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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 06-06-2016, 05:30 PM   #1
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Coilover help: HKS Hipermax IV GT VS Bilstein PSS9 VS BC Racing

So the coilovers on my 370z are completely done, KW v1 ran them for a bit over 3 years ~70k km but only in the summer. Looking to switch to something with dampening adjustments and stiffer. The feel of the KW V1s are great for daily but slightly too soft for my liking. I'm looking for a set of coilovers that are reliable and long lasting if possible, although I'm kind of content with the lifespan of the KW (assuming that 70k km is a pretty decent number? 2 track days and a bunch of cruising on shitty roads like Stanley Park and Spanish Banks).

Been thinking for a long time and still can't really decide, so turning to you guys for opinions. I'm looking to get a set of coils for mainly daily, spirited driving, and a few track days in a year (only 2 or 3).

I like the HKS Hipermax IV GT because the ride feels pretty solid when I sat in my coworker's STI. Build quality looks good, and I like the brand lmao.

I heard that the PSS9 are amongst the most reliable coilovers out there(?) but the only thing I dislike about it is that it doesn't come with top hats. Also I've heard the dampening adjustment doesn't really do much, and that even at full stiff it's pretty soft although I have not sat in a car with these coils yet.

BC Racing is definitely best bang for buck from what I've heard, and they seem to last quite a while. Bugs me that they're made in TW, and the overall quality of BC Racing just doesn't seem to be that good. No idea how they handle on track, daily driving doesn't seem to be very comfy.

This is just from what I've heard and read up on, hoping for more opinions.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Not an expert by any means but am using HKS Hipermax III on my Supra for a few years. Lke you said, build quality is very good. They're already very solid/stiff at the mid setting. Very sporty, but I can't get used to it on a street/old car. Have it set at a few clicks after full soft. It seems perfect for me right now.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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Not sure about the V1s but my friend had a set of V3s and he was able to send them away to KW to be rebuilt.

I don't have a 370z so I don't know how all the coils may differ compared to my car, an S2000, The PSS9s, for my car, are exactly like you described; supposedly quite soft and though it has a range of adjustments it's either on or off. Other owners suggest going with a set of PSSs (which are significantly cheaper) and getting them custom valved.

If I bought coils today, I would seriously consider the Hipermax IVs, for the S2000, they come in both the GT and SP versions (with the latter being more track oriented). One magazine tested the Hipermax IIIs on an S2 before and they tested quite well compared to a set of KWs. They were said to be quite stiff for daily driving though. I think the IV GTs remedy this problem. I would have bought a set of these though except they weren't rebuildable stateside and needed to be shipped to Japan. Now though, they can be shipped to HKS in Detroit to be rebuilt.

I have a few friends with BC Racing, they seem to like them but I've yet to see any conclusive evidence that they actually improve the handling on the S2. Once again, not sure about them on other cars.

An alternative that some S2 owners seem to like is the Fortune Auto coils. They are assembled in the US and can be custom valved. They also seem to constantly test and upgrade their lineup. My friend took me for a ride in his car after he bought a brand new set with the optional Swift spring upgrade; on the street, even over rough pavement, they felt quite comfortable.

G/L on your search and let us know what you decide.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:20 PM   #4
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Looked into anything by TEIN?
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:51 PM   #5
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I have the HKS Hipermax 3 Sport on a GR STi and I find them to be quite stiff for daily driving. I even had it set on max soft and was still quite stiff. I do like how they feel in terms of handling when driving spiritedly.
I would say they are of pretty good quality only because i bought them used and had them for a couple years - use them all year round. They still are holding up very well.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:46 PM   #6
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Bilstein and HKS are both very good brand.

But BC Racing? No way...
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:11 AM   #7
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:55 PM   #8
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JRZ is way too baller for me hahaha

Thanks for all the opinions guys, I think I'm pretty set on HKS now. My coworker swears by his HKS coils, and I'm hearing good things. I want something with good quality and that's slightly stiffer than KW at least. Bilstein although it has really good reviews might be too soft for me. I just remembered actually I sat in my friend's e90 with PSS9 on full stiff, and it was pretty damn soft hahah. I wouldn't mind having something that's quite stiff for daily, considering my Z is a pretty comfortable car otherwise with no rattles or anything. Feels weird to drive it with a bride seat and momo wheel with soft suspension haha

