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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SRT4 KW Clubsport Review

Hello SRTforums! About a month after installing the KW Clubsports, I decided to make a little review for those who would like to know what is so special about them or are considering purchasing a set.

First off, I'm an autocrosser and a track racer. What ever you want to call it, I'm that guy that goes the extra step for performance over looks. I'll sacrifice daily comfort for the piece of mind that I can shave a tenth of my lap time. Also, that sick JDM Yo style drop isn't for me, unless it makes the car that much faster.

My previous suspension setup consisted of BC coilovers with standard 336/224 lbs setup and then a custom 336/325 lbs spring setup. I have autocrossed these coilovers for about 2 years and have won several events and regional championships with them. I have also found some limitations that left me behind the pack.

-First, the standard BC coilovers are way too softly sprung for their own good. The car feels very stiff, but when pushed to the limit, the springs just can't hold the car during a steady state corner.

-Second, the monotube shock design (that I truly love) isn't really designed for the car. It felt like the shocks were way too stiff for the springs and the car was literally skipping over some bumps during my high performance adventures.

-Third, and probably the major reason why I switched was the single adjustment for rebound and compression dampening. During my autocrosses, I really needed to crank up the rear rebound and soften the front; but, since It also adjusts the compression, the shocks were allowing too much body roll and not enough of a tighter, responsive ride. I felt very limited by the setup and had to run softer adjustment click (12-16 from softest) when I felt like I needed a rebound of 28 clicks (from softest) and a compression of 10 clicks (from softest).

After upgrading to stickier tires, better brakes, different sway bar setups, and alignments, I felt that I maximized the ability the shocks allowed, and felt that I was losing alot of time that could have led to more victories and podiums. So, I decided to sell the BC coilovers for a more advanced and high performance oriented setup, KW Clubsport.

Well, after a little background info. Lets get on to the pics.
Box with cat!


Actual KWCS box. P.S. Thats the Porsche that recently won the 24Hrs. of Nurburgring!




I absolutly loved the packaging. I felt that my 'investment' was safe during it's flight from Germany.




FRONT Coilover:





REAR Coilover:




Behold the almighty Clubsport !!1!

Features:
-Twin tube shocks
-Perfectly matched spring rates to maximize natural frequency (685/400 lbs)
-Front camber/caster plates (-1.5* max at the plates, -1* at the strut knuckle
-Rear camber plates (-1.5* max at the plates, -1* at the strut knuckle)
-Not independently adjustable ride height/spring preload (not like you need it anyway)
-Main spring plus helper spring combo
-INOX coating for complete weather resistant, corrosion resistant, and such...
-Independently adjustable rebound and compression dampening!! :clap:

Pros:
In one word, these shocks are "AMAZING"!!!!! With almost 700 lbs springs, the car sticks to the road without any feeling of skipping or hopping of bumps. The car is very comfortable to drive around the city, yet it has no body roll, no pitch, and no dive at all.

I understand that ride comfort is subjective, but to give an idea of just how this car feels; image the SRT4's stock suspension, but 2.5" inches lower, and no body roll, and you can slightly feel the imperfections in the road more than usual. You will feel the road, no doubt about it. If there is a bump, pothole, crack, crevice, you name it, you will feel it. Sometimes it will rock the car, other times it will make noises you wish you never hear. But, the shocks will almost always keep the tires planted to the ground (under normal circumstances). The ride is NOT discomforting and unbearable. I sometimes forget that I'm running such an amazing shock setup.

Cons:
The coilovers are heavier. About 3 lbs per corner heavier than BC coilovers. Not that its alot, but when every pound counts, its noticeable. But, I can live with it because the shock capabilities out perform the additional weight.

I really dislike the camber plates cam without studded bolts that mount to the shock tower. I understand why they didn't stud them in, which is to make for a quick swap if you ever strip the thread. But, the installation was a little more of a pain than it should have been. Also, if you run strut tower braces, you will need longer bolts than what KW sends you. Also, get wider washers as well just to complete the set.

Well, in my opinion, these aren't really 'cons' as its more of an inconvenience when installing.


Well, thats about it for now. Here are some more pics and videos. Showing my stuff and struttin' some style..... ok not really.






