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      11-02-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
sparoz
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Suspensions - what makes them different?

There are many suspensions on the market: KW, JRZ, Ohlins, Moton, Bilstein, Sachs; and each of this company have different levels of suspension.

What I have been struggling to find is information on why one might be better than the other. Every company seems to have some unique technology they claim to be better than someone else's.

For examples what's the actual difference between the KW Club Sport and V3 apart from adjustability? What's the difference between the Ohlins TTX to make it better than their dual valve technology on their Road and Track? Why is Moton generally more expensive than the others?

I understand the basic equation on rebound/compression etc, but I struggle to understand what a more expensive suspension do, if the rebound and compression settings is tuned to the required amount.

Many thanks in advance!
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      11-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hi Sparoz ! I'm not enough of an expert to answer your question technically. But about KW's, the main difference between V3 and CS is firmness. To the extent that a CS is only advisable for regular trackday fans. I'm running KW's DDC, which is basically an electronicaly adjustable version of the V3. Using a switch installed on your dashboard, you can adjust firmness between Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The latter is for track only !!
Or using an app on your i-phone/i-Pad/i-pod, you can create a wifi network, and adjust your damper's firmness by the percent. And it works perfectly !!
Mechanically, DDC dampers are adjusted by altering the valves inside the damper itself.
If you're a total trackday nut, go for KW's CS. But for most of us, the DDC is The choice.

Last edited by LotusBoy; 11-02-2012 at 08:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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      11-02-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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You are going to race with your car? If so, go for the suspension that offers more resource for tuning.

If not, go for the cheapest or better recomended for street use.

You are going to buy technology, thatīs why some brands cost more than others... and in this case the price difference is very significative.

The difference betwen them is hard to tell, you have to find some one who have really tested them all to answer your question.
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      11-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #4
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Your question is a bit broad.

Start with your intended use and the features you think you want.

For example - are you into show and shine events? Street group driving events? Midnight solo mountain runs? Track days? Autocross?

Do you want to tinker w/ your settings? Do you feel like you want to adjust height, and camber in your driveway - and then get realigned each time you do? Do you feel like you need to corner balance your car? Do you want to tinker w/ compression separately from rebound for optimal handling at the risk of getting it wrong and ending up with sub-optimal handling? Or is a single adjustment for 'stiffness' enough?

I'm in the process of trying to make sense of the options out there as well.

From what I can tell the option w/ the best street & track hybrid with adjustability is the KW v3 (height, rebound, compression adjustable), which retails for $2500. The new kid on the block is the JRZ RS1 (fixed height, single adjustable), but you have to choose your fixed height springs and spring rates, pay more for height adjustability, and will run you ~$3100 w/ adapter sleeves for 1M. Both #'s from HP Autoworks site. And those numbers are before camber plates ($440). Haven't spent much time looking at prices for the other brands.

Spent last weekend in a 996TT running on 19's and a fresh set of KW v3. I was quite surprised at just how compliant the car rode on the street. And my god the handling was absolutely flat and confidence inspiring. Something you'll appreciate in a 500hp beetle. Before driving that 996TT I was leaning RS1's, but after that drive and seeing the KW price - things are back up in the air.
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      11-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Coupla things.

Most folks that go with a high end shocks also install a height-adjustable spring perches. They also spec the spring rate and length that they use.

FWIW, I have JRZ RS1 shocks and Swift springs on height adjustable perches and like them alot. I've also run Konis and ASTs on other cars.

In terms of the differences in shocks, google terms like "hysteresis" and "shock dynamometer" and you'll start to get a sense of the issues.

Neil
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      11-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDORPHN View Post
Coupla things.

Most folks that go with a high end shocks also install a height-adjustable spring perches. They also spec the spring rate and length that they use.

FWIW, I have JRZ RS1 shocks and Swift springs on height adjustable perches and like them alot. I've also run Konis and ASTs on other cars.

