It’s not very often we get a good look at what goes into making the parts we all use on our classics. It’s not that manufacturers don’t want anyone to know how the sausage is made, it’s just, something nobody thinks about. However, the folks at QA1 thought about it. In fact, they even created a video for us to watch, showing how a shock absorber is made.
It’s no secret that QA1 specializes in providing performance shock absorbers, carbon-fiber driveshafts, complete suspensions, and a host of related items to support enthusiasts involved in circle track racing, drag racing, street performance, and street rodding.
In the video above, we get to follow along as the folks at QA1 build new shock absorbers from scratch — and we do mean scratch. Each unit starts with a chunk of aluminum and is meticulously machined to create each part that is used.
It was in 1998 when QA1 started manufacturing shock absorbers for the drag racing market. In 1999, the company introduced a shock absorber for circle track racing that is revalveable and rebuildable, saving racers time and money. Over the next six years, QA1 fine-tuned and expanded its product offering by adding several shocks and struts engineered for street performance and circle track applications.
Shocks might look simple on the outside, but in reality, they really are complex pieces of mechanical wonder. The internal pistons and valve blocks start out as regular bar stock that is CNC machined to tight tolerances. All internal components are then anodized for increased durability and are then sent off to the assembly area to meet up with the shock bodies.
This is where techs assemble the internal components on the shaft, fill the body with oil, and complete the assembly process. To keep quality high, each shock is tested on a dyno to make sure there are no leaks at that the adjustable valving is performing as it should. Once everything checks out, the shock is boxed up along with any mounting hardware and shipped off to customers and retailers.
Eventually, QA1 purchased Carrera Shocks. Then, in 2011, QA1 acquired Edelbrock’s suspension line and CAP Auto Products. These acquisitions solidified QA1 as a complete suspension company as it expanded its line of fabricated suspension components.
With a continued focus to fine-tune and expand its product offering of American-made high-performance suspension components and carbon fiber driveshafts, QA1 has grown to be a household name in the performance aftermarket. The best part is this entire process goes on right here in the U.S.A. If you want more information about QA1’s suspension products, and to find parts for your ride, check out QA1.net or give them a call at (800) 721-7761.