|The KW Suspension Variant III coilovers are some of the best street dampers available. They feature double independent adjustment of compression and rebound damping, Imox coated Stainless steel shortened bodies, cavitation eliminating remote accumulators, and helper springs.|
In typical MotoIQ fashion–building balanced cars–we attacked the suspension before the engine. The first and most critical parts of any suspension build are the dampers and springs. We chose KW Suspensions Variant III coilovers because we feel that they are one of the best street suspensions out there for the serious driver.
Variant III’s are a unique advanced gas charged double adjustable twin tube damper. Although some people may dismiss twin tubes as low end dampers compared to monotubes, the KW’s are a high precision twin tube with the characteristics of a monotube. We have always felt that independent adjustability of compression and rebound damping is important for any car that is going to be tuned for optimal handling.
|Technosquare’s Howard Watanabe uses a spring compressor to help disassemble the stock struts and reassemble the KW’s.|
The V3 has the rod and piston riding in the inner tube with the rebound damping adjuster built into the low speed bleed circuit. A spring loaded needle valve controls the size of the low speed bleed orifice. The needle valve is attached to a long rod extending to the top of the piston shaft where it can be reached and adjusted with an allen wrench. The rebound adjustment primarily affects the low speed damping–shock piston velocities in the 0-2″ per second range. Low speed damping adjustment affects body motions such as roll and pitch. This is in the area which the driver feels the most when driving fast. The piston also has a conventional deflected disc valve system for controlling the rest of the velocity range.
The foot valve lives on the bottom of the inner tube and regulates the flow of fluid between the inner and outer tubes. Another spring loaded needle valve controls the size of the low speed compression damping orifice located in the foot valve. The needle valve is adjusted via an allen screw on the bottom of the shock body. Like the rebound, the compression adjuster also mostly influences low speed compression damping, which like rebound is the part of the damping curve that influences body motion.
|Howard Watanabe of Technosquare helped us do the installation quickly and carefully.|
In grassroots motorsports where you don’t have a large pit crew and in dual purpose track street cars, being able to quickly and easily adjust the damping is important. Some double adjustable shocks require disassembly of the shock assembly so a button can be pushed while the shaft is rotated and other time consuming methods. The KW’s easy to reach external adjustments make dialing in the chassis a lot easier.
The V3’s have a large adjusting range which is very handy for the serious grassroots suspension tuner. A big range of adjustment means that a big range of spring rates can be used without having to revalve the shocks. The KW’s adjusters also have consistent discreet adjusting increments which are consistent throughout the range. Most adjustable shocks, especially the lower cost ones, do not have consistency in the adjustments. The damping force adjusting increments varies greatly from click to click and the adjustment range is small.
|Variant III’s allow the use of the stock rubber upper spring perch, a good thing for a daily driven street car.|