On pavement Late Model cars, the front shocks take the most abuse because of the high amounts of rebound being used along with the softer springs when running a bigger sway bar.
* Ohlins - In dirt, I would say the RF, because the cars are so dependent on that to keep the car turning.
* Pro - On asphalt cars, the left front seems to be the most abused shock basically because of the dampening rates used. On the dirt cars, it seems to be the right rear shocks that take the most abuse because of the amount of load on that corner.
* QA1 - For dirt racing we see a lot of abuse on the RF and the LR corners of the car. Usually, this is caused by the large amount of bar angle placed in the LR chassis setup causing a large amount of weight transfer to the RF. While the LR shocks, in this case, are being topped out, the RF is being bottomed out.
On the asphalt, we see both the LF and RF shocks taking a lot of abuse due to the extremely soft springs that are becoming commonplace in this form of racing.
Taking this data, we have developed many new lengths to give the maximum amount of travel your chassis will allow. It's always a good idea to check the amount of travel needed for your chassis and make sure your shocks are not limiting your travel.
8. What maintenance schedule should a team be on in order to help eliminate failures? If it's different for different classes please explain how.
* Afco - Remove shocks weekly, then clean and visually inspect them. Make sure to inspect the shock for bent eyelets, bound up bearings, and interference between shock adjuster knobs and shock mounts. Routine checks for bent shock shafts are another way a team can avoid poor performance.
* Integra - Much like you change the oil, seals, rings, and bearings in a race engine, a shock needs freshening as well. Heat and contamination will break down the seals, bushings, and fluid. Over time, the shims in the shock fatigue from repeated use. To ensure that the shock functions properly when needed, the shock should be rebuilt after every 25-30 races, or after every season.
This is a good rule of thumb for most classes. For those applications where the shock is continually exposed to elevated temperatures or the shock is built with extremely high damping forces, the number of races between freshening the shock should be reduced.
* Ohlins - If a team runs 40-or-so races a year, Ohlins recommends having the shocks serviced at least two to three times per season. If they are running in extremely rough conditions, then have them serviced at least once more.
* Pro - Shocks are much like other components, the better they are maintained the less chance there is of a failure. A shock should be sent in for service at least once a year. We advise to do it every 600-800 laps with our adjustable shocks.
* QA1 - A good maintenance schedule will always benefit you, no matter how good the shock is. I like to check my shocks over after every night of racing. Always make sure they're in the proper working condition and nothing has damaged the shock, limiting its capabilities. One of the nicest features of a racer rebuildable shock is that it's racer serviceable too. Being able to keep fresh oil in the shocks, along with checking the gas pressure, will ensure you're also going to the track with a consistent setup. We feel racing is racing, no matter if you're a top Late Model team or racing in the hobby division at your local track. That's why we offer a complete line of racer rebuildable, revalveable shocks.
9. What typically causes premature failure of a racing shock? I.e., improper mounting (soft springs?), spring contact with shock, crashes, dirt, heat, binding, and so on.
* Afco - All of what you mentioned are common problems that good weekly maintenance can eliminate. It's a good idea to have your shocks dyno'ed after racing on a really rough racetrack.
* Integra - There are many causes of shock failure. One of the biggest causes of failure to a race shock is improper mounting. This can induce a side-load/bending moment into the shock causing premature seal wear, and ultimately can fatigue the shock shaft to a point of failure.