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Unique look at Ohlins DFV and Urge

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:28 AM
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Default Unique look at Ohlins DFV and Urge

This review contains no track anecdotes or comparisons as I don't track my car. It contains no install pics as I never do that kind of work myself. I'm just a relatively normal guy with over 15 years of daily driving S2000 experience, but all of those years have been on the original OEM suspension. This is all about what it means to daily drive an S2000 with a bad back and how it now feels with the Ohlins DFV.

I bought my S2k In October 1999 in a dealership in South Philly. I never imagined that I would daily drive such a tiny car for the next 15 years. I have modified nearly ever part of the car (including an ill advised excursion into forced induction) over the course of those years. The only significant part of the car that I never touched was the suspension. It always felt just fine to me over the years. In 2009 I bought a Nissan GT-R as a weekend and bad weather car. The s2k was meant to remain as the daily driver. For the first time I became acutely aware of the suspension feel of the s2k when compared to the 3 available suspension settings on my GT-R. The GT-R in comfort mode is significantly less compliant than a stock s2000. The specific reason I noticed that was that I suffered a ruptured disc low in my spine that required surgery a few years ago. I am now acutely aware of vertical compression caused by uneven road surfaces and firm suspensions. My right foot becomes partially numb based on these factors. The rougher the ride, the more distressed I become. I can drive farther in less discomfort on the stock s2000 suspension is the bottom line, but I STILL feel the back issues in the s2k.

I love sports cars, and not being able to drive them the way they are intended because of my health is honestly a devastating and sobering thought. The last time I had the s2k alignment done in 2014, I was told that the nearly 200,000 miles on my stock suspension was finally taking its toll. It was almost impossible to get it to within factory spec. This began my search to replace the last significant part of the car that was purely stock. Even the engine itself was rebuilt by Laskey racing... only the suspension remained. I came back to s2ki first (as I always do) to do some research. I found many positive comments about the Ohlins DFV and Urge as a reseller. Often the two are mentioned as one on s2ki. The Ohlins is certainly expensive and is surely overkill for my personal driving application, but I don't always approach life on an "as-needed-only" basis. I knew I would not replace the suspension again for many years, and I also knew that I would only live once so I decided to pull the trigger.

I started by contacting Patrick at Urge to ask a few questions, and I was met by a remarkably responsive and well informed individual and vendor. He answered all my questions and made me feel at ease with an expensive purchase from a vendor I had never used before. The DFV arrived in a timely fashion and truly looks stunning in person. I have never liked to do lengthy, tricky or potentially disastrous mechanical work myself, so I took a chance and took the s2k to my dedicated GT-R master mechanic at my local Nissan dealer. He is a car enthusiast and managed to resolve numerous issues with the GT-R over the years. I contacted Patrick and immediately received some good baseline alignment settings to give to my mechanic. My GT-R mechanic did a good job installing the Ohlins on the S2k, but my alignment was not done properly. At the same time, I could not pass emissions and inspections in Pennsylvania due to a persistent CEL. I could not get seat time in the S2K just yet until these issues were fixed.

After almost 6 weeks I finally got the car back from an excellent s2k mechanic in Philly (Young's Auto) who discovered cracked valve retainers while doing a valve adjustment to rectify the CEL. Long story short, I finally got the chance to daily drive the Ohlins only just recently. I discovered amazing turn-in and fantastic road holding on perfectly smooth roads, but the ride was rougher than a 2800 pound brick on stilts. This didn't match any of my expectations or my research so I contacted Patrick at Urge yet again to see what I was missing. I am ashamed to admit that I totally forgot about the 32 clicks of adjustment on the Ohlins. I have never had a car outside of Gran Tourismo or Forza Racing that let me actually tweak rebound/compression on a whim. It was set almost at random to over 15 clicks from soft! Patrick gave me some clicks to shoot for based on my personal needs, and after much road testing I am now at 3 clicks from soft on the front and 5 clicks in the rear. This combination has done WONDERS for my back on my daily commute and is still remarkably well composed while doing spirited valley runs. It is also slightly more compliant than a stock s2k at these click settings.

I want to thank Patrick and Urge for staying in touch with me on his own as well as responding swiftly to my questions throughout the months it took me to finally finish the car. I would highly recommend considering both them and the Ohlins DFV to anyone in the market for a new S2k suspension.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:01 PM
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Nice review! One of the reasons I decided to buy a set of Ohlins is because I believe, based on the reviews that I have read, that the DFVs would be more compliant than the stock suspension over rough roads. I'm okay with a rough ride but I'd like the ride to be more comfortable for my significant other. It's good to hear feedback like this (I haven't installed mine yet ), thank-you!
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:59 PM
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I agree that my DFVs are amazing.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:06 PM
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One of the best DFVs out there.

All about how it related to the customer and how it worked for their needs, which ultimately all that really matters.
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:21 PM
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Is 31 your max? I thought they only go to 16
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Old 05-29-2015, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by circuitclub View Post
Is 31 your max? I thought they only go to 16
I counted 34 clicks on my DFVs..

Interesting to see the OP can manage to run them at 3 and 5 clicks from full soft. I thought I ran mine on the soft end of the spectrum for "daily" driving(I only really drive my car to, from, and at autox events) at 12 clicks from soft on both front and rear. My car feels "floaty" at highway speeds at anything less than 12 clicks, otherwise I'd probably go softer myself.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:25 AM
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Bumping one of my favorite reviews...

It is all about the customer's needs and not about track times.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:32 AM
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I'll add for the sake of those concerned thy by most standards, the ride is not stiff at all, even at mid-settings. But he is a unique customer.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:49 PM
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This review has been very timely. I too suffer from back problems, and am investigating ways to improve the low speed ride and make it a little more compliant without compromising handling.

The local authorities in the UK are all subject to stringent spending cuts, and these manifest themselves in cuts to their road repair budgets, among other economies.

Last weekend I collected a set of Ohlins suspension, and will be having it installed as soon as possible. I'll post an update with the results.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by imc27 View Post
This review has been very timely. I too suffer from back problems, and am investigating ways to improve the low speed ride and make it a little more compliant without compromising handling.

The local authorities in the UK are all subject to stringent spending cuts, and these manifest themselves in cuts to their road repair budgets, among other economies.

Last weekend I collected a set of Ohlins suspension, and will be having it installed as soon as possible. I'll post an update with the results.
Looking forward to the update.
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