December 18, 2020

Overdose High Grade Damper v.3 Kit

That seems to be the most fitting way I can start this off. The Overdose HG (High Grade) Dampers have just been released in their Version 3 form. It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of these dampers. For me, it is the standard in which all other dampers are compared. I have yet to find another damper which even comes close in my opinion. That is not to say there are no other dampers which perform as well, but when it comes to performance, design, and build quality, the OD HGs are second to none. Let’s take a look at the version 3s.

The attention to detail is always present with Overdose products

Attention to Detail 
If you are familiar with Overdose products, you are aware the attention to detail is incredible. The v.3s are no exception. The time around OD has machined the Spring Retainers and Shock Caps for a more unique look. Not to mention, weight savings. Another feature of the new design which I like is being able to see the top of the shocks though the newly cut windows in the cap. This helps when you are adjusting the shock length to see exactly where things are at. Another difference I found when comparing to the v.2s is the v.3s are now shipping with 6 hole .6mm pistons which is what most of us would purchase along with our HGs to begin with. Looks like Overdose has been listening.

Overdose quality stands above the rest and the v.3s don’t disappoint. In fact, I didn’t see a difference in the overall design other than cosmetic. Then again, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. The HG shocks have some of the tightest tolerances I have come across in the R/C Drift game. So much so, you MUST use their specially formulated shock fluids. When I first became familiar with the HG dampers, I picked up some MST #5 Mineral Oil since I didn’t have any OD fluid. What a mistake! Using the MST shock fluid didn’t allow the shock to compress at all. As it turns out, OD partnered with Wako Chemical to produce their special formula for use in their HG Dampers. It is claimed to not attack the O-Rings as aggressively as the other shock fluids, as well as to maintain it’s viscosity with the changes in temperature. I have found my dampers will last a year or more with no noticeable change in performance.

A unique approach to the overall assembly. It works fantastic

The Assembly 
If you don’t like E-Clips, then you will love OD HG Dampers. They use a screw to hold the piston in place instead of using 2 E-Clips. If you are like I am, and you swap pistons often, you will appreciate this feature. Another feature is everything loads from the bottom, piston and shaft included. Every component is of the highest quality, something I really appreciate.

Full adjustment comes standard – Adjustable Length and Locking Preload

I have heard a few people complain about adjusting Overdose HG Dampers, and I can never figure out what they are talking about. The only conclusion I can come to is they are not using them correctly, because of the many sets I have owned, they have all been great.

Overdose give us an adjustable top which has an O-Ring inside to keep slight pressure on the threads and keeps it from free spinning. I use the adjustable shock length often, and this is a huge feature for me since I can use this to corner-balance rather than to use the preload adjustment (That’s a topic for another discussion). In addition, they also have a locking screw on the preload collars. This is genius since the preload collars can be very loose (Easy to turn) when adjusting, but snugged up once the preload is set. This translates into extremely easy preload adjustment, but also once the collars are snugged up, it provides a easy place to get a grip on to adjust the damper length. It also provides a great reference point for adjusting either. 

NOTE: When using the locking screws, they just need to be “snug” they are small screws and are not meant to be cranked down on. Also, if you leave them completely loose and take a couple laps to test, the screws will be gone the next time you look at them. You have been warned.

My Favorite Feature 
If there were 1 single feature of the HGs that I feel puts it over the top for me, it is the design of the body itself, and the method for closing up the dampers. With all other dampers, the bladder itself has many different ways to be installed. Everyone has their own method that works for them, (Some better than others) but the HGs are fool-proof.

You all should know how to fill dampers with no air

Step 1 – Fill with Overdose Damper Fluid. I won’t bore you guys with what you should already know, so just make sure you get the air out and fill just OVER the ledge inside. I have found I don’t need to use a shock vac for these.

I use something with a blunt tip, whatever hex driver I have handy works

Step 2 – Insert the bladders and gently submerge them. Allow the fluid to come over the top edge and inside of the bladder. DO NOT press the inside surface of the bladder, ONLY the thick outer edge. Otherwise you will force excess fluid out and over the bladder, and you will have uneven dampers.

Gently, slowly submerge the bladder by working your way around the outer edge

Step 2 Continued. Note, just the thick edges, never the middle. Make sure the bladder is resting completely flat on the ledge.

NEVER touch the sides, only the middle of the bladder. It doesn’t need to be completely dry.

Step 3 – Use a piece of tissue or paper towel to soak up the fluid FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE BLADDER. NEVER SOAK IT UP FROM THE EDGES. If you soak up from the edges, it will wick fluid from underneath the bladder and cause air to be introduced to your dampers.

It doesn’t need to be completely dry

Step 3 Continued. Remember, only soak up the fluid from the middle of the bladder.

Install the caps. No need to make them super tight, just enough is fine.

Step 4 – Install Caps. It’s a simple process since the bladders are set inside of the shock body, and there is no way you can mess this step up. Just gently thread in the cap and tighten it down. Since you aren’t fidgeting around with the separate bladders, caps, and shock mounts, all while trying to make sure the bladder doesn’t move, it’s the most fool-proof design I’ve used so far. 

The Overdose High Grade Dampers are my favorite, hands down. I appreciate the build quality, tight tolerances, and the functionality. They are extremely consistent, which is something that separates my top damper choices from the rest. The Version 3 seems to be a cosmetic update and for those who love Overdose, will find these to be a must have. Overdose listened to what the people wanted, and now provides their dampers with what is likely the most popular configuration for the pistons. Some have said there is a 1mm increase in length. Unfortunately I cannot confirm or deny this, as someone bought my v.2s before I could measure. Overdose quality, engineering, and design. Yes, I am a fan. They are a little pricey, but this is one product I feel I can see where my money has gone.