...continued from above...
Discontinuing Steel Shocks
In 2012, most AST 4150s will come with aluminum shock bodies. Strut bodies will continue to be built from steel, but all shocks will switch to aircraft grade aluminum. Economies of scale have allowed the factory to switch to aluminum without a large increase in cost of manufacture. For some models, this represents a 50% reduction in the weight of the damper (unsprung weight).
All 4150 aluminum shock bodies will also be fully threaded, unlike the smooth steel bodies on the previous 4100 shock. This allows for a potential to convert almost all 4150 shock models to a "coilover shock", with the appropriate threaded collar, coilover spring and upper spring perch. This is beneficial on cars that normally do not have a coilover shock set-up (there are other issues that must be discussed with your shock dealer, of course), when that is desired for altering the spring motion ratio or reducing suspension mass. There is no longer a need to make an aluminum (5100) and steel (4100) version of every shock, so some former 5100 models for shock-only car set-ups will come under the new 4150 product envelope.
Several new designs proven in GRAND-AM racing will be added to various products on an “as needed” basis. All strut models will receive a new two piece top guide assembly that separates the dust seal assembly from the oil seal/bearing assembly (see the cut-away picture at top of this post). This two piece design is stronger in compression loading (bottoming out) and side loading (in the turn). Some models will receive weld-on stabilizer brackets which take the guesswork out of setting the stabilizer height and torque setting of the clamping ring.
Upgradeability to Doubles!
Finally, the upgrade path of the 5000 series has made it to the 4X50 series shock! Yes, AST 4150s will be upgradeable to 4250 internal double adjustable monotubes. Using a modular build system, customers can send their shocks to AST at a later date and upgrade from a 1 Way shock to a 2 Way internal reservoir or
remote reservoir system. Some models may only upgrade to remote reservoirs. An upgrade matrix will be published in early 2012, and I will show the details of the 4250 in this thread as they become available. The upcoming 4250 will replace the 4200 models starting in March, and we will get our hands on them as soon as possible.
The 4150 dampers have a screw-in bottom assembly that can be removed and the "guts" of the 4250 internal double can go inside most strut and shock models. Any 4150, and especially short bodied struts and shocks that have limited stroke, will also have the option for a remote reservoir assembly to be added there as well, to make them into remote doubles. I think they will be called 4250RR, but that might change. AST-USA did this before on some 4200RR models, as shown above, and it worked great when the additional stroke or added fluid capacity from reservoirs was necessary. The 5200 inverted strut (and the 5200GA) with remote reservoirs is still going to be in the AST line-up, of course.
Cost & Availability?
The parts have been tested, the design is finalized and production begins at AST Holland on several 4150 models in early January, so we should see 4150 models coming to our shores by late January. Vorshlag has the following 4150 models already on order with the factory, and we will be stocking these dampers over 4100s at our facility from now on:
- BMW E36
- BMW E46
- BMW E90/92
- Subaru GD
- Subaru GR
- Mustang S197
Now this isn't supposed to be a "selling thread", but we do have lots of these 4150 shocks coming in to Vorshlag, and I wanted to give people here a heads up. As you can see we're loading up on GD and GR Subaru sets. Some of these dampers we have on order above have already been pre-sold, so they might not stay in stock here long. We will ramp up our orders with AST-USA as they roll in. Also, the first 4250 (double adjustables) models will be coming to us first, since we have sets on order. I will post up in this thread with 4250 details as soon as possible, but it will be much of the same as the 4150 but with 4200 style lower piston assemblies. More rugged, more reliable, and still one of the only true internal double adjustable monotubes on the market.
The 4150 pricing is fairly close to the outgoing 4100 model, and in most cases within $100-150 of the old part numbers. That's not much of a cost increase considering the number and breadth of updates these 4150 dampers have. The upgradeability feature (to 4250 doubles) alone is huge, and will be a big selling point for racers that want to ease their way into double adjustables, with less pain up front.
We are already testing and enjoying the new 4150 and if you have additional questions
, feel free to call us at 972-422-7170 or visit us at www.vorshlag.com
. Vorshlag is an AST dealer, a testing and engineering partner with AST-USA, with AST-USA we have helped develop valving in almost all of the Subaru fitment shocks, we were the first AST dealer in the USA, and we continue to be have the best customer service and highest sales of the full catalog of AST models in North America. Vorshlag's new facility is located 100 feet from AST-USA/Moton-USA, which gives us unprecedented access to the new designs, development, data, and the minds behind this shock brand.
Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports