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Top Track Oriented Coilovers Reviewed 2017

Top Track Oriented Coilovers Reviewed 2017

Track season is upon us! Whether you’re a new driver or just looking to upgrade your setup for the season, coilovers are some of the best and immediately impactful changes you can make to your vehicle. Upgrading from your stock suspension to a coilover system will be a huge improvement over stock not only in terms of handling, but these will help properly translate the power you’re putting down to the tires. With most performance oriented coilovers, monotube shock designs are what most come with thanks to the performance advantages a single piston dampener has over twin tube and other designs which you can find out more about here. This list compiles in my opinion, some of the most popular coilover kits offered right now with reasons why I chose them along with affiliate links to amazon which is way easier than searching the web and tracking down a bunch of different parts suppliers IMO. When it comes to suspension, coilovers are just part of the equation and will not be a fix all but will help in eliminating a lot of suspension issues.

Bilstein B16 PSS-9

The tried and true Billstein PSS9 coilover system has been around for over a decade. The latest iteration comes built with improved materials and adjustability while retaining that European craftsmanship everybody loves. Featuring a 10-way adjustable rebound and dampening system the PSS9 is the best of both worlds for both street and track use. The beauty of this dampening system is the ease of use. Instead of giving you 30+ incremental settings to choose from Billstein did the math for you and compiled the most comprehensive settings into the 10 adjustments you can make on the shock, all of which are easily accessible and can be turned by hand, no tools needed. The PSS9 gives you up to a 2″ drop depending on the make and model of your vehicle which might not be enough for some going more for looks but it’s more than enough from a performance standpoint. With aggressive spring rates and valving these will be a noticeably stiffer ride over stock but handles high speed bumps and inputs with grace.

Price: $1500-$2500

Key Features:

  • 9-10-way adjustability
  • Gas filled monotube chamber.
  • Excellent OEM type fit.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy adjustable dampening
  • Dat German engineering
  • Corrosion resistant coating on all hardware

Cons

  • The maximum 2″ drop might not be enough for some
  • They seem to be built to tailor more towards performance so even the softer settings will offer a noticeably stiffer ride.
  • Some inner wheel clearance issues on some fairly common project cars that would cause rubbing when running a track oriented wider tire. DO your research on your specific car if you’re looking at a set of these.

Would I buy these?

While these do run a bit on the pricey side to justify these as just an upgrade for your DD the versatility and ease of use you get out of these makes up for the price. To get a top tier coilover for under 2k is tough, getting one with a usable range of adjustments is even harder. I say if you’ve got the money, you can’t go wrong with a set of PSS9’s.

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Skunk2 Pro-C Coilovers

                  Just like Billstein, Skunk2 has been a long standing figure in the modded car world, especially among the Honda bois. These coils also feature a monotube design and depending on your car make they come with 10+ dampening adjustments. The shortened shock bodies in this series offer a lower drop at the cost of a bit of comfort to make it all work, so this will be a noticeably stiffer ride over stock no matter what setting you’re on. For some serious track enthusiasts they may just come up short on the type of stiffness some people look for thanks to the relatively tame spring rates that ship with this set. You can also adjust height without affecting spring preload, great for adjusting center of gravity without messing with other settings. Depending on your model car the fitment can be a bit off sometimes with bolts or bushings arriving outside of stock constraints which could result in you having to modify your components to fit before even going forward with the install. Most of those issues have been worked out recently but still something to be wary of.

Price: $1,000-1,500

Key features

  • Shortened shock bodies allow for lower drop
  • Oil filled monotube chamber
  • Included front camber adjustments

Pros

  • Awesome phone support with technical specialists to help you dial in your setup
  • Depending on your make and model these may come with camber adjustment plates which adds another dimension of adjustability right out of the box which is awesome.
  • Very good build quality for the price.

Cons

  • Full stiffness ends up in some weird middle ground of too stiff for daily driving but leaving something to be desired at the track.
  • Some users reported extreme alignment issues after install making the car undriveable until everything was aligned.
  • The chosen spring rates by Skunk2 seem to be a little on the soft side. Making quick successive turns feel a bit sluggish, not ideal for all track scenarios.

