5 Risks of Not Doing a Shock Rebuild Before the Race Season

Aaron Lambert
Post by Aaron Lambert
August 16, 2021
5 Risks of Not Doing a Shock Rebuild Before the Race Season

When evaluating how racers can improve their overall performance, most drivers focus on their engines. The thinking is that if they can squeeze a few more horsepowers out of the engine, they will gain needed tenths on track.

While this may be true, those drivers aren't digging deep enough and leaving other performance gains on the table. To gain the edge over your competition, you need to level up your suspension performance and shock setup with a shock rebuild.

You know your car or motorcycle. You know how it handles, how it holds the racing surface, and how it feels. You also understand how it performs, and if you're like most racers, you want it to perform better.

Fine-tuning your suspension is the best way to get the most out of it, and remember, you have a unique driving or riding style and preferences that will determine how you should tune.

We believe shock maintenance will give you an edge. By paying attention to your suspension and ensuring the working parts are in top condition, you eliminate the risk of missing important details and set yourself up with the best chance for success on race day.


The True Risks of Not Focusing on Suspension and Shock Rebuild

Pre-season is an optimum time to tweak for performance. But during the season, it's also important to stay on top of any damage caused by racing or general wear and tear.

We know that planning a shock rebuild will take some investment. You might be asking, is the investment worth the cost? Will it give me an edge?

It's easy to overlook the importance of safety, control, and slight drops in performance. But the best drivers and teams understand the importance of fine-tuning every detail of their performance.

Here are five risks of not tuning your suspension and planning a shock rebuild - don't let them happen to you.


Check out our ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Top 10 Most Common Suspension Issues & How to Resolve Them


1. If you're not comfortable with your feel, you can't give it 100%

The way your car or motorcycle feels is determined by how it performs. There are many issues that can be caused if the suspension is even slightly off, such as:

  • The vehicle pulling to one side while driving
  • One corner sitting lower than the rest
  • Nose diving forward, rolling to the side, or squatting backward when you accelerate
  • Chatter under braking

These issues contribute to you feeling uncomfortable and not quite in control, which in turn, logically affects your confidence and performance. Fine-tuning what you and your vehicle needs is how you will perform at your best!


2. Dirt and grime build up over the season and penetrate the shock seals

Can you imagine how much dirt and grime gets into the parts you can't see? Dirt and grime will always build up over the course of a season and cause shocks to wear and fade, making them less effective.

Routine maintenance is important and can extend the life of your shocks, but your suspension will still take a beating over time. Even with the best-maintained cars, handling deteriorates over time, often because of the shocks.


3. Old oil limits performance

Following on from point two, once dirt and grime penetrate the seals, they seep into the oil inside the shocks. This not only changes how the shocks perform, but it can also even damage them.

On top of that, the properties of the oils might change, so it's a good idea to change the oil in your shocks two to three times a season.


Learn more about Race Suspension Tuning Basics, 7 Things You Need to Know.



4. Safety

An ill-handling car or motorcycle can result in any number of issues:

  • Oversteer, or understeer conditions
  • A loss of control, or worst of all
  • An off-track excursion

During cornering, if the shocks are starting to go bad, you will feel a loss of control, or maybe a soft feeling. When the oil breaks down, you lose damping force, affecting both compression and rebound damping.

Above all, you should feel safe at all times and know that your vehicle will handle the limits that you feel comfortable at.


5. Bad suspension affects your ability to stop quickly

When turning corners, coming into a pit-stop, or in emergency situations, you'll need to be able to handle well under braking. Faulty suspension can cause you to nosedive and lose control.


A Suspension and Shock Rebuild Could Be the Best Investment You Make

We know you have a lot to think about when it comes to preparing for the new season, and you were probably wondering if a shock rebuild is necessary. By not performing a shock rebuild, you run the risk of being unsafe, uncomfortable, and under-prepared.

A shock rebuild might seem like a small detail in the overall picture, but it's often the small details that bring the biggest results.


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Shocks 101
Aaron Lambert
Post by Aaron Lambert
August 16, 2021
After completing high school, Aaron joined Penske Racing Shocks in 2000 as a damper technician. Since then, Aaron served in multiple management and technical rolls in the company and oversaw all major sales markets including Short Track, NASCAR, Sports Car, and IndyCar. He spearheaded the company’s successful return to the Late Model market as well as the new S-link shock dyno product line. In addition, Aaron handles all dealer relationships and has been a driving force behind Penske Racing Shocks’ long term in-house manufacturing strategy . Aaron was promoted to General Manager in 2019, a position he currently holds.
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