ADAM LAMBERT PROVIDES EXPERT ADVICE ON DRAG SHOCKS
Normal shocks on a street car mainly control the movement of the springs, but in the drag racing world – particularly on Pro Stock cars like the Mopar. Dodge Dart hot rods driven by Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr. – rear shocks are used to manipulate the four-link.
The purpose of this, explains Lambert, is “to make the tire do things it isn’t designed to do, like harness 1,200-1,500 horsepower.
“A normal shock is designed for a nice, smooth ride, but a drag race shock is more aggressively valved on the rebound side to control the weight transfer when the car leaves the starting line. Once the weight is transferred, the purpose of the shock is to hold it over the tires for maximum grip.”
The rear shocks of a Pro Stock car function differently than those of a Sportsman car, though. Whereas suspension settings can be controlled throughout a pass for a Pro Stock car to effectively navigate the landscape, the shocks of a Sportsman car, such as a Super Stock or Stock Eliminator Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, are based on a traditional rear suspension rather than a four-link.
“They don’t need the big rebound force to hold the weight over the tires, because they don’t need as much control in the back like the Pro Stock cars do,” explained Lambert. “The Drag Pak Challengers and other Sportsman race cars are less susceptible to variances, like bumps on the racetrack, and they aren’t seeing such high speed or as much horsepower at those particular challenges on the racing surface.”
In contrast to the factory hot rods, nitro Funny Cars utilize a very non-traditional form of suspension – tire pressure. Suspension is controlled solely via the spring rate of the tire sidewall.