Would I buy these?

If I had a Honda. The price being between 1-1.5k for most sets is a good price point and for what they offer it’s expected. But the tuning you have to do to offset the shortened stock bodies when going low to keep from rubbing can be annoying given the softer spring rates on these. This type of combo would feel great for long sweeping curved roads but for short and fast inputs the softer springs can really leave you wanting more out of the car when pushing it. Luckily the springs can be upgraded to a stiffer rate (10kg+) which I would do if I wanted to really go for a track setup.

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Koni Coilover Kit

                No cool letter or numbering schemes here. Koni presents to you the COILOVER, deal with it. These coils come with the ability to not only adjust both rebound and compression instead of just compression as with most coils. This gives you an edge during more competitive driving where these settings really matter. The drop is a more track oriented drop at max, eliminating that 4×4 wheel gap but giving you enough room to fit a finger and a half which may be too high for some. The lower spring perches are adjustable on most applications which might allow you to squeeze a bit more of a drop out of them but these are more performance oriented so if you’re going for “hella low” just move on now. The progressive spring rate stiffens up quickly to bring the car out of pedestrian comfort which is what Koni intended. No fancy adjuster knobs with clicks, you just “turn” the adjuster knobs with a tool, not the worst but worth mentioning. These do really well at stiffening up your handling while retaining a near neutral ride to your car. This allows you to manipulate your corner balance setup to coax certain tendencies out of the car.

Price: $1,000-1,500

Key Features

  • Progressive spring rates
  • Threaded lower spring perch
  • Easy corner balancing adjustability.

Pros

  • Great price for the level of adjustability you get
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY WHAT!
  • Rust free coating keeps adjustments easy

Cons

  • Maximum drop leaves some noticeable gap
  • Bump rubbers recommended
  • Some people reported unusual wear on the urethane spring covers resulting in knock when running at the lowest ride height. Probably why bump rubbers are recommended.

Would I buy these?

Yes, for multiple reasons. The lifetime warranty alone automatically puts these on a special list but and while these don’t offer anything dramatically different on the performance side, the technical knowledge available if you just give them a call is incredible. For what they offer they are in a sweet spot on price. Did I mention the lifetime warranty?

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HKS Hipermax Max IV SP

            Sadly this HKS product is far from a sweet sounding blowoff valve… Instead this is a damn good set of coilovers. HKS has stressed that out of the box these coilovers are dialed in for your specific vehicle and any adjustments outside of that would tarnish the recommended settings for your car. This is also a beautiful looking set of coilovers. HKS gives you the track feind standard 30-way adjustable dampening option amongst other track oriented features. The specially valved monotube design keeps compression and rebound smooth at high speeds. As an extra goodie, most models come with adjustable camber top hats for the rear while providing some natural camber up front to really get you dialed in. The upside down damper construction reduces unsprung weight which in turn provides a more responsive road feel. These come in GT and SP configurations. GT tailored more for the street with some track use. SP for driving your car… to the track to race every weekend. This is a gorgeous set of coilovers and the ride screams quality. These are hard to beat.

Price: $1,500-2,000

Key Features

  • Upside down damper construction improves road feel by reducing unsprung weight.
  • 30-way adjustable with included adjuster tool.
  • Sexy as hell

Pros

  • Amazing build quality and materials. Corrosion resistant coating everywhere 5x better than standard
  • Damper design is excellent at controlling high speed bumps and inputs
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • Issues with getting support sometimes because most of their customer service departments are in Japan. Not necessarily bad just something to keep in mind.
  • I watched a whole 16 minute detailed breakdown of these all in Japanese and learned nothing because I couldn’t understand it.
  • While being corrosion resistant, the pretty white springs will still collect dirt quickly.

Would I buy these?

