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      12-15-2017, 04:34 PM   #1
vinylengraver
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Where to get matching dampers?

I am gathering knowledge (and funds) for my impending suspension upgrade.
I think I have a decent grasp on the basics, but despite the "knowledge is power" piece of wisdom, I have now more questions then answers. Funny how this works...

Can you guys point me in a direction of a manufacturer/distributor/vendor who will sell dampers in matched pairs?
As in - something that is shock dyno tested (ideally comes with graphs) and if externally adjustable (Konis), with matched (or as close as possible) adjustment curves for both dampers within each pair? (although I would actually prefer non-adjustable for simplicity and smaller error margin, eg. Bilstein)

This is not quite "money is no object" situation, but I surely don't want to make my choices based on price alone...
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      12-15-2017, 05:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinylengraver View Post
Can you guys point me in a direction of a manufacturer/distributor/vendor who will sell dampers in matched pairs?
I would say you are splitting a hair that doesn't really need to be split. You will be lucky to find any manufacturer/distributor/vendor who even supplies shock dyno data for the specific dampers you are buying. I can only imagine them doing so for adjustable dampers so that you can see what the adjustments do, and you are going to pay a premium on top of your premium priced dampers for the privilege. If you are going with a non-adjustable damper, you can safely assume that all of them match within the tolerance of making any difference.

I do appreciate the sentiment though. But probably more important than matching (which can be assumed) is the shape of the graph. The data is just not out there in terms of shock dyno curves vs. butt dyno impressions for a range of actual shocks to create a meaningful comparison. We are left with a bunch of opinions to sort through, which is not particularly satisfying.
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      12-15-2017, 07:21 PM   #3
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Dampers

JRZ used to do this --mainly for racing customer. $$
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      12-15-2017, 11:29 PM   #4
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You may be able to find a specialist race performance shop that has a shock dyno. They will be able to adjust the dampers so they will match within a reasonable tolerance.

Personally I think this is only useful for Race Car setup where the setup is approaching "critical damping". For a road car you will normally have soft damping, so the damping forces will be less than the spring forces. This makes it tolerant of mismatch in the dampers.
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      12-18-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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I read an article recently about a guy that had his own shock dyno and tested out various ones. His conclusion was that the Bilsteins were very well matched from the factory, and Konis were decent, but for a better match he'd buy 4 or 5 and then mix and match to get well matched pairs. I don't remember his results for other brands...

Ah, found it! Interesting info in here: http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets18.html

EDIT: this one too http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets6.html
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Last edited by BimmerAg; 12-18-2017 at 02:48 PM.
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      12-18-2017, 11:56 PM   #6
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Here in the US you may be stuck with MCS to provide you with matching pair of dampers with graphs.

Even TC's doesn't have any graphs on his Koni's so I doubt Koni can provide you with anything on the generic ones.

Send us a PM with any questions you may have.
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      12-19-2017, 10:48 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your input! Unfortunately my question shows that I am a noob when it comes to suspension tuning.
I had no clue shock dynos are such rare commodity.
I got this idea that externally adjustable dampers are going to be easier to dial-in - who wants to drop them each time you are adjusting the rebound...
But that only works as intended if the adjustment is somewhat linear and each pair can be trusted to adjust in the same fashion going by the clicks/turns etc.
Otherwise it is guess work just the same.
Kind of like matching vacuum tubes for each stereo channel - you want the output to be identical... and predictable - except you don't have to put your amp on a hoist each time you want to try a new one.

I did some budgeting for this and between the RSFBs, good damper/spring kit (TCKline) and labor I am looking at roughly $4K... I mean, at that price I kinda wanted to take the guesswork out of the equation and leave little to chance, if all possible.

I guess I would have to go up a couple notches... but for a strictly street-driven car it seems hard to justify.

Perhaps I will just throw a set of Bilsteins on the car and hope that the serial numbers are close enough and they all came from the same assembly plant
Or I could simply accept the shortcomings of the stock setup and learn to enjoy it for what it is (and slow down when taking corners).

Back to the library... have much to learn it seems.

Last edited by vinylengraver; 12-19-2017 at 11:05 PM.
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      12-20-2017, 12:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinylengraver View Post
Thank you all for your input! Unfortunately my question shows that I am a noob when it comes to suspension tuning.
I had no clue shock dynos are such rare commodity.
I got this idea that externally adjustable dampers are going to be easier to dial-in - who wants to drop them each time you are adjusting the rebound...
But that only works as intended if the adjustment is somewhat linear and each pair can be trusted to adjust in the same fashion going by the clicks/turns etc.
Otherwise it is guess work just the same.
Kind of like matching vacuum tubes for each stereo channel - you want the output to be identical... and predictable - except you don't have to put your amp on a hoist each time you want to try a new one.

I did some budgeting for this and between the RSFBs, good damper/spring kit (TCKline) and labor I am looking at roughly $4K... I mean, at that price I kinda wanted to take the guesswork out of the equation and leave little to chance, if all possible.

I guess I would have to go up a couple notches... but for a strictly street-driven car it seems hard to justify.

Perhaps I will just throw a set of Bilsteins on the car and hope that the serial numbers are close enough and they all came from the same assembly plant
Or I could simply accept the shortcomings of the stock setup and learn to enjoy it for what it is (and slow down when taking corners).

Back to the library... have much to learn it seems.
If you want to get a pair of dampers from a smaller batch, TCKR is it. TC's shocks are made for him by Koni and are typically made in much smaller batches and valved his specs.

PM with any specific questions you may have or need pricing info.
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      12-22-2017, 01:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinylengraver View Post
Thank you all for your input! Unfortunately my question shows that I am a noob when it comes to suspension tuning.
I had no clue shock dynos are such rare commodity.
I got this idea that externally adjustable dampers are going to be easier to dial-in - who wants to drop them each time you are adjusting the rebound...
But that only works as intended if the adjustment is somewhat linear and each pair can be trusted to adjust in the same fashion going by the clicks/turns etc.
Otherwise it is guess work just the same.
Kind of like matching vacuum tubes for each stereo channel - you want the output to be identical... and predictable - except you don't have to put your amp on a hoist each time you want to try a new one.

I did some budgeting for this and between the RSFBs, good damper/spring kit (TCKline) and labor I am looking at roughly $4K... I mean, at that price I kinda wanted to take the guesswork out of the equation and leave little to chance, if all possible.

I guess I would have to go up a couple notches... but for a strictly street-driven car it seems hard to justify.

Perhaps I will just throw a set of Bilsteins on the car and hope that the serial numbers are close enough and they all came from the same assembly plant
Or I could simply accept the shortcomings of the stock setup and learn to enjoy it for what it is (and slow down when taking corners).

Back to the library... have much to learn it seems.

Have a look at this: http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets18.html


Some good info.
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