If you’re looking for information on what factors influence how effective your damping is or what shock valving is, that link will take you to the page you’re looking for.
Several companies offer custom valving for dampers (some even for free) before they ship them, but many offer it as an additional option during the rebuild process. So it’s good to know what is being offered before you turn it down.
What is revalving? Why should I have it done?
The benefits of coilovers come from a few features:
- The the fact that the dampers and springs are matched based on their characteristics.
- And that the damping of all the shocks/struts are matched to be similar, so you have consistent handling on all corners of the car.
All of the components of the damper are engineered based on the selected spring rate, and desired application. So if you’re considering a change in spring rate or application, keep reading!
Major suspension or vehicle changes? Change vehicle application? Blown shocks? Consider a Revalve when they’re being rebuilt.
Most manufacturers are comfortable selling their coilovers with custom spring rates of +- 2kg/mm of what comes standard. For street purposes you probably wouldn’t notice a change as small as 1 or 2kg/mm, but if your vehicle sees any track time you should at least consider changes to the valving and talk to the manufacturer or a tuner before you make an order or have your shocks rebuilt.
And if you’re making a large change in spring rate you should call and ask the manufacturer if you the current valving will work for what you’re planning with the car. Improperly valved dampers won’t provide all of the handling benefits you expected to enjoy with your product, which you might have spent several thousand dollars on.
What are my options?
One option is to have your coilovers custom valved when you order them based on your application and spring rates, but not all manufacturers will do this.
A good number of low cost coilovers don’t test the damping on their shocks before shipping them, if handling is your goal, these brands probably aren’t for you.
Most coilovers are only 1-way adjustable, allowing only rebound adjustment, and the compression of the coilover might not be ideal for your chosen application, Custom valving is an option here that could better allow you to find a ‘sweet spot’ where your compression and rebound work together to meet you goals.
Some coilovers can be upgraded to 2-way, though the only one I currently know of is is Fortune Auto’s 500 series. 2 Way coilovers are a good fit for cars that might be used on different surface types or for more than one application, they can be especially helpful if this is a weekend track car.
How much does Custom valving cost? Where should I have it done?
The good news is that the cost of revalving isn’t usually outrageous, as far as car parts go at least. The costs vary depending on where it’s done, for example FEAL charges 50$ per corner in addition to rebuild cost (for coilovers, the rebuild some oem shocks too), Fortune Auto charges 125$ per corner to revalve and dyno and some manufacturers charge more.
Custom Valving before you buy a part is usually free if it’s offered, the only low cost brands I know of currently that offer it are Fortune Auto and FEAL suspension. If you’re spending more than 1500$ it’s a good idea to ask though!
It’s important to chose who revalves your dampers carefully. Ask them to dyno the shock before and after you have it done.
I’ve heard of people having coilovers revalved at bike shops, I wouldn’t recommend this. Sure it could be done successfully, but it’s a risk I wouldn’t recommend.
For more on revalving, you can look at the Tein’s process.
If you’re looking for more details on valving, I have that too.