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Mitsubishi Pajerosport

Everything You Need To Know About Shock Absorbers

Many off-roaders are looking for the best equipment to help them conquer their upcoming challenges. Shock absorbers are an important piece of equipment for off-road vehicles. With so many varieties and brands of shock absorbers on the market, you’ll need to research which set will work best for your rig and off-roading plans. This article will give you everything you need to know about buying and maintaining shock-absorbing equipment for your vehicle.

Overland Ranger shock absorbers

What Are Shock Absorbers and Why Do You Need Them?

To select the right shock absorbers, you need to understand what they do. We are all familiar with the sudden up and down movements you experience when driving over rough terrain. This causes jolts and vibrations that travel up through the suspension and body of your rig. Shock absorbing devices dampen the effects of these extreme movements on your vehicle’s suspension and improve your driving experience.

How Do Shock Absorbers Work?

In order to lessen the shock that your vehicle experiences off-roading, shock absorbers convert the kinetic energy created by jolting movements into heat energy that can be more easily dissipated.

A close-up view of a bright orange shock absorber coil

Benefits of Shock Absorbers

There are two main benefits to having shock absorbers on your vehicle. Firstly, they help to control the movement of the springs and suspension, which prevents shock damage to the essential workings of your vehicle and helps it to ride more smoothly.

Additionally, shock absorbers help keep your tires in closer contact with the ground. By mitigating the rebound of any jolting movements, they reduce the time and distance that your tires spend off the ground. This promotes safety and gives you more control when driving since you cannot steer, brake, or move unless your tires have ground contact.

A close-up view of a bright orange shock absorber coil

Main types of Shock Absorbers

The two main types of shock absorbers are twin-tube and monotube. Monotube absorbers are the simplest type, consisting of a single tube with a piston that runs up and down inside it through oil. In a twin-tube design, this single tube resides within a second tube that protects it from outside debris.

Since monotube designs are not contained, they cool off quicker after converting force energy into heat and can handle more extreme levels of impact. This style tends to be used for performance vehicles but can sometimes require extra protection if used in an environment where they could be damaged by debris.

Twin-tube designs can be preferable in some off-road environments where absorbers could be easily damaged by the surrounding environment. However, this variety can overheat or wear out faster in high-impact environments since they cannot handle as much heat.

There are variants of both monotube and twin-tube designs tailored to certain types of driving. It is worth looking at specific types of shock absorbers that are built for the type of driving and terrain you use your rig for.

A 4x4 off-road vehicle needs heavy-duty shock absorbers to navigate rocky terrain

Shock Absorber Maintenance

It’s important to ensure that your vehicle is set up properly to maximize functionality. Your shock absorbers should be installed at the correct height so that they last longer and don’t experience unnecessary stress.

Shock absorbers should also be kept clean to ensure that they aren’t damaged by debris from off-roading trips. Be sure to clear out any accumulated dirt after each outing to keep them in top performance condition for as long as possible.

Eventually, even well-maintained shock absorbers will need to be replaced. The most obvious sign that they may have worn out is when you notice your rig does not ride as smoothly. If you notice increased braking distance or a large amount of oil loss from your springs, this could also signal worn-out shock absorbers.

overland everest shock absorption

Find The Right Shock Absorbers For You

There are a variety of factors to consider when purchasing shock absorbers, so it is important to talk with the manufacturer or distributor about your needs to ensure that you find the right fit for your rig. Start by deciding how much you are willing to spend and know how you intend to use your 4x4 vehicle so you can find appropriate options in your price range.

When you discuss your needs with a manufacturer, be sure to tell them about your vehicle and any modifications you’ve made to it. You should also make them aware of the types of terrain you will be driving on and how often you will take your rig off-roading. This information will allow them to recommend appropriate models to fit your needs.

If you’re looking for long-lasting, reliable shock absorbers, consider Overland’s selection of high-quality off-road accessories. We have everything you need to assemble the perfect trail-ready rig.