Project FR-S – Ultimatizing Our Suspension With KW 3-Way Adjustable Clubsport Coilovers


The KW 3-Way Clubsport damper is an usual design.  The body is basically your twin tube Variant III or Clubsport  stainless steel part.  The piston rod assembly is almost the same and rebound adjustment is through there using Clubsport parts.  Instead of having the foot valve in the base of the inner tube of the body, it is in the base of the remote reservoir and much different than the Clubsport to where you can independently adjust both high speed and low speed compression damping.  Low speed is the most useful and affects body motion and steering response the most.  Low speed is shaft motion in the 0-2 inches per second range.  High speed is around 5 to 7 inches per second and up.  Turning the high speed knob affects how the shocks will react to big bumps and curb hits.  It also has a small effect on the low and mid speed damping.
Howard Watanabe starts off by removing our Variant III KW's that have been on our car since the start of the project.
Comparing the Variant III's on the bottom to the 3-Way Clubsports on top you can see that the Clubsports have a shorter body so the car can be lower.  The Clubsports also have a camber plate where the V3's did not and we had to add our own from Racecomp Engineering.
The 3-Way Clubsports have a pillow ball mount for the rear shocks and the V3's just reused the stock mounts.  The pillow ball mounts are very useful because every bit of wheel movement will now be controlled by the damper, not through flexing rubber,  The rubber will flex as much as 1/2 inch in either direction depending on the damping adjustment.  You can actually feel the difference in ride when you go to a pillow ball mount.  The only drawback is that more noise and vibration gets transmitted through to the cabin.  The rear shocks are particularly sensitive to this as noise gets fed right into the driver's compartment.   This is one reason why the weekend warrior oriented Clubsports have these pillow balls while the more daily driver oriented V3's retain the stock mounts.
You can see that the 3-Way Clubsports are a bit shorter for a lower ride height in the rear as well.
Although the front camber plates that came on the 3-way Clubsports are very high quality with excellent weather seals and high quality non corroding stainless bearings, we opted to keep the Racecomp Engineering camber plates as we were not able to get the caster we wanted to with the KW parts and our engineering editor is very picky when it comes to that.  We wanted 8 degrees of positive caster and we were a whole degree off.

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