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Springs, dampers, and all the hardware that goes with them are a subject of endless discussion among everyone from career race professionals to weekend auto crossers and garage mechanics. An incredible number of factors affect ride and performance, and texts like this try to make heads or tails out of the lot. The Shock Absorber Handbook is part of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ official library, which is about as good as seals of approval get, but it does mean the book’s expensive.

The SAE themselves retail the book for $110, or $88 for SAE members. Amazon, the everyman’s source, has it for $96, or $78 if you don’t mind buying a used product from an online retailer. A fair price, to be sure, but careful attention to this book’s principles will turn you into the neighborhood suspension guru. Just the thing for breaking the ice at dinner.

The Shock Absorber Handbook [SAE]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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2 Responses to A Good Read: Absorbing Shocks

  1. _Jon says:

    I saw somewhere that a new off-road truck, the ‘Raptor’, has a special set of shock absorbers that have three internal valves and an external bypass. WTF?

    Plus, the Audi R8 and some other high-performance cars have shocks with metal inside the fluid and when a current is applied, the iron aligns and the shocks become stiffer. WTF*2?

  2. Chris says:

    _Jon: correct. Used to be friends with a girl whose dad was one of the lead engineers on Delphi’s MagnaRide project. I believe their first use was in the Corvette, though they quickly spread to other high-end sports cars as well as some Cadillac models.

    There was a good write-up of the F150 Raptor on either Jalopnik or Autoblog (or maybe both) within the last couple of weeks.

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