|My Nitron Race R1 Shocks on the parts allocation line ready for assembly
Around two weeks after placing the order, the shocks arrived and I think they look awesome. The orange springs look great, and are a perfect match for the stripe on my car. I also noticed they used a silver spring collar, rather than their standard gold coloured variant for better aesthetics which was a nice touch by them.
|Nitron Race R1 shocks ready for fitting to my Caterham R500 Duratec
I started at the front of the car, as the shocks are more accessible and it just felt like the right end to start at. Firstly with the handbrake engaged loosen all the wheel nuts, both front and rear. Next jack the front of the car up (I use the central point behind the horns where the chassis tubes form a cross). I have a pretty decent jack, so didn't feel the need to use axle stands, but it would be worth lowering the car onto axle stands if you don't trust your jack.
Remove the wheels (and the nosecone if you feel this gives better access) and you should be looking at something like the picture below
|Bilstein shocks on my Caterham R500 Duratec ready for removal
|Removing top front suspension mount bolt using 6mm long arm hex key
Repeat the above steps on the other side of the vehicle and both from shocks will be removed.
With the shocks removed it was onto the 'How much lightness have I added test'... The original R500 Bilstein shock weighed in at 2.178kg
|Caterham R500 front Bilstein shock weighed in at 2.178kg
|R500 Bilstein vs Nitron Race R1 front shock comparison
|Metal bush shock fixing kit with o-rings
|Metal bush, greased with o-ring fitted
|Remove both metal sleeves from rubber bushed ends
|Metal bushes and metal sleeve being fitted to top mount of Nitron Race R1 shock
With the shock complete and ready for fitting it's time to fit the shock. It's just the reserve of removal and pretty straight forward. Carefully push the shock into place (note these are spring at the bottom, not at the top like the Bilsteins). Secure the top of the shock first, by lining up the mounting eyes and then pushing in the bolt. Use the long arm hex key to gently tighten. Due to the shorter shock body I found the lower suspension mount requires you to gently lift the wishbone to line up the mount with the bolt hole, but when lined up simply insert the bolt and tighten gently - torqueing the bolts will come a bit later.
|Nitron Race R1 shock with RAL 2004 springs fitted to the front of my Caterham R500
Now onto the rear shocks... This is similarly straight forward as per the front shocks, but I've detailed the process below, skipping some points as I've detailed those stages above.
First loosen the rear wheel nuts, then jack the car up. Again use axle stands if necessary, but this is the lighter end of the car, so most jacks shouldn't be under too much load.
You'll need to start by using a 19mm socket to loosen and remove the lower suspension mounting bolt as pictured below.
|Use a 19mm socket to remove the lower suspension mounting bolt
|Loosen top suspension mount using an 8mm hex / allen key
|Caterham R500 Bilstein rear shock weighed in at 3.768kg
|Rear Nitron Race R1 shock for Caterham weighed in at 2.168kg
|Remove the metal sleeve from the upper rubber bush
|Lining up the upper suspension mount can be a little tricky
|Carefully line up the lower mounting bolt with the boss on the De-dion tube
|Lower shock bolt secured in place
|Rear Nitron Race R1 shock with RAL2004 coloured spring fitted to my Caterham R500 Duratec
In terms of the quality of product, service and the general 'look and feel' of the shocks, I'm very happy indeed. You can visit the Nitron website for further details and pricing information by clicking the following link:- http://www.nitron.co.uk