In terms of the differences in shocks, google terms like "hysteresis" and "shock dynamometer" and you'll start to get a sense of the issues.

Neil
Thanks Neil, will look through those.
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      11-02-2012, 06:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBoy View Post
Hi Sparoz ! I'm not enough of an expert to answer your question technically. But about KW's, the main difference between V3 and CS is firmness. To the extent that a CS is only advisable for regular trackday fans. I'm running KW's DDC, which is basically an electronicaly adjustable version of the V3. Using a switch installed on your dashboard, you can adjust firmness between Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The latter is for track only !!
Or using an app on your i-phone/i-Pad/i-pod, you can create a wifi network, and adjust your damper's firmness by the percent. And it works perfectly !!
Mechanically, DDC dampers are adjusted by altering the valves inside the damper itself.
If you're a total trackday nut, go for KW's CS. But for most of us, the DDC is The choice.
Yeah, heard good things about the KW DDC and it is still on my list. It achieves what I wanted to achieve - just not sure that's the way I want to take it. I have a tendency to do things the hard way for the sake of it .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plautos View Post
You are going to race with your car? If so, go for the suspension that offers more resource for tuning.

If not, go for the cheapest or better recomended for street use.

You are going to buy technology, thatīs why some brands cost more than others... and in this case the price difference is very significative.

The difference betwen them is hard to tell, you have to find some one who have really tested them all to answer your question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahlzeit View Post
Your question is a bit broad.

Start with your intended use and the features you think you want.

For example - are you into show and shine events? Street group driving events? Midnight solo mountain runs? Track days? Autocross?

Do you want to tinker w/ your settings? Do you feel like you want to adjust height, and camber in your driveway - and then get realigned each time you do? Do you feel like you need to corner balance your car? Do you want to tinker w/ compression separately from rebound for optimal handling at the risk of getting it wrong and ending up with sub-optimal handling? Or is a single adjustment for 'stiffness' enough?

I'm in the process of trying to make sense of the options out there as well.

From what I can tell the option w/ the best street & track hybrid with adjustability is the KW v3 (height, rebound, compression adjustable), which retails for $2500. The new kid on the block is the JRZ RS1 (fixed height, single adjustable), but you have to choose your fixed height springs and spring rates, pay more for height adjustability, and will run you ~$3100 w/ adapter sleeves for 1M. Both #'s from HP Autoworks site. And those numbers are before camber plates ($440). Haven't spent much time looking at prices for the other brands.

Spent last weekend in a 996TT running on 19's and a fresh set of KW v3. I was quite surprised at just how compliant the car rode on the street. And my god the handling was absolutely flat and confidence inspiring. Something you'll appreciate in a 500hp beetle. Before driving that 996TT I was leaning RS1's, but after that drive and seeing the KW price - things are back up in the air.
May be I wasn't that clear, but the question is actually quite specific not in the sense of application. I really wanted to know the technicalities on what suspension companies trying to do to make theirs better. I am person who need to understand the mechanism before I can make a decision. Just by going with price point or what someone says without reasoning to me becomes a religion. Obviously if fast/slow compression and rebound are just settings, then any suspension that had those adjustments would be the same. Obviously, this is not the case. How two suspensions differ is what I want to know and what sort of impact it will make towards the application.

I actually know what I want to do, is to have a mechanical setup without DDC that gives the same or better level of comfort with improved handling. However, without knowing what the technicalities it would be difficult to make decisions on the compromise.
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      11-02-2012, 07:14 PM   #8
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I see your approach. Will defn need a more technical person to jump in for sure to get you what you're looking for.

I'll leave you w/ this rhetorical provocation: Technology is irrelevant. What is relevant is a product's price and performance on the dimensions you value. Technology for technology's sake is, well, wasteful. Successful technology improves something.

That said, I do get off on tech, and am very curious about the various technological advantages and their real-world impact on the dimensions I value.
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