Emulsion Vs IFP Shocks
If you happen to live in a space-age city with perfectly managed surfaces that feel like you're riding on a cloud, the type of shock absorber you have will most likely not be an issue for you.
However, if you live in the real world and happen to own a Dodge Ram truck it will be especially important to you what shock is installed on your rig. So the question begs to be answered, which is better? An emulsion or Internal Floating Piston (IFP)?
Even if you don’t take to the dirt for the latest adventure, the Dodge Ram platform is particular when it comes to ride quality and how you decide to upgrade
Combining the shock oil with nitrogen gas into a solitary chamber, therefore, mixing the two ingredients surrounding the internal piston. Significant pressure is built up during normal use with foam being the end result.
Foam build-up allows the mixture of liquid and air to cavitate around the piston and render its dampening ability minimal. Higher pressures mean less durability and more wear on internal components. The shock may have come with a damping valve adjuster; the actual variation of performance is minimal to the ride quality.
Low-speed use might feel as if the ride quality has improved but don’t be deceived. The reason the ride seems better is simply due to the pressure not being built up yet. Any high-speed off-road use will not result in better handling or ride quality.
Internal floating piston shocks utilize the piston to separate the oil from the nitrogen. By keeping these two elements separate mitigates the amount of foam created through heavy use.
The nitrogen charge (adjustable) puts a preload on the shock oil thus preventing cavitation and foam. Without the presence of foam, the shock can operate at a much higher level for longer periods of time while maintaining performance gains and a quality ride.
Reservoir shocks only add to the equation by contributing additional cooling properties with the greater amount of oil. More oil and cooler operating temperatures allow for more compression and rebound adjustability so you can dial in the ride quality and performance you desire.
You will find most shocks have a number added to them. 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and so on, represent the shock body diameter and directly correlate to the amount of oil and nitrogen within the shock itself. Along with more actionable internals, is a larger surface area for the floating piston which allows for more adjustability overall. This adjustability proves to smooth out the crossover between on-road and off-road capabilities.