Every once in a while I like to look back at product releases and see if they lived up to their expectations or at least stood the test of time. Well, one product that I initially brushed off as a gimmick, when it was first released back in 2003 was the Team Losi Shock Matching Tool, LOSA99170. I am not sure why I thought that back then but now I am kicking myself for not purchasing this tool when it first came out!
Let’s take a look at what makes up this affordable tool. The main body is hard anodized aluminum, which means it is light weight. The identification marks on it are laser etched and it will take a lot of effort for that to come off. The pivot gauge is ball bearing supported with quality bearings that don’t appear to have any deflection in them, unlike some bearings. The included shock bushings are different sizes, and they should fit almost all of the shock bodies on the market today. The good news is if you do encounter a situation where one does not fit properly, you can always use your existing shock hardware.
The instructions on how to build it are pretty well laid out on the back of the card, which is part of the packaging material so do not t throw it away. The only dilemma I had was where I placed the screws that go on the slider piece are placed. I had six options to choose from so I played it safe and chose a hole that is almost right in the middle. At least I thought it was safe, but as you can see in the picture, my shock spring collar is very close to the slider piece. My recommendation is to use the lowest available hole on the slider to prevent possible rubbing. If it does rub, it could affect your readings and you may end up chasing your tail trying to find a problem.
Since I have been running cars/trucks with metric screws I did have to dig in the back of the tool box for those tools that I have been neglecting. The good news is you can convert the screws and nuts over to metric if you want. My recommendation to use at least a 3x22mm flat head screw (4-40×7/8”), a 3mm nylon lock nut and a regular 3mm nut. When it really comes down to it, once you build it you pretty much forget about making many changes. The only exception I can see is if you go from one shock size extreme to another, 1/5th scale to 1/10th scale (I only have 1/10th scale vehicles at this time).
Ok, enough of the construction talk and let’s see what this thing can do for us now that I have installed the shocks.
- You can check the length of the shock shaft, with eyelet, to make sure they are the same.
- When you compress the slider bar you will be able to see if one shock has more pressure than the other.
- You can narrow down what is causing the dampening differences in the shock.
- Bad O-rings
- Bent shock shaft
- Shock fluid variance – too much or too little
- Once the shocks are matched you can install your springs and see if one of your springs went bad.
- You can see what the difference is between shock pistons.
As you look through the list above, I will be testing the shock pistons. I am going through steps 1-3 above before I start on step 5. I think the following picture confirms that I have some work to do before I get to the good stuff.
I am going to get back to work on these shocks and get them matched, to the best of my ability, and then I can get on to something that I always wanted to test and that is to check shock pistons. Stay tuned!