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Another thumbs-up for the Ohlin DFV

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Another thumbs-up for the Ohlin DFV

Old 03-01-2015, 02:43 PM
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Default Another thumbs-up for the Ohlin DFV

Well, consider me another satisfied purchaser of the highly regarded Ohlin DFVs. I’ve had my ‘07 for nearly 3 years and started tracking it regularly about a year and a half ago. As I ramped up my track time, the first priority was improving safety with a rollbar, racing seats, and six point harnesses. The added safety gear gave me the confidence to start with the performance upgrades and, if I’m honest, greatly increased the Wife Approval Factor. I started with coilovers for two reasons: one, I intend to keep the engine stock, I see it as part of the essential character of the S2000, and two, I could continue to run stock width wheels with aftermarket coilovers but the reverse is much more challenging.

After much reading, I initially narrowed my search to three contenders: the Tein Mono Flex, the popular KW V3, and the Ohlins. After even more reading of reviews from various shops, race teams, and S2KI forum posters, I pulled the trigger on the Ohlins. While there were many factors that contributed to my decision, I have to say that the recommendation from Urge Designs definitely help solidify my choice. And because their input was so valuable, I was more than happy to place my order with Patrick at Urge. He was a pleasure to deal with and was super responsive in answering the few pre-purchase questions that I had.

As has been mentioned by other reviewers, the quality of the Ohlin product is readily apparent as soon you open the box. The packaging is top notch and shows a level of thoughtfulness and care found only on the highest quality products. With the need for post-install alignment and corner balancing, I figured I would take the opportunity to have the install done by professionals. The fine folks at Blacktrax set up the car beautifully. I opted for a relatively conservative stance matching the Euro alignment specs at about a 1” drop. Hopefully this will give me a good baseline before I move to more aggressive camber settings that allow me to fit wider wheels.



First impression on the street: I immediately noticed how much stiffer the car feels compared to stock and yet, despite the condition of California freeways, bumps and potholes feel far less jarring than they did on the stock dampers. So even though this car is becoming more and more track-focused, I still drive it to and from the track and the fact that those 2 hour stints won’t leave me bruised and battered is a huge plus. Especially since the race buckets have far less padding than the stock seats.

On the track, the change in dynamics from the DFVs has proven to be the most noticeable in high speed corners. Thunderhill’s turn 8 and Laguna Seca’s turn 6 both have mid-corner dips that cause the car to “bounce” through the apex and make it challenging to keep the power down. With the Ohlins, the car feels far more planted through these corners, giving me the confidence to take both of those turns faster than I ever have before. In all corners, high or low speed, turn-in is crisper than ever and I feel like I can get on the power sooner knowing that the rear wheels are staying more connected to the pavement.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the purchase. Not that I have a wide range of other coilovers to compare them to, but my only minor nitpick is that every time you want to increase the damping, you have to reset to full stiff and then recount your clicks. You can’t just go one click stiffer. And of course, it’s a pain in the butt to adjust the rear driver side damping, but that’s not really Ohlin’s fault.

Wheels and BBK are up next
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:50 PM
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Nice! Have your lap times improved with the new coils?
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by aserr View Post
but my only minor nitpick is that every time you want to increase the damping, you have to reset to full stiff and then recount your clicks. You can’t just go one click stiffer. And of course, it’s a pain in the butt to adjust the rear driver side damping, but that’s not really Ohlin’s fault.

Write down your current setting so you don't have to keep resetting to full-stiff...
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post
Originally Posted by aserr' timestamp='1425253405' post='23523696
but my only minor nitpick is that every time you want to increase the damping, you have to reset to full stiff and then recount your clicks. You can’t just go one click stiffer. And of course, it’s a pain in the butt to adjust the rear driver side damping, but that’s not really Ohlin’s fault.

Write down your current setting so you don't have to keep resetting to full-stiff...
The need to go all the way to full-stiff and return to go to a stiffer setting is true for every shock I've ever heard of. The adjusters only work reliably in the "softer" direction.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:52 AM
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I just installed Ohlins this weekend and they click fine in both directions, just like all the other sets of coilovers I've owned. Unless the base of the knob isn't screwed down all the way and is moving when you turn the knob, I don't see any need to run it all the way to stiff and then back down.

Now if you're unsure of how many clicks you've done, I could see the need felt to go full stiff and then back down.




As for the Ohlins themselves, I agree with the OP on the quality. I am holding my review until the tracks open back up here. However, Patrick at Urge was a joy to purchase from and has been for all 4 purchases I've made from him in the last year or 2.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:38 PM
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Nice! Have your lap times improved with the new coils?
I mean, yes I have gone faster with the Ohlins than with the stock dampers, but it wouldn't be scientific to say that the Ohlins have caused me to go faster. Here are lap times from my last track day at Laguna Seca before the upgrade and the first track day there after the upgrade. There is a clear improvement, but on the first day with the Ohlins the car had fresh tires, fresh pads, and more camber:



I feel like maybe the consistency of lap times shown in the lower standard deviation might be a better indicator of the performance improvement, but track days are super variable and not every lap is a clean lap anyway.

The need to go all the way to full-stiff and return to go to a stiffer setting is true for every shock I've ever heard of
That's kinda what I figured. Like I said, I don't have a whole shop full of other shocks to compare them to.

I just installed Ohlins this weekend and they click fine in both directions
Not sure what to make of the fact that we have multiple people with opposite experiences on this.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:03 PM
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I can take video... The clicks are in the same spot going both directions since the indents do not move. The clicking comes from the knob itself.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:47 PM
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Cool review. I'm planning on having Blacktrax do the install of my Ohlins - after I finally pull the trigger on them from Urge!
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:06 PM
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gonna be another Blacktrax Ohlins install soon as well. Did you do roll center adjusters with the 1" drop?
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by yamahaSHO View Post
I can take video... The clicks are in the same spot going both directions since the indents do not move. The clicking comes from the knob itself.
Agreed.

They click at the exact same points whichever way you turn the adjuster knobs. That's just how then knob works. It clicks whenever it is rotated a specific amount going in either direction. It is the knob that has the clicks not the actual adjustor in then damper that the knob connects to. I think the recommendation of setting to full stuff when readjusting is just there to explain that they should be set using number of clicks from full stiff. There really isn't much play between the knob and adjustor. But that is probably the idea behind adjusting them from full stiff.

For piece of mind I often reset to full stuff when adjusting as a self check. But as I am trying out different settings I just make adjustments in small increments. Always trying to do so after the car has had time to cool down. The results are always perfectly reliable.
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