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Ohlins DFV Review

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Old 11-12-2013, 09:58 PM
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Ordered a set from Patrick at URGE. He was a pleasure to work with and always kept in touch.

The day finally came and they were delivered on Friday. As has been noted in other reviews, the packaging is very nice, although I doubt anybody really cares about that.



The shocks, as well as the mounts look very nice and well finished. What really impressed me was how light the shocks were compared to my Konis with Eibach springs. I didn't put them on a scale, but the difference is quite noticeable.

The install isn't anything really complicated, but I would like to warn others that the goddamn bearings for the mounts are NOT the same, even though everything looks that way. I suppose it's partially my fault for not laying everything out before installing, but Ohlins should label the bags with these parts! So as you can probably guess, I installed the shorter bearings into the front mounts only to realized that there were taller ones after I completed the whole front end.
Another note, in order to get a 4mm allen key into the shaft (to keep it from spinning when you're installing the mounts), you have to screw the adjusters all the way in (firm setting) and then remove the whole assembly off the top of the shock with a 14mm wrench.
I also ended up cutting off less material from the rear rubber boots than recommended and stretched them over the shock body; they're on there pretty tight so no debris will find its way in from the bottom.




After putting the car back together I adjusted front and rear shocks to 10 clicks from firm and took it for a 60 mile drive.

My car is an '01 with 255 RS3s all around, Eibach front sway bar on stiff, and Project Mu hc+800 pads.

Initial impression was that the suspension was nicely firmed up, but the ride wasn't harsh by any means. Steering response had been sharpened up quite a bit also. Going over imperfections in the road was unnoticeable now; not like in a caddy of course, but I didn't feel the jarring effect and it didn't become unsettled. Really, I just heard the wheels and the shocks absorbing the bumps, while the cars stayed pretty much flat. Also didn't experience the lift off effect going over hills at speed - it felt like the shocks shot down as soon as I crossed the top of a hill. Braking was also improved and there was very little dive when I really stood on the brakes. On my first time out with these I was doing 55-70 on roads which I normally take at 45-50.

The next day it was about 58 degrees outside so I stiffened up the front shocks to 8 clicks from firm and headed into the mountains. Big difference! Going over hills at speed felt even more comfortable than the day before. Braking was further improved and it really felt like there wasn't any dive now. Comfort level hadn't suffered much, but it did feel just a bit more bumpy. Still, after spending the whole afternoon driving, I did not feel like I was worn out at all. I actually caught some air and that took me by surprise because I didn't feel like I was going that fast. I've been through there with the old suspension and it would have absolutely not allowed me to feel comfortable to go through there fast enough to do this. The whole day I was being more and more impressed the further I pushed it.

Today I decided to see what the car would feel like on full soft. Going over smaller bumps felt great - the suspension simply soaked them up. When the road surface became more uneven it actually felt more bumpy; I'm assuming this is the spring overpowering the damper? Surprisingly the steering response was still crisp and there wasn't much body roll.

I'll try to update as I put more miles on them, although it's starting to really cool off here so it may be time to take the RS3s off...
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:04 PM
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A few questions for you Tom if I may -

do you have experience with anything other than these shocks?

How long do you expect these to last before they require a rebuild?

How extensive is your track experience and will you be updating this thread as you continue to test and compare these shocks to others/stock in a track setting?
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:31 PM
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Sure!

On the s2000 I've only had the konis besides stock suspension. I have also had Bilstein Sports and KW V1s on my M3 if that helps?

I asked Patrick that same question and he said 50k miles on the street easily, but obviously less with track use.

No track experience; we'll see what the next year will bring.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:59 PM
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Great to see more and more people trying these out. I don't think anyone can complain about lack of DFV reviews.

Mine should arrive tomorrow.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:26 AM
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Hey Andrew, I remembered reading about you waiting for these when I was writing that "notes" section. Several expletives were yelled out after I put the front end back on the ground and realized that I had to redo everything because of those stupid bearings! It really shouldn't be that hard for Ohlins to put sticky labels on the plastic bags (ie. Front springs, Rear springs, Front bearings, Rear bearings, etc.)


Also, looking at Greg's thread it appears that my set has gone through a small revision.

First of all, the entire body of my shocks is threaded while his has an un-threaded section. Ohlins alludes to it in their documentation as well, stating not to go past it. My shock mounts also came with rubber pads installed on the bottom side, while it appears Greg's springs are making direct contact with his mounts.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:08 AM
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Are they still spherical bearing top mounts?
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:16 AM
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Yes, just have a ~3mm rubber pad, much like what OEMs use.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tom153 View Post
Hey Andrew, I remembered reading about you waiting for these when I was writing that "notes" section. Several expletives were yelled out after I put the front end back on the ground and realized that I had to redo everything because of those stupid bearings! It really shouldn't be that hard for Ohlins to put sticky labels on the plastic bags (ie. Front springs, Rear springs, Front bearings, Rear bearings, etc.)


Also, looking at Greg's thread it appears that my set has gone through a small revision.

First of all, the entire body of my shocks is threaded while his has an un-threaded section. Ohlins alludes to it in their documentation as well, stating not to go past it. My shock mounts also came with rubber pads installed on the bottom side, while it appears Greg's springs are making direct contact with his mounts.
Yeah it looks like Ohlins decided to add the rubber pads at some point along the line. What exactly do you mean by the bearings? The top mounts?
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:43 AM
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It's a metal spacer which goes into the shock mount from up top. There are two of them, one goes on the bottom and the other drops in from the top after you put the shock mount on. The front ones are taller. Ohlins calls them bearings in their leterature.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:33 PM
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Yes, they are there to allow the spring to stay perfectly perpendicular to the shock shaft, which should give better performance and enhance the longevity of the seals, etc. Similar to what you get with AST 4150 top hats, & KW Clubsport top hats. I'm having a hard time deciding between AST 4150's, the Ohlin's DFV's, and KW Clubsports. All can be had with springs in the 450-700 lb range, and all can be had with spherical bearing top mounts, and they they are all adjustable, although the Clubsports have independent control over compression. Thing is, is the independent compression adjustment worth taking the NASA TTC hit in points? You only get 20 total to play with before bumping up in class. The AST 4150's with their lack of external reservoirs and single adjustment, cost you much less points ... and may yield the same effective performance when setup right? I also wonder if the Ohlin's DFV fall under "single" adjustable or "double" adjustable, because adjustment changes both compression and rebound. I would assume single adjustable, as I'm guessing the biggest benefit to double is the independent nature of each adjustment.
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