Simply Shocking Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow What follows might surprise you. There is a simple truth in making a fast street car or any other small tire car work on the drag strip: Shock absorbers are the key. The reason for this is simple: If you can control the wheel motion, you can control the dynamics of the car. Interpretation? In the world of the drag racer, this boils down to refined "hook." It also means your tuning capabilities are amplified many-fold. Certainly, there are cases where one can still get a car down the track with a simple set of worn out stock front shocks or a set of out dated non-adjustable 90-10's, but how well is that particular car really working? What happens when the conditions change? What do you do when you leave track "A" on one weekend (where the car "works"), and race at track "B" the next (where the car doesn't "work")? What happens if you run out adjustment on your bargain brand adjustable shocks? There's no question this is a major dilemma (and it has been addressed to some degree by single and double adjustable shocks), but today, racers have seen the future and plenty of Sportsman drag cars have had old-tech hardware replaced with high end shock absorber “systems.” It happened years ago in the Pro Stock ranks. Today, plenty of Sportsman teams aren't far behind. What makes today's crop of adjustable shocks so different from other dampers? There are plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle differences between them and more pedestrian shocks. In the case of the AFCO shocks, the design is based upon a twin tube layout. That means there are two cylinders within the shock absorber (or “damper”). The outer cylinder serves as a reservoir for the hydraulic fluid. There are fluid valves in the piston and in the stationary base valve. The base valve controls fluid flow between both cylinders and provides some of the damping force. The valves in the piston control most of the damping. In contrast are “mono-tube” configurations, which rely on only one cylinder. AFCO’s Eliminator Twin Tube Adjustable Shocks are built specifically for drag racing. AFCO used onboard data acquisition systems to figure out what customer race cars are doing every 0.001 of a second during a quarter-mile lap. In turn, they engineered the Eliminator so that you (as the tuner) can control it at every point. What this boils down to for the racer is unsurpassed traction. AFCO offers single and double adjustable Eliminator series shock absorbers. They point out their double adjustable shocks are “the ultimate tool in the chassis tuner’s arsenal.” The double adjustments of both compression and rebound damping are completely independent. Changing the setting of one has no effect on the setting of the other. By allowing full control over both compression and rebound forces, this shock gives the tuner the ability to fine tune every aspect of chassis movement to provide the ultimate in acceleration control and overall driveability. The folks from AFCO also point out their double adjustable shocks have the widest range of adjustment on the market. This is in direct contrast with some other shocks that actually have a small window of useable adjustment. There’s more, too: The valving is so effective you can make a single click and actually feel the change. Finally, each of the Eliminator Double Adjustable shocks is 100% dyno tested prior to delivery. Next issue, we’ll dig deeper into AFCO’s double adjustable Eliminator shocks. In that segment, we’ll examine compression and rebound damping in the shocks and we’ll also provide you with some of AFCO’s insight into shock absorber baseline tuning. The folks from AFCO are great with tech info on their products, too, and that makes setup incredibly easy. Watch for it, as well as for the next two segments. And in the meantime, have a look at the accompanying photos of the Eliminator double adjustable shock absorbers:

Simply Shocking Part 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

What follows might surprise you. There is a simple truth in making a fast street car or any other small tire car work on the drag strip: Shock absorbers are the key. The reason for this is simple: If you can control the wheel motion, you can control the dynamics of the car. Interpretation? In the world of the drag racer, this boils down to refined "hook." It also means your tuning capabilities are amplified many-fold.

Certainly, there are cases where one can still get a car down the track with a simple set of worn out stock front shocks or a set of out dated non-adjustable 90-10's, but how well is that particular car really working? What happens when the conditions change? What do you do when you leave track "A" on one weekend (where the car "works"), and race at track "B" the next (where the car doesn't "work")? What happens if you run out adjustment on your bargain brand adjustable shocks? There's no question this is a major dilemma (and it has been addressed to some degree by single and double adjustable shocks), but today, racers have seen the future and plenty of Sportsman drag cars have had old-tech hardware replaced with high end shock absorber “systems.” It happened years ago in the Pro Stock ranks. Today, plenty of Sportsman teams aren't far behind.

What makes today's crop of adjustable shocks so different from other dampers? There are plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle differences between them and more pedestrian shocks. In the case of the AFCO shocks, the design is based upon a twin tube layout. That means there are two cylinders within the shock absorber (or “damper”). The outer cylinder serves as a reservoir for the hydraulic fluid. There are fluid valves in the piston and in the stationary base valve. The base valve controls fluid flow between both cylinders and provides some of the damping force. The valves in the piston control most of the damping. In contrast are “mono-tube” configurations, which rely on only one cylinder.

AFCO’s Eliminator Twin Tube Adjustable Shocks are built specifically for drag racing. AFCO used onboard data acquisition systems to figure out what customer race cars are doing every 0.001 of a second during a quarter-mile lap. In turn, they engineered the Eliminator so that you (as the tuner) can control it at every point. What this boils down to for the racer is unsurpassed traction.

AFCO offers single and double adjustable Eliminator series shock absorbers. They point out their double adjustable shocks are “the ultimate tool in the chassis tuner’s arsenal.” The double adjustments of both compression and rebound damping are completely independent. Changing the setting of one has no effect on the setting of the other. By allowing full control over both compression and rebound forces, this shock gives the tuner the ability to fine tune every aspect of chassis movement to provide the ultimate in acceleration control and overall driveability.

The folks from AFCO also point out their double adjustable shocks have the widest range of adjustment on the market. This is in direct contrast with some other shocks that actually have a small window of useable adjustment. There’s more, too: The valving is so effective you can make a single click and actually feel the change. Finally, each of the Eliminator Double Adjustable shocks is 100% dyno tested prior to delivery.

Next issue, we’ll dig deeper into AFCO’s double adjustable Eliminator shocks. In that segment, we’ll examine compression and rebound damping in the shocks and we’ll also provide you with some of AFCO’s insight into shock absorber baseline tuning. The folks from AFCO are great with tech info on their products, too, and that makes setup incredibly easy. Watch for it, as well as for the next two segments. And in the meantime, have a look at the accompanying photos of the Eliminator double adjustable shock absorbers:

Simply Shocking Part 1 1

All the products in AFCO’s double adjustable Eliminator series of shock absorbers are designed as near-bolt-ins for many applications. Yes, they have threaded bodies and yes, they can be converted to a coil over configuration.

Simply Shocking Part 1 2

The Eliminator series is available in several different configurations, including this front setup with a tapered coil over spring. More on the coil over conversions down the road.

Simply Shocking Part 1 3

Eliminator shocks are available as single adjustable or double adjustable. Double adjustable shocks such as these have a compression adjuster on the main shock body (as shown here).

Simply Shocking Part 1 4

The rebound adjuster is located on the shaft end of the Eliminator double shock absorber. This does not change with shock orientation (for example, an upside-down shock, as shown in the opening photograph).

Simply Shocking Part 1 5

The rebound adjuster for the front shock is located topside in the engine compartment. This means it’s super easy to access and even easier to adjust.

Simply Shocking Part 1 6

We’ll get into adjustments in the next segment.

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