By Andrew Middleton
Chances are that the stock suspension on your 4×4 is not ideal for your needs, whether you tour fully loaded along hundreds of kilometres of corrugations, take your rig to the trail, or simply fetch your kids from school…
Here we touch on some of the basic jobs of a shock absorber, describe the different designs, and take a look at new technologies now available.
Fact is, without a shock absorber, a vehicle would sway wildly from side to side as it bounced uncontrollably on its springs. Shock absorbers also prevent bouncing of the tyres and wheels (since these are directly linked to the spring movement), to provide a stable platform for the vehicle to rest on. In other words, most importantly for safety, a shock absorber must maintain consistent contact with the ground.