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KSport Coilover Review

25 April 2005
Western PA
I've had the new KSport dual adjustable (compression and rebound separate) coilovers with remote reservoirs on my daily-driven NSX for four months now. Within the past week though, it’s been slightly lowered ¾ to an inch, new tires put on, corner-balanced, and aligned. I thought it was time for a proper review….

Product Info:
KSport coilovers are serviceable in the U.S., while their manufacturing capabilities in Taiwan are TUV, ISO 9001/2000, TUV osterreich, and FIA compliant (they make seats too).

From KSport’s website http://www.ksportusa.com/asp/coilovers_detail.asp?product_id=cd07, these are their top coilover model and feature:

1. Remote reservoirs for independent rebound and compression adjustment
2. Includes shock dyno results, and tuned to your needs
3. Added oil capacity to dissipate heat and improve performance
4. Made from high quality 6061 Aluminum with T6 for increased hardness
5. Adjustable spring perch for height adjustment, Adjustable body allowing maximum suspension travel
6. Pillow Ball Top Mount
7. Monotube High Pressure Design
8. Electroplated body for protection from corrosion and rust
9. One Year Limited Warranty

They’re further described and sold by Dali here:

Note that I didn’t get the pillowball mounts. Mine were supplied with OEM’ish rubber mounts that should reduce noise at a little handling expense. Ironically, these mounts made pretty loud squishing noises when installed, and I had to take them off and the top mounts apart in order to thoroughly lube all rubber surfaces with the silicone you find at pool stores. They’re quiet now, which leads me to pros/cons in my opinion.

- Quality construction
- Well-engineered and tested for our NSX’s (I believe Dali was involved in their development, and he’s driven on more NSX coilovers than probably anyone out there)
- These work very well on the street with a firm, but not overly stiff, ride
- A lot of adjustability (separate rebound/compression, spring preload, separate height adjustment)
- Customer service (KSport rebuilds/services their components in the US and provides responsive and friendly support)

- Top mount rubber noise (fixed with silicone lube)
- Top mount studs required just a little Dremeling on the aluminum mounting holes (not really a con, but some may cringe at this thought)
- It would be nice if the front coilovers had a little longer hose for reservoir mounting flexibility

If you want a soft, compliant suspension that will give you lots of body roll and soak up potholes, coilovers in general are probably not for you. However, if you desire a firmer ride to minimize body roll and brake dive and want the possibility of dialing in your ride height, then these are very good candidates with unique features not offered by others in the $2500 and under category. One nice thing about the KSports is that you can specify your desired spring rates for the front and back, and they will valve the dampener accordingly. This is because not everyone’s NSX’s are the same – we all have varying tastes on ride comfort and what we’ll be using the car for, we all have different tire/wheel combos (sidewall stiffness), and all of our cars weigh differently. I can only speak from experience on the spring rates I chose on how good a job they did with the valving – they didn’t feel under or over-damped on the street with the low-speed compression and rebound dampening adjustments set a little less than mid-range. They soak up minor and major bumps pretty well.

First, a little about my car and what I use it for:

It's a '92 that I've owned for more than five years now. It's been my daily-beater, and as such, has remained pretty much stock all these years (it went through snow great up in Connecticut). Yes, that included the original shocks, phat five wheels, and exhaust. So, after putting 40k miles on this mushy-handling and quiet car, I decided to go ahead and do a few things as it crossed the 100k mile mark to enhance its performance. I've removed the following for a mild weight loss amongst other little things:

- Cruise Control Stepper Motor
- Spare Tire and Mount
- Old Battery Replaced With Lightweight PC680 Battery
- A/C Condenser Fan Shrouds

- Stereo System
- Headliner, Sunvisors, Dome Light, A-pillar Covers
- Glovebox
- Rear Interior Trim
- Clock, Center Vent, Custom Lightweight Aluminum Center Console
- ABS and Cruise Computers and Bracket, TCS Computer
- Wheel Speed Sensors

- Bumper Beam
- Tool Kit
- Trunk Carpet
- CD Changer
- Antenna
- Rear Sway Bar (to make way for a custom twin turbo)
- Tow Hooks
- Engine Cover
- Engine Trim Pieces
- Engine Fan

I still use the OEM 15/16" wheels for a few reasons - they're lightweight with low rotational inertia, and tires (50-series Kumho Ecsta XS’s http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1146269)
are much cheaper. I’m at 27xx lbs with a full tank of gas.

