At last! It’s the end to unwanted body roll, understeer and driving an off-roading truck through the esses of Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. We have finally taken the steps to upgrade the suspension of the Devine Force Racing, VA chassis STi with these perfectly German-engineered KW 2-way Clubsport coilovers with custom spring rates. Follow along as I walk through the easy installation and set up process so you can also be one step closer to having a properly prepped car to tackle race tracks with!
Here they are! Beautiful brand new KW 2-Way Clubsports with the custom springs. They come with a little tool set, that contains tools that allow us to properly adjust the height and the damping of the coils. Note that the rebound damping adjustment is at the top of the assembly with 16 clicks of adjustment, while the compression dampening adjustment is found on the bottom with 12 clicks of adjustment. The adjustments can be moved counter and clockwise, so don’t lose count and choose the direction wisely.
KW Clubsports are also designed for a long life on the street with corrosion-resistant sealed stainless steel bearings in the camber plate and a very rust-resistant stainless steel body. To further make things rust and seizure resistant, the spring perches are made of stainless steel, clad in a tough, lubricious engineering plastic. There is no way these are going to rust up and stick, even if the car is daily driven on salted winter roads.
Having a two-way adjustable shock with independently adjustable compression and rebound adjustments is a huge advantage over your typical one-way adjustable shock where the adjustment typically affects mostly the rebound with some influence over the compression, particularly on a track driven car. The ability to finely adjust the circuits independently helps you get the most out of your particular car/suspension/tire/aero and track package some of these variables are always changing on a track car. Finding the shock adjustment that works the best for your immediate situation is a huge advantage. If your track car is also driven on the street, having a double adjustable shock can also let you finely dial in settings for best ride comfort and then dial in something with more control for the track.
Getting started with the install of the KW 2-way Clubsports, we already have the stock struts pulled out and are ready to start setting up the custom spring rates on the front and rear coilovers. The spring rates that we believe will best help eliminate body roll and reduce understeer the best with the current set up on the VA chassis STi, are 10kg in the front and keep the 12kg in the rear.
There are four Allen screws holding the camber plate together will need to come out to gain access to the shock shaft nut so you be able to take off the camber plate and change out the standard 8kg springs for the new 10 pounders. Once the lock nut is removed, proceed to take off the spring perch, tender spring, and old spring. Now the new spring can be placed first followed by the tender spring and spring perch. The nut now can be tightened, top hat put back on and the screws on the camber plate tightened back into place. Be careful not to go to town on the nut with an impact wrench because it can unscrew the piston from the shock’s shaft. This actually goes for any shock, not just KW.
Nice setup, I’ve always been a fan of that KW stuff.
The rear compression knob looks unreachable though.
Also, In my opinion it’s better to do the initial camber setup with the plates centered, so that you can still increase the camber yourself afterwards if needed.
The compression adjuster is on top of the shock shaft accessible through the trunk. It doesn’t get any easier than that! When the car has trouble getting enough negative camber using all the adjustments it has, then the plates are not centered. The author talked about not having enough negative camber in the story. Since I worked on the car, it used all of its adjustment in that direction and some modifications will have to be made in the future to get more because the car still doesn’t have enough front negative camber even when adjusted all the way in that direction.
I had V3s on my GD back in the days, and I’m pretty sure that on 2 way KW shocks the compression adjuster is on the lower side of the strut, as stated on page 3 of this story (but I may be mistaken).
Looking at the photos, it looks like the knob is stuck between the shock body and the lower arm and barely accessible, but pictures can be misleading.
Regarding the camber, if you were trying to get the maximum possible camber right from the start, then yes it makes sense, mea culpa. I thought you had set a target value then noticed it was not enough when testing the car on track.
I hope my english is not too broken. Posting from France 🙂
That WRX looks like a monster. Great setup!
Hey Mike, What would be the optimal alignment settings (for the track with the VA chassis) front and rear if given full adjustablility?
that is a too general question to really answer. It has to be determined through testing.