Turning the Knob: Rebound Damper Tweaks

If you have aftermarket dampers on your performance vehicle, you may have the ability to adjust them in some form or fashion. Certain dampers allow the simultaneous adjustment of compression and rebound, while others go so far as to permit dialing in high- and low-speed damping in both compression and rebound. None of that matters, however, if you don’t know what any of that does, or how much to turn the knob.

Be it autocross, road racing, or rally, you needn’t stroll far in an SCCA paddock to find a vehicle with KONI dampers installed. KONI has become a go-to in many performance circles thanks to the durability and affordability of their dampers – and the folks at KONI have a wealth of knowledge about how to use shocks to obtain the best possible performance results.

With tips for improving your vehicle’s handling woes via damper adjustment, even getting into the nitty-gritty of one specific type of adjustment, KONI’s website is an invaluable reference for any SCCA member. For instance, KONI’s website states: “By adding rebound damping to the front on both sides [of the vehicle] equally, it will tighten the car some. By adding rebound damping to the rear on both sides equally, it will loosen the car up some.”

KONI goes on to explain that a damper’s rebound and compression adjustments affect the car’s handling characteristics by changing the amount of time it takes the weight to complete its transfer while the vehicle enters and exits a corner, thus fine-tuning corner exit oversteer or understeer is a possibility with the turn of a knob. KONI warns not to swing too far in the damper’s adjustment spectrum, however, as doing so may end up masking a problem that needs rectifying in a different way.

The next time you’re at an SCCA event, and if your vehicle’s dampers have compression or rebound adjustments, give that knob a turn to see what happens. And now, thanks to these tips from KONI, you know exactly which way the knob should go.

Drive a Mk 8 VW Rabbit?

KONI recently released three lines of shocks for the Mk 8 VW Golf, which includes KONI’s Special Active, STR.T, and Sport lineup. Not sure which is best for you? KONI Sports are an obvious choice for SCCA members looking to hit the track or autocross course, with the dampers offering various levels of compression and rebound adjustability depending on the application.

Learn More About KONI

Photo by Philip Royle / Staff