4×4 Modifications have gained popularity over the years, with more thrill-seekers looking to get their vehicles fitted with the latest suspension kits and accessories. However, this has also led to the spreading of misleading information about all types of modifications.  As a leader in this industry, our goal is to inform and educate our customers about these misconceptions. This week we will be discussing Mono-tube, Twin-tube and Reservoir Shocks and where Ironman4x4 technology is placed. A shock’s primary function is dissipating energy that is generated through a vehicle’s interactions with various terrain. Before delving into each type of shock individually, let us walk you through the difference between the three types and define some basic terminology.

We want to thank all heavy-duty shock absorbers, as, without them, our 4×4 journeys would feel a little too bouncy.  Without shock absorbers to dissipate the high levels of energy generated by the vehicle, the result would be excessive bouncing. All shock absorbers consist of 3 parts – the body, the shaft, and the piston. What about those neon green coil springs?  The spring is an important piece of the suspension puzzle but is not a part of the absorber itself.

Reservoir Shocks:

Reservoir shocks are shock absorbers that utilize a remote reservoir to store a dividing piston that keeps the shock oil and pressurized gas (usual Nitrogen due to its non-explosive properties) separated within the reservoir. As the shock gets compressed, its main piston, which is attached to the end of its shaft, pushes fluid up into the reservoir. This mechanism is effectively able to dissipate the heat energy that results due to the vehicle’s movements.

For the average offroader, daily driving, overlanding and rock crawling cannot generate enough energy for the oil the heat up enough, hence leaving the reservoirs non-effective. When asked why they chose reservoir shocks, many 4×4 owners tend to say it is due to its adjustability. However, this adjustability is not as easy as claimed to be. For proper adjustment, one must get under the vehicle with a few tools. Our FoamCell Pro technology only requires initial tuning and is designed to adapt to your terrain. Giving you a smoother and more comfortable ride, wherever you go without needing to constantly adjust it.

Mono-tube Shocks

A Mono-tube shock can provide much more accurate tuning; however, its capabilities are not put to good use on road driving. Its design allows the shock to function without any aeration or foaming occurring.  Mono-tube shocks are vulnerable to impact damage, and the high pressurization of gas can result in a higher likelihood of leaking and lower oil volume, which leads to overheating.

Twin-tube Shocks

Twin-tube shocks are better protected due to the second layer of protection around the piston tube. With lower gas pressurization, these shocks are less likely to leak and can be more long-lasting. Twin-tube shocks are a more reliable and stable option for offroading and overlanding, thanks to their durable construction. Our Nitrogas shock has been developed in regards to the original twin-tube design. FoamCell and FoamCell Pro are twin-tube designs that have been adapted by our RnD team, allowing for greater heat dissipation. Our FoamCell Pro features a twin-tube design with more oil capacity than Reservoir shocks and a low likelihood of overheating. It has a 3-inch diameter and fits the largest shock body that can fit within a coil.

When out exploring rough terrain, there is always the risk of puncturing a tire and your shock failing. With the FoamCell Pro, you won’t need to worry, as they can withstand up to 1/8 inch exterior wall puncture. Regarding durability, a larger eyelet has been added to allow for the bushing to absorb high frequencies.

Unsure which One to Choose from?

At the end the day, picking the right shock absorber depends on a multitude of factors. The main factor to be taken into account is your frequency and level of offroading along with the purpose of your 4WD. At Ironman 4×4, we provide three shock absorbers that utilize the twin-tube technology: Nitrogas, FoamCell and Foamcell Pro. If your 4×4 is your daily use, camping and weekend offroading vehicle, then NitroGas and Foamcell are a better choice. For an overlanding setup and the ability to conquer any terrain, FoamCell Pro or FoamCell are more suitable since, both can handle a heavy load while providing a smooth ride. During overlanding or camping, the load on our 4×4 increases due to the camping gear and supplies.

If you’re still unsure which type suits your needs, visit us or give us a call. Our experts will be happy to explain the difference and recommend a good fit for your 4×4 beast. All our kits are backed up with 3years/60,000 km warranty upon manufacturer defect.