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FORD BRONCO SUSPENSION: POSITION SENSITIVE ESCV SHOCKS EXPLAINED BY BILSTEIN

Here’s How Those Fancy Shocks Actually Work

Ford Bronco IFS

The new Ford Bronco is poised to conquer any off-road terrain you can throw it at. One of its major selling points is the HOSS suspension system, and trick Bilstein Position Sensitive End Stop Control Valve (ESCV) dampers. These parts promise to deliver excellent off-road stability at higher speeds, and great precision at lower speeds. While HOSS just stands for High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension, those Bilstein Shocks are a far more technical addition to the off-road arsenal found in the Ford Bronco. Thanks to a post in Bronco6G forum, here’s exactly how they work, and can provide a handy visual.

Compared to traditional shocks, which operate by pushing a piston through a pressurized hydraulic fluid, the Bronco’s ESCV Bilstein shocks have three main advantages: external reservoirs, compression ESCV and rebound ESCV.

The shock’s external reservoirs essentially add extra fluid volume to the damper. When the piston compresses, the shock can move some of that fluid to the external reservoir, helping speed up heat dissipation.

Next, the compression End Stop Control Valve provides additional and improved control to big impacts. When the shock compresses, there is a small spring at the bottom of the damper that increases resistance at the end of the shock travel. In other words, when the Bronco hits a large bump, there is added resistance to the end of the shock travel to avoid bottoming out abruptly. This will be especially helpful if the vehicle is landing after being airborne, or when hitting jarring bumps.

Finally, the rebound End Stop Control Valve works in almost the opposite way. It adds resistance to the shock at the end of the rebound position, avoiding running out of shock travel abruptly. For example, this will reduce a noticeable “clang” at the end of the shock rebound when all four wheels leave the ground.

Ford Bronco Shocks
Photo via Bronco6G forum

The Ford Bronco will obviously benefit from these special Bilstein shocks off-road, but also on-road. They will have a more car-like, soft middle travel, helping on and off-road comfort, but the compression and rebound end stop control valves will provide better control and protection when hitting larger obstacles.

Not all Ford Bronco suspension systems will feature these shocks. They are standard on the higher-performance Badlands, Wildtrak and First Edition models, but you’ll have to get the Sasquatch Package to get them on the lower trims.

Close-up of the Bronco’s Front Suspension. Image Via Ford.

Written by Sam Krahn

Sam graduated with a communications Degree from Wayne State University, where he was also a member of the swim team. He's interested to see how new technology will affect the American performance vehicle landscape.

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    1. Low hanging rear shock mounts do not help off-road vehicles in mud, snow, and rocky terrain . To sacrifice ground clearance in an off-roader to get a better ride is too big a compromise and against the ethos.

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