Tokico Shocks

Although the average American consumer may have never heard of Tokico, the company has been making shock absorbers for over 65 years.   Now part of the Hitachi Automotive Group,  they have three locations in the United States where they manufacture and distribute both OEM and Aftermarket shocks as well as brake and other hydraulic automotive component parts.

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Traditionally there has always between a trade-off between the performance handling and ride quality capabilities of shock absorbers.  As a major supplier of OEM suspension systems, Tokico began to address this problem in the 1970’s and they claim they were the first manufacturer to develop the twin tube low pressure gas shock.  Today this technology is used in shock absorbers all over the globe.  The first American car to use twin tube shocks was the 1982 Lincoln Continental and those shocks were designed and built by Tokico.  You won’t find motorcycle or snowmobile shocks at Tokico, but they do provide high performance shocks for various racing applications.  They have four main product groups:  the HP Series, the D-Spec Series, the Illumina Series, and the RAK series.  Let’s look at a few of them:

Tokico Shocks:  the HP Series (High Performance)
Tokico HP shocks are recognized by ardent high performance fans the world over as “the blue shock.”  While the HP series uses the twin tube gas-charged design pioneered by Tokico ,  those “in the know” when it comes to shocks are aware all gas charged shocks are not filled with gas, but with oil.  The gas that is present is there to keep the oil under pressure and that oil can begin to foam due to pressure variations as the shock’s piston moves through the oil.  The oil Tokico uses is different than that used by other manufacturers, specially compounded to minimize viscosity changes.  But the core of Tokico HP Shocks is the piston design.  Their piston rod guide is chrome-plated and micro-polished with Teflon coated bushings.  According to Tokico, it is their pistons that set their shocks a cut above the others in the market.

Tokico Shocks:  the Illumina Series
The Tokico HP shock series are non adjustable but the Illumina Series is adjustable, with five different settings which allow the driver to change the balance between ride quality and performance handling to match the driving conditions at the time.  With Illumina Shocks the daily driving needs can be adjusted for “street” needs, like drag racing, or even a spin on a professional race track.

For light truck and SUV owners, Tokico offers the Trekmaster Series.  With Tokico’s various technological improvements, they claim Trekmaster Shocks produce 65% less drag than comparable shocks.  If you own a Honda or Acura you want to lower, Tokico has the RAK series of kits.

If you’re interested in Tokico shocks, their web site at has an excellent set of Application Charts, where you can see the different types of Tokico shocks available for your vehicle.