Lowriders have long been associated with hard and bouncy rides, but what if we told you they weren’t necessary—unless of course your car was built in the ’70s. For the most part, the ride quality and firmness of any vehicle is primarily dictated by the coil spring rate (be it heavy or soft) and whether or not shocks were even installed on the front of the vehicle. Long story short, the hydraulics themselves are just there for altitude adjustment, so if you want a good ride you’ll need to literally shock your system up.

To see if this theory works, we tried to gain the ultimate ride comfort by installing shocks all around our project ride. To help get this task done, we called our friends at QA1 to get a full set of their double-adjustable shocks.

These billet aluminum shocks are made in America and each come with an 18-position knob so you can adjust the compression and rebound of your suspension independently of one another. So how does this help? Well, this grants users up to 324 valve combinations so you can have your ride as firm or as soft as you desire. Having these options gives you the chance to fine-tune your ride.
Who knows? You may want to add some compression on the rear because of the extra weight of the batteries, or maybe you want to soften it all the way around. The bottom line, this multitude of settings allows you to dial in a sweet and perfect ride that suits your liking.

Before we go over the step-by-step instructions, here is some advice that will help you out:

  • When you decide to make this upgrade to your lowrider, you first need to decide where you wish to mount the shocks.
  • Make sure when determining the best location for them on the front suspension you turn your wheels full lock-to-lock to find a spot that’s not going to run into any obstructions.
  • Lay out your ride and measure that spot for the height of the shock then lock it up and measure again. By doing this it will tell you the stroke of shock length that you’ll need. This is a very crucial step because you don’t want to bottom out the shocks because you will damage them.
  • This same measurement process applies to the rear as well but typically the shocks can be mounted in the stock location as long as the stroke length is enough.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install collapsed shock 002

1. We started off with our ride laid out on the ground and collapsed our shock in order to determine the length of our upper bracket needed.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install flat bar 003

2. We opted to use 1/2-inch-thick flat bar along with some tabs that we got through QA1. We cut the bar to length and added more to give us a good amount on the frame to weld to.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install shock mount stud 004

3. For the lower control arm mount we used a shock mount stud. With both the upper mounts attached to the shock, this allowed us to tack them in place so we could carefully cycle our suspension and turn the wheels to check that we have plenty of clearance in all directions. By doing this we could also check the stroke length.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install rear test fitting 005

4. For the rear, we were a little tight on space due to the tube work so we had to find the best location for our QA1 shocks. Again cycle the suspension up and down to determine proper length.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install upper and lower shock studs 006

5. We opted to use shock studs for the upper and lower mounting point for the rear QA1 shocks.

qa1 double adjustable shocks install stiffness level sutting 007

6. All wrapped up and ready to roll. The last step is setting the stiffness level of the compression and rebound just by turning the knobs. We started off at a medium stiffness setting on both just to use as a baseline. Once we’re able to hit the streets, then we’ll know how much more adjusting it will require, but the ride is already stable, more controlled, and it feels like there’s no hydraulics on the car at all!

Axalta Coating Systems Paint Tip of the Month

When Seasons Change So Should Your Products And Spraying Techniques

The heat is on, and with the summer’s warm weather here for a while, Axalta Paint would like to remind you that when seasons change so should a painter’s spraying habits. When winter temps are gone, with them should go those habits or ways of adjusting to spraying paint products in the cold weather season.

In summer, you need to slow your paint product material down and let it do the work for you. It doesn’t matter whether you are spraying Axalta product clear primer, solvent base, waterbase, sealers, or even the CFX candy colors. You need to slow down to speed up! Axalta offers slower products for the right purpose and temperature. Choosing the right hardener, reducer, or controller selection in hot weather will improve your overall quality finish. Slow down and let Axalta products do the work for you.

For more technical advice please feel free to contact your product specialist steven.c.chaparro@axaltacs.com


(800) 721-7761