BUILD ALUMINUM SHOCKS
Put ’em together better than the factory for peak performance
BY KEVIN HETMANSKI
Aluminum shocks are a great upgrade for any vehicle that comes with plastic
shocks. In addition to looking way cooler, aluminum shocks will offer smoother
performance, with more time between rebuilds than plastic shocks as well
as greater durability. Most aluminum-upgrade shocks arrive fully assembled,
so all you have to do is fill them with oil, bolt them on, and hit the dirt. And
that’s fine. But if you want those shocks to perform the best they can, for
as long as they can, then there are a few things you can do to achieve
just that. The tips that follow can be used on aftermarket shocks or
on shocks that you’re building while putting a kit together, and they
don’t take long. A few extra minutes at the bench can mean a lot more
hours between rebuilds, so let’s get those aluminum shocks dialed in.
If your shocks are not yet assembled, skip to step 4.
Otherwise, remove the spring cups and springs, then
remove the shock cap, making sure that you pay attention to
the seal used to contain the oil. If you have a bladder or seal (if
building an emulsion-type shock), it should be contained in the
shock cap; sometimes, however, it may fall out. If that happens,
place the bladder or seal back in the cap, and check the other
caps to make sure you install it correctly.
Start by removing the spring
retainer, spring, and shock cap.