Research and Development That Drives Innovation

Extensive Development for Each Application

Our in-house engineering team is equipped with vehicle sensors, data loggers, and shock dynos design and develops cutting-edge application specifications. We spend considerable resources on RnD for each applications before it is released. Individual application tuning issues, once identified, are addressed with exhaustive development cycles till they met our high standards. Every component and application specifications have been repeatedly refined until our expectations were satisfied.

Data Acquisition that Delivers

A vehicle is equipped with data acquisition sensors to collect vehicle specific data over a range of real world driving conditions. Suspension geometries are measured to determine motion ratios of the shocks, springs, and sway bars (among other factors) that is needed for development. This information helps us determine the target natural frequency and critical damping coefficients for each application. This testing procedure is common for car manufacturers and professional race teams, but is highly unusual in the aftermarket performance industry. We felt this was the only way to ensure the results our customers expect of us.

In-house Shock Dyno Tested

Shock valving profiles are created and verified on the state of the art Roehrig® 2VS and 3VS shock dynoes. The engineering team uses these tools coupled with our knowledge and ability to ensure optimized performance and repeatability is built into every shock we produce. Roehrig® is the gold standard for shock test equipment and is used by many other top-tier suspension manufacturers competing in professional race series around the globe.

The Right Valving Profile for the Right Application

Different chassis require different valving profiles, linear or digressive. We take each chassis and adapt our valving to meet the needs of the specific application - whether it has a particularly high natural frequency, low roll stiffness, needs a lower damping coefficient, or some other requirement. Based on the vehicle’s attributes, we shape the damping curve to best provide inspiring performance, fast response, and a superb ride quality.

Spring Rate Tuning

When a performance enthusiast is considering a suspension for a dual-purpose vehicle, he or she often looks at the spring rates to help determine if a suspension will be a good fit. However, there are many other factors that influence the performance and usability of a suspension system. Our first criteria is to use our vehicle models to determine the application’s target natural frequencies. The natural frequency is essentially the relationship between the vehicle’s sprung mass and the spring rate. If the application has a high natural frequency (high spring rate), the ride will feel very firm with minimal body roll, however the ride quality can suffer. Our tuning philosophy is to have a relatively higher natural frequency for dedicated sports cars like the Toyota 86 or Honda S2000, and a bit lower for a more practical enthusiasts’ vehicle such as a Subaru WRX to better suit passenger’s needs. In either case we always strive for a ride quality that would be described as “firm” but never “harsh”.

Stroke for Grip and Comfort

Our team focuses on ensuring our products have sufficient suspension travel for a variety of surfaces. When you are hitting berms and bumps we strive to keep all of your wheels connected to the pavement as bouncing off of the bumpstops is neither fast nor fun. We spec a generous amount of stroke as a baseline, then measure actual suspension travel with position sensors over a variety of surfaces to ensure your suspension offers enough stroke to handle bumpy corners at speed.

Quality Control

Strength and Service Life

All of Annex Suspension Group™ shock bodies start as a high strength carbon steel extrusion. Each cylinder is machined to a very tight tolerance before being subject to a series of QC processes including a final visual inspection by a dedicated technician. In fact, all of our components must pass a variety stringent QC processes before ever being placed into production. This rigorous testing ensures a long service life and repeatable shock performance, mile after mile.
Maximizing Shock Life and Minimizing Friction

Our steel piston rods are made using an oversized steel shaft that is hardened, then chrome plated for increased durability, oil seal life, and lower friction. Several years of development went into the creation of our piston rods to ensure responsive performance and safety.

Perfectly Round

Each shock body is carefully inspected for a uniform diameter, a mirror finish, and a lack of taper. Any shock body that doesn't pass this inspection is scrapped. This strict process allows us to have great cylinder sealing for consistent performance and a longer service lift.

Perfectly Flat

Even the most minute flaw on a shock shim can change the damping force considerably. We have seen changes of as much as 15% just from a single shim being slightly out of spec. It is critical that shims are checked before being used. We check each shim for straightness and perform a visual inspection of each shim before ever being put into a shock. These extra details may be glossed over in a mass-produced shock but it's one of the ways we can assure consistent performance for our customers.

