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Ohlins DFV Review for summer/track S2000

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Old 01-11-2015, 05:37 PM
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Default Ohlins DFV Review for summer/track S2000

There’s not much to say about these that hasn’t been written already. I purchased the Ohlins coilovers from Patrick at Urge. He was very easy to work with and kept me up to date on where they were and when I could expect them. I would definitely purchase from Urge again in the future.

The car is a 2000 S2000 with a Spoon front X-brace, CR Stiffeners, Innovative 75A engine/trans mounts, and Energy Suspension rear diff mounts. It’s not a daily driver and I try to get 4-5 track days and some auto-x in every summer. In stock form I had it at Nelson Ledges twice.

I love the balance of my stock 2000 AP1 (97,100 miles at install), so I took initial ride height and alignment measurements and targeted a 15mm drop for each corner. I want this to be simple initially, so I didn’t want any issues with tire-to-fender love or always being in the rear bump stops. The spring rates are off-the-shelf rates from Ohlins (572 lbs/in. in the front, 458 lbs/in. in the rear).

Once installed, I set the basic alignment with a camber gauge and toe plates – I was living in my parents’ basement with my pregnant wife at the time, so time and garage space was limited! The dramatic change is great! The ride was much firmer, but controlled, turn-in was great, and the balance was easy to control with the throttle and the wheel. Over bumps you get noise, but the impact isn’t harsh and the body motion is controlled. I was happy with the settings at 10 clicks from full stiff all the way around. The ride was better at 12 clicks down, but I enjoy on ramps more at 10 clicks down. The tires were stock 16” 205/225 Yokohama Advan AD08 (which I love FWIW).

I installed these back in June, but didn’t make it to Nelson Ledges again until September (again, parents’ basement with pregnant wife while shopping for a house…don’t judge…). In the week of prep for the track day, the caster seemed to be off side to side so I tried to get it evened out by having it aligned by a shop that could measure caster better than me. The shop completely disregarded the specs I gave them, so I ended up with -0.5 deg camber, 0 toe, 5.8-6.2 deg caster in the front and 1.9/1.7 deg camber, 0.55 deg total toe in in the rear. I wanted as much negative camber as they could get in the front and to equalize the caster. In the rear I wanted 0.25 total toe in. So they were nowhere close to what I asked for and it turned out to be even worse when I checked after the track day.

I used AP2 wheels with 17” 225F/255R Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 tires. Nelson Ledges is a bumpy track, so I started the day with the dampers set at 10 clicks from full stiff. Throughout the day I had a difficult time getting clean laps because there were so many cars, but the car was awesome. I passed everything but the supercharged E46 M3 in my group. The unlimited group had some stock cars and nut jobs in drag cars running in it, so I stayed away from them. I played with the damper settings before each setting and kept the tire pressures at 35psi before each session.

After messing around with settings and getting 10-12 laps each session, ended up at 9 clicks from full stiff in the front and 8 in the rear to make the car happiest. No matter what I did I couldn’t get turn in where I wanted it, but I think that had more to do with the rear toe in handicap I had (correction was the same every time, so I’m guessing the delay was due to alignment more than weight transfer rate). There is more than enough adjustment in the last 10 clicks to full stiff to really affect handling! 7 clicks in the front gave me problems over bumps and under braking I was into ABS if I wasn’t careful (thinner margin for error when threshold braking). The most grip (1.02g out of banked karussel from the lap timer app, butt-dyno says it wasn't that high) was found at 9 clicks front and 8 clicks rear. I can’t wait to get back to Nelson with a real alignment and hopefully get to Mid Ohio a few times this coming summer.

I could see needing stiffer springs with any kind of downforce or if you want to go with a lower static ride height. I use track days to try to keep my skills sharp, so I plan to keep the set up simple. At this point, I’m really happy with the Ohlins and excited to play with them more in the future!
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:35 AM
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holy crap .55 rear toe in?! That's nuts. Anyway, great review...in for further comments.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:58 AM
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Great post, good to hear.

What didn't you like about the turn in? 225 in the front is a lot more tire than the OEM 205. I am wondering if you gained critical grip but lost some response? That aside with the rates you are running in the front, I would expect the turn in to be pretty sharp. Could be the -.5 camber. With street tires my car seems to like -1 to -1.5 in the front. I also like to run little toe in the rear. That could be giving you some issues also.

I am thinking of a similar setup on my MY00. 215/255 RE11a on AP2v1 and Koni/GC with 500/500. If I had the change, I would definitely be going Ohlins.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:48 PM
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I would like to run -2deg of camber in the front, which I think would make a big difference at turn in and overall. Turn in felt slow, but I don't want to call it understeer. Once I got it pointed there was plenty of grip and it was easy to get back to throttle quickly. I'm guessing the initial roll would've been better managed with more front camber and the rear end would respond better with half as much toe in.

How much toe do you set in the rear? Just curious.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gottabfast View Post
The shop completely disregarded the specs I gave them
So don't pay them. Write the specs down before you start, and compare at the end.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:43 AM
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I wasn't going to initially. Basically all they did was F-up the rear toe. When I pointed out to them that they didn't do anything I asked for, they upgraded me to the 2 year alignment so I could bring it back at no charge. For a tire shop, they mount tires cheaply and balance wheels pretty well, so I need them! They have a John Bean alignment rack, so I'm trying to find a place with a Hunter rack. I may just have to set up the new garage to do this with strings, toe plates, and camber gauge.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:32 AM
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Information on toe...

my specs are about 3/4 down

https://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/109..._hl__alignment
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:23 AM
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I remember that post actually - Thanks!

The specs I gave the shop (that they ignored) were the min specs for the CR.

I always set up my Si (and most of the HART Civics) with zero rear toe. Some nut job drivers we had liked toe out in the rear, but that took some serious getting used to the rear end jumping out at turn in.
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