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Monday, July 11, 2011


Shocks are one of the most important components to a good handling car and they are also one of the most overlooked. The shocks hold the car up, help it through the bumps and jumps, and most of all help the car develop grip. We are going to walk you through some key points to pay close attention to so you will always have well tuned shocks. Then we will show you the steps of how the TLR team builds their racing shocks.

Shock O-rings:
TLR offers two sets of shock o-rings for the 22. There are three set-ups you can use with these two sets of shock o-rings.


Gray o-rings come with the TLR 22. The gray o-rings are great for a racer that does not want to do much shock maintenance. The gray o-rings are bit larger in diameter allowing the o-ring to have more compression from the shock body and providing a tighter seal. You will notice more friction on the shock shaft with the gray o-rings.


Option 2 is the black and gray o-ring setup and it's what most racers prefer. Here we are using one low friction black o-ring (TLR5074) and one standard gray o-ring (TLR5093). This increases the performance of your shock from the standard kit set-up by allowing the shock to have less o-ring stiction. You will notice the shock shaft stiction will be cut in half. This will help the car develop more grip and handle better through the bumps. You will have a small amount of oil leaking from the shock from time to time but this will stop once the shock o-rings swell from the silicone oil. When building your shocks with this option always put the gray o-ring in last to give you the best seal.


Option three is the low friction black o-ring setup. This setup will provide the greatest performance with the least amount of shock o-ring stiction but will yield some oil leakage. When building your shocks with this option you will notice a small amount of friction on the shock shaft. With this set-up it is best to top off your shocks throughout the day of racing. This setup is what most of the TLR team uses on their 22’s.


Now we are going to go over a couple of tips and things to look for when assembling your shocks together. This will assure that your shocks are at the highest performance level at all times.

Greasing the shock o-rings

When installing new shock o-rings it is always best to apply a small amount of Losi shock o-ring grease (LOSA99208) to the inside on the shock seals. This will improve a few things, help make the o-ring last longer and make your shock shafts much freer which improves performance on the track. Using the Losi shock o-ring grease will also prevent less leakage from the o-rings.

Removing the plastic flashing off the shock piston

Looking close you will see a small peice of flashing on the shock piston. This is where the piston was removed from the mold. This is completely normal for the piston to have this small piece of flashing on it but can be disastrous for your shock. Without removing the flashing, it will increase the friction the piston has within the shock body and decreases the performance of your shock. This is easily fixed by using 120 grit sandpaper and lightly sanding off the flashing.

Cutting out the bladders

We have found that the shocks perform better as an emulsion shock over the stock bladder compensated shock. We have found that the emulsion shock lands better, has a better balance, and increased grip. There are two easy ways to turn your stock bladder compensated shocks into emulsion shocks.

On the left is Option 1. This is the new shock cap o-ring included in LOSA5006.

On the right is Option 2, a standard shock bladder where the center has been cut out with a pair of scissors. By installing option 1 or 2 this will turn your bladder compensator shock into an emulsion shock. After doing this tip you will need to follow the directions to properly bleed an emulsion shock.

Bleeding an emulsion shock

Bleeding an emulsion shock is the last and most important step of building your shocks. You want to make sure that all four of the shocks are bled the same. Inconsistent shock pressures will hurt the track performance. Here is the best way we have found to assure all four shocks are bled the same.

First, have the shock shaft fully extended and fill the shock with oil to the top of the shock body. You don’t want the oil to spill over the top of the shock. You want a nice concave look to the oil once the shock is filled. Once you have the shock filled, push the shock shaft up and down a couple of times to remove any trapped air. At this point let the shock sit for a couple of minutes to ensure that all of the air bubbles float out of the oil.

After the shocks have sat for a couple of minutes pull the shock shaft completely down. Make sure the o-ring or cut bladder is installed into the shock cap and screw the shock cap onto the shock body. Only screw the shock cap on about ¾ of the way leaving about two threads showing.

At this point hold the shock at a 45 degree angle. It is very important to have the hole in the shock cap pointing up as this is where the excess oil will bleed from. Slowly push the shock shaft all the way in. There should be a fare amount of oil that bleeds out of the shock cap hole. If no oil comes out of the hole then you either did not have enough oil in the shock or the cap is too tight. Once the shock shaft is completely compressed into the shock body release the shaft. If it rebounds quickly, then the cap was too tight and you need loosen the cap and start over. After the oil bleeds out of the hole, tighten the cap down by hand and then move the shock shaft in and out quickly to pump the shock. Now lay the shock back over at a 45 degree angle with the hole in the cap facing up. With the shaft pushed in, open the cap up until you see some oil come out the bleed hole then tighten the cap back down with your shock tool. After these steps are completed the shock should move in and out smoothly and there should be little to no pressure in the shocks during full up travel while also having very little rebound pressure. There should be no more than 3 to 6mm of rebound in the shocks. If there is more rebound than 3 to 6mm then repeat the last step and bleed more oil out until all shocks are equally matched.

Once all the tips and tricks are completed you will find yourself with a set of high performance TLR 22 shocks ready to hit the track.

Shock Maintenance

Now that you have a set of performance shocks here is how the TLR team maintains their shocks.

Tip One:
The team likes to use the shock cap bottom that holds in the o-ring as an adjustment tool. When new o-rings are installed tighten the bottom shock cap all the way. As you run your car the o-rings will swell over time. After the 2nd day of running on new o-rings, loosen the shock cap bottom ¼ turn. This will relieve the pressure on the o-rings and decrease the stiction of your shock. The next time at the track loosen the bottom shock cap another 1/4 turn. This will put you at ½ turn out on the bottom cap. This is the maximum you want to loosen the shock cap bottom. Generally the top drivers run their shocks o-rings for three days before replacing them with new o-rings.

Tip Two:
When changing the oil in your shocks add a small amount of Losi shock o-ring grease to the shock shaft. When adding this grease make sure to work the grease into the o-rings by moving the shaft in and out quickly. Then wipe off the excess grease so dirt won't stick to your shocks. This will help keep the friction low and performance high.

Tip Three:
This is an important step that is over looked by most. Dirt is the worst thing for your shock o-rings and the shock shafts. Each time you come off the track clean your shocks with a soft brush. Make sure there is no dirt packed into the shock cup. Dirt that compacts into the shock cup allows the dirt to be forced into the shock cap bottom, under full compression, causing the o-rings to get dirty and abrasive. Cleaning your shocks each run with a soft brush will help your shocks stay better much longer and keep the performance high at all times.