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Ohlins DFV and Urge review

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Old 04-26-2015, 09:23 PM
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Default Ohlins DFV and Urge review

Wow... After sitting down with a few beers and writing this, it turned out to be quite the lengthy post. And I like pictures...

Over winter, I had the urge (no pun intended) to swap out my suspension for something different. I previously had KWv3's that I tracked with as-is on a staggered setup, then upgraded to a square setup with upgraded springs and front sway bar. For the most part, I had no issue with the coilovers themselves, aside from being a pain to change compression on. I had a set that seemed to be between the new and the old as it took new adjusters up top, but still required a pick to turn the bottom (compression) adjusters. I also want to start running Time Trials and the reservoirs added additional points.

After swapping in the stiffer H&R springs (690/570), I had to start playing with the dampers to get them to play well with the new springs. I first started with my Moddiction front sway bar in the softest setting. I found the car liked to let go in the rear at high speed, steady state turning... As noted with two events that caused me to go off at 70 and 50 mph. I then set the front bar to the middle setting and also found that the external reservoirs wouldn't allow me to go to the stiffest setting... Between that and more damper adjustment, I started to get the car dialed in on transition and steady state turning.

Fast forward to today... I now have a set of Ohlins DFV's with upgraded Swift springs (728/560). Initially, I had an issue where I could not get my car low enough on the drivers-rear, which annoyed me a bit. I could only get the fender to hub at 13.25". I was not trying to slam the car, but I did not like the idea of being maxed out with no where to go but up. Later, during my corner balance, we found that it was likely they way my car was made. With no known damage prior to my ownership (@ 28k miles and ridiculously clean shape) or any visible damage or fixing, we found that the car just didn't 'look' as low on that side... More on that later.

After dropping the car off a week before a NASA track event at High Plains Raceway, my buddy would would be doing the corner balance and alignment mentioned that I should put some zero-rate springs above the main spring so it will allow us to drop the spring perch a tad. I was able to do this because I went with shorter rear springs (1" shorter) when I swapped out for Swift springs. I ordered them up and they were ready for me to install when I got back the following week (long story, I travel a good bit between 2.5 jobs). While I was in the middle of changing things, I added a Miata bar in the rear and put my front sway bar back to the softest setting.


For starters, I've gone through my share of coilovers over the years and these certainly are packed well and look sexy as f**k.







Here is a rear unit with the zero-rate springs installed (note: we didn't drop them as much as noted in the pictures after the corner balance)




Front




All bolted up with the new rear sway bar as well.



On to the corner balance and alignment... Coming back to the lowering issue in the rear, this is where we noticed it was likely the car that was the issue. Once corner balanced, the issue was still present, however, we had the ability to raise or lower because of now being able to lower the perch. Once corner balanced and not measuring fender to hub gap, we noted that the rear camber adjusters were a mirror image from side to side. Here is what I ended up with on the car:

Just over 3/4 of a tank without driver:




With my buddy Chris sitting in the driver's seat (I probably have 25 lbs on him):






How the car sits:






The next day, we took the car out for a NASA event at High Plains Raceway east of Denver, Colorado. We fought weather to where I even was on track in slush and snow, but on the second day, it cleared up, but was EXTREMELY windy. I started to feel the car out and started pushing it more and more and even had a spot where I got on a curb a little too much which upset the car (@2:52 in video below), but was extremely easy to get back under control where the previous setup would have just let go. The car felt confidence inspiring but noticed a little turn-in tail-happiness. It was fairly easy to get back in line, so I just kept going with the current settings and focused more on me. At the end of that very windy day, and on old ZII's, I recorded a 2:12.03 on the only time I actually ran my timer. It's nothing spectacular, but in addition to the wind, it was my first time out and there are some seriously blind turns with all that elevation change.

