KW V2 Coilover Review (01-05 Civic) - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 01-31-2014   #1
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KW V2 Coilover Review (01-05 Civic)

Back Story

Before I purchased these I was looking for a review about KW coilovers and I was unable to find one that was written about our Gen civic. Given the price of them I was not surprised! That being said I purchased mine used, $2000 is a lot of money to spend on your suspension, especially for a 7th gen civic that I don't track. While searching the marketplace I came across a set of KW's for sale. The rear shocks had just been replaced with brand new ones, due to the bushings wearing out so the only potential problem would have been with the front's. Wait a minute, how are you going to write a review on a used product? Well I purchased them, installed them and quickly found out that one of the front struts was bad. It was not leaking but was not compressing and decompressing smoothly. I already called KW and got an estimate on rebuilding them before I purchased them just in case I needed to send them in. So I sent both the fronts in to have them rebuilt. In all I spent around $1000 after initial purchase, shipping and rebuild. I now have a "new" set of KW Variant 2 coilovers. Okay, well the springs and metal are old but they have held up very well for being used. Pics are below.

Quality of Coilovers

Granted I do not have anything to compare them to as they are my first set of coilovers I have owned so I compared them to OE. Weld quality, material quality, and fitment are all equal to or better than OE (not Chrysler OE, but Honda OE). I do have some quick pics I took before I installed them but they are not the best quality. Next time I have the car up, I'll try to take some up lose shots.



Beefy!!




One of the nicer things about these coilovers is that come with an extra piece that allows the strut bearing to operate like it should. This prevents the spring from binding when you turn. It also allows you to use the OE strut mounts.

Adapter plate on the left. OE (metal bearing) strut mount on the right.



The 2 pieces matted



With the spring



Initial Impressions

I will be comparing these to my previous suspension setup which was Eibach Sportline's with Tokico D-Spec struts in the rear and OE in the front. I know I was working on getting the fronts when I decided to just save up for coilovers.

The ride quality is better then my Sportline's even though I am lower and the springs rates are higher. I think it rides great for being as low as it is and for having such high rates. My wife even enjoyed the ride more and said it was better. The spring rates are at the limit of what I would want to daily drive. These are the standard rates:

Front Rate = 342
Rear Rate = 514

KW does offer softer and stiffer rates and they can re valve the shocks to match. In the future I might decide to go a softer route like for transporting children but at the moment they are perfect. It is still comfortable to daily drive the car 60+ miles and still hammer down on the rough back roads. The suspension sticks to the pavement no matter what the road surface is like! I have complete confidence when coming into a corner. Body roll is none existent and your handling is greatly improved. Now I had reached the limit of my tires. Tires are thee most important part of a well handling car so it was not long before I started to see the weaknesses in my all season tire choice. As soon as I needed new tires I bought a set of BFGoodrich G-Force Sport Comp 2 summer tires and it made the suspension come alive even more. Now my suspension was able to really show what it could do because the tires could handle it. I was able to pull 1.01 G's around a corner, using one of these as my measuring tool:



I think that is excellent for a civic!!

Fitment & Adjustability

Fitment is direct fit, with no modifications required. It was like I bought them from the dealer using my VIN #. Instructions are general but effective. The height adjustment rings are very easy to adjust and are a polyamide material that wont seize to the shock body and suppresses noise.

Instal Instructions from KW (In German and English):
http://www.kw-store.com/extras/docs/...ah68650007.pdf

I do have the Variant 2's which come with the added feature of being able to adjust your rebound setting. This is a nice feature and I did use it to fine tune my ride, but I have not adjusted it since then. For the most part the Variant 1's will be sufficient.

Do I need a camber kit

The coilovers actually come with an adjustable camber bolt in the front so that you can fine tune your suspension. A rear kit is required to keep it in factory specs though.

You can see the camber adjusting bolt.



Can I get Hella low bro

No. If you want to do that then these are not for you. KW says to not go lower then 2.5". There are still threads left so that you can but KW does not recommend it. I figure someone who gets a paid a lot more money then I do probably determined that, so I will just follow it. This is the range that KW engineers have determined is the best to maintain safety and OE integrity. Honestly 2.5" is about the limit of what I personally would daily drive. I don't have a lip kit and the car does not scrap on speed bumps and i only have issues on some inclines.

Front and Rear Lowering = 1.4" - 2.5"

Conclusion

Would I recommend these to someone? Absolutely!
Are they expensive new? Hell yeah.
Would I hesitate to buy another used set? Not at all
would I buy them new? Depends

My original intension was to save up and buy a set of Progress Coilovers. After doing research I felt that they were the best for quality, and price. I would still have to say that they are the best for that. If I was going to hardcore race my K20 swapped civic around a high mph road course the KW's would be my first choice without a doubt, but for everyday driving they are not needed. I do have a lot of confidence in them because of their track abilities so I feel very safe when driving on the highway at 80mph or driving on a back country road. One of the reasons KW's cost so much is because of their TUV certification which proves their quality from an outside source and allows them to be an OEM supplier. They also have a 7 post dyno that is used for developing the proper valving for each application. The "inox-line" parts allow for the ultimate protection against corrosion, even after 480 hours of salt spray testing. Basically when you buy a set the car will rust and fall apart around the coilovers, they are a lifetime investment.

If you can find a used set of KW's for a good price I would buy them. If you demand the top of line in quality and have $2000 to spend then buy them new. If you can't find any used or don't want to spend that much I would recommend Progress (new or used).

More info here:

http://www.kw-suspension.com/us/kw_t...y_overview.php

They are set all the way down to the lowest recommend height in this pic. There is a pinky gap in the front and none in the rear. 16" wheels 205/50/16 Tire:



Spring Removal DIY:

Do It Yourself Spring Install - Detailed Info & Pics
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Old 02-01-2014   #2
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Re: KW V2 Coilover Review (01-05 Civic)

great review!
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Old 02-03-2014   #3
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Re: KW V2 Coilover Review (01-05 Civic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdaidoji View Post
great review!
Thanks!

I will update with mileage and all when I get a chance. I have had them for a little while now, just got around to writing the review.
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Old 02-04-2014   #4
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Re: KW V2 Coilover Review (01-05 Civic)

So I was cleaning the undercarriage of my car yesterday when I noticed how straight my rear LCA's are. That made me think that maybe that is why KW suggest not going any lower then their recommended fender to ground height. Keeping the LCA's as horizontal as possible is the best for handling. I can't see the fronts but might be able to tell when I get it up on ramps.





I also got a pic of the rear shock so you can see how much thread is left on the body, so it will go lower then where I have it set. Ill get a pic of the front when I have the wheels up (when it warms up outside). I also just noticed that it looks like something is going on with the passenger side rear spring in the pic, ill have to check that out.



**Also I installed the V2's when I had 168,500 miles on the car. I currently have 180K and they are still like day one. I will try to remember to update the mileage and if anything happens to them.
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