So, you just bought yourself KW Clubsports. Here is a list of things to check before you install them on your car.
- Always check part numbers of the shock, spring, helper spring, a visually verify the top mounts with the installation manual provided.
- Always make sure the shock shaft nut is tightened. Mine wasn't torqued down. I had my shop zap it with an air tool and that was done perfectly.
- If you get longer bolts, nuts, and wider washers, make sure everything fits perfectly with the camber plates and STBs in the car.
- Make sure the height adjustment collar is secure but NOT OVERTIGHTENED (I'll talk about it later).
- Then proceed with regular installation. You may need a friend to help with the installation because the camber plate bolts are not studded and someone needs to hold it up from the bottom.

Hardware You MAY need:
If you are running STBs and you know the stock bolts/nuts supplied will not fit
For your convenience, get these ASAP!: (the parenthesis are minimum quantity required)
- (12) M8 x 1.25 x 30mm 12.9 grade
- (8) M8 x 1.25 x 16mm 12.9 grade. This is for replacing the camber plate bolts. I highly recommend this as you do not want to round the inner hex head if these ever get stuck.
- (12) M8 x 1.25 Locknut Highest grade you can find because my previous crappy ones melted in the engine bay and rounded the head.
- (24) 8mm ID x 20mm OD Washer Highest grade so they do not crack from pressure. My previous ones cracked and melted so I got high grade stuff.

You will NOT need:
- Camber bolts!! Don't get them. They do not provide enough clamping force as the stock ones do and will cause way too much movement. I learned that the hard way and had y 245 Star Specs rubbing the spring and collar of the coilover off, then shredding the tires out. Not cool. Since the shock body and strut mounts are super smooth, I took a huge file and scraped the surface where the bolt flanged head and flanged nut of the stock hardware sits. The little scratches I etched into the strut mount was to prevent any sort of slippage (Thanks to MannyZ for that tip). I think it helps. Its hard to blemish such a beautiful and expensive kit, but you will not want this to happen; especially at higher speeds on a course.

- Spacers.. IF, like me, you thought that -1.5* camber at the plates wasn't enough, and that the -1* at the strut mount wasn't enough. And... since you run such wide tires that using camber bolts would cause rubbing, then spacers would help. But, since I found out the hard way that camber bolts was a bad idea. Then the spacers I also bought were pretty much useless paper weights. Otherwise, if you need spacers just for other reasons then my senseless rants, then go for it!

Here is a vid of why variable camber is not such a good idea.



I'll stop here for now. I think I'll continue on how to setup the dampening sometime later. I'll have a track day Aug. 21 and (hopefully) use that time to dial in the rebound and bump dampening.

Update Sept. 19, 2011:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ok, so the track day was flopper, but I learned a couple things that I think you should know about the KW CS when it comes to dampening and rebuilds.

Dampening:
Probably the reason we buy these coilovers to begin with. Probably the best dampening characteristic of any shock I have ever had a privilege to drive/ride in. And you gotta love the 2 way dampening. Welp folks, the rebound and bump adjustment are really sensitive. There isn't 24 or 36 or a gazillion clicks for each shock that allows you to "fine tune".

Every 1/6 turn on the KWCS make a noticeable difference. For the short time that I tried, the KW Recommended setting were amazing and I highly recommend you set them up that way before your install them on your car. Now, what I noticed when adjusting my coilovers is that the top rebound adjustment scales by 'turns', and the bottom bump adjustment scales by 'clicks'. On the KW recommended settings, they say to setup the coilovers with clicks for rebound and turns for bump. In order to figure out which way is right, we need to go back school and dig up our algebra.

KW states there are 6 clicks per 1 turn. There are 2.5 turns. So..... I'm lost.... Anyways, here is the 'translated' click-to-turns chart for the KWCS Recommended Setting.

Front Rebound: 1 turn open
Rear Rebound: 1.5 tuns open

Front Bump: 4-5 clicks open (0.75 turns open)
Rear Bump: 6 clicks (1 full turn open)

This setup is very middle-of-the-road, has great dampening characteristics, feels amazing overall, yet I would NOT run them on the street for prolonged periods of time. The shocks can handle the bumps on road, but why place extra unnecessay stress when not performance driving? That's why we buy high end shocks, for a high end autocross/track day event.

I will run something softer on the street to handle unforeseen road undulations, but will adjust up to this spec when I hit the track.

