Insight - I just bought a new set of shocks, what do I do? Part #2B

By: Admin

< 1 min

Part # 2b – Starting From Scratch

In Part 2a– We went over setting up your new set with some recommended settings. Sometimes a set of clicks isn’t available; you’re trying a new valving, running a solo effort, or dealing with a brand new car. Maybe you pissed off your shock engineer and you’re on your own this time. Whatever the reason, sometimes we start with a blank sheet of paper. No worries, it may take a few sessions longer, but it is a straightforward process.

starting from scratch
Now what?

Firstly, we are again starting off under the assumption that you’ve gotten Part #1 out of the way. Essentially, your car is pretty sorted otherwise and we can focus on the damper setup. A few words of caution here, in some starting from scratch scenarios the possibility for the car to handle like it wants you dead is higher than normal. More care should be given to warm up and easing into speed. There are enough surprises out there on the tarmac, control what you can.

Before we get into it, I will preface this section with the fact that this is not something I came up with. Jan Zuijdijk, founder of JRZ, presented this to me some years ago. It was already published in Carroll Smith’s book “Tune to Win” in 1978, with credit to Jan. Numerous variants have been put out into the world. There’s nothing new under this sun. Most importantly, this is a very effective basic approach for getting a handle on things, so it is to be written once more.

The process:

damper setup
That wasn’t too hard
  1. Set your dampers a couple clicks off soft, let’s say two. Get out on track and warm up, get to speed, and come back in for tire pressure & temps. Record your feedback, download your data & video, suppress your urge to start making unplanned changes.
  2. Increase front & rear compression damping two clicks. If using 3 ways, leave the low speed in the middle. If running a 50 DA JRZ set up, send me an email because who knows what I did with that and we might need to adjust the plan a little. Anyway, repeat step 1.
  3. Do this until the car feels a little stiff and does not ride the bumps well.
  4. Turn the compression adjustments back one click.
  5. Now we will perform this process with the rebound adjustments. When you turn your compression adjustment back one, increase your rebound two. Keep doing this until the car doesn’t transfer weight well and you start to lose grip on transitions.
  6. Come in, turn the rebound down one click.

Congratulations, you have a baseline!

Now, we have a few things to do before moving forward:

  1. Sit down and thoroughly review your information. Watch the video, look at your logged data, review the notes you took. Sometimes things come out at you. This is a great opportunity to learn.
  2. Double check that all the clicks are even. I have had a lot of clients hustle through this process to end up with an uneven setup. This will head off a lot of “I tried this and it didn’t work” conversations.
  3. If something seems inconsistent, reach out. While this is a simple process, the car, driver, and tire combination certainly aren’t. Another great opportunity to learn & improve.


Next up: Part #4 – After a Baseline

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