How to Adjust Your Shocks, Part One- Single Adjustable Shocks

To Much Rear Rebound

Tire Shock

Poor harsh uncomfortable ride

Car loses rear grip in general

The rear suspension packs down progressively on bumps, getting harsher and harsher.  Rear of the car bobs and jiggles around.

Delayed corner exit oversteer, the car can understeer on the corner entrance and oversteer the corner exit, this is very undesirable!

Too Little Rear Rebound

The rear of the car feels floaty and scary when going fast, especially under undulations or pavement height variations. Feels like a boat.

The back of the car feels unstable and scary, especially in cornering and transitions, car wants to suddenly snap into oversteer, not good.

The car might drag launch ok but loses traction past 40 feet or so.

The car has a generally unstable feel, even if the front feels good.

When making shock changes I suggest initially making big steps like 3-4 or even more clicks depending on how your shocks respond so you can definitely feel the changes.  If the changes feel good and you go faster, keep adding more until your lap times drop or the car feels bad and back off a click or two.  Remember in most cases less damping is more!  When making adjustments make sure you take a notepad and write down exactly what you are doing.  With the 4 corners of a car, it’s easy to get confused about what you last did and that’s important in case you overdid it and have to go back.

To continue your education and to learn how to next adjust two-way adjustable shocks click here.

This guide can help you solve many handling issues with just some shock adjustments. I encourage you to go out on the track with your car and experiment.  Adjusting your shocks wrong is not going to make it hurtle out of control so don’t be afraid to take some swings at it.  Once you gain a good feel for what the adjustments do, you can apply this knowledge to different situations and different cars.  Now go enjoy and go fast!


KW Suspension

ST Suspension


  1. Love these “refresher” articles.

    I went from a Feal 441 Coilover setup with 7k front / 4k rear in a 1999 Subaru Impreza RS that burned down to a 2000 Subaru Impreza RS with Subaru Performance Tuning lowering springs and AGX shocks in the front and JDM STi shocks in the rear with factory non-STi tophats. I wonder why I endured the harshness and noise from the pillowball mounts of the adjustable coilover setup. Odi actually installed and corner balanced the car when he was just starting out Feal in Rancho Cucamonga. I never really adjusted the clicks once I found a nice balance, which was actually near full soft.

  2. Perfect timing of the article Mike. I just had my Apexi N1s rebuilt, and getting my Autocross MR-S ready for the season!

  3. Looking forward to what could be a great series for sure! I’m using settings on my KW v3’s that are more crowd sourced than technical, and would love to learn more on what is ideal.

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