While a bit on the pricey side for most applications if I had the money and a project worthy of throwing these onto then yes. I’m personally in love with the color combination and everything about these is just quality. Sporting a warranty twice as long as most coilovers and an inverted design, these are meant to be abused at the track.

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KW Variant 3 Coilovers

              Damn these babies are pricey but they are top of the line. The KW variant 3 are one step short of a fully electronic adjustable suspension. The Variant 3s give you the ability not only to adjust rebound, but also compression which is unlike most of the other coilovers on this list. At this price point and level of adjustability this is a little more on the track oriented side of things but still offering excellent streetability and an improved ride over stock no matter, what. 5 year factory warranty from KW. Also boasting a 100% corrosion resistance and I quote this from the factory website, “Perfect looks -permanently”. A hefty claim for high end performance coilovers that are meant to take abuse but at this price they better looks brand new forever. The twin tube design makes then stand out on this list and the KW has managed to squeeze the most performance out of this design possible, while keeping these comfortable enough to keep your significant other from complaining about the ride.

Price: $2,000-2,500

Key Features

  • Adjustable compression AND rebound
  • Adjustable spring perches
  • Tuned by KW at the factory to be set at the recommended settings for your car right out of the box.

Pros

  • Individually height adjustable, perfect for corner balancing.
  • “Perfect looks-permanently”
  • Handles harsh high speed bumps surprisingly well for how much stiffer over stock they are.

Cons

  • Shorter shock bodies make more a harsher speedbump experience
  • Kind of difficult to adjust compression at the bottom of the shocks
  • Most sets don’t come with included pillow mounts or top hats so you’ve either got to swap your OEM ones over of go aftermaket.

Would I buy these?

Just like the HKS Hipermax, these are a bit on the pricey side but rightly justified. There is something about the ride on a higher end set of coilovers that constantly reminds you what you pay for. These handle just about anything you throw at them with grace and they look damn good too. Hard to beat what these offer along with a 5 year warranty, these would be on my radar if I could put them through their paces at a track.

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Godspeed MonoMax

                  The Godspeed MonoMax coilover set is a solid set of coilovers for the price. Offering features and build quality that most $1500+ coilover sets have at almost half the price, the MonoMax series deserves a second look. Offering 40-Way adjustability on most applications not only give you almost too much adjustability but the addition of included camber plates can really help you dial this setup in when hitting the track.  As a sacrifice, most sets come with fairly pedestrian spring rates to retain comfort but if you want to take full advantage of the adjustability on the track, get some higher spring rates.

Price: $750-1,000

Key Features

  • 32 or 40 way adjustable depending on your vehicle
  • 44mm piston in a monotube shock
  • Italian made shock oil, fancy.

Pros

  • Camber adjustments at this price are a blessing.
  • Surprisingly good build quality and support for a lesser known brand.
  • Aluminum construction and brackets to reduce unsprung weight

Cons

  • 40 adjustments might be a bit overwhelming for some, or just time consuming to tune.
  • 1 Year warranty
  • Race oriented spring rates make highway speed bumps really noticeable when daily driving.

Would I buy these?

This would be one of my top 3 buys for budget coilovers. For a fairly new name on the market they are making a name for themselves fairly quickly and I’d snag a set of these before they know whats good for them and raise the prices on these. American company also so the support isn’t too hard to reach. Given how track oriented they are I’m curious to see how these hold up over time on a daily driver.

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Megan Racing MR Street Series Coilover

                  Megan Racing really tries to tailor the Street series coilovers to make them a solid upgrade over stock while still allowing you to set the coilovers up to bring back that squishy stock feel. Running spring rates that are softer than most coilovers on this list make for a surprisingly comfortable ride on the softest settings while offering you 32 levels of adjustability to really turn up the stiffness but you’ll be reminded of those softer spring rates when really pushing the car in corners and during quick changes of direction.

Price: $750-1,000

Key Features

  • Separately adjustable spring perches and shock bodies
  • Pillowball upper mounts with front camber adjustments
  • Comfortable street ride

Pros

  • Conservative spring rates make for a more comfortable pedestrian ride. Softest settings feel like stock in most cars.
  • Rubber dust covers for everything, Saves you maintenance
  • Very nice welds and build quality.

