One of the major changes we did was the suspension. The reason for this was some function, some quality, and most importantly… safety. KW Coilovers have been a bench mark in racing worldwide. As 1 part of a winning team, Team Manthey Racing has won the 24hours of Nurburgring 5 times on KW coilovers. After Vivid Racing got a chance to visit the KW facility in Germany, our view on how coilovers SHOULD be made has changed tremendously. Besides having a meticulous assembly line down to bar coded fluid levels, KW designs all their coilovers on a 7post Formula 1 shock dyno. Once they dial in the product, they road test it. With improved handling and better then stock ride, KW achieves a level of suspension that is amazing for street and track cars.
Having used almost all types of coilovers from Japanese brands such as Tein, JIC, Cusco to German brands of Bilstein and H&R, Vivid Racing has driven on many different suspension systems. What we liked about KW was the independent rebound and compression. Most suspension systems have 1 dampening adjustment that can go different levels. But with seperate adjustments, you can really dial in the performance of the shock. Like a motocross bike, when you have the rebound set fast, the bike will buck. Or if you have the compression to stiff, it is hard to compress. These work the same which allows you to fine to the car to be able to deliver better traction upon acceleration or better absorbtion of bumps in street driving. But like any suspension, alignment is key and so is the balance of the sway bars with over and understeer.
For street driving, KW recommends setting the front to a ride height from center cap to fender edge of 345mm and the rear to 355mm. Because of the Texas Mile, we had the car slightly lower. For track, you generally want more camber in the rear to help in steering. A good track setup would be -1.5 degrees up front and -2 degrees in the rear. Rear toe should be inwards at about .15. However again because of topspeed, we are setting the rear camber to 0 and the rear toe to close to 0. The front will be close to stock.
Installation of KW is like any other coilover. KW does use the stock strut tops or you can use a solid mount from Mode Inc. 1 thing that we did not realize after frantic phone calls is that KW moves the rotation of the shock from the top at the strut top to their own built in bearing at the bottom of the spring. The front coilovers come with new sway bar links or you can run the Agency Power ones that connect to the pinch bolt of the wheel carrier. The rears retain the stock ones. Our 997TT runs the Agency Power front and rear sway bars. Usually we have the rear set on stiff (inner most hole) and the front on the soft setting. On an AWD car more oversteer helps in turn in and handling on a race track. For the Texas Mile we opted to put both on the middle holes for neutral stability. You can see the improvement over stock from the Agency Power Sway Bars Here.
The rear of the coilovers requires the removal of the BOSE system to access the top of the struts which can be a bit of a pain. However once they are bolted in, you are really done there. The KW does not use the PASM system. You must disable the PASM system as read here. Bilstein has the patent to the PASM system so you will only find this on the PSS10 coilovers. Though you may enjoy the push of a button to go from soft to stiff, a well tuned KW suspension will out handle and be more comfortable. Comparing the KW Coilovers to other suspension system, you will notice a thicker shock shaft, better mounting brackets, and a engineered system that you will feel comfortable on in any driving condition.
Vivid Racing is a key partner with KW Suspension and we hope you enjoy the pictures of our installation. We will also have a video put together soon too which will be on our YouTube Channel Here. You can view all our KW Coilover Products Here.
You can view all installation pictures on our Porsche 997TT Gallery here.