Coilover Suspension Buyers Guide
When looking for coilover suspension, you'll find several dozen brands to choose from. How do you know which is the best shock for your car and usage? This guide will help you understand the different features included on the best coilovers.
First things, you want to purchase a quality damper. Look for manufacturers that are well known and respected, like Bilstein, Fortune Auto and Öhlins for example.
The best coilovers will use anodized aluminium where possible to save weight and resist corrosion. The damper piston will be made from a chromium alloy or stainless steel for corrosion resistance and strength.
You'll see a thick, consistent powder coating on the springs that should take a beating before chipping. The threads on the lower perch will be uniformly machined all adjustable parts will move with binding.
The rubbers used for the dust boots should be of a reasonable quality, as opposed to having rough moulding lines and a slightly inflexible feel.
Also, examine the general fabrication and construction. On the best quality coilovers, welds and machining are near flawless, avoiding leaks and premature failures.
It's a good idea to search the web and read reviews on your list of possible options.
It's unlikely that a cheap set of coilovers on eBay will come with a genuine set-up certificate or even have been subjected to a dyno test. The best coilovers are calibrated on a suspension dynamometer.
Aftersales & Servicing
Quality coilover makes provide after-sales support through their website. Some even feature set-up tips and information. They'll also provide a means of contacting them if you need to. Spare parts should be readily available.
You'll also notice that your higher end shock absorber manufacturers offer rebuild, servicing & calibration services.
Features to look for
Look for a coil-over with plenty of adjustment. For example, Fortune Auto 500 series shocks have 24 steps of rebound adjustment.
Look for a manufacturer who dyno tests each shock. Built-in caster/camber plates are a nice addition. Check the manufacturer offers a rebuild service.
Ask how long a warranty is offered, for example, Fortune Auto shocks come with a 5-year limited warranty. These coilovers are also modular and can be upgraded with a 2-way canister. Digressive dampers offer variable performance depending on the speed they are compressed, giving all-around performance.
Locking spring perches are a nice addition for those travelling on rough roads or tracks where the perch could wind off slightly.
Look out for top hat radial bearings, these reduce spring noise and isolate the movement of the piston from the rest of the coilover assembly.
You're probably not going to be the first person in the world to buy the set of coilovers you've been eying. Ask around on forums or FB groups to see if people have had some good or bad experiences to help you in the decision making process.
Happy apex hunting!