Cons

  • One Year Warranty
  • Very likely to accumulate gunk in crappy road conditions.
  • Instructions unclear

Would I buy these?

Megan racing has been around forever and any coilover set that offers front camber adjustments get s a consideration especially with the track in mind. I would be wary of the warranty and lack of corrosion resistance but a solid buy if you can get a good deal.

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Eibach Pro-Street-S Coilovers

                Eibach doesn’t delve too much into the specs of the Pro Street coilover series and that is because there really isn’t much going on to justify the price.  Costing well north of 1.5k this set of coilovers is undoubtedly the most questionable on the list. Offering ride height adjustability and… thats it. One way tuning like most on the list? No. High and low speed settings? Nope, just adjustable ride height and Eibach’s promise that the springs and shocks have been painstakingly tailored to your car and you need no more adjustment than the ride height. All you can say is that you got a damn solid and well built set of Eibach Pro Street coilovers. BUT, what can they do for you? Depending on your car these can offer a maximum of a 3″ drop and will always have you sitting at least half an inch lower than stock even at the highest ride height setting. They also leave you wanting a lot more than that. Not being able to fine tune the stiffness really leaves you wanting more at times. especially if you’re serious about the track. While you can always do the math and order some higher spring rates than what are normally offered to stiffen up the ride, thats a lot more work than twisting some knobs.

Price: $1,500-2,000

Key Features

Pros

  • Great at handling high speed bumps on the road and offer great street comfort
  • Do a good job at maintaining the neutral feel of the car you’re used to while inspiring driver confidence
  • Solid build quality.

Cons

  • Pricey for what they offer.
  • Can’t fine tune the ride
  • One year warranty

Would I buy these?

Probably not.

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BC Racing BR Series Coilovers

                  This in my opinion is the best price on the list. Offering lots of track inspired features such as 30-way adjustability and adjustable front camber plates standard on most applications, all presented at a sub $1,000 price point. The support for all types of applications by BC is awesome, They even offer an extreme drop kit to give you an extra inch of drop past what is normally offered for the static slammed scene. BC Also provides you with the dyno data for whatever products you buy so you’ve got some solid data to work with going forward if you’re into that. The BC BR’s come with a lot of features more expensive kits have too including pillowball mounts, dust boots and damper seals, which are commonly overlooks and are problem points on cheaper sets of coilovers. These do really well at maintaining the neutral feel of the car while stiffening up your ride overall while being soft enough for to make these a no brainer upgrade on a daily driver.

Price: $995-999

Key Features

  • Some applications come with included rear camber adjustments also. A real steal
  • Optional SWIFT spring upgrades available when ordering. (Look into these)
  • Adjustable shock body length

Pros

  • Amazing product support, offering revavles and spring upgrades on your product for low prices with work done in a US factory.
  • Lots of options and great built quality for price
  • Can also request custom values for spring rate and dampening directly from BC

Cons

  • Some may be wary of the manufacturing taking place in Taiwan
  • Somewhat slow shipping even when dealing with the American reps.
  • One year warranty

Would I buy these?

Offering lots of features higher end coilovers offer along with support for custom applications with a simple phone call makes the BR series very tempting. The oddly firm price point of $995 across the board puts a lot of features into the realm of possibility for your daily driver you can pull up to a car show or the track and have no trouble on a set of these. I would go for the SWIFT spring upgrade offered on these to really make these come alive for my preferred driving.

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I hope this list has given you an idea of what’s available today and how different technologies are being utilized to squeeze the most performance out of today’s cars. These are in no particular order so please look for an application that fits YOUR needs. An important thing to note also, all your engine and suspension mods don’t mean dick if you’ve got crappy tires. Invest in good rubber, both on and off the track. If you’ve got any questions please feel free to contact me and I’d love to hear your personal feedback about any of these sets if you have any. Thanks for reading!