KW FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
How much can I lower my car with KW’s?
Each KW application is designed to operate in the usable suspension range of each car. KW’s engineers have done extensive testing with each application and have developed suspension that will lower your car as much as is safely possible. Please check our application guide to see the lowering range for your specific application.
Why do some KW V3’s have a “reservoir” and some do not?
The reason why some V3’s have the “reservoir” and some don’t is for a couple of reasons.
1. Twin tube shock absorbers require a certain amount of “airspace” inside to allow for oil displacement as the piston rod compresses. On applications where the shock is vertical, or almost vertical, the “airspace” is at the top of the shock, and will not come in contact with the piston. On applications where the shock is inclined, the “airspace” has the possibility of coming in contact with the piston, creating “foaming” of the oil inside the shock. This “foaming” will create inconsistent dampening and poor handling of the vehicle. In these circumstances, a “reservoir” can be used to relocate the “airspace” and allow for an inclined installation.
2. On some applications, the combination of certain valve components will create an undesirable harmonic which becomes very annoying during daily driving. With the use of a “reservoir”, the shock can be pressurized and the undesirable noise will be eliminated.
The “reservoir” on a V3 is not the same as a “reservoir” on one of KW’s 3-way race shocks. There is no adjustment, or performance advantage of the “reservoir” on a V3, whereas on the 3-way Race shock, there is both a performance advantage as well as shock adjustments located on the reservoir.
How do I adjust my KW suspension?
Adjusting the KW Variant 3, Bump/compression:
The compression forces can be adjusted on our patented 2-way bottom valve. Access to the bump valve in most instances is found on the bottom of each shock case. Hardness adjustment on the rebound valve is made on the end of the piston rod with the supplied setting wheel or with a 2mm Allen key.
Bump forces, especially on low damper speeds, have a great influence on handling and driving behavior of your car. The setting of the bump forces will be made from the bottom of the shock case. Behind the adjusting groove you gain access to a knob with 4 holes. With the supplied small pin, the adjusting knob can be turned a quarter per turn in either direction. Smaller increments are possible. Before performing any adjustments, the valve must be closed by turning the adjuster in the full clockwise direction. In this position, the shock will be at full hard, or “maximum power”. From here, the adjustment range is 8 x turns (2 full revolutions). To avoid the mismatch of the dampers when actively changing settings, you should close the valve from time to time to re-calibrate the settings from side to side.
Bump adjusting principles:
Generally, hard low speed bump settings will stabilize the corresponding axle (less oversteer on the rear, for example) or offer the front a more precise steering response. Too much low speed bump power will decrease grip! Depending on the valve configuration found inside the kit, maximum bump forces will not influence the suspensions response when encountering hard bumps, such as curbs on the racetrack.
The rebound adjustment is made in most cases on the end of the piston rod, with the supplied adjustment wheel. In some mounting situations it must be done with a 2 mm Allen key from the top (Audi A4 front) or in a groove on the upper mount. Before performing any adjustments, the valve must be closed by turning the adjuster in the full clockwise direction. In this position, the shock will be at full hard. From here, you can set the valve within our average 3 to 5 revolution adjustment range.
Rebound adjusting principles:
Generally, low rebound settings provide a comfortable ride at low speeds, but decreases stability at higher speeds, especially on the front axles. Too much rebound will cost vehicle grip. Depending on the drive train configuration of the car, rebound setting for the rear axle will vary.
Rear and four wheel drive cars:
In most cases, the rear shocks will be set with low rebound power. Except, when equipped with very hard springs, higher rebound forces will be required.
Front wheel drive cars:
Street driven applications will seldom require the shocks to be set with high Rebound forces. In the event somebody wishes his car to over steer, these high rebound forces on the rear will be explored.
Attention! Do not turn the adjusting spindle by force when you reach the end of the adjustment range, this may damage the fine valve inside the system!
How much warranty do I have on my KW’s?
All KW street suspension comes with a limited lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defect. For any warranty inquiries, please call 559.875.0222.
What makes the 2-way race shock different from the V3?
The 2-way race shocks are developed exclusively for track use and are built to handle the extra stresses that they are exposed to. The 2-way race shocks are built from galvanized steel for added strength, where as the V3’s are built from INOX Stainless Steel, to deal with being exposed to harsh weather, and to fight corrosion. The 2-way race shocks are specifically valved for use on the race track, and use a linear spring in all applications. The V3 is valved specifically for maximum street performance. The V3 also uses a progressive spring in some cases.
How do I get a new spanner wrench for replacement parts for my KW’s?
If you need wrenches or parts for your KW coilovers, your KW dealer will be able to order any parts you may require.
Can I run a different spring rate?
KW’s engineers have worked very hard to match spring rates to the vehicle specific dampening rates inside each KW strut and shock absorber. This provides a very sporty and improved feel while still retaining a very comfortable ride. While on some applications, it is possible to change the spring rate, changing spring rates will ultimately compromise the perfect balance of performance and comfort that has been designed into the KW line of suspension products.
Why doesn’t KW offer a threaded adjustable shock body?
There is no need for an adjustable body, as KW’s are engineered for each specific application, and are not just a “universal” shock body like other manufacturers offer. Each KW application is designed to operate in the usable suspension range of each car. KW’s engineers have done extensive testing with each application and have developed suspension that will lower your car as much as is safely possible.
My helper spring is fully compressed, is this normal?
Yes, that is how it is designed. When your suspension is fully extended, the main spring is free to move around and can come dislodged from its perches without a helper spring. The helper spring is only there to retain pressure on the main spring when the shock is fully extended so that the main spring stays in place.
Why doesn’t KW provide a rating on its progressive springs?
Progressive springs do not have a “set spring rate”. As a progressive spring compresses, the spring rate increases, unlike a conventional linear spring. This makes it impossible to put a specific rate on the spring because at different points in its travel, the spring rate will be different.
I would like to purchase a race kit for my car, but I don’t see it listed in your application guide.
KW specializes in building custom suspension in very low production numbers. KW can custom build suspension for any application from a 1912 Mercedes-Benz, to a current Formula 1 car and everything in between. Please contact us to discuss having your custom race suspension built.