It's a Keeper

We want our products to be the last set of suspension you purchase for your car, period. High-quality materials and coatings are used in Annex Suspension Group™ products to help achieve this goal. Each shock assembly undergoes a strict quality control process once when built, and once more before being shipped out. All of our shocks are hand-assembled and individually dyno tested.

Durable Anodic Coating

We’ve opted to subject all aluminum parts - such as the camber plates, bottom brackets, lock rings, and even the adjustment knobs – to a deep sulfuric anodization process that results in the rich colors and even finish that can be seen on our products. This process not only looks good but will protect the parts for years to come.

Superior Corrosion Resistance

Our shock bodies are extremely durable against corrosion in the worst of environmental conditions. We use three separate electroplated applications of Nickel coatings and a final Nickel-Chromium (NiCr) hard sealant layer to ensure that all of our shock bodies can withstand the harshest of environments. NiCr is unique in that it is not prone to damaging electrolysis, which is a leading cause of seized spring perches on competing coilover systems. The result is a shock body that will always remain easy to adjust and will help to protect the spring perches from corrosion damage, on and off the track.
Why is Nickel-chromium so Durable?

Corrosion-resistant coatings are designed to protect metal components from degradation, harsh environments, and the strains of high-stress applications. Water, air, and electrolytes found in salt all do their part to attack the base metal used in a shock body so a good coating must be able to defend against these various elements simultaneously.

Nickel-chromium (NiCr) has proven itself in automotive and industrial applications for decades as an extremely tough corrosion inhibitor. In order for a coating to protect the base metal, it must withstand being rubbed off after repeated use. Coilovers are a very challenging application. Years of road, dirt, and sand dig into and scrape off lesser coatings, revealing weaker sub-layers or even the raw base steel. NiCr is an extremely hard coating and is very good at resisting this kind of abuse, helping to ensure the longevity and lasting aesthetic appeal of your suspension.

No More Stuck Lock Rings

In states that experience heavy snowfall, salts and chemical de-icers like Magnesium chloride are used to melt away the snow on roads to provide traction for vehicle tires. This is great for road adhesion but can take a toll on improperly designed aftermarket suspension systems. If you live in these kinds of conditions and have experienced frozen or stuck lock rings, this is likely a result of electrolysis.  

Road salts and chemical de-icers contain electrolytes (yes, those kinds of electrolytes) that will literally fuse shock bodies and lock rings together over time with use. NiCr is not conductive, so damaging electrolysis is unable to take place leaving your suspension easy to adjust for years to come.

Protective Dust Boots

Thick and durable neoprene dust boots better protect shock shafts from scrapes and bruises, enhancing the longevity of internal seals and oil within. The neoprene remains flexible and is resistant to cracking and splitting as seen on lower grade suspension systems.

High quality bearings

All of the bearings used on our camber plates and spring perches come from class-leading suppliers like Koyo® ensuring precision and long service life.

Design Details

A Novel Design Approach

From the beginning, we knew that the classic style of lock rings, adjustment knobs and spanner wrenches weren’t going to be enough for you. You know the frustration when trying to adjust your ride height – slipping spanner wrenches, cut and scraped knuckles. Or reaching for an adjustment knob that’s just a little too slippery to turn or uncomfortable in the hand. Yet, these feelings come from prior experience, and our goal is to move the bar forward in the aftermarket suspension industry in ways that would be appreciated by novices and seasoned veterans alike.

Positive Engagement

We designed positively locking and self-centering surfaces to interface directly with the adjustment tool making pre-load and vehicle height adjustments a breeze. Using traditional lock rings in the heat of a race can be cumbersome and downright dangerous due to the sharp edges that are often left behind on mass produced lock ring.

Attention to Detail

Our lock rings spend extra time on the CNC machining equipment to ensure every possible ounce of weight is removed while maintaining strength. Every edge is rounded and radiused so they are comfortable in the hand (and pleasing to look at as well).

Non-Slip Adjustment Knobs

Adjustment knobs can sometimes be hard to reach so we designed them to conform to the user’s finger tips for a sure grip. Each knob is tumbled and polished after being cut to shape because we care about how it feels in the hand, even if you only adjust your shocks on rare occasions.

Reserved Color Schemes

Our target customers are a bit more mature and have experience modifying cars. The FastRoad Pro line eschews overly loud color schemes with one that shouts “tasteful” instead.