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KW Variant 3 Longevity (~95,000 miles)

R13

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After 12 years and ~95,000 miles one of them finally started to leak from the top adjustment. After procuring a new set with which to replace them (less down time than a rebuild, though that's still going to happen), I figured I'd see how worn out they actually were and did something of an exhaustive review for YouTube. The TL/DW is that with the possible exception of the one that was leaking, they were still doing "damper things" though they'd become less consistent, but I'd give them a 9/10 for physical condition other than the one actual leak. I could tell the bushings were definitely wearing some, so might have become problematic in another year or few, but otherwise they were in pretty good shape. I also had our local shock shop throw both old and new KW V3 on the dyno and the old ones "averaged" about where the new ones were but did not hold their profile as well as they got hot. The adjustments seem to work as designed on the new ones, and they got a "not bad" from a guy who rebuilds Ohlins for racecars, so I'll take that and not regret buying more KWs to replace these.

 
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Nice review. Was your car lowered much or set at stock heights most of those 95k miles. Regardless that’s actually impressive.

I feel like they get beat up more on lowered setups. I know my stock suspension did and I have had to replace my front Koni yellows one time under warranty. It sits a lot more and I only have about 65k miles overall. But 95k out of a set is great!

Next time I have any issues I’m swapping it out for the KW3 V3 for sure. I hear nothing but great things about them. Only reason I haven’t gone with them is because they weren’t available when I was looking for a replacements and I do like the way my car rides handles and sits. Koni replaced my front for free otherwise I would have jumped on that kW3 group buy we had a few years back.
 
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R13

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Nice review. Was your car lowered much or set at stock heights most of those 95k miles. Regardless that’s actually impressive.

I feel like they get beat up more on lowered setups. I know my stock suspension did and I have had to replace my front Koni yellows one time under warranty. It sits a lot more and I only have about 65k miles overall. But 95k out of a set is great!

Next time I have any issues I’m swapping it out for the KW3 V3 for sure. I hear nothing but great things about them. Only reason I haven’t gone with them is because they weren’t available when I was looking for a replacements and I do like the way my car rides handles and sits. Koni replaced my front for free otherwise I would have jumped on that kW3 group buy we had a few years back.

I think It's typically been about 1"-1.5" lower than stock if we're talking ground clearance to the adjustment bolts per the manual. Koni makes good stuff as well, though I haven't run them since I sold my old MR2 Turbo in which I had some Koni single adjustable inserts.
 
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Richard, love your YouTube channel. Can you recommend some V3 damper settings to get me started? The KW install episode was very timely as mine had just arrived the day your video posted.
 
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Thx for that one Richard! I've had mine installed since 2012 and though I don't have NEARLY as meany miles on them as you do, it is reassuring to know that the right purchase was made at that time.
 

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Thx for that one Richard! I've had mine installed since 2012 and though I don't have NEARLY as meany miles on them as you do, it is reassuring to know that the right purchase was made at that time.

Ours are about the same age then. I do feel like most of the wear on these has been more mileage dependent than time dependent. Not much on these look like they'll just degrade. I'd still keep an eye on the bushings "because rubber" but otherwise you're probably good to go for a while yet.
 

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