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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at the point where I'm ready to start hanging suspension on my current buggy project.

Can't decide what I want for shocks.

I have the dimensions off of Bilstein's page, for reference (I figure, others will be similar dimensionally).

I have enough room for 14's with no trouble at all, in front.
I can fit 16's if I want to... not sure I care to.

I have enough room for 17's, no trouble, in back.

Buggy will weigh around 3500 pounds (+/- 400) with about a 55/45 (+/- 4%) forward weight bias.

I'm torn among:
Bilstein coilovers
Fox nitrogen
Swayaway coilovers
(and to really piss off the shock purists) Coils and Rancho 9k's

I can't really afford Kings, and can't think of other stuff to look at.

Anybody running a rig about this weight and bias, care to comment on what they like and why?
 

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As far as shocks go, I would buy Bilstein. Mine in the front (7100's) have never failed me. A friend of mine has taken apart Kings, Sway Aways, and Bilsteins, and says that the Bilsteins were still his choice of shock.
 

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Get the swayaway 14's or 16's, with a 2" body. the 2" are better because of the lighter springs available. I have the 16's and dig them, but sometimes the bottom "spring holder" comes loose. I also had problems with my primary slider deforming. I have heard the best solution is ordering these from www.polyperformance.com, where Dave can set up swayaways with the fox bumpstop(prevents the bottom thing from un-seating) and the fox slider(supposed to be better).

You could also just get FOX's with the fox hardware, but you need to order them with either the dual-rate setup or triple-rate(includes tender coil) setup that you plan on running. The fox's require the adjusters to thread on from the top of the shock, and you cannot do this with the schrader valve inplace. This is because the bottom of the shock body has a diameter the same as the outside of the threaded portion. So, if you wanted to switch between dual or triple rate, you would have to depressurize the shock and remove the valve first.

Swayaways can have the adjuster nuts thread on from the bottom because the body diameter is the same as the inner diameter of the threads.

BUT, for the price of 2 coilovers, you could have 4 for airshox, which I have heard do not "unload" as bad as coilovers.

hth
-greg
 

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Scott,

I'm at about 4700 lbs - bit of a porker.

I have about 4 varied runs on the Fox air shox and I am really liking them. They are "odd" in that, try as we might to spreadsheet them and model them as if they were springs (which is useful for conceptualizing) the fact is they aren;yt springs, and don;t behave the same way as springs.

But they do work very well on my buggy and are super simple to mount and tune and are cheap.

One day I will run true coilovers to compare - but these kick butt compared to the other suspensions the Wolf has had from 1/4 ellip to short fat coils to long tall coils.

Just having that high quality of a shock is awesome. And it's a significantly simpler and cheaper route compared to coilovers when you figure you need 3 springs per shock.

I suspect all other things being equal, coilovers will still be "batter", but in my opinion, these are a terrific option.

I believe Team Purple, Never Summer Offroad, and a few others are also still very pleased with them.

Article will be out soon....
 

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If you can afford Bilsteins, you can afford Kings. When comparing apples to apples i.e. same diameter, same length, coilover, I believe all the shocks are in the same price ballpark, give or take $150. I would not make any compromises over $150. It also depends on what you are using the buggy for, people are having good luck with fox air shocks on comp buggys and trail rides, but would never work on mine. If it is strictly a trail/comp rig the air shocks will work fine but if you plan on doing any high speed fun, jumping or dunes, I would recommend a 2.5" coil over. My advise to anyone is to find a good shop that sells and services shocks and knows what they are talking about and buy what ever brand they sell or if they sell more than one brand, what ever they recommend. If you need shock servicing, parts, springs or what ever down the road, you want someone that can take care of that. Many people that sell these shocks dont know anything about them and can really make servicing or buying parts a real PITA.
 

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Scott
I have very little useful tech to contribute.....that said I vote you use coil springs and some cheap used shocks off a Ramcharger ;)

And BTW.... the Bilstein CO I have been around sure seemd to be top notch as far as performance...(I know of a 6K truck punishing a set and they are doing fine) but after talking to PIG I have to admit the swayaways do seem tempting.

NoRM
who thinks coil springs rock
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GOAT1 said:
people are having good luck with fox air shocks on comp buggys and trail rides, but would never work on mine. If it is strictly a trail/comp rig the air shocks will work fine but if you plan on doing any high speed fun,


High speed? I wish, but not on this one. 3" or so of compression, 1.9 litre + 44's = no going very fast. Probably should've noted that in the initial question--the rig is only capable of around 40 on flat ground, and likely won't even see that very often.

What is it about the air shocks that makes them (relative to the true coilovers, if I interpret your answer correctly) unsuitable for the high-speed jumping and whatnot?
 

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High speed? I wish, but not on this one. 3" or so of compression, 1.9 litre + 44's = no going very fast. Probably should've noted that in the initial question--the rig is only capable of around 40 on flat ground, and likely won't even see that very often.

What is it about the air shocks that makes them (relative to the true coilovers, if I interpret your answer correctly) unsuitable for the high-speed jumping and whatnot? [/B]

They will get hot and the dampening will fade quickly. Your ride height depends on the temperature, when they get hot, they will put you on the limit straps.