So, this car is overall relatively light with taller sidewall tires than a lot of other NSX's out there. With this info, I decided on spring rates of 10 kg/mm front and 8 kg/mm rear, or 559.8 lb/in up front and 447.9 lb/in in the rear (almost identical to the ‘03+ NSX-R). Here’s a spring comparo courtesy of Dali: http://www.daliracing.com/v666-5/catalog/suspension/more_springs_matrix.cfm


I did this over Thanksgiving holiday, so I had over four days to do this on and off. It was my first time removing the old stuff and it really wasn’t difficult after perusing threads on here about past experiences. First-timers should plan on a full day. It took me longer doing the family stuff and cleaning all the wheel wells and suspension pieces as shown in this thread: http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=99118. I even took the front cowl cover off and cleaned it out too….

As discussed above, I would undo the top mount to allow a small layer of silicone to be rubbed on all the rubber pieces. These have adjustable spring perches as well as threaded shock bodies to allow ride height adjustment and shock travel to be adjusted based on your requirements. Because I was just lowering less than an inch (so as to not drastically screw up my roll center), I wouldn’t need to use up any piston travel. So, I just threaded the spring perches up so that they were hand tight (meaning no preload on the springs before they were installed). The ride height is adjusted by the threaded shock body (like Teins).

I didn’t use spring compressors to get the old ones out, I did the 2x4 trick and it went very well. For cheap insurance, you can use an old rag to protect your rear axle boots, and tape to protect the paint just outside of your wheel wells.

I did have to use my Dremel and grind out just a little aluminum where the top hat inserts into the NSX’s aluminum mounting holes. The coilover top mounting studs are the correct diameter, but they seem to be arranged on a slightly smaller diameter than OEM. Either way, this required just a little grinding to insert.

You should use new lock nuts during installation and torque to spec (but I did the final top mount torque after the car had settled). At this point, I set the suspension up for OEM ride height, and drove around for four months to wear out my old tires.


Just within the past two weeks, I had new tires mounted. This was what I was waiting for to lower my car, corner balance, and then get it aligned. I had already targeted a height reduction of only 0.75-1” (again - this is my daily beater and I also didn’t want to screw up bump steer and roll center by slamming it), so now it was just a matter of corner balancing. So, I dusted off my old scales in the attic, hoped they were still calibrated, filled the gas tank half full and put 160lb of weight in the drivers seat. Then, I used my commercial grade laser level (more accurate than those in the big box stores) to shim (level) the scales on my tiled garage floor and started tweaking the ride height to get a reasonable f/r distribution and matching side/side distribution. It’s nice to have a threaded shock body to do this, but it sure is a time consuming PITA if corner balancing. After one iteration of removing/installing, I ended up cheating and just adjusted my spring perches for that little bit to finish up. My scales are probably out of cal anyways after 10 years! Also, I didn’t loosen my floppy stock front sway bar (I don’t have a rear one). There’s varying arguments on this anyways when professionals corner balance, and in the end, it’s small potatoes for my use.

Off for an alignment to my specs, and then to work! Hopefully this summer I can take it to the tracks (Carolina Motorsports Park and Roebling Road) a few times, but these coilovers have fulfilled my primary goal of eliminating the severe body roll and brake dive of the stock setup for a much nicer ride. Plus, I’m able to tune it how I want and the reservoirs look cool strapped to my shock tower bar. One note: There is a lot of heat soak from the engine and already shock fluid gets pretty warm during use. A better place is near the rear tow hooks underneath the car where it is much cooler (but less convenient when adjusting – but hey, how often do you adjust these things once you gat them set up?).