Not too fond of Tein due to their build quality, and although I used to like the brand a lot I haven't been hearing many good things about them
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Old 06-07-2016, 02:14 PM   #9
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Why not get the KWs rebuilt to the specs you want? That'd be cheaper and give you a better result than buying something off the shelf.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:56 PM   #10
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I want to upgrade at the same time, and have the ability to adjust the dampening when I want to even if it's only like once every year or two for whatever reason lol. Another thing is that I don't want to wait to get my coilovers rebuilt and sent back :/ nothing to roll on during the down time, and I want to drive it over the summer haha. Was originally planning on trying to run my coils until the end of the year and deal with it in the winter, but it's way too broken now
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #11
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I personally run BC Racing with upgraded 16/14 swift springs and re-valved shocks. The entire set up was ordered brand new from BC Racing. It takes a little over a month or so for them to build it to your spec and adjust the shock to withstand the upgraded spring rates. The stiffer springs work perfectly with the shocks while on the track and haven't really broken any of my passengers backs while on the street. I think when you order custom specs you will actually get a proper coilover set up. It is their off the shelf preset coilovers that tend to ride like shit in my opinion.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:18 PM   #12
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is ohlins available for 370z? if there is. you should think about it.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:12 PM   #13
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Ran PSS9 on Porsche and PSS on Fiesta. Suits my driving style on track though and better damped/more comfortable than stock IMO. I think some people don't like them because they might confuse proper damping for too soft, harsh damping viewed as "sporty"

BC is probably the best bang for the buck and if custom valving/swift springs are available that makes it even better.

How about ST XTA? I was considering those before getting Bilsteins on my Fiesta
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:46 PM   #14
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Ohlins is also too expensive for me hahah I want to keep it around the 2k CAD mark if possible.

I'm not too knowledgable with coilovers, but assuming soft = compresses more? Although I have a good 2 finger gap on my car now, my bumper and sideskirts are still so low I scrape everywhere (keeping in mind that my blown KW V1 rides like a cloud). I want something that's stiffer so I don't have to worry about my ride height so much if I want to lower it a bit more. In my head I do want a stiffer set up because it 'feels' like it handles better, but I don't really have much to compare it with.

Mainly worried that BC Racing won't last as long as I'd like it to, even though it's hands down the best bang for buck. I don't want to have to worry about them breaking on me in 2-3 years. I'm okay with spending more for a set of coils that will last me longer, as I do plan to keep the car

I believe ST is a sister company of KW, just a cheaper version? After reading so much on how KW so often leaks on people, I don't think I want to go back to the brand haha. There is a lifetime warranty on KW (not sure about ST), but I don't want to bother with getting it constantly sent back every couple of years to get rebuilt, have to reinstall everything and go for another alignment, etc
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:11 PM   #15
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:16 AM   #16
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It's kind of funny seeing the difference from you guys comments. Seems like HKS > KW in terms of brand name in North America?

In Hong Kong. KW is the hot shit lately and it's fuc king expensive. I looked in KW coilovers for the NSX and the HLS (kinda like airlift/bags system but using hydraulics with coilovers and not air). And was quoted something ridiculous like 8,000USD rofl.

I believe I got my HiperMax III new a few years ago for like than 1600USD installed. Here HKS is 'cheap'. But I too love the brand. The quality in their parts, their long proven history, japan made, blahblah. Only thing shitty is their filters.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:55 AM   #17
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^ I hate HKS, but that's a story for a different day.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:51 AM   #18
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^ I hate HKS, but that's a story for a different day.
Or it's a story for today.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:28 PM   #19
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Why not go the tried and proven way.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:32 PM   #20
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It's kind of funny seeing the difference from you guys comments. Seems like HKS > KW in terms of brand name in North America?

In Hong Kong. KW is the hot shit lately and it's fuc king expensive. I looked in KW coilovers for the NSX and the HLS (kinda like airlift/bags system but using hydraulics with coilovers and not air). And was quoted something ridiculous like 8,000USD rofl.

I believe I got my HiperMax III new a few years ago for like than 1600USD installed. Here HKS is 'cheap'. But I too love the brand. The quality in their parts, their long proven history, japan made, blahblah. Only thing shitty is their filters.
its because he is running the v1, if it was the v3 or club sport than it'd be a totally different story
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