, which I believe is better.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I did try Paul at prolinx a little while ago, but they only deal with fox, but I want a damper without a reservoir, (tight on space), and fox only do emulsion where bilstein have a IFP, which I believe is better.
2.0 Factory Series IFP Truck Shock | FOX
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks fishEH,

I've had a look, but they don't seem very popular and I find it's hard to find a chart showing lengths and valving options, where as bilsteins seem a lot more available, but, back to my original question, I would still need to select a starting point for the valving, as I've changed from the original mounting positions and I need a longer stroke. I've always considered fox and bilstein to be about equal, is this the general opinion?
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Old 09-26-2015, 05:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks fishEH,

I've had a look, but they don't seem very popular and I find it's hard to find a chart showing lengths and valving options, where as bilsteins seem a lot more available, but, back to my original question, I would still need to select a starting point for the valving, as I've changed from the original mounting positions and I need a longer stroke. I've always considered fox and bilstein to be about equal, is this the general opinion?
Possibly but there is a reason why many racers use Fox / King / FOA and not Bilstein. Perhaps Bilstein / DeCarbon are good solution for modified production (i.e. regulations say dampers are free but original mounts must be used) while the former three find applications in more custom vehicles. I suspect IFP will have greater body length than emulsion or remote reservoir types so this will cause you different packaging problems.

Whatever if you need dampers tuning and Prolinx prefer Fox I suggest you speak to Paul about Fox IFP - I didn't know they existed but have found 12" x 2" Emulsions to work fine on my 100" Bowler. Paul tuned them and it resulted in a more stable car which became at least 10mph quicker around corners than before revalving. He knows his stuff.

If IFP prove to be too long and you don't like emulsion I'd be surprised if he can't make up some remote reservoir dampers to suit your packaging.

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Old 09-26-2015, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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FOA suck monkeys balls...
ADS racing shocks out of Tucsom,AZ are awesome...
King and fox are outstanding and the thing with bilstien iis unless you deal them directly, you could struggle...

This isn't rocket science...buy some valve stacks and start testing. You will not find a off the shelf solution from anyone
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Possibly but there is a reason why many racers use Fox / King / FOA and not Bilstein. Perhaps Bilstein / DeCarbon are good solution for modified production (i.e. regulations say dampers are free but original mounts must be used) while the former three find applications in more custom vehicles. /snip
Don't compare Bilstein stock replacement or upgrade shocks to Fox or King racing shocks. Compare them to Bilstein 9300 Black Hawk shocks to be fair.

The Black Hawks are more than equal to the others, but they are very expensive, which is the main reason, not performance, for more aren't using them.

If you look at Trophy Trucks for example you find some top teams preferring them, or at least that was the case a few years back when I looked.
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Old 09-26-2015, 09:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Good luck getting bilstein shims when you are trying to tune. It always took 6-8 weeks no matter who I ordered through. "oh, that's Bilstein" was what I always got. How hard is it to stick specified shims in an envelop?
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies,

100SRV Its great your happy with the emulsions, I'm a bit surprised they work well for you, a bowler 100 should be a competitive machine, I would of thought heat fade would be a problem for you as they don't usually have reservoirs.
The big question for me is what were you using before, cheap bilsteins/decarbon then yeah they would be a huge improvement, almost any thing would be!

So the bilstein 2" 7100's are not as good as fox 2" factory series shocks, and bilstein's after sales support is crap,... so fox it will be.

So I guess I contact a couple of suppliers, see if they can offer a best guess starting point for valving,(the reason for this thread) then start playing to see if I can improve it.

I will try Paul at prolinx again but is there some else out there you guys could recommend, USA or UK, sometimes it can be cheaper to import!

Many thanks
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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id be more than happy to answer any questions you have. we are a fox dealer and yes bilstiens is terrible to get parts from
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies,

100SRV Its great your happy with the emulsions, I'm a bit surprised they work well for you, a bowler 100 should be a competitive machine, I would of thought heat fade would be a problem for you as they don't usually have reservoirs.
The big question for me is what were you using before, cheap bilsteins/decarbon then yeah they would be a huge improvement, almost any thing would be!
I don't use it for speed events, it is used for green laning and fast road work. I switched to Fox because the lower sprung mass meant that off the shelf dampers weren't valved to suit 1400kg kerb mass with axles weighing 160kg front and 120kg rear.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That's a light truck, mines only a 88" and it only weighs that little when it's completely stripped down, as in the time trial pic, for comps its up near 1650, and I thought I'd kept mine light.

Although that does include about 150 kg of ballast, including a spare wheel, over the rear axle! a experiment to help make the rear axle travel cycle without bouncing the back of the truck up and down, (its very unnerving when the back of the truck tries to go over the top of your head!!)
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:18 AM   #21 (permalink)
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id be more than happy to answer any questions you have. we are a fox dealer and yes bilstiens is terrible to get parts from
How do Fox designate the valving in their vehicle shocks?
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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How do Fox designate the valving in their vehicle shocks?
Fox uses the attached chart. It does not have any numerical significance but is a way for people to communicate about the valving.

The non-americans are used to Bilstiens numbers that are actually dyno forces numbers. Being OEM first and then offroad i am sure an engineer somewhere decided that was the way to talk about valve shims.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I like newtons, being a none American!!!
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:09 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Damping force is pretty meaningless to the average Joe, and to them they may as well use any meaningless numbers, so long as results, following testing/trial and error, are repeatable.

From my very remote observations, German companies place a strong emphasis on sound engineering/scientific principles, and damping in force units vs piston speed has valid justification. The suspension has to absorb and dissipate the energy from the motion, and force x distance is equivalent to work/energy.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:35 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Damping force is pretty meaningless to the average Joe, and to them they may as well use any meaningless numbers, so long as results, following testing/trial and error, are repeatable.

From my very remote observations, German companies place a strong emphasis on sound engineering/scientific principles, and damping in force units vs piston speed has valid justification. The suspension has to absorb and dissipate the energy from the motion, and force x distance is equivalent to work/energy.
A long time ago I started investigating how to improve damping on our Bowler race truck by means of second-order calculations to evaluate responses to step and ramp functions and determine damping rates. I didn't get very far, quite complicated math.

Some years later I was discussing this with the guy who tuned the dampers on my Bowler trail truck, he said the best way to tune dampers was seat of the pants. The driver was the guy who had to trust what his truck was doing and how it responded. Math would get you close but only iteration and judgement would make it ideal to your needs.
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