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Thread: Baja Suspension, shock set-up, shock components

  1. #1
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    Default Baja Suspension, shock set-up, shock components

    This was posted originally under a different sub-forum, but I just now realized it was under a sub-forum that probably won't get a lot of attention, so I thought I would start a fresh suspension specific thread.

    Mods, maybe you can delete the old thread and just leave this one up.

    The question was posed by jjrc01, his question was

    Quote Originally Posted by jjrc01 View Post
    not much on here about shocks,i would like to see some info on oils ,pistons,hints and setup!!?

    Man, talk about picking a tough subject

    There is a lot of real estate to cover on this topic, I can throw some stuff out there that works for me.

    First off, I rarely run my 5B's anymore, I much prefer the 5T, so that is sorta what I will talk about. Now of course, this is a subject that has no truly correct answers, there is what works for you. The same setup that works for you may work for others..... it may not, so take all of this with a grain of salt (and a fat glass of Scotch).

    So, in my opinion, here is the best way to setup (obviously I am going to be biased here).

    •HPI shock bodies

    -Its pretty hard to beat the HPI bodies, we made some of our own for some testing, and it was really hard to match the finish quality, and keep the price where it should be. I will only use the HPI bodies.

    •HPI VVC aluminum lower caps
    -again, HPI, no one else really makes anything better that I have seen, upgrade the o-ring seals, and they are great. I have been working on lower caps, have prototypes, with really high tech seals in them, but you know what, they just were not as good as the o-rings.

    •HPI pistons
    -I don't think this needs further explanation, ATM, no one else makes pistons that i am aware of.

    •DarkSoul shock shafts/rod ends
    -As I said, I am of course a little biased here. The shafts are heat treated and electro-polished stainless steel, the rod ends are 6061 t6 aluminum, and they are of course threaded onto the shafts for easy assembly/disassemble. They do come with our own orange colored o-rings to replace the stock ones with. The o-rings are just slightly oversized, and in my experience, have done a much better job at sealing, and outlast the stockers by a large margin. Having aluminum rod ends as opposed to plastic will ensure you finish a race.

    •DarkSoul spring perch's and collars
    -The DS perches sit about an 1/8 inch lower (3mm) which gives the springs that much more adjustability, so you can use more of the springs inherent spring rate, its a minor difference, but all those little bits add up. The collars have a more aggressive "grip" to them, and an o-ring that is a tighter fit on the shock body. The bettre grip makes spinning them up and down easier, and the tighter o-ring will keep them in place better.

    •Team Fast Eddy Bleeder Caps
    -Not only does it replace the stock plastic/aluminum assembly with an all aluminum set-up, but they have a much more sturdy seal on them. The bleeder portion makes assembling and bleeding the shocks a snap, because if you are anything like me..... I HATE bleeding shocks; this setup makes it very very easy.

    I do not trust the DIY bleeder caps, drilling a hole into a structural piece of the shocks imo is silly, I have seen many DIY bleeder caps break while out bashing and racing. Like the DS rod ends, the TFE Bleeder caps have a rebuildable pivot assembly, so theoretically you should never have to replace the the caps, it's a worthy investment.

    As for assembly and what pistons and oil to use, this is where you will have a million opinions, and as I said, who knows what is truly the best way to go, but this is how I have my 5T set up-

    Front shocks-
    - 70wt silicone oil
    - 3 hole pistons
    - black springs (stock)
    - 14mm preload (bottom of bleeder cap to top of spring collar)

    Rear Shocks
    - 40wt silicone oil
    - 3 hole pistons
    - black springs (stock)
    - 13mm or preload

    I have stopped using all the different pistons in favor of the 3 hole pistons all the way around. I find it too difficult trying to "feel" the difference between them all. The whole 2h, 3h, 12h, 16h + all the possible oil weights + springs, makes my head hurt. I have personally found that it is easier to change ONLY oil weights and springs to get the desired effect.

    Many people go into shock (no pun intended) when they learn I use 70wt in the fronts, but I like for my truck to always be biased to a "nose up" attitude when jumping, as well, when hammering through whoop sections, or extremely rough surfaces, I don't want the nose of the truck plowing into the ground. It keeps the nose "lighter", and will tend to push more in the corners, so that needs to be compensated for if you want lots of steering, but I find it easier to modulate throttle to control the amount of push at full lock. Also, look at real 1:1 race trucks, if you ever get hands on one, you will see that the front end is hard as a rock, and the rear end you can push down quite easily, I am just following the same logic.

    Hope this helps at least a little bit. Again, shocks are probably the most complex single sub-structure on the entire Baja, and this thread I can quite easily see getting to hundreds of pages in discussion of pros and cons of every single piece of the shocks. I am planning on releasing some more shock bits, hopefully in the near future in my quest to build the ultimate shock.

  2. #2
    Team FastEddy FastEddy's Avatar
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    Great Info Ted!!

    Ted covered a lot of the aftermarket products and setup. Not much more to add to that other then the Threshold Umbrella seals. I use them in all my shocks and love them. You will pay the price but IMO are worth it.
    Lets look at the stock setups for the people that dont have a lot of aftermarket products and want to use the stock parts.

    We have found a great generic setup that seems to work well as a starting point for most tracks and bashing spots.

