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Monday, May 4, 2009

Vmaxx coilovers review

Vmaxx coilovers are the subject of a good bit of debate between TT guys, VW guys and even BMW guys. Basic issue is that they're so cheap, they can't possibly be good no matter what anyone says, right?

Not in my book.

I went ahead and bought a set of Vmaxx to replace my aging stock suspension. Having ridden in/driven numerous cars with aftermarket suspension, I had a pretty good basis for evaluating the performance of my Vmaxx coils.

That said, here are my impressions.

Build quality/fitment/ease of installation:
Build quality seems solid, nothing blatantly cheap about it. Installation was the same as any coilover install, except for one issue; there's no provisions to clip the brake line to the strut. I ended up using zip ties to hold the brake line down and make sure it doesn't rub. No big deal.

They come with a two year warranty on them as well, so frankly, I'm not too concerned about them wearing out early or something like that because I can get replacement parts for the next two years.

Ride height:
Since a lot of other aspects of this review depend on the ride height, figure I'll mention it first. They go plenty low for me, with more room to go. The fronts still have 3/4 - 1" left to go down. The rears are all the way down with perches in. This picture isn't exactly on flat ground but it gives you a rough idea:

(if the pictures are cut off, right click and and click "view image" or "show image")

And one in the grass for better to look supar low! w3rd!

My height is set pretty low but still driveable. I don't subscribe to the "as low as you can go" school of thought. My subframe is close enough to the ground as it is, I'd rather it not be any closer. It doesn't rub at all daily driving either. Sometimes if I hit a bump/incline taking a turn real fast it'll rub up front a tad, but it's minimal. I'm running 8" wide ET35 wheels with 15/20mm spacers front and rear, respectively.

Technically it's too low for optimum handling right now, since the control arms are tilted upwards slightly, throwing off the roll center. When I hit the track this summer, I'll pick it up some, but for now I'll leave it this way for looks.

Ride quality:
The ride is great. It's obviously rougher than stock, but it's not uncomfortable by any means. It has not elicited complaints from any passenger's so far, including females.

I've actuallye ridden in cars that ride far, far worse. My car rides about the same as my buddy's Mk4 GTI on Koni coilovers. It's only rough enough to be slightly annoying when you're on really TERRIBLE roads, but what can you expect from a lowered car? I think the moral is that as long as you don't slam the crap out of them, they will ride fine. Then again what coilovers actually ride nicely when slammed to the ground? I doubt any do...

Night and day over stock. Body roll is almost completely gone. What impressed me a lot however was that the car does not lurch forward and back anywhere near as much under braking/acceleration/corner lifting like it did with the stock suspension. This is excellent for braking stability and leaves some margin for error when going too fast into a turn (i.e. you can slow down and not lose the back end). They also don't bump steer or anything like that.

I purchased an accelerometer and managed to pull just over 1 G on a highway on-ramp as well. Take that, domestics ;)

While they could be set a bit stiffer, I think if the setup was any stiffer it would start getting uncomfortable for daily use. Therefore I'm quite happy with how they're set up.

Overall I'm definitely impressed with how they handle.

So for me, Vmaxx is an excellent buy. I think most of the hate either comes from prejudice towards a cheap product or simply bad experiences with slammed cars, which don't ride or handle optimally (especially Mk4s, with their crappy spindle design...but that's another story).

1 comment:

Jack said...

Sent you a PM on Fourtitude regarding these VMaxx's...



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