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Old 03-08-2021, 08:19 AM   #1
Hotrodfil
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Default Shocks

Supplied a few old shock parts to a friend of mine who runs a machine shop across the way from work. They do prototype machine work for a competition shock absorber company. Been following his latest inhouse project since then. The first prototype was run on a metal shaper for a 100 hours or so. After a few design tweaks he ran off a set of ten for some on-road real world testing.



Popped down the other day to see them after they'd returned from the anodisers. This is one from the set that I'll be testing. Mmm - lovely. Guess I'll be driving the Coupe every day soon once I've sorted out a set of shock arms to fit. I'll update this thread when they're ready to fit.



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Old 03-08-2021, 09:18 AM   #2
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Shocks

Neat. Keep us updated, please. Fantastic work ! ! !
Paul in CT
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: Shocks

They look great

How much?
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shocks

A good question Juggs for which I don't have an answer at the moment. Let's guess at "competitive"?
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shocks

So the body is aluminum?, it looks like the shaft is steel, but the vanes look aluminum, is there more holding the inner cover on than the 2 bolts?, I would think the holes in the cover would prevent controlled flow/ resistance, how close will you be able to get the action of property working originals
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:20 PM   #6
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The body and cap are aluminium, threaded together. The rotor and vanes are one piece in steel and run in bronze bushes. The holes are ports for internal reed valves which can be designed to suit the damping required. More damping for racing, or a flathead? Less for a lightweight speedster? No problem.

Last edited by Hotrodfil; 03-09-2021 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:32 PM   #7
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There's a fair amount of secret squirrel stuff happening in there that they didn't want me to share so I didn't take pictures of all the components. I think I convinced him that remote rebound adjustment might be a tad niche.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:58 PM   #8
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they look great.
wouldnt that be sweet if they could mass produce them at a reasonable cost?
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:34 AM   #9
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Hi I’m just checking in on your real world testing? Any results yet?
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Old 06-04-2021, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Shocks

I'm jumping in to follow this post. Wondering how much they'll be. I just installed gas shocks in the front of my truck for now since the originals were bone dry. Haven't done anything with the rear yet.
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Old 07-04-2021, 03:22 AM   #11
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Just a quick video - installed the first prototype set yesterday for the drive across country to Pendine Sands for the VHRA Hot Rod Races. After I get back it'll be approaching a thousand miles or so and they'll strip them down for an inspection.

Did around 30 miles on them yesterday and there's a noticeable improvement in damping control even though the recon MGB and Ford Pilot lever arm shocks I had fitted were still working well.


https://youtu.be/sTM1OOVjAyM
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:22 AM   #12
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So I ran the first prototype set from RKE Engineering for the cross-country journey to Pendine and back.
We fitted these to my Coupe the weekend before I left and ran as many backroads as we could find in convoy with my friend Glen in his '32 Ford.

Sent a message to Craig once I arrived –

“The shocks are doing a fine job. And we drove some shocking roads on the way.” Puntastic.

Couple of days of real world salt bath testing and wet sand blasting followed.

As promised, I managed to find plenty of single track potholed roads over the weekend. So after 800 miles or so, I returned the shocks to Craig who stripped them down to assess for any wear or damage that I’d managed to inflict. As it turns out – nothing. No oil leaks, the seals worked perfectly, bearing surfaces were unmarked, and the shim packs had been functioning perfectly. Re-assembled and repressurised with oil, they were returned in time to fit them to my Tourer for the trip to Prescott hillclimb for GOW!

Packed the rear seats with camping gear and supplies, collected old time buddy Bob and more camping gear and set off heavily laden in convoy with a few friends in their cars. The promised sunshine never came but sitting on dual lane highway at a steady 60 was quite relaxed with the shock absorbers giving noticeable improvements in control as we swapped lanes, tackled swooping roundabouts in Milton Keynes and charged back down the same lanes in the Cotswolds I’d visited just a few weeks earlier.

At Prescott with my close ratio gears – Ettores and Pardon are both approached round about 50-55mph in second. Plenty enough to test the handling with the new shock absorbers – and the brakes…

I’ve not raced here recently, but after seven trips up the hill I began to remember the best line to take at each corner. Had fun throwing the car about when I was on the wrong line too. Wide and late braking at Ettores, putting daylight under the inside rear wheel at Pardon to keep the revs up and stop the engine bogging down. Very enjoyable (for me anyway – not sure about the passengers), and very controlled.

Home on the Sunday was another grey, cold but drama free journey.

So, about those shock absorbers. They're an aircraft aluminium bodied shock absorber with a steel rotor running in plain bearings, and proper internal shim valves much like a modern telescopic in action. Each unit is fully evacuated before being pressure filled with oil. In the past month or so, I’ve put probably 1200 miles on them. They just work. Really, really, well. No leaks as expected. A vast improvement on the last set of new shocks I fitted where one started leaking within a day or so of fitting. The damping action is smooth and instant with no shudders or shimmies. The machining quality is superb. Mine were supplied in a smooth topped black anodised finish which has held up very well despite a few miles of salt water driving on the beach. Dimensionally they’re a perfect interchange with original Model A/B ones. I’ve fitted original forged arms to the set I tested, with the stock mounting bolts lining up perfectly with the chassis. Externally they look stock but functionally they’re a world apart.

After my best attempts at breaking them, RKE are now looking at tooling up for production and will be taking pre-orders soon. Suitably impressed? I’ll certainly be saving up for another set.

https://rkeengineering.co.uk/







(Photo courtesy of John Isaac)



(Photo courtesy of reverendpixel)



(Photo courtesy of John Hallett)

Last edited by Hotrodfil; 09-03-2021 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Shocks

Any idea how much we need to start saving for these shocks?
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Old 09-14-2021, 08:42 AM   #14
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Link to the company making them. As to how much, I believe they were talking £300 a corner.

https://rotoshim.com
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotrodfil View Post
Link to the company making them. As to how much, I believe they were talking £300 a corner.

https://rotoshim.com
So if my calc is correct, ~ $415 each.
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Old 09-14-2021, 11:01 AM   #16
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Sorry, yes - think that's the price in this country including 20% VAT.
So I'm guessing they're £250 plus shipping and tax. I've only been involved with the testing so I more informed answer would be to contact them directly via the website.
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Old 09-15-2021, 03:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Shocks

Wow that looks great!
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Old 09-16-2021, 03:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: Shocks

$415 is more than Stipe shocks in USA
Are wear surfaces aluminum? If so .. it would concern me
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: Shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
$415 is more than Stipe shocks in USA
Pricing on the Stipe shocks is sort of academic if no one can buy them.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:12 AM   #20
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Default Re: Shocks

They were available 6 mos ago. Out of production again?
Berts says in stock. Should be Stipe as no one else in USA is making them as I know of…could be wrong.

Last edited by Oldbluoval; 09-16-2021 at 09:18 AM.
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