If you own an American car and you are looking to install coilovers, no doubt you’ve heard the name QA1.
Whether it’s old school muscle, a truck or something newer like a Corvette, QA1 has a range of suspension for all kinds of domestic vehicles and even custom installations.
While their range of products is impressive, the question is are they good and should you buy them?
In this post, we’ll take a deeper looking into QA1, the suspension products they produce and what people think of them overall.
QA1 was founded in 1993 by Jim Jordan, a man with more than 25 years of experience in the spherical bearing and rod end industries.
Ever since, they have been producing a wide range of suspension products, rod ends and ball joints, carbon fiber tubing and more for a wide range of industries including performance cars, powersports, farming machinery, medical equipment and even personal mobility.
QA1’s facility is located in Lakeville, Minnesota where they have a complete line of state-of-the-art equipment CNC machines, hydraulic presses, filament winding and laser cutting equipment.
This allows them to do all production of their parts in-house, and ensures that they can maintain strict quality control standards. QA1’s quality system is certified to the ISO 9001 standard.
When it comes to their shock absorbers, every damper is tested on the shock dyno and serialized, and every product test fit, track tested and race driver approved before it is put into production and sold to the public.
Over the years, QA1 have won a number of awards for their products, including recent SEMA awards as well as Street Truck Mag’s 2020 Manufacturer of the Year award among others.
Let’s take a closer look at their range of coilover suspension.
QA1 Coilover Range
QA1 offer a huge range of coilover suspension products from full coilover conversion kits for older car models which include control arms, sway bars and more, to donk suspension setups, classic truck conversions and everything in between.
Their conversion setups are available in Handling or Drag spec, and they also offer universal shocks and coilover kits that can be used for custom installations and are available in a wide variety of lengths and options.
Most of their shocks come in either single or double adjustable with ride height adjustment done by the spring perch. The single adjustables give you 18 clicks of adjustment, and the double adjustables give you 18 clicks of independent compression and rebound adjustment.
These shocks are a non-gas charge design, which allows you to mount them upside down and eliminates the problem of gas leaking over time, according to QA1.
They also have a MOD series damper which features external nitrogen canisters and interchangeable valve packs, allowing you to revalve the dampers without needed to remove the dampers from the car. These are geared for performance and are a better option for cars looking to do a lot of track time or drag racing.
Rebuilds & Warranty
All QA1 dampers are rebuildable and QA1 also offers a limited lifetime warranty on most of their products which doesn’t have a mileage limit. Warranty claims can be made through their website here.
So How Good Are QA1 Coilovers?
I did some pretty significant digging online through various forums and websites to try and get as accurate an answer to this as possible.
While there are many happy customers who have QA1 suspension and love it, there is also a significant number of issues that have been brought up over the years regarding various aspects from design issues to shock failures, poor performance and ride quality.
There are a recurring number of similar reports from various sources that all made very similar claims – that QA1 shocks are drag shocks that have been adapted for “pro-touring” and don’t handle great.
They also seem to not do too well on the street, with a number of people being dissatisfied with the ride quality no matter how much they played with the settings and adjustments. They claim that it’s either too rigid or too soft, and you can’t find the perfect balance no matter what you do.
A number of people also took issue with the non-gas charged design, stating that they cause inconsistent handling at the track, and as the damper oil heats up you start to experience damper fade.
I also found a notable number of claims that the shocks failed very early (within a few thousand miles) and were leaking despite not being used heavy or damaged in any way.
Basically, the general consensus is that they are a good lower priced drag setup, but don’t do great in all other situations. So don’t count on them for an amazing street ride or excellent track handling.
Now, with all that said, you have to also keep in mind that the majority of people who bought them are probably happy with their purchase, and they are popular for a reason.
The problem is that there isn’t an overwhelming amount of praise for them compared to the negatives, with even people who were fine with them basically saying they are a decent low priced option, but there are better options out there. This makes me believe that they aren’t the best choice.
So if you are looking into QA1 coilovers, based on my research you may want to look at options such as Ridetech coilovers which are more expensive but have a better reputation and are more likely to give you a setup that you are satisfied with for years to come.
FAQ About QA1 Coilovers
Where are QA1 coilovers made?
QA1 coilovers are made at the QA1 facility in Lakeville, Minnesota.
How long has QA1 been in business?
QA1 has been in business since 1993 when the company was founded.
Who owns QA1?
Jim Jordan is the CEO and founder of QA1.
Are QA1 shocks gas?
Most QA1 shocks are not gas, they feature a non-gas charged design that use either foam cells or gas bags. However, their MOD damper line does use nitrogen external reservoirs.
How do you adjust a QA1 coilover?
In order to adjust QA1 coilovers, you need to turn the adjustment knobs to either stiffen or soften the dampers. Turn the knobs clockwise to go stiffer, and counter clockwise to go softer.
It adjust the ride height, you need to wind the spring perch up or down to either raise or lower the car.
Can you mount QA1 shocks upside down?
Yes, QA1 shocks can be mounted upside down and at any angle.