Pre-Season PSA – RF Shock and Ball Joint
It is that time of year and everyone is getting wired up with the start of race season upon us. I try to take a minute each spring to remind everyone that it’s important to check your RF shock and upper ball joint clearance.
It never fails…each spring we get a few guys calling after a practice day or first race night where they have traveled the RF to the point of the upper ball joint hitting the shock body. While this may not be as much of an issue with twin tube shocks, it certainly is for mono tube shocks(see picture below). This kind of damage can easily be over $100 to fix….and with simple fixes it can be avoided.
This is mainly due to the under sprung dirt setups today. Typically if you are trying to run a soft RF spring, then you will need to run a bumpstop, change the arm geometry or move the shock mounts so that the shock is out of harm’s way…also a good time to make sure it’s not bottoming out.
It’s easy enough to do, with the shock in place, just take out the main spring and jack the suspension up and down to see how close you get. You should allow 3/16″ minimum gap to the shock body at any point in the suspension travel.
We see this a lot even on older cars that have decent spring rates….the Pierce cars come to mind. The upper shock mount position has a lot to do with it on these cars along with the camber curve they are using. We suggest moving shocks mounts if that’s what it takes…otherwise you’ll be blowing $100+ a week on a RF shock repair.
Hope this helps some of you save some money this season.