I’ve noticed a lot of colleges are running air shock’s instead of coilovers, this shocked me because in a fullsize vehicle air shocks tend to over heat easily at high speeds, thus loosing their valving and tending to raise the ride height, because of this there only really recommended for rockcrawlers.

what advantages are there to running an air shock over a coilover?

First off, they weigh nearly nothing. A fox float weighs 2.1 lbs, an evol ~4 lbs. In a lightweight vehicle application like Baja, they seem to dissipate heat quickly enough to be consistent over an endurance race.

Secondly, they can be fully adjusted with a mere hand pump and a few finger twists. This is partly laziness, in that we don’t have to go out and collect all of the right springs for every occasion, but it also allows us to adjust everything within two minutes. This is quite useful when ideal suspension settings are different for maneuverability and suspension courses. We can also adjust to driver preference on the endurance race.

Finally, in the case of fox shocks at least, we don’t need external bump stops. Evols progressively increase in pressure enough to prevent bottoming out anyways.

The real disadvantage of air shocks is the cost so far. As long as you have enough air in your Floats, bottoming out willn’t appear to be a problem. In many cases your throttle might stuck right before a jump causing us to get some massive air and bottomed out the front suspension so bad that it can snap the a-arm upward.

You can also opt for Polaris OE (Fox) shocks off of the RZR . They rock, just have to get softer springs for them. Also,

Raw Materials

Steel alloys are the most commonly used spring materials. The most popular alloys include high-carbon (such as the music wire used for guitar strings), oil-tempered low-carbon, chrome silicon, chrome vanadium, and stainless steel.

High strength steels for automotive applications like suspension coil springs and engine valve springs are alloyed with high amounts of silicon because it confers increased strength and hardness (solid solution hardening), higher sag resistance (resistance to load loss, resistance to stress relaxation) and temper resistance (resistance to softening during tempering and stress relieving). Contemporary spring steels are quenched and tempered to very high strength (1900-2150 MPa, 53-57 HRC, 560-640 HV).

Other metals that are sometimes used to make springs are beryllium copper alloy, phosphor bronze, and titanium. Rubber or urethane may be used for cylindrical, non-coil springs. Ceramic material has been developed for coiled springs in very high-temperature environments. One-directional glass fiber composite materials are being tested for possible use in springs.

The Manufacturing Process

The following research papers focuses on the manufacture of steel-alloy, coiled springs for BAJA Suspension


Design and Analysis of A Suspension Coil Spring For Automotive Vehicle

Optimum Design and Material Selection of Baja Vehicle

Baja Project ‐ Suspension Design Methodoly from BAJA Tutor

Designing an Independent Rear Suspension for Baja SAE Vehicle

SAE Mini-Baja – Suspension and Frame Design

Design of Helical Coil Suspension System by Combination of Conventional Steel and Composite Material




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