Race-dezert.com spent a few minutes with John Marking, VP of the offroad division at FOX Racing Shox, and got the latest info on their new shock coolers they have been developing.
RDC – When did you start thinking of this concept?
John – “After last years San Felipe race, last year was one of the roughest courses in history. The level of competition and the margin of victory within the Trophy Truck classes is tighter than ever. San Felipe has always been thought of as a sprint race, but its not really, drivers have to be smart about how hard they can push in order to have something left for a late race charge to the finish. If we can give the guys on FOX the ability to push it a little more, that could be the difference between first or second.”
RDC – When did you start making parts for it?
John – “About 2 months before the race this year”
RDC – Did they go through any design changes until you had something you thought was race ready?
John – “We went through multiple design changes and created three different versions on the computer before we finally decided on a design and built any of the parts.”
RDC – How many times did you test them before they were run at San Felipe?
John – “We did a function test with a class 1 to make sure the parts were working properly but we knew the only true way to test a new part like this would be under real race condition.”
RDC – How does it work?
John – “We added a long bypass tube to the shock body with hose fittings at both ends, using our existing bypass check valve assembly to regulate the flow through the cooler. The shock fluid is pumped out of the shock, through the externally mounted cooler, and then back into shock using the self created hydraulic pressure from the normal shock function.”
RDC – What temp does a bypass race shock usually run at, and what temp are they running at with the coolers installed?
John – “From data logging information that we collected from multiple teams after the San Felipe race this year we saw temperatures from 380-500 degrees, anything over 450 degrees is beyond the oils limitations. With the coolers installed we are seeing a 100 degree drop in overall bypass temperature.”
RDC – Will this become a product you will sell to other race teams, or will it only be available to specific FOX Racing Shox sponsored drivers?
John – “Yes, its will be available to everyone. We will be able to retrofit existing FOX bypass shocks to accommodate the new cooler setup.”
RDC – Any idea what it would cost per shock?
John – “The cooler will be roughly $500 per shock, the unknown is the hoses. Most hoses can only withstand temperatures up to 250 degrees, we know that the standard Aeroquip hoses can run up to 350 to 380 and they are ok, but the question on the table is can they run at 450. The Inconel hoses we put on Jesse Jones truck were in the $12,000 range for four hoses and could probably withstand temperatures ups to 2000 degrees, but unfortunately one of the new hoses had a pin hole leak which we noticed in testing before the race in San Felipe. I was able to get four more hoses that cost $2000 before the race that were capable of working up to 550 degrees. So the unknown still is the hoses, they get incredibly expensive when we get into these high heat circumstances.”
Visit FOX Racing Shox on the web – www.foxracingshox.com