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Review of KW V3, Federal RS Pro and Carbotech XP12

boyguan

Member
Dec 23, 2019
45
12
Bay Area
I just wanted to provide some insight on some modifications I have done to my P3D- (Stealth) since my last track day in stock form. I have done over 50 track days in my Honda S2000 and Honda Civic Type R and would consider myself a low advanced driver.

In stock form, the brake fluid overheated in 1.5 laps on a short 2 mile course (Thunderhill West). The rest of the day was done with minimal brakes on mainly regen. The car had decent traction on its stock 19 all seasons and was easy to control. Just flush the fluid and it should be great for your first few track days.

BRAKES

The first thing I know it needed was some brake fluid and pads for my level. I went with my go to ATE Type 200 fluid as it can handle a longer duration without flushing. I would if you do 3-4 track days annually and some DD, it should be fine. I saw a few options for brake pads but decided to go with a brand I have run many times. I went with Carbotech XP12 front and rear. I got the pads from my buddy Matt at Speed Freaks USA | Automotive Racing Parts and Equipment (Stocking) Superstore and Warehouse: Data Loggers, Brake Pads, Rotors, Safety Equipment and More.. Always great service and competitive prices. I do not like to stagger pad compounds as I believe the factory has dialed in the size and pressure for the correct brake bias for the car.

The next track day at Thunderhill East consisted of 20 minute sessions and the brakes held up perfectly. I did not get any brake fade for the entire day. At the end of the day, the pads look like they have another 95-90% remaining. What was really nice is I have been driving on them all week and I barely get any noise on them. I will most likely just leave them in until winter comes. If anything, I will swap the fronts and leave the rears in.

SUSPENSION

I never liked the stock suspension as I felt it was under dampened. I would constantly have the rear end fly up on my daily to work. I read plenty of reviews that springs improved the ride but was skeptical. Since I got new wheels and tires, the wheel gap was killing me so I took the dive and ordered some H&R springs. I chose this spring as it lowers the car with a raked stance. I installed them in about 3 hours and the look was perfect. The drive was a different story. It rode worse than stock as the springs were slightly stiffer but the shock was still garbage. I immediately knew these had to go and I needed a coilover. I wish Koni had shocks but not available. The debate began for the MPP sport or the regular KW V3.

I was able to get a set of KW V3 locally from Auto RnD: Northern California's #1 Custom Suspension and Wheel Dealer as they had it actually in stock. MPP took 8+ weeks to send a set to my friend. Let me say Rishie, knows his stuff. I noticed that on the H&R springs that I was getting some slight passenger side fender rubbing and knew I needed a slight alignment. When I met with Rishie for pickup, he told me that during install I need to pull the driver side shock outward to reduce camber, and push the passenger side in for additional camber. I already knew this in my mind but to have someone tell me, shows that he knows his stuff.

For the install of the V3, the front shocks come assembled with the fork mounted already. You will need to loosen the mount and put it in place first. Then slide the shock into the assembly. As for setting the ride height, check out the photos to get a good starting point. I went with 35mm front and 13mm in the rear. For track settings I went with (from full stiff), Front, 10 rebound, 11 compression, Rear 10 rebound and 10 compression. For street, Front, 12 rebound 12 compression, Rear 12 rebound and 12 compression. One click makes a noticeable difference so do one at a time. Plenty of articles on shock tuning. The other thing i did was drill a small hole in the frunk above the rebound adjustment knob and covered it with a grommet. Quick and easy adjustments

The shocks performed perfectly and took away that flying feeling on my daily commute. On track, its great, I can hit the burms and rumble strips and the car just soaks it up. I highly recommend them as it allows perfect height adjustment and tuning to your liking. Yes I know its almost 7x the price as just springs but I completely regret even going to the spring route since I knew the stock shock wasn’t very good.

The few negatives I have about the KW are that the front rebound adjustment with the hex key is numb. The detents are hard to feel must be done very slowly. The rear height adjustment sucks. They did not put enough notches so you can rotate the spanner wrench to get to the next notch. The other problem is you cant even turn the perch while installed as it spins the entire collar. It needs a notch on the collar end so that it can be held while the perch is rotated. In order to adjust the rear, you will pretty much need to remove the shock and arm bolts to get enough play to turn the perch.

I have ridden and driven on the MPP and will say they are very similar in feel. I don’t think you can go wrong with either as MPP has KW build their suspension to MPP spec.

WHEELS and TIRES.

I upgraded my tires to 19x9.5 ET35 and some new FEDERAL RS PRO. I went with Federal as they are known for a cheap fast tire. I had a debating about getting some Bridgestone Re71R or Michelin PS4S but wanted something cheaper for now. The stock tires are plenty quiet and the RS PRO have a nice hum at speeds. Since its my first non OEM tire, I have no basis for noise comparison. The RS PRO have a good turn in and provide audio feedback before reaching the limits. The RE71R have a better turn in response due to stiffer side walls and grip is similar but I believe the RE71R will edge out just a bit more grip. For the price I would get these Federal RS Pro again. I got them from Phil's Tire Service | Competition Tires and Wheels for Racing, Autocross, or Street! and Kim was awesome to deal with since I wanted to modify my order to get a slightly larger size.

Overall I am happy with how the car is setup now and can do a few more track days until I find the limits of where it is before deciding what to do next. Feel free to PM or post up any questions

Quick video of my day, not the fastest lap as its a new config for me.
IMG_7810.jpg IMG_7811.jpg IMG_7992.jpg IMG_7993.jpg front spring.jpg rear spring.jpg
 

T3SLAROD

Member
May 14, 2019
635
553
SoCal
Wow Awesome! Glad to know Auto RnD and Rishie are still around. I always purchased my JDM parts through them for my Protege 5 lol

Great write up!
 
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