We’re excited to finally announce our mono-tube shock valving option for the 2002-2007 Subaru Impreza including the WRX and the 2004 STI. Our mono-tube shock option will be available alongside our current twin-tube options as another alternative for Subaru owners to get their suspension dialed with Raceland coilovers.
Both mono-tube and twin-tube shocks retain the same function as any automotive shock; to stop the osculation of the spring once compressed. How each shock accomplishes this job will be a little different from shock type to shock type, but it is important to keep in mind that both the mono-tube and twin-tube options that we offer will be designed to be used on daily driven vehicles.
It is difficult, and in some cases, often impossible to tell from outward appearances the difference between the mono-tube and twin-tube variants. It’s on the inside where their differences are very apparent. One style won’t necessarily be “better” than the other, but how they deliver their performance will be unique. We’ll go over the basics of each to help you choose Which is right for you and your Subaru.
A twin-tube shock is considered a low-pressure damping system and often means you achieve a softer ride with this type of shock. Now this isn’t always the case as you can valve a twin-tube for performance, you will often see a more progressive ride quality with this type of shock.
There are many pros to a twin-tube style shock. One of the most obvious would be that they are very cost effective. You can often get a well valved, performance twin-tube shock for much less than a comparable mono-tube option. This lower price does not mean less quality; keep in mind that almost all new vehicles sold today are sold with twin-tube shocks where passenger comfort is a priority. Twin-tube shocks often have a more progressive, variable rate to the valving which lends itself to have a very comfortable ride quality.
With that said there are some cons to the twin-tube style shock. The most obvious based on design would be the risk of shock cavitation. Shock cavitation happens due to the shock fluid and gas not being kept separate (see image). Under heavy use the shock fluid and gas can mix causing cavitation. In short that means that the shock will no longer perform at peak performance. For street use this will not be as big of a concern. If you’re pushing the shocks hard enough on the street to get cavitation, then you’re likely not doing so within local speed limits and laws!
The twin-tube shock will be a great choice for those looking for a good economical option and are looking for comfort and daily performance.
A mono-tube shock is considered a high-pressure damping system and often means you achieve a stiffer ride with this type of shock. Now this isn’t always the case as you can valve a monotube for comfort, you will often see a more linear ride quality with this type of shock.
You have some very distinct pros to the mono-tube style shock. By design, the mono-tube shock fluid and gas are kept in different chambers (see image) separated by a floating piston so you will have less chance of cavitation. This means that you’re able to push the shock to its limits and maintain the shock ability to stay at peak performance. This consistent valving is going to be the choice for those looking to use the vehicle on the track or who want every ounce of performance out of their coilovers for the street.
The cons to the mono-tube valving would be its price and overall streetable ride quality. Manufacturing and production costs are often more expensive for a mono-tube shock and thus you often see these shocks costing more than their twin-tube rivals. Due to this high-pressure design you will also get a stiffer ride quality than a twin-tube variant. This won’t necessarily be a bad thing, but it is something to keep in mind for those who often carry passengers or who prioritize driver comfort as the mono-tube will deliver a very consistent ride quality leaning towards the stiffer end of the spectrum.
The mono-tube shock will be a great option for those looking for a firm and sporty ride quality and who use their vehicle as a true performance vehicle.
Which one do you pick?
So, the important question: which one do you pick? It will really come down to personal preference, but if you’re looking for a sporty yet comfortable ride quality, go with the twin-tube. If you demand performance as the most important feature to your suspension, go with the mono-tube. As mentioned before, you can’t go wrong with either even for street use. Both will be a great addition to any Subaru owner’s vehicle..
If you have questions regarding the twin vs. mono tube options or any other Raceland products, please shoot us an email ([email protected]) or give us a call, 801-365-1440.