I would buy the air shocks and give them a try. If you dont end up liking them, I'm sure you can find some sucker to sell them to easily, then you can bolt in some fox 2" coilovers that are the same length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GOAT1 said:
They will get hot and the dampening will fade quickly. Your ride height depends on the temperature, when they get hot, they will put you on the limit straps.


Gotcha. So if my rig sees dramatic temperature changes, I should bank on that I'll have to have a nitrogen bottle with me (or at least on the trailer), in order to change the height back to what it's supposed to be? That could be a bit of a PITA, but should be more of a seasonal thing than a daily thing, depending on usage.

I would buy the air shocks and give them a try. If you dont end up liking them, I'm sure you can find some sucker to sell them to easily, then you can bolt in some fox 2" coilovers that are the same length.
The 16" Fox runs about the same compressed length as the 14" Bilstein--I'd suspect that's pretty close to the 14" SAW, and probably most other 14" coilovers too. So that'd be a relatively easy swap if I go that route, then find out I really hate 'em.
 

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It's not so much a seasonal thing, the differance of 15 degs, oh wait your not in so cal, ok the difference of 60 degrees shouldnt be a big deal. The differance is when the shock are a 70 degs in the shop and on the trailer and when they are 200+ degs when you are beating the piss out of them. But it sounds like you wont be beating the piss out of them like I do so you shouldnt have any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GOAT1 said:
It's not so much a seasonal thing, the differance of 15 degs, oh wait your not in so cal, ok the difference of 60 degrees shouldnt be a big deal. The differance is when the shock are a 70 degs in the shop and on the trailer and when they are 200+ degs when you are beating the piss out of them. But it sounds like you wont be beating the piss out of them like I do so you shouldnt have any problems.
Heheheh... difference of 100 degrees (winter-summer)? :p

Yeah, I can't beat on 'em quite so hard, just going slow.

Thanks very much for the input!
 

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Scott,

I last adjusted my pressures at 15*C and I checked the other day at -15*C and could not find a measurable difference so don't believe ambiant temperature changes are likely to make much of a difference.

I've had them up to aboput 45 mph over some rough stuff (of course that's relative term - in my case whoops and bumps rough enough that I was driving as fast as I dared and remain in control of the irg) and things went well. The ride was however quite form. BUT - I have not done this continually for more than a couple of miles or 2 as the terrain just does not exist.

One thing to remember though is that, although easy to adjust, and with quite a range of adjustment, it's a little more "take what you get" than with coilovers. If you know exactly what you're doing with coilovers, are not constrained by mounting, can either weigh and calculate things precisely or trial and error a lot (spring swapping), and can afford at least 3 springs per corner you can pretty much get exactly the ride height, chassis height (lift), ride and performance you want - and likely regardless ifthe weight of your rig.

On the other hand, with the airshox, you pretty much set the ride height with pressure, the compression ratio (basically how easily they bottom) with oil volume (although the 2 obviously inter-relate), and you deal with whatever "ride" that gives you.

So farm for trail work, and given that I'm way up near the max recommended weight for these anyway, and compared to anything I've run before, I'm not at all unhappy with the results - but if i was going to do a LOT of really rough stuff at 40 mph+ , given my weight and therefor the pressure/volume i use, I'd prob find the ride a bit too firm.

Just my experience so far.
 

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GOAT1 said:



They will get hot and the dampening will fade quickly. Your ride height depends on the temperature, when they get hot, they will put you on the limit straps.

Is this theoretical, or personal experience?
 

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I think the air shocks sound like a great idea. My question about them would be how you change valving. Is there any way to change valving or is it all in the air pressure/oil make-up?
 

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GOAT1 said:


YES

Air shocks have the same valving that a coil over shock has, so the valving is adjustable. You adjust the spring rate with air pressure which also adjust ride height. You adjust the progression of the spring curve with oil volume.
Just being pragmatic, but YES is not a valid response to my question :confused: :flipoff2:

So I assume you ARE running them? What's been your experience when 'beating the piss out of them" at speed?

-J
 

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[. You adjust the progression of the spring curve with oil volume. [/B][/QUOTE]

I used to ride motocross years ago which I wont say how many and for how long ,but we fine tuned our shocks and forks by mixing differnt viscositys of oil and different volumes to get the rebound and compression rate we needed. this was done after we got the valving dialed in as close as possible. This may work with the fox air shock but then again I could be just blowing smoke.:flipoff2:
 

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Scott the guy's right about the kings not costing any more. Don't buy coils from king he charges 75-$95 per coil. Day motorsports or Poske's sell them for less than $50. also my 2.5" kings 14" travel weigh 42 lbs!!! I'm going light this year. Crash
 

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A monotube is a monotube.... is a monotube for the most part.

On the air shock valving thing....... It gets real tricky especially where us crawlers are setting them at.

Think of it like this.... there are 2 variables spring rate and valving. Now go take a look at a spring rate chart for air shocks.
 
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