Ask The Experts: Three Suspension Questions With QA1

QA1 specializes in providing performance shock absorbers, carbon fiber driveshafts, suspension, rod ends, spherical bearings, ball joints and other related items to a variety of markets including: circle track racing, drag racing, street performance, street rodding, as well as several other industrial markets. We asked them three suspension questions to get our cars ready for the upcoming season.

Why is it important to maintain your shock ends?

Do your shock ends look like the picture on the left or the one on the right? It’s important to keep the spherical bearings on your shocks clean and lubricated. A dirty bearing is more likely to bind up which can cause suspension bind and inconsistent handling. We recommend visually inspecting your shock ends after each race and a thorough cleaning and lubrication after every 3 – 5 nights of racing

Shock rod ends that are not maintained can bind due to the build up of crud.

How should I tow my race car without causing premature shock wear?

While towing your race car, the suspension is continuously working during the entire trip to the track and back home. All the bumps, pot holes or uneven pavement your towing vehicle feels, your race car feels even on the trailer. Especially when towing long distance, this causes more stress and wear on the shocks and can lead to the shocks wearing out faster. Check your shocks after a tow and you may be surprised how warm they are! To help eliminate premature shock and suspension wear, always tie your vehicle down in a manner that minimizes vehicle bouncing. Most of us generally wrap our tie down straps around the axle housing and front suspension, but this isn’t strapping the suspension down. One way to help prevent the shocks from doing any unnecessary work is to always strap the body or chassis directly to the trailer. This causes the body to move with the trailer, rather than independently and will help lessen the stress that falls to your race car’s suspension.

Most racers simply wrap a ratcheting strap around the axle tubes which allow the body to bounce on the shocks unnecessarily.

What are some easy, beginning of the season suspension areas to inspect?

As the 2018 racing season gets under way, it’s the perfect time to make sure your suspension components are all operating properly. Some of the most important items to inspect include your ball joints, rod ends and shocks. A bound up rod end or shock eyelet bearing or a bent ball joint can cause weeks of car setup frustration. Starting out the year right will make for a much more enjoyable season! Additionally, if any of these components become loose, worn out or improperly aligned, it’s not only unsafe, it can also greatly affect your car’s overall performance and put you behind the competition. Inspecting and cleaning ball joints and rod ends and correcting alignment angles are good places to start when checking important suspension areas. Many of these parts are easy to diagnose at home or by a chassis or alignment shop. Remember to regularly inspect these components throughout the season as well, as it will save you time and money during racing season.

For more information about QA1, their products, or technical information, please visit them online at www.qa1.net.

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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