- The dampers were set at -5 from full stiff all around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z81bQigKKo


Next, I gave the keys to my good buddy Chris as he rubbed through a shock line on his car and who is the guy that did the corner balance and alignment. To give some credibility, he won NASA Nationals TT3 class for 2013 and 2014, AutoX Nationals BSP in 2014 (co-driving Thorne's car) and 2010 SM. He had me take a ride with him just to get a feel for the car (I lost some confidence after my two high speed spins last year). We didn't have a timer, but I think we used the video to get a 2:08 around the track. He thought that steady state turning was excellent, however, noted the turn-in tail-happiness and had me reduce the rear by one click (-6) and increase the front by one (-4). Here is the session of him driving below in a TT session we lined up late in (all the way in the back). The Z is driven by another member here with an S2000 who's motor is getting rebuilt... You'll note that he had brake issues . In short, Chris loved the car, which he said a few times!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIEISAuVqeQ








Now we'll skip to yesterday... I got a chance to visit my local track, Raceway Park of the Midlands (formerly known as Mid America Motorplex) which is only 10 minutes away, so I get there fairly often. Last year, I had a best recorded time of 1:50.94 which isn't a terrible time. Yesterday was my first time at this track in 6 months due to winter and I was still on my old ZII's. I suspected I could push it a little through the day and improve my time, but I was a bit shocked... On the very first session, my first lap after a warm-up lap was 2 seconds faster than I had ever run at that track. I did a total of 3 sessions and ended up taking almost 3.5 seconds off my previous best from prior outings at this track. My best lap time at the end of the day was a 1:47.6x.


Track name: Mid-America Motorplex
Track configuration: 2.23 CW

2014
Notes: KWv3 (690/570), Moddiction FSB @ middle setting, stock rear sway, Wilwood F/R BBK, I/H/E, E85. Car tends to oversteer still, so I imagine my times will come down a bit as I tame the car.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFOK7IYeo_o

2015
Notes: Ohlins R&T w/ Swift springs (728/560), Moddiction FSB @ softest setting, Miata rear sway, Wilwood F/R BBK, I/H/E, E85, fresh corner balance and alignment.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W-M02A6X6U






SO... Onto my final thoughts (or initial as I'll update here). The coilovers are of great quality, there's no doubt. The ease of adjustment, even though they do not separate bump and rebound was nice and seems to be responsive in that I can tell a difference when I adjust them by a click. The dampers on these ride extremely well. Even with these stiff springs, they soak up bumps nicely. Not to be fooled, they're stiff, but they don't jar the crap out of you. With the KW's, I was able to get them to ride nicely, but I think these are just a touch better in that department. I've hit some pretty decent bumps and curbing on track and haven't felt anything telling me that lowering the spring perch in the rear has given up usable travel (although we probably only dropped it .25"). You do get quite a bit for the money as it includes everything needed to install (okay, maybe not the lower bolt and shock tower nuts). For someone who uses the car for mostly street, I'd imagine they are an excellent setup as-is. For me, I needed stiffer springs and although I can afford the TTX, I wasn't ready to drop that kind of money on coilovers... And I was very interested in trying out the DFV. Would I recommend these? Absolutely! Would I recommend them over KW's? Hard to say which route is "better". There is the nicety of having separate adjustments, but in either case (DFV, v3, Clubsports), you'll probably be upgrading springs anyway. One thing to point out that I really like compared to the KW's, the adjustment knobs are mounted to each and every coilover. This doesn't seem like a big deal until you try to adjust the driver-rear damper sitting under the fuel filler. For someone who isn't a Nationals level competitor, the single adjustment knob was just fine and easy. With the Swift springs installed, these fully assembled coilovers are extremely light.

Was all of my improvement from the Ohlins, probably not, but I did work with my V3's a good bit and I did swap my sway bar setup around a little too. As much as I would have loved to change one thing at a time and test, I tried to work the system as a whole.


With all that said on the Ohlins DFV, I have to throw in an excellent word for Patrick at Urge. I've purchased a lot of car parts over the years... And I mean A LOT. In that time, I've only dealt with two companies that have had excellent customer service all the way around, in every category. My previous best CS belonged to Extreme Turbo Systems, but I believe Patrick at Urge just surpassed that. He was in it from the beginning. He listened to what I wanted, got me what I wanted, and when things weren't going to plan, he stuck by to make the customer happy (my ordering of springs to get the setup how I wanted). This isn't the first time I've purchased from Urge either. I have ordered two Fluidampr's from him in the last year or so; one for my S2000 and another for my STi and the customer service was no different (I might just want one for my diesel too ).
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:59 AM
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Excellent review man! I love mine as well. The ride is so much better than the KW V3s that are on my ap1.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:45 AM
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Great review and couldn't agree mor about Patrick, he is a solid guy willing to go above and beyond!
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:29 AM
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I have a few more track days coming up in the next month and I am still dialing in the dampers a little more. I still have a little turn in instability... After the last event, I added another + click up front (-3) and if I feel I need a little more, I'll drop another click in the rear (currently at -6). I am hoping I can bring my local track time down with the current tires, however, I did just pickup up some Maxxis RC-1's for a separate set of wheels.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:48 PM
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Thank you for the comments. We are passionate about this car and plan on offering a few more products for it.

