Multimatic DSSV shocks: Here’s how they work

What the heck is that DSSV stuff anywayDSSV damper from a Camaro

The key to Multimatic’s DSSV technology is the spool valve right there in the middle, one for jounce, one for rebound Photo by Multimatic

Multimatic DSSV shocks are on some of our favorite cars; here’s how they work Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve dampers might make your old shocks obsolete

June 30, 2017

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One thing common to some of our favorite performance vehicles lately, from the Chevy ZR2 pickup truck to the Ford GT supercar, is the shocks – they use Multimatic DSSV damper technology. It was just on the Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE we drove last week. Seems the technology is everywhere. But what the heck is it?

To quote the manufacturer, DSSV dampers use precision spool valve technology to deliver the highest level of damper predictability, accuracy and repeatability in regulating oil flow and thus, damper curves.

A damper, what you and I might call a shock absorber, is a tube full of oil with a big metal plunger in the middle. The plunger moves up and down inside the tube, slowed in its upward (jounce) or downward (rebound) travel by the thickness, or viscosity, of the oil inside — and by the orifices through which the oil is forced.

Ah, the orifices. They make up the key difference in a DSSV damper. The vast majority of shock absorbers on the vast majority of cars use shim dampers, or what is known as deflected disc valving. As the fluid inside the shock is pushed up or down by the plunger, the resulting force causes the disc(s) to bend, or deflect, which allows the fluid to move through the tube and the wheel to go up and down in a controlled fashion. There is usually more than one disc involved. DSSV dampers push their fluids through laser-etched openings in spool valves inside the damper that open and close as a sleeve slides up and down around them. Sleeve slides down, orifices open. Sleeve slides up, orifices close.

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