Whiteline MAX-G Inverted Monotube Coilovers
After almost 10 years Whiteline has re-entered the highly competitive coilover suspension market with its MAX-G inverted monotube coilovers! Andrew Nolan, General Manager of Whiteline, is very excited to have the brand step back into this space in the market. The community, both on social media and at the track, were a huge influence on this decision. “Time after time we’ve been asked why we don’t manufacture coilovers anymore – especially considering our Group 4 coilovers from the late 90’s and early 2000’s were so highly regarded and sought after.”
With over a year of product planning and product testing, Whiteline proudly announced earlier this year it would be releasing a limited range of their high end MAX-G coilovers. Whiteline’s initial offerings will cater to vehicles one would expect to see support for from Whiteline, such as the WRX, STI, EVO, BRZ, and 86. To further their involvement in the American domestic market they will also be offering MAX-G coilovers for the new Mustang and Focus RS.
What sets Whiteline MAX-G apart from other coilovers? Experience and proven performance! Being a brand focused on results, Whiteline has partnered with a highly regarded European manufacturer of inverted damper technology – AST Suspension. AST’s decades of motorsport experience along with the performance, strength and durability of their inverted shock technology are the reasons why Whiteline is confident the MAX-G collaboration will exceed their high expectations as well as the expectations of Whiteline customers. Andrew Nolan went onto to say, “The MAX-G product is not the cheapest on the block and it doesn’t aim to be. This technology is a step up from the norm and we know there is a growing market for coilovers that can provide competitive on-track performance and daily driving comfort. The MAX-G product is a leader in this area. ” So what’s so special about the MAX-G coilovertechnology? Let’s break it down.
The old adage “you get what you pay for” could not ring any truer when it comes to coilovers. In today’s performance aftermarket it has become difficult to differentiate well engineered suspension systems from shiny colourful housings with mediocre internals. These four pieces of precision equipment are continuously working to dampen road imperfections and control the numerous forces placed on the chassis through driver inputs.
Coilovers come in all shapes and sizes and the same goes for the quality, finish and tight internal tolerances that make up a set of coilovers. Friction and heat are constantly conspiring against your vehicle’s suspension performance. These precision parts have a critical job to achieve, so why take shortcuts with them? Suspensions are pivotal to a vehicle's’ handling, and precision components with exact internal tolerances can be the determining factor between winning and losing.
Low friction guides, precision machined housing bores, specialized coatings, high tolerance shim stack thicknesses, carefully machined damper pistons and oil orifices all play a significant part in producing a coilover that is incredibly robust. The Whiteline MAX-G coilovers are not as adversely affected by friction generated heat and provide incredible parity between the dampers. These are the key reasons why Whiteline pays significant attention to the design and finish of their components.
Why inverted monotube?
The primary reason to use an inverted monotube design on a McPherson strut suspension is an increase in strength. Well, actually a huge increase in strength! It’s simple mathematics, an inverted shaft strut has greater bending stiffness due to a much larger shaft diameter.
A typical monotube McPherson strut, has around a 22mm diameter shaft supported by the top gland nut guide and the piston band. During full extension or droop of the suspension there’s not much in the way of supporting the shaft as there is very little overlap between the bearing surfaces of the piston and gland nut so they're prone to bending from lateral forces.
An inverted monotube strut uses the large diameter body of the damper as the external shaft of the strut while the actual shaft of the now inverted damper is safely inside the housing of the strut. Thus inverted monotube strut has 44.5mm of shaft diameter extended out of the housing, while the thinner damper shaft is now relieved of most of the stress of dealing with side loading.
The larger 44.5mm diameter shaft is not only significantly larger than the usual 22mm shafts, but it also has greater bearing area and overlap resulting in more support of the strut system internally. This is additional support to the piston band and the gland nut guide which are already working on the shaft in the now inverted damper. The other advantage of the inverted McPherson strut is a reduction of unsprung weight. Strut assemblies are pretty heavy with most of the weight being in the lower unsprung part of the strut. With the inverted design, much of this weight is moved to the chassis side of the suspension since the heavy damper body is bolted to the car's chassis instead of the moving suspension. Reducing the unsprung weight improves ride comfort and reduces tire shock potentially improving grip.
Oil displacement caused by the piston shaft having to travel through the oil during the compression displacement phase can also be factored as an advantage of the inverted monotube design. As the Inverted monotube piston shaft is significantly smaller in diameter the relative oil displacement required is further reduced in comparison to a conventional monotube producing an improvement in dampening stability.
Why is it a more expensive option to other coilovers?
Well, that comes down to the number of components and the build quality required to manufacture these additional features into the coilovers. Quality manufacturing processes and exacting tolerances take additional time to achieve in the manufacturing, assembly and quality control process so this will account for the differential in price between a cheaper underperforming coiolver and a quality set of tried & tested coilovers.
We could say that the same rule applies with high performance engine work, the cost to precision machine and correctly tolerance the engine components in a high performance application is all relative to the outcome and reliability you’re expecting, so coilovers are no exception to this rule of thumb.
For more on the Whiteline MAX-G coilover range and Whiteline's wide range of performance suspension products visit them at www.whitelineperformance.com or contact them directly at 909 476 2860.