Thank you for the reviews and keep in touch..
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:31 AM
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Got back out to the track for a NASA event this weekend. Although... As seems to be the case this Spring, we were fighting weather. I ended up spinning on the first lap of the day. The track was still very wet from the rain through the night and I found out one section of the track was like ice when wet. I wasn't the only one to spin there, but I was the only one to do it on the warm-up lap.

Anyway, from the last outing, I bumped up the front shocks one more click this time as I still have a touch of tail happiness when transitioning. The car is becoming more and more stable as I tune the suspension to my liking. I can't say I improved my laps times as we fought weather, then it got really hot and humid, lots of traffic, and I always had a passenger. On top of that, I didn't bring my GPS timer as I bought a transponder and put it on the car, but they didn't turn on lap timing for HPDE. I am currently at -3 up front and -6 in the rear. My next move, if needed, would be to back 1 off the rear. Overall, still no complaints about these coilovers. Even on this bumpy track (as seen in the video), it stays stuck to the road... The braking zone after the front straight sometimes has my car walking around.

I also decided to get a check ride into HPDE 4, which went really well. In fact, as soon as I got the checkered flag and started slowing, my instructor asked me why I wasn't in TT. He wanted to pass me on to TT right there, but signed me off to 4 and told me to come find him for another check ride at the next event to be moved up to TT. At this point, this is where I told my wife it gets expensive.

With that said, I finally got my wife to take a ride around track. She was nervous as about 8 years ago, I borrowed a friends M3 and took her through the canyons where she had to tell me to back off a couple times as she was getting sick. On track, she said she didn't feel sick until I slowed down for a cool down, which was prompted by fuel starve. Here is a video of her ride.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuaTwV19kRo
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:14 PM
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Doesn't making front rebound stiffer all else equal cause more entry oversteer? By stiffening rebound you delay weight transfer to the springs on the loaded side because the rebound resists the inner wheel from unloading. By contrast rear rebound has the opposite effect.

Perhaps your tuning philosophy is working because you understand this as well as the fact that adjustments change both compression and rebound.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:31 PM
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No, increasing bump or rebound in the front reduces grip up front.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:44 AM
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Can you explain why?

From my understanding, increasing front rebound can't cause understeer because rebound only works on extension, not compression, so when you turn, the outside wheel isn't affected by rebound, only the inside wheel is(think the effect of a sway bar, but only acting on the inside tire). Also having stiffer rebound in the front resists rearward weight transfer under acceleration, ie the weight resists moving backwards while your accelerating through a corner(so it reduces grip in the rear by limiting the amount of weight transfer). When you try to remove front dive under braking you either stiffen front compression or rear rebound, or both.(Normally dive is controlled by a heave spring but our cars don't have that). Rear rebound actually helps stabilize the car on high speed corners because it slows down lateral weight transfer, increasing compression would make lateral weight transfer faster. Also if you slow down weight transfer in the front relative to the rear by stiffening front rebound, the rear transfers weight faster than the front hence more oversteer.

But you don't have to take my word for it, play with the settings yourself and tell me what you find when you make the rear rebound stiffer than the front.

Also the shocks themselves don't give over or understeer as a general characteristic, rather shocks are used to tune over or understeer on entry and exit. During a constant radius turn with constant weight transfer shocks do nothing unless they encounter bumps in the road(high speed damping)

Don't take this as me trying to prove me being right, just a discussion on suspension dynamics, I would like to hear your take on damper setups.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:10 AM
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What I said is true. I've been playing with this car's suspension setup for a few years now. For the more recent setup, I've worked with a friend of mine on getting my car dialed in. He won NASA Nationals TT3 class in 2013 and 2014, so I am inclined to agree with him on the recommendations.

This may help you: http://www.rapid-racer.com/suspension-tuning.php











Originally Posted by Slowcrash_101 View Post
Also the shocks themselves don't give over or understeer as a general characteristic, rather shocks are used to tune over or understeer on entry and exit. During a constant radius turn with constant weight transfer shocks do nothing unless they encounter bumps in the road(high speed damping)
Originally Posted by yamahaSHO
Anyway, from the last outing, I bumped up the front shocks one more click this time as I still have a touch of tail happiness when transitioning.
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