GAB GSK320 "Revo (or Revolution II) Stroke" Height Adjustable Coil-over Shock Absorbers

[10/12/99] Reviewed by Charlie McClain -

Applicable to '99 +

The new GAB "Revo (or Revolution II) Stroke" spring/shock unit differs from previous designs for coil-over type shocks where stock size shocks were modified to allow for a threaded collar to fit the stock springs over the shock. "Zero-stroke" shocks are specifically designed to be coil-over shocks, with reduced length to avoid shock bottoming and bump steering. The integrated spring coil is much shorter than stock shocks and of much higher recoil rate. The valving of the new shock is specially designed for is specially designed to complement the higher recoil rate over a much larger piston rod than previous shocks. This larger piston rod then can support substantially greater loads on the piston rod creating for dramatically increased cornering performance.

My experience with the shocks was outstanding.  Installation accuracy is VERY critical. Alignment by C2 Automotive. Body stiffness is key to success. It should be noted that the GAB shock from Wings is not a re-labelled HDK, with whom GAB has a co-manufacturing agreement. The HDK shocks available in the US are a mass-market product, not to be confused with the HDK racing shocks available only in Japan. The GAB shock I installed is the racing shock engineered and built in Japan to the highest standards and competitive levels of Team Mazda.

 I've set my GABs at 4 (medium setting) as I like a relatively stiff ride, which is not uncomfortable on long, freeway drives.

Handling is superb - corners like a slot car. Categorically the best handling I've ever experienced in any car. My M2 will now skid-pad at between 1.1 and 1.2 g's. Better cornering performance than virtually any street car now available at any price.

My M2 corners like a slot car! I've never been in anything like it. These shocks are not cheap, but in terms of bang for the buck, I think they're the best investment one can make to improve performance of a Miata where it matters most - in cornering performance on a tight circuit.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

GAB 8-position adjustable shocks

Reviewed by: Enrique Saggese -

Replacement 8-way adjustable shocks.

I ordered and got shocks installed two years ago now, and have had no problems since. With the shocks set to a hard setting, the handling is greatly improved. Of course, the car won't stick better to the road just because of harder shocks. What the shocks DO is giving you much better reaction. Turn the wheel, and the car reacts instantly, without a lag and without oscillation. Weight transition is much faster and you really feel a strong connection between the wheel and your tires, giving you the chance to evade obstacles which you otherwise would hit. It even looks like the shocks help to reduce the wheel's gyroscopic precession, which is especially important on larger, heavier wheels and brakes.  When set to soft, the handling is similar to stock, with a very comfortable ride on hard roads. I haven't experienced the "freezing" many mention after some time. I installed the shocks with the adjustment knob pointing to the back, which seems to prevent this kind of failures.

My car also has enhanced Jackson Racing anti-sway bars, 15 inch Speedline wheels and 205/50R15 Yokohama A-520's installed.

The only defect I see on these shocks is they are noisy. They do a squishing sound when acting, which is quite annoying until you get used. If I could ask for an improvement to these shocks, besides making them less noisy, I would ask for separate rebound and jounce adjustments, which could help on very rough roads. In all, a fine product, which I think it’s worth the heavy price tag. In fact, after two years, I think they, along with the other suspension and wheels enhancements I’ve made to my car, have more than paid for themselves, saving me from hitting something hard a couple of times.

Tip: Usually, since the car is shakier without the hardtop than with it (due to some stiffness the top adds), I set the shocks two notches lower when I'm "topless". That makes the car more comfortable and better handling.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Strut Tower Brace

Reviewed by: Mark V. Mellinger -

A nice looking unit with an oval section brushed aluminum bar and hefty, orange, adjustable ends.

I was surprised what a difference this made in handling and the feel of the car. It reminded me a bit of the effect made by a pair of anti-sway bars. There was a significant improvement in the sense of structural rigidity over rough, uneven roads. More vibration is transmitted into the body, but this is a small, rarely noticable effect.

I'm quite pleased. I wonder if some of the other chassis braces would bring further improvement to my '95 R-Pkg.

GAB 8-position adjustable shocks/H&R Springs

Reviewed by: Sean Sibbet -

These are 8-position manually adjustable shocks combined with H&R Springs

 The springs lower the car approximately two inches, which I felt was very important to the LOOK and feel of my new 96 Miata (how much higher can they raise the body? GAWD!) and my original hope for the shocks was to be able to adjust the oversteer by tightening them more in the front end. When they were initially installed at the shop, they were set to eight (tightest) in the front and 4 in the back. DO NOT DO THIS! I had very little braking capability left as the car didn't dive at all. I loosened up the front to six and it improved braking dramatically. After a few weeks I changed it to 8 front and 6 in the back. VERY HARD, but I like it that way. On a recent trip from Vancouver to Seattle, I realized by the first stop that I was going to be in serious pain shortly from the stiffness, so I stuck my head under each fender (it's a very tight fit at that clearance) and set them all to "1". AMAZING! I had no idea just how much variation the shocks could have! It was a wonderful smooth ride all the way down and back home. I thank myself for paying the extra bucks for the adjustables every time I think about that trip. Of course, they're back to 8 and 6 now though!

 The only problem I had is that when my girlfriend sat in the car and closed the door on a slightly high curb she grinded the bottom of the door, when it was set to all "1"'s. This doesn't happen with the stiffer settings. If you like to have some control in your shocks, go for it! I'm glad I did.

Back to Product Reviews 17 October, 1999