Shock Rebuild 101: What You Need to Know

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Off-road enthusiasts and racers know that shock absorbers affect the performance and ride. Shocks wear down due to dirt, grime, and the rigors of the road, causing handling issues. This is where a shock rebuild can help.

Shock Rebuild 101: What You Need to Know

Let’s dive into why a shock rebuild is necessary, when to get one, and what the process involves.

  • Why is a Shock Rebuild Needed? Shock absorbers maintain vehicle stability, handling, and comfort. They work hard to absorb and dampen the impact from the road. However, this constant action takes its toll. Dirt and debris contaminate the oil and wear down the seals, eventually causing leaks. A shock rebuild involves disassembling, cleaning, inspecting, and reassembling the shocks with new oil and seals, restoring them to like new condition.
  • What Are Some Signs You Need a Shock Rebuild? Common indicators include a noticeable decrease in handling, a soft or spongy feeling in the suspension, or the shocks bottoming out more frequently. If you see oil leaking from the seal head or the shock body, you need new shocks. A good rule of thumb for competitive racers or those who frequently tackle challenging terrains is to consider a rebuild every 50 hours of ride time.
  • What Does the Process Involve? A shock rebuild starts with a thorough inspection to assess the condition and identify damage. We disassemble the shock and clean each part. Worn parts, such as seals and oil, are replaced. In some cases, we may need to replace or adjust the piston band or the shim stack. The rebuild process can also include testing the shocks before disassembly to confirm their condition. After reassembly, we’ll test them to make sure everything works as it should.
  • Is a Rebuild Different from a Revalve? A rebuild restores the shock to its original condition. A revalve modifies the shock’s internal damping to suit the rider. This could involve changing the piston valve stack to alter the shock’s response to bumps and impacts, enhancing cornering stability, high-speed control, and bottom-out resistance.

Regular maintenance, including a shock rebuild, is essential for anyone serious about off-roading or racing. Whether you’re experiencing handling issues or it’s been a while since your last service, a shock rebuild is an investment in your vehicle’s performance and safety. Contact us to schedule suspension services.