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  • Writer's pictureJason Udy

What Makes Falcon Shocks Unique?

Updated: Jul 10, 2018

What Makes Falcon Shocks Unique?

Historically, universal shock absorbers and steering stabilizers have been adapted to fit many applications with minimal tuning. Falcon Shocks rewrites the book on damper development with application-specific dampers built from the ground up with a focus on fitment and function.

Our initial effort resulted in the all-new corner-specific Falcon Series 3 Piggyback and (Series 3.4 Remote Air Adjust, Series 3.3 Fast Adjust, Series 3.2 Adjustable, Series 3.1) Falcon Series 2 Monotube shock absorbers (Series 2.1 Sport, Series 2.1) and Falcon Nexus EF steering stabilizers (2.2 Fast Adjust, 2.1) for the JK Wrangler and JKU Wrangler Unlimited.

We followed up our JK/JKU offerings with TJ Wrangler/LJ Wrangler Unlimited corner-specific Falcon Series 3.0 Piggyback shock absorbers and Falcon Nexus EF steering stabilizers (2.2 Fast Adjust, 2.1).

All Falcon Series 3 and Series 2 shock absorbers deliver the best damping characteristics possible, while Falcon Nexus EF steering stabilizers deliver equal force (EF) side-to-side resistance for consistent steering wheel response.

Designed specifically to meet the unique requirements of the Jeep Wrangler, Falcon Shocks have engineered Jeep-specific shock absorbers that deliver increased stability, improved ride quality, and comfort for daily driven Jeeps as well as race-inspired off-road performance, handling, and stability.

Once we established our hold on the Jeep JK/JKU & TJ/LJ markets, we have finally revealed our all-new Falcon Truck Performance Systems including the Sport Leveling System and the Sport Tow/Haul Leveling System for Ford F-150, RAM 1500, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, and Toyota Tacoma.

Falcon Truck Performance Systems

Design Philosophy

Falcon Shocks’ design philosophy can be summed up as “High Value Performance.” This is the driving force behind our new vehicle-specific Falcon shock absorbers for pickups (as well as Jeep Wrangler/Unlimited applications). We don’t just design shocks; rather we engineer complete shock absorber systems that improve the overall performance of your truck while retaining many of the factory suspensions pieces. This ensures that you only pay for what is required and nothing more.

Unlike other companies that just build replacement shocks with revised valving, Falcon Shocks engineers complete shock absorber systems tuned to work with the factory linear rate coil springs and leaf springs. Front shocks feature multiple snap ring grooves to level out the front end including settings for heavier front bumpers.

By adding an internal negative rate spring around the shaft, we offset the preload of the factory spring, which effectively retunes the factory spring rate near full extension during aggressive off-road driving. This eliminates top out clunk, softens tire landing, and reduces body roll and stress on the shock.

The included replacement closed-cell microcellular bump stop effectively retunes the spring rate when the shock approaches full compression during aggressive off-road driving. This reduces bottoming out of the suspension and body roll at the limit.

Although the factory spring rate is unchanged, our revised shock tuning increases on-road performance, control, and ride comfort in normal driving.

Tuning Philosophy

Each Falcon Shocks shock absorber system is tuned for the vehicle’s intended function. That’s why we took a different approach to our pickup truck shocks than we did for the Jeep Wrangler.

All of our pickup truck-specific shock absorber systems are tuned for on-road comfort with predictive handling, control, and stability as well as controlled steering during off-road driving through the canyons, on washboard roads, and through whoops. Our Falcon Sport Tow/Haul Shock Absorber System features 3-way adjustable piggyback rear shock absorbers with settings for comfort as well as towing and hauling.

Initial tuning begins by driving each truck on and off road for two days to set a baseline. Next, the initial tuning is evaluated by daily driving each vehicle for four weeks to look for “holes” in performance. After taking careful notes, we adjust the tuning and test for two more days. We re-evaluate the revised tune for four more weeks. Each shock absorber system requires 2-6 months of testing and tuning before meeting our performance targets.

In addition to the internal spring rate tuning, the closed-cell microcellular bump stop is tuned via its durometer, height, shape, and materials. Our engineers also carefully tune the shock absorber system to remove any noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) inherent in the vehicle’s frame for a smooth and comfortable drive.

ZRT - Zone Rate Tuning

Zone Rate Tuning (ZRT) manipulates the factory linear-rate spring tuning to produce three distinct performance zones with a more exaggerated spring curve to tackle various driving conditions.

An internal negative-rate spring offsets the factory spring’s preload while in the Extension Zone. This eliminates top out clunk and shock stress at full extension, while softening tire landing and reducing body roll on impact during aggressive driving.

The factory spring rate is unaffected in Drive Zone for a comfortable and controlled ride. A provided progressive microcellular bump stop effectively retunes the spring rate while in Compression Zone to reduce bottoming and body roll during aggressive driving.

VOD - Volume Optimized Damping

Traditional velocity sensitive shock absorbers react quickly during low speed driving causing excessive “head toss” on rough terrain – or even driveways. Conventional damping then firms up during faster speeds resulting in a jarring ride.

Falcon’s proprietary Volume Optimized Damping (VOD) features a digressive linear valve that produces quicker ramp up for increased damping volume, which improves vehicle feedback and control during low-speed driving. VOD also improves the shock absorber’s ability to reduce bottoming out at full compression during faster speeds or over uneven terrain.

VOD applies to all Falcon shock absorbers, including Jeep-specific and truck specific models, while ZRT is exclusive to our Falcon Truck Performance Systems.

- Jason Udy

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