Dual shock suspension setup for first gen and lithium upgrade

I have a 2003 Gem, with a DIY 3" lift. I ordered 4 discounted 412 Progressive Suspension shocks (initially 1 for each wheel) and found them to be too soft for the front. It messed up the wheel camber even at max preload.

So I doubled them up (inspired by @Old_Houseboater (Electric Forum) suicide shock solution :stuck_out_tongue: )

and bought a pair of 340mm RFY shocks for the rear.

This solved the camber issue and the ride is great so far on initial test.

I think 2 RFY in the front and 1 in the back (per side) would also work well and provide a cheap solution.
Note that there might be clearance issue with the motor if you have a larger model.

I have PMAC upgrade which is narrower and bigger diameter than the original motor - see thread here.

Edit: referenced Old_Houseboater not grantwest (but I think he did something similar elsewhere) :slight_smile:

Nice job. Dual shocks give it a serious look.
For future readers I bet it would help greatly if you list

  • What year car you have (but we can guess from the pic)
  • What mods you have done (LA batts removed and lithium battery in the back).
  • What lift that is (but it really shouldn’t matter)
  • But also links to what shocks those actually are.

Wow. That’s the 2nd Time I have seen a dual shock set up! The first was 10-12 years ago. Marlon had a set up like that. If it’s working for ya that’s awesome! It’s cool to see people trying all these different tricks or hacks to make things work. Yes I could never get the progressive 416 air shocks to work well with the classic Gem. The ride was great but the car had lots of body roll with the 416’s. I finally fixed the body roll problem by adding a front sway bar and it fixed that. Here is the thread

BTW I wanna take this moment to say how much I hate photo bucket and regret ever uploading 1 photo to those bastards. F them I hate them

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Good point. Will do. I somehow can only create new posts on my phone (not sure why?) so made it brief… I will edit and add more detail on my PC.

I Also wanted to note the proper use of spacers and washers on this install. Sure it’s not pretty but it looks like everything has a washer or spacer where it should have one. I’m not a big fan of the lower rear swing arm mounts but they look like they work.

Hey on another side Note I used boltdepot.com
The other day. I was really happy with them I bought some grade 8 bolts that even McMaster car didn’t have.

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@Samwich - are you running a PMAC motor? Off-topic sorry

Yes, I shared the upgrade here:

Do you have experience with them?

I agree, if I had to redo the mounts, I would try to do a better job… this is my first lift.

Thanks for the bolt depot recommendation, I’ll check it out. I’ve been using McMasterCarr - not cheap but I like their affordable overnight shipping - the original amazon - I’ll order stuff a noon and it shows up the next morning at 8am!

BTW I upgraded to Grade 10 on the longer bolts, probably overkill but worth the extra bucks for extra piece of mind.

Ah yea. I remember that now. Thanks for the reminder

Not really, I had several of @Inwo PMACs for a while. I mounted one up and did some minor testing before giving them back to Dave. We struggle with the max RPM’s of a PMAC and the speeds we want to run.

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yea I’m not trying to pick anything apart, If it works it works call it done. But I also like the saying Overkill is Underrated


I heard screwhouse.com was better. Followed by nuttrader.org

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This might very well be the first 00-04 I wont recommed being shot, burned, crushed with a bulldozer and then finally the pieces shot into a decaying orbit around the sun.


If I new anything about GEM cars going into this I would have gotten a 2005+ model. But my wife found this cheap 2003 model (rolling chassis) on FB marketplace that she really wanted and it was Christmas… so here we are…

Too funny, thats basically the same story almost all of us have who owned gems from that time frame “found this 00-04 GEM cheap… and bought it… its a money pit POS… someone please bytch slap me for doing it…”


But yours doesn’t suck now. An 00-01 differential which is 8.9:1 would be killer with that pmac. Your 03 shpuld be a 10.35:1

Yup, it was a 10.35:1 but found a 8.9:1 on FB marketplace - for about what I paid for the GEM :rofl:

I like it so far, I think it will meet our needs as a kid picker upper and sunset beach cruiser (still need to install the LED strips and JBL speakers)

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someone please bytch slap me for doing it…”

I think you guys need a jacket patch or something. maybe a survivor pin?