1. What is so special about inverted mono-tubes? How do they compare to twin-tube and normal mono-tube shock absorbers?
First we have to look at the main function of a shock absorber. As the name suggests, a shock absorber’s main role is to absorb and get rid of any unwanted energy and motion created by a spring bouncing. If cars are not equipped with shock absorbers from factory, they will bounce uncontrollably from the compression and extension of the spring like a see-saw since springs increase energy when compressed, and releases it when it extends.
As mentioned above, shock absorbers absorb the unwanted energy from the springs movement. Twin-tube shock absorbers have 2 tubes as its name already hints. Due to the 2 separate tubes where the inner tube consists of oil, and the outer tube consists of low-pressure gas, the piston in it has to be smaller to fit all the seals, valves, and the secondary tube. With a smaller piston rod inside, since the surface area to absorb impact from rough roads are smaller, this means on very uneven roads comfort will be sacrificed in comparison to our inverted mono-tube design which has a much larger piston rod diameter.
Mono-tube shock absorbers have only one tube in comparison to a twin-tube design. This means that the gas and oil are in the same chamber without the need for a secondary tube and secondary valve to allow gas and oil to flow. The gas in mono-tube shocks are pressurized to suspend the rod piston which is encased in oil and separated by a metal seal.
However for a shock absorber to absorb and dissipate energy, it has to have some sort of medium to get rid of it, which is oil and gas. As mentioned previously in the twin-tube paragraph, a small rod diameter translates to a more uncomfortable ride, so why not just enlarge the mono-tube’s rod diameter? Because there will be compromises. Now in the mono-tube’s body, since the shock absorber’s rod diameter has been enlarged the amount of oil & gas inside has to be minimized to fit the rod. With less oil and gas inside but a larger surface to absorb impact, the gas and oil will start heating up, and that’s where the compromise begins.
When the gas and Oil heats up from the constant movement, it will start bubbling which is called cavitation. The definition of cavitation is the formation of an empty space within a solid object or body. This means the high pressure gas that is used in shock absorbers are starting to break down, which causes the damping to become weak and cause inconsistent damping and unpredictable handling.
For every day usage, the average driver only matters about 2 things: Comfort & Handling of a car. With average twin or mono-tube shocks due to its outdated design it may not matter. However if comfort and handling matters to you, that’s where our inverted mono-tube shock absorbers come in.
Inverted mono-tube shock absorbers work just like a normal mono-tube absorber, except instead of having the gas and oil at the bottom of the shock, the whole piston rod in the shock is the canister that houses the gas and oil which is braced from 2 points, 1 to the strut mounts, 1 to the shock absorber body in comparison to only average twin and mono-tube shock absorbers where it is only braced to the strut mount, and the bottom valve suspended in the shock body. With a much larger surface area to house more gas and oil, more energy can be dissipated through. This means a comfier ride, better handling, AND better consistency over rough roads. Also with a larger piston rod diameter, the piston rod itself does not flex as much, and in extreme cases, does not break either.
Inverted mono-tube shock absorbers can absorb energy and impact more efficiently than any twin or mono-tube shock absorber design. This means better handling and comfort.
Benefits of inverted monotube shock absorbers/coilovers
2. I’m still interested. Can you explain more technically how this affects my handling?
With shock absorbers that can absorb more energy, this also means it can be set up firmer to limit travel, but at the same time retain comfort. With stiffer limited wheel travel, this means your car will benefit by being more stable, yet still retain its comfort. It will also roll, dive, and pitch a lot LESS even on standard springs. For trackdays and repeated hard usage, the oversized piston rod dissipates heat from constant vibration and the brakes better than other designs. Also, it resists flexing during side loads while cornering much better because of the thick solid inverted shaft.
3. But I don’t really care about handling. I want comfort.
Not a problem at all! We can adjust the damping in our shock absorbers to be marshmallow soft, to race-car hard and anywhere in between.
