Another failure occurs when the shock is located in a high-temperature environment. The temperature will break down the seal material causing the seal to fail. High temperatures also break down the oil, reducing the lubricity properties, causing premature wear of seals and other internal components.

* Ohlins - The Ohlins dampers have fairly low maintenance needs and will be reliable with only minimal care such as, cleaning the Heim ends, wiping the shaft clean, brushing dirt and debris from the body, and changing the oil regularly.

* Pro - The accumulated heat on full-body cars, especially asphalt cars, is one of a number of things that causes shock failure.

* QA1 - There are hundreds of things that can cause your shocks to fail. I think one of the keys to having a great shock program is in your shop preparation. Take the time to run the shocks through their travel, making sure you have clearance from the frame, springs, and other objects. After the race, try to keep good notes of the shocks' heat and reference the manufacturer for ideal temps. Unfortunately, crashes, dirt, and rubber obstructing the shocks performance is a part of the game, but making sure they're in perfect working condition in the shop will help you avoid any failures.

10. Is there a preferred mounting height for shocks (piston position in the tube) in relation to the amount and direction of travel each shock will experience?

* Afco - In most cases, shock mounting positions are not adjustable. However, it's best to check that you are not bottoming or topping out your shocks for no apparent reasons.

* Integra - A shock is a velocity dependent device. For the most part, it doesn't matter what position it's mounted in. Generally, the shock should be mounted to minimize the number of times it sees full compression and full rebound. In a few cases, however, the shock may be located to act as a limiter in either rebound or compression.

* Ohlins - The Ohlins shocks are designed for good performance throughout the stroke, so the important thing is just to make sure to avoid bottoming or topping out.

* Pro - Yes, but the chassis builders seem to have this under control for each application.

* QA1 - When mounting a shock, I like to check and double-check my stroke length and clearance before leaving the shop. Unfortunately, there isn't a magic number of where one should properly mount his/her shocks. Chassis are different, mounting locations are different, and so on. You want to make sure you're going to have an adequate amount of both compression and rebound stroke for each given corner on of the car. If you're mounting a shock on the left rear of a modified, you'll need to mount the shock to allow for a lot of extension. This extension length can be found by using the travel indicators on the shock's piston rod and also using your knowledge of your chassis. This mounting will change from three-link, four-link, or Z-link styles, so giving a hard number is virtually impossible.

Now, if you're mounting shocks on the front of an Asphalt Late Model, you'll want to make sure you have enough compression stroke to allow the shock to fully compress with out bottoming out.

In both cases, you want to make sure you're fully utilizing the full range of your shock's stroke. You never want to use a shock as a limiter for your chassis. Another thing to keep in mind is shock manufacturers will use different length bodies, which will also affect your mounting height. For example, even though you might be using all 7-inch or 9-inch stroke shocks, you'll need to check the compressed and extended lengths, as they will be different from manufacturer to manufacturer.

We can see where some of the comments differ and many are along the same thought process. It surprised me to learn that some think a small percent of racers are better educated today while some think many are not. I guess it depends on the demographics each expert deals with. All of the comments are informative.

If you have any shock questions about either what you need in a shock package or how to better utilize your existing package, contact your manufacturer's tech consultant and ask questions. That's the only way to learn.

AFCO Racing Products
P.O. Box 548
IN  47601
Pro Shocks
1715 Lakes Parkway
Integra Shocks QA1 Racing Shocks
hlins Racing Shocks