    Front Shocks:
    We are going to leave these alone and use the factory setup. It works well.
    Pistons: 2 hole
    Oil: 40wt
    Springs: Stock Black

    Rear Shocks:
    Gray Pistons (Change from the black stock) They should be located in your spare parts bag that came with your Rig.
    Oil: 15 or 20wt Fork Oil or HPI Shock oil.
    Springs: Stock Balck

    Again this is a great generic starting point using only the stock parts that came with your rig.

    Start by adjusting the ride height so both the front and rear arms are flat across.

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    consindering ( excuse my english) the rear shocks,
    with stock setup, when i floor the throttle, my shock went in for about 50% absorbing all the power , stock was 10wt 16hole.

    today i installed 40wt with 12 hole. haven't ran yet, but this should absorb less right ? ( wheelie time!!? )

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    Senior Member Lind5's Avatar
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    i will be following some of these steps as i need to be rebuilding my shocks on my baja
    i like to run the front hard and the rear soft so when im hard into a corner it lifts the inside front wheel of the ground

    how about sway bars any advice on these

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lind5 View Post
    how about sway bars any advice on these
    sway bars are nice for cornering. but it will limit that tyre of the ground you want

  6. #6

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    please tell me, something ive been having trouble with but can't really place my finger on to any solution other than rezzies, or what i have done.

    i currently run ss shafts with threshold seals, good enough for my bashing purposes. thing is i can't actually fill the shock with oil completely, i can bleed the system ok and make sure its completely filled to the brim with oil [bleeder caps would acheive same effect]

    the thing is then the entire shock is locked, can't move the piston at all. its because you can't displace the oil. how have you found to combat this? short of rezzies only way ive found is to leave air in the shocks intentionally.

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    Senior Member Paul2304's Avatar
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    thought it was only me that had that problem Adolf , hopefully someone will be along to put us right

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    i think its because of a lack of volume compensation, the rtr v1's had foam to do it, but the ss have nowt

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    Compress the shock fully before you seal everything up, thats really the only way to make sure the shock does not hydro lock.

    There may be something else to these, I have never used them, but volume is volume, it has to go somewhere.

    Fast Eddy did some tutorials on these, check them out-



    Last edited by Topper; 03-03-2010 at 00:15. Reason: Broken links from forum update

  10. #10

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    yeah, those seem to be the only solution i can see, i tried having shocks fully up before sealing, just meant you couldn't pull shaft out.

    maybe a bladder to go in the top of the shock like a lot of smaller shocks have may be in order for a relativly cheap solution

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkSoul Racing View Post

    Front shocks-
    - 70wt silicone oil


    Rear Shocks
    - 40wt silicone oil

    Is it really ok to use silicone shock oil ?

    Was looking at some 70wt silicone oil but then noticed a quote from HPi !

    Please note that it is imperative you do not use normal silicone shock oil in your Baja 5B shocks! Doing so may invalidate any warranty and could result in damaged equipment.

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    Member stanlee's Avatar
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    Been struggling to set my shocks up how i want em so been searching the forums, was looking at using silicon oils but found this post on another forum...... food for thought...


    Air in silicone stays at a larger bubble size and can still be felt after running.
    HPI oil on the other hand mixes with air and turns into a foam like state and passes threw the holes more consistant and smooth. The shaft volume requires air to be in the shock body because of no bladder. The thresholds are the only true airless system even if you have bleeder caps (i was running my DYI caps 6 months to a year before some one made them to sell) They will still pull air in them after some run time due to having a reduced oil volume without replacement like thresholds. Basically one bad landing slamming the shock to a fast rebound and you have air inside. It sucks it right past the shaft orings (of all makes). Now I have not tried threshold seals so I don't know about them.

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    What about fork oil? Anyone using that?
    Dogs have owners - Cats have staff...

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    Senior Member seanmcgrath48's Avatar
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    This is a tough one every one has something different to say about shock set up...

    My Baja weighs in at 15Kg...
    Me I use 40w oil 2 hole piston in the front...30w oil with 16 hole piston in the rear.....
    Irish Baja Bashers...The First Bash Group on Baja Forum UK...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    What about fork oil? Anyone using that?

    that where I got my 30w oil from a motorbike shop ......
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmcgrath48 View Post
    that where I got my 30w oil from a motorbike shop ......


    Sean are the weights the same as hpi, eg 30wt fork oil same as 30wt hpi shock oil?
    Had a look on the bay but most was synthetic.

    Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by stanlee View Post
    Sean are the weights the same as hpi, eg 30wt fork oil same as 30wt hpi shock oil?
    Had a look on the bay but most was synthetic.

    Lee
    To be honest I don't know....I'll have a look at the bottle tomorrow as it's in the attic..to late now to be mowching about up there,the misses would kill me....

    it says on the bottle its Rock oil 30w fork oil ...

    If there a Motorbike shop near you , you could go in and ask
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by seanmcgrath48 View Post
    To be honest I don't know....I'll have a look at the bottle tomorrow as it's in the attic..to late now to be mowching about up there,the misses would kill me....

    it says on the bottle its Rock oil 30w fork oil ...

    If there a Motorbike shop near you , you could go in and ask


    Thanks sean, theres a good old fashioed bike shop in town i get me 2stroke from so il have a look

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    Member Uxbridge baja basher's Avatar
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    Great thread. Very interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uxbridge baja basher View Post
    Great thread. Very interesting
    I aim to please

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