In conclusion, I like these and think they were money well spent for my intended use. Sure, if you're a professional tracker and have $5k+ to spend on Penske's or Motons then :biggrin:. But, if you're like the majority of us that want a nice street ride yet work well at the occasional track day, then these are worth considering.


Some Final Pictures:

On my workbench:

Cleaned up wheel well:

A rear install before reservoir mounting (and also before I removed my speed sensors):

Engine bay:


New tires ready to go on:

Final shots showing my bling wheels and slammed ride:

Wow, hard to believe it's been almost a year/12k daily-driven miles with these. They've held up well.

Never had a chance to take it to a track, but these have greatly improved the driving experience. They're not harsh when set at their soft setting, but begin to stiffen up when set 50%. With my OEM 15/16" wheels and lightened vehicle, I like them at the following:

75% stiff on compression
60% stiff on rebound

60% stiff on compression
40% stiff on rebound

Edit - forgot to say the only noticeable wear on these has been the orange rear remote reservoir canister anodizing has faded and is now almost silver. Not too surprising considering it sits outside all day in the SC sun without an engine cover.

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Well, over 2.5 years now and no issues. Would still buy them again.

Was changing the oil this afternoon and had the wheel off so I snapped a picture:

Well, over 2.5 years now and no issues. Would still buy them again.

Was changing the oil this afternoon and had the wheel off so I snapped a picture:


It is ridiculous how clean your car is.
These are still working great after three years and about 25k miles... So I decided to put a 4-wheel VRH setup on them.

These are made by Platinum VIP. It's a cheaper (when you get it on a promotion), simpler, better-engineered kit IMO than another popular setup on these forums. And, if you search, it's just one of MANY aluminum cup kits out there.

With my car out of commision for awhile, I took the opportunity to do a little cleaning again.... This old car with ~135k miles used to be daily-driven by me in the snow and rain:


I think most people recommend BC Racing Coilovers with the Swift Spring upgrade as the best bang for your buck coilover option without going to KW V3, Penske, Moton, JRZ, etc
They've held up great. No leaking and they still "feel" the same.

I don't know of any other owners than Coz and I, and he sold his when he became sponsored by KW (and obviously stepped up to their racing option... i.e. big $).

I think these still retail for about $2500. IIRC, I paid about $1700. For that price, I have been very pleased. These are basically Tein N1 clones and I assume they have similar shim stacks and valving... don't know since I've never shock-tested either.

That being said, I've never driven an NSX with the BC coilovers and think it would be in your best interest to try and test-drive NSX's with various setups. We all have different "wants" and there are plenty of options out there. My 2600lb NSX with the 10kg/mm front and 8kg/mm rear spring rates feels good to me on my roads, with my large-profile tires. You may want a stiffer or softer ride, and your tire/wheel combo will also affect ride quality.

I did a lot of research before purchasing these. I was ridiculed, laughed at (you know the type on Prime), etc. But do your research so you'll be comfortable with your purchase. It's funny how these "cheap asian coilovers" haven't had any problems, when it's been documented on Prime that more than a handful of NSX's have KW V3's with leaking seals. I've driven a lot of M3's with KW's and those were not magical dampers... just known for their rust-resistant SS bodies and reliability.

KSport uses Japanese quality NOK seals, and has a pretty good reputation now. Check out their manufacturing and Q/C:

Yeah, they've made some improvements over the years. The BC coilover company (Bor-Chuan or however it's spelled) makes or used to make these. Then they came out with their own line. The BC's seem to have a decent reliability too.

Good luck with your purchase.


- - - Updated - - -

For a really clean car, check out Darko's:
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