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Product Feature: KW Variant "inox_line" 1 Coilovers

  • Posted: 09-28-2015 05:12 PM
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We recently had an opportunity to take some nice beauty shots of a KW damper system, Variant 1 version, for a 2004-08 Acura TL. We'd like to share some of our observations here!



The KW Variant 1 is constructed with stainless steel damper bodies. While avoiding corrosion is a huge benefit for suspension systems, stainless steel is also more rigid that normal steel, allowing for truer damper performance. See some great salt-spray test results for more info on "inox_line" coilover benefits. Dampers are of twin-tube construction, allowing for consistent and compliant road feedback with good comfort.

Spring seats on KW kits are constructed of a composite material that helps dampen vibration and noise from the road without dulling the feel. Also note the incorporated set-screws for a strong, positive lock of the seats to prevent loosening.


KW Springs are made of chrome-silicon steel and features many layers of coating to prevent corrosion which could lead to failure. KW selects the spring rate and dimensions specifically per application, even employing linear or progressive springs where it makes the most sense. KW also employs "helper springs" which are the large, flat springs that are used to keep the main spring seated regardless of spring position. Read a little more about helper springs here.



Many people realize that the bump stops protect dampers from the potentially-damaging consequences of "bottoming out" the dampers. In very sophisticated suspension systems, the bump stop is not only a protective element of the suspension, but it is also item that can be used to "tune" the suspension. It is not uncommon for a suspension system to bottom out under aggressive driving. When the bump-stops are impacted sharply, the impact can unsettle the chassis, and give a very harsh, unpredictable feedback. KW bump stops are compliant and made to a specific firmness to allow for smoother, more predictable handling when large bumps are encountered when driving "at the limit."



Damper shafts must be polished to a high-quality finish and resist pitting and scratching to prevent damage to the oil seal at the top of the damper tube. KW shafts are larger than standard to prevent deflection, and polished and finished to prevent corrosion and pitting. Also note the upper cap design which allows for dis-assembly for service and re-building (not DIY, contact KW for support).



KW damper kits are assembled with pride and with the customer experience in mind. Coil-over dampers often come with tools for adjusting the system, but KW goes a step further by providing a handy tool box for their tools. Plenty of decals are included, as well.



Heeltoe has found that shipping items that are heavy can be a challenge. Many damper kits come packaged in a way that works well for transit on a pallet over-the ocean. Few suspension companies understand the rigors of ground transit that is imparted by FEDEX and UPS. KW suspension kits are packaged in a way that will allow safe tranist across the globe!



Many adjustable coil-over damper sets do not come with comprehensive instructions for setting the height of the vehicle. KW instructions are provided to give baseline measurements that will help you get your height set with minimal frustration that comes from performing trial-and-error loops. Notice how KW support's Heeltoe's height-measurement methods!




Kanji Kotaki
10-13-2015 10:47 PM at 10:47 PM
I installed KW V1 a bit more than a year or so ago and will list my impressions:

-High-quality, made in Germany
-Nice look
-Firmer than Type-S or A-spec dampers (still allows much roll at fast cornering however)
-Stainless steel does not corrode (every hardware on the suspension & exhaust should be built w/SS)

-The only adjustment you can make is the ride-height
-Instruction is not thorough; doesn't tell you exactly how to change the ride height
-Coil springs feel too soft but the dampers feel too firm. Without beefed-up sway bars on both FF & RR, you may not benefit from these sets. Hitting potholes becomes punishment
-Cannot install the OEM dust boot, exposing the damper rod with no shielding

If I had the same money now, I would probably go for HR springs (not too low; I do not want my TL to look like a juvenile toy) & Koni adjustable damper combo. Unfortunately, there are not many choices for TL's aftermarket suspension kits.
Administrator Note:
Thanks for your feedback! Great to hear from a customer that has these on a TL! Feel free to copy this review onto the KW coilover page as a review.

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