If you are rocking jumps with your RC car or truck you have surely started tweaking the shock positioning of your vehicle. If you are new to RC shocks, or shocks in general as I was you are going to want to know a few basic things about tuning them. If you take a close look at where the shocks connect to your vehicle you will notice there are several positions across the top and bottom to adjust. (not all vehicles are the same) If you cannot adjust the top, well then I guess you’re doing the best you can with the bottom. A few basic principals to get you started.
Moving The Shocks Outward
By moving the shocks outward, away from the body and decreasing the angle you are going to see a noticeable change in your vehicles handling. This is going to decrease the the leverage required of the arms to lower the shock and make the ride much stiffer.
Moving The Shocks Inward
This has the exact opposite effect as moving it outward. (as you may have guessed) But getting a smoother ride certainly has its applications just let looking for a tighter ride.
Changing The Shock Angle
Remember when you move the shock arm in our out you are going to change the overall angle of the shock. The more you move the shock to a straight up and down position the less the spring and damping rates will vary when the shock is moving from full extension to full on compression. The exact opposite is true when it comes to flattening out the shock. The more you flatten it out the greater the difference in rate change in the two extremes of the shock.
What Is Damping Rate
Basically it is how you shock moves, overall compression or decompression, moving in and out. Say for example you are landing a jump your shocks are going to compress. The opposite of that, when the shocks spring back to normal, that is decompression. Shock damping is really the speed at which that happens. If the holes are small it will be slower than if the piston holes were larger.
Shock Oil Effects:
Other than piston holes the weight you choose to run for shock oil has the same effect. A thin weight is going to provide less resistance and be quick while a heavier weight is going to be much slower.
So basically if your track is large with few jumps you are going to want to run a heavier shock oil generally and the larger piston holes, if the track has loads of turns, jumps and dumps you are going to want to lean towards a smaller piston hole and lighter weight oil. Sure these are just very general rules but this gives you a place to start when you want to start tuning. It took me about 10 different combinations before I actually figured out what was good for the local track here. The good news is once you have done this a few times you will be able to look at a track and know about what type of shock setup you want. Happy Tuning.