The prize jewel
The prize jewel of any suspension system is indisputably the shock absorber. But what exactly does a shock absorber or strut do, and with so many options and technologies on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
Let’s start simple. A shock absorber’s primary role is to control the spring both as it compresses under load and how it rebounds back to position. This damping of energy ensures a smoother ride while helping your tyres maintain contact with the road.
Shock absorbers and struts use the same technology to achieve the same goal, but are packaged differently to suit specific vehicle applications.
Basically, a strut is a shock absorber with a flange built into it, so that we can mount a spring directly onto the shock body for an all-in-one compact solution. Modern independent suspension vehicles will most commonly use struts on the front axle and shock absorbers on the rear. However, some wagons use struts on both the front and rear.
TWIN TUBE DESIGN SOLID, RUGGED AND PROVEN
The true value of a twin-tube shock absorber is the sheer durability of the design. With no foreign tubing or reservoirs and no exposed rods, our line-up of shock absorbers is designed to be uncompromising out in the harshest of Australian conditions.
Twin-tube shock absorbers are by far the most commonly produced shock absorber due to their stability and durability… but it’s not just about the design, it’s what you do with it!
Ironman 4×4 offer three shock absorbers/struts, which allows customers to choose a shock absorber that fits both their driving style and their budget.
Most shock absorbers contain the same line-up of components; the main cylinder which contains a valved piston and piston rod, alongside oil and gas. The main difference between shock absorber designs is in how the oil flow is managed and where the gas is stored.
NITRO GAS SHOCK ABSORBER
Nitro Gas shock absorbers use a very proven twin-tube construction. The gas is stored in the outer tube, while the hydraulic oil passes between in the inner and outer tubes.
What’s great about Nitro Gas is that it is a simple and highly-proven design. Nitro Gas is perfect for those who are looking to add a bit of lift to their vehicle, occasionally loading up the car for a camping weekend, enjoying some slow, low-range 4×4, or doing some on-road towing.
Nitro Gas is also the most versatile shock absorber to fit in the widest variety of vehicles due to its slim design.
FOAM CELL TECHNOLOGY
Shock absorbers create a huge amount of heat, they are constantly working and converting kinetic energy.
If the oil in a shock absorber gets too hot it can aerate and mix with the nitrogen gas. When this happens it loses its viscosity (thickness) and you experience what is called ‘shock-fade’ where basically your shock absorbers lose their core damping ability.
Foam Cell technology uses a sleeve of foam with hundreds of tiny little gas-filled cells which the oil runs over and around. This Foam Cell prevents the gas and oil from being able to mix ensuring shock-fade is not something you need to worry about.
CHECK OUT THE RANGE:
FOAM CELL SHOCK ABSORBER
Ironman 4×4 FoamCell shock absorbers take things up a notch. In addition to unique Foam Cell technology, Foam Cell shocks are a larger diameter, which when combined with the foam cell, allows the oil more contact with a greater surface area of the shock, which in turn provides better cooling. Foam Cell shocks also have a larger rod and piston which makes them even more robust and allows for greater valving by our suspension specialists.
Foam Cell shock absorbers are great for people who hope to hit a few dirt roads at highway speeds for long periods, tow off-road or tend to have a heavier-than-usual load from time to time. Shock absorbers and struts work harder on heavier vehicles, with more movement generating more heat! A bigger shock absorber with greater cooling capacity is a worthy upgrade.
FOAM CELL PRO SHOCK ABSORBER
The Ironman 4×4 Foam Cell Pro range takes our proven foam cell design to the next level. Utilising the same technology and design, the Pro version is designed with a bigger shaft, bigger piston, and a bigger cylinder. The increase in size provides not just strength but also greater control in valving and greater cooling efficiency due to the larger surface area.
The Foam Cell Pro offers the greatest level of cooling efficiency and precision valving for the most comfortable ride. The Foam Cell Pro is a great choice for those who value the best, those who consider themselves true four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, and those who carry heavier loads, especially with increased GVM.
MORE CHOICE TO CONTROL YOUR COMFORT
In a unique offering, Ironman 4×4 offers an extensive range of valving choices across all families of shock absorber, NitroGas, FoamCell and FoamCell Pro.
Of the below, our performance valving is mostly adopted to all front shock absorbers and struts, where options are otherwise commonly made available for the rear. This is due to the variation in rear loads that four-wheel drivers carry.
Our product availability varies from each store location, so be sure to contact us and enquire if you want to learn more about shock absorbers and struts.
Comfort valving is a softer valving in the stroke of the piston. It allows the vehicle to more freely ride with the natural movement of the spring. It could be described as a plusher ride, offering a more ‘floating’ feel.
This is most commonly used in the rear of a lighter vehicle to ensure optimal handling in the front and comfort and the rear is maintained.
Performance valving offers the best of both worlds.
Performance valving allows for a great level of both comfort and control. When matched to the rights springs; the optimal blend for a well-balanced vehicle.
Our professional valving is best suited to vehicles that are carrying heavier than standard loads, the heavier valving ensures that the additional weight does not over-run the shock absorber, to ensure control is maintained in the most extreme of conditions.
Firmer shock absorber also provides the least amount of body roll and a more sporty handling experience.