4. Will you be making a damper adjustment knob for it? I’ve seen other absorbers that can adjust its damping by just twisting a knob.
As of now, no. Why not though? We here at TiTan pride ourselves by offering custom built shock absorbers or coilovers. Custom meaning we can cater to all sorts of vehicles, unless for some reason there are unforeseen complications. Making a damping adjustment knob for our shocks or coilovers mean that we have to engineer a valve that can be adjusted in the right diameter for each and every custom shock or coilover we make. If we keep re-engineering a new diameter valve for Each and every single set, our cost will be increased, as well as our prices. To keep our prices reasonable, we will not be incorporating a damping adjustment knob any time soon.
5. So how much does it cost? Why doesn’t your website have a full price list?
It’s hard to put out a standardized price list out unlike mass-produced suspension where every piece of material has been standardized and calculated for. For them there is absolutely nothing different in a set of 100 sets that come from a factory, unless it is specified with a cost-adding option. In comparison to us here at TiTan where our products are hand-assembled, for every 100 sets we make, they can be for up to 60 different cars, the remaining 40 similar cars, but all with varying setups. With every small difference we make in a car’s setup to suit you, those changes may or may not affect pricing. That is why here at TiTan we encourage you to get in touch with us, so we can personally give you an accurate quotation to satisfy you, instead of leaving a very vague estimate on our website.
6. What are your shock absorbers and coilovers made of?
Metal mostly, we have rubber and Teflon bits here and there as well. Our suspension is made from a mix of humble and slightly exotic, yet sustainable and durable materials. The piston rod is made from carbon steel which is polished and hard chromed. The shock body and mounts are made out of mild steel, which are welded in-house and powdercoated. The inner valves & floating piston are lathed from stainless steel tubes with rubber seals. Inner piston rod guides are manufactured from Teflon. The coilover seats consist of an aluminum threaded cylinder and Teflon spring seats with an aluminum lock-ring. The top mounts (only for our coilovers) are powedercoated mild steel, fitted with stainless steel bearings and polyurethane bushings. It is finished by charging the piston rod with high-pressure nitrogen and our custom in-house blended shock absorber oil. Mounting bolts are powdercoated mild steel, nuts are all zinc-coated stainless steel.
7. What are the dimensions of your shock absorbers/coilovers?
They vary in size and weight depending on its manufactured purpose.
8. What options do you provide for your shock absorbers/coilovers?
We can adapt our shock absorbers or coilovers for your own personal choice of springs if you bring your own. We also can fit pillow-ball mounts if they are provided as we do not provide custom made ones yet.
9. How much does it cost to service all 4 of either shock absorbers/coilovers?
It varies from RM80-150 per shock, excluding workmanship. You get an in-house alignment as well after the shock absorbers/coilovers are re-installed.
10. What is changed during the servicing of your shock absorbers/coilovers?
Whatever worn seals will be changed, fresh suspension fluid will be pumped in and lastly, pressurized with nitrogen. However if there is damage to any of the inner valves, that too will be replaced accordingly.
11. Do you have any branches elsewhere besides Kota Damansara?
No other branches at the moment. Since the main components of our products are still hand assembled in-house, we have not opened another elsewhere.
12. Do you ship to other countries?
Yes we do! In fact we would be more than happy to. Just get in touch with us and feel free to consult us for a more personal suggestion to what we can offer or do for you and your car.
13. Do you have external dealers?
Not at the moment. We do not mass produce our suspension, so everything comes from our factory/showroom here in Ampang.
14. What sort of vehicles do you cater to? Why isn’t there a make/model list on your website?
We do not provide a make/model list on our website because we make it for almost any vehicle you can think of. From a humble Perodua Kancil to Racy Nissan Silvias to luxurious Rolls-Royces, we literally can almost do any vehicle. We highly suggest to drop us a message on Facebook at our main TiTan Suspension page or give us a call for further enquiries!