Rebuilds:
Now onto rebuilds. I had the unfortunate pleasure to have my dampers require a rebuild. According to KW; sending the shocks in for an inspection is FREE (yeesssss!!!); but, if they are not up to spec, they will do a basic overhaul for a starting price of $100 / shock. Not bad.... until they'll add up replaced parts... But, thats the price to pay for exclusivity, the highest performance, and an amazing damper system overall.

That's all I have for this update. I'll update more info as time progresses. And possibly toss up a "how-to adjust dampening" if ya'll want. and a couple other nifty stuff as well.

Thanks for reading !! :D

I'd like to take an opportunity to thank [email protected] for the sweet deal on this setup!!!
 

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Nice review :clap:. Will love continued follow up on dialing them in, I am in the market for these bad boys. Out of curiosity which vendor did you get them through?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice review :clap:. Will love continued follow up on dialing them in, I am in the market for these bad boys. Out of curiosity which vendor did you get them through?
Thanks Salty! I got the KWCS from THMotorsports. They are a vender on here and have ridiculous sales on them. I never would have got these coilovers if it weren't for there awesome deals. Also, free shipping! When I ordered my kit, there were no CS in the whole US, so I had mine ordered from KW in Germany. So, free shipping really worked out perfectly.

Contact [email protected] for a quote and dealio.
 

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Great review. I could not agree with you more. I recently got them and took them out to 2 track events so far and I just love every bit of them.

While I'm on the same page with you, where I'm ready to give all the comfort for better handling I don't agree that the ride is just like stock :p. I so jump in my seat whenever I hit a bigger bump. I'm not complaining at all and not for a second do I regret buying them. The best money spent on my car ever!

And yes, thmotorspots is the way to go even though they race a wrx :p Best deals and customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I just revised and added more stuff. Hope it helps.
 

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Very nice review! Im planning on going with these next year when i start auto crossing But for now my Mopar/KW stage 3's with custom spring rates will have to cut it. Cant wait to see more vids in this thread.
 

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Very nice review! Im planning on going with these next year when i start auto crossing But for now my Mopar/KW stage 3's with custom spring rates will have to cut it. Cant wait to see more vids in this thread.
Thanks. I thought pics and vids show the big picture much easier than reading. Who reads anyways these days.. :eeeek:
 

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I know we have talked about this already. i can't wait to get home and throw a set of these on my car.
 

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Very nice review uturner. I'm glad you crossed over to the dark side.
I think that makes 5 of us with Clubsports now. :eveilgrin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
MannyZ - Thanks man. I still need to get that rear bar working after i get some power adders. With so much grip, I can't burnout anymore. I feel slow :stab:

njshift - Thanks! The force is strong with this one. :D

JollyGreen - Stay safe out there. We'll reserve spot #6 for you when you return.
 

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Thanks a lot for the detailed review. I came close to picking up a set of Clubsports but decided to go with the V3s instead. My car is still a daily driver and wanted a good compromise. Mine just came in today so I can't wait to get them on the car. Looking at your pictures the biggest differences I can see are the plates, spring rates and obviously valving.

Where do you have yours set at, clicks/turns wise?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks a lot for the detailed review. I came close to picking up a set of Clubsports but decided to go with the V3s instead. My car is still a daily driver and wanted a good compromise. Mine just came in today so I can't wait to get them on the car. Looking at your pictures the biggest differences I can see are the plates, spring rates and obviously valving.

Where do you have yours set at, clicks/turns wise?
Your welcome. For daily driving around town, I have my rebound 1/2 turn from softest and I haven't touched the compression settings yet but I'm sure they are half way set.

So far, I enjoy these coilovers on the street. There is no comparison between these units and other lesser quality coilovers (and I'm running twice to three the spring rate than most generic brands).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
First post updated with new info!
 

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Awsome review man! :thumbsup:

Wish I had to scratch to get these. :(
Thanks Advans. Ya these things are pretty pricey :stab: :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've got mine on order, but they were backordered for ~4-5 weeks :(
Mine were too. I believe the CS are made to order and they come directly from KW in Germany. So, it makes it even more awesome knowing your shocks are made for you, by pros, and now your in the mile-high club for coilovers. :jester:
 
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