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-   -   Solo Werks S1 Review. (http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157800)

AutoWerkez 05-23-2013 02:55 PM

Solo Werks S1 Review.
 
I thought I'd write up a review for people who are still debating on coilovers and came across Solo Werks. Let me first start by saying they are the new guys on the block. But they specifically engineer coilovers for Volkswagen and BMW's which is pretty nice cause a number of coilover companies which offer kits for less than $1000 generally don't try to exceed or match OEM standards.

So let me begin with me getting them. Found a kijiji ad which a distributor called DV8 who works with AMI, in the states. Found the kit on sale for $610 including shipping to my doorstep. When people hear a price like that they would assume one cheap ass coilover company but in fact the coilovers are made with quality materials. Seeing how I'm a third year Automotive Engineering student you can take my word for it.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.n...18048189_n.jpg

Kit comes with everything that you'll need shortened endlinks are quite nice seeing how if you tried to run the stock end links you'll most likely bend or break them off.

Now for installation they are very easy especially for the e46 because of its design you can finish the job in two hours with the proper tools and parts.

Remember to prime them until you feel a continuous consistency with both struts and shocks. You'll probably want to order new strut mounts and shock mounts while your at it so you don't have to re & re your suspension just to get to your mounts to replace cause of a silly noise.

Be sure to have every part in order to avoid any noise because improper installation will do that. To ensure you properly install the coilovers Solo Werks posted a manual which helps a lot.
http://solo-werks.com/docs/isheets/S1BW003_v1.0.pdf

Front Coilovers and yes my car hasn't be driving very much so don't bug me about my rotors. :)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...11430801_n.jpg

The Rears which installed and while taking a picture realised I forgot to install the bump stop and dust cover on this side. haha Neglected to take a picture afterwards because I wanted to drive my car *rockout*

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.n...54659490_n.jpg

Installation is very easy only thing that may cause trouble for some people is getting the front strut out of the spindle, I didn't use a strut spreader tool, I had a air hammer which helped me out but I think a block of wood and a hammer will do the trick. Be sure to clean up any bolts and apply anti seize on them so if you ever have to take it apart again. its very easy to do.

As of now my car isn't lowered drastically but you can see the difference between pictures. You should let the suspension settle for a week of driving then get your coilovers adjusted if you want to lower you car more, then get your alignment. And enjoy you're car with no more wheel gap *par-t*.

Before:
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.n...59495356_n.jpg

After:https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...10120947_n.jpg

So how does it ride? Rides much better than OEM to be honest and I don't want to hear people telling me thats cause you suspension was old already, I've driven my e46 in its prime while my brother owned it and a couple of my friends who have e46s with relatively new oem suspension and solo werks have made quite a set of coilovers. Not very bouncy, no noise over bumps, and very stiff through turns, rarely any body roll. Feels very sporty, which is nice for spirited drives but although its feels sporty it doesn't sacrifice ride quality. For street driving and spirited drives I'll recommend these coilovers to anyone.

After giving the car the test to see how the coilovers ran, I checked how clearances were after driving to see if they settled and as of now my suspension is roughly a inch lower than my OEM suspension set up.

I will wait to adjust my ride height and get an alignment done after I get the car out on the road for a week because the coilovers must settle fully before getting an alignment because if its not settled yet it may change your alignment quite a bit.

I will update this thread after I lower the car and install my new rims and rubber.

Til then let the force be with you :D
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...26318009_n.jpg

jabela 05-24-2013 02:38 AM

Nice review. Any idea what the spring rates are?

Is it just a coincidence with your name, or are you affiliated with Solo Werks?

AutoWerkez 05-24-2013 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jabela (Post 1611526)
Nice review. Any idea what the spring rates are?

Is it just a coincidence with your name, or are you affiliated with Solo Werks?

I was actually looking for spring rates before I bought the coilovers but it does not specify what it is other than saying platform specific spring rates and matched valving. Only reason why I went ahead with the buy without knowing the spring rates was because I heard a lot of good things with these coilovers from the volkswagen forums so I took a chance. But if you'd compare these to fks, the solo werks are stiffer and have less bounce to them.

And no I'm not affiliated with them, my fathers shop back in the good old day was Standard Auto Works, I just kinda chopped it for my user name :)

G12 05-30-2013 06:40 PM

Thank you! Great review, I was looking into these.

sergiomordo 05-30-2013 10:00 PM

Thanks for the review, I was actually looking for a set and this helps a lot for ones with low budget. If you don't mind me asking, where are you studying Automotive Engineering. UOIT?

AutoWerkez 05-31-2013 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sergiomordo (Post 1612567)
Thanks for the review, I was actually looking for a set and this helps a lot for ones with low budget. If you don't mind me asking, where are you studying Automotive Engineering. UOIT?

Thanks and yeah at UOIT, has the best facilities for automotive engineers in Canada.

sergiomordo 05-31-2013 12:20 PM

Yeah I know, I also finished Automotive Engineering, now almost done with master in Automotive Engineering. I might have been your TA at some point but idk :)

SiR 05-31-2013 12:24 PM

decent build quality and shiny paint doesnt mean quality valving/damping..just sayin. (engineer over here).
with no info and some joe blows reviews...eh its a gamble imo. for the price its not a bad gamble though. Theres no way the damping/matching is up to the quality of the good stuff. but it may be good enough especially for the price.

Dumping it is no way to go either in terms of performance. the vw crowd is all about hard parking.

AutoWerkez 05-31-2013 03:36 PM

I'm sorry, but no need to show disrespect, I'm a kid thats been around and driven many different e46s with different set ups, with fks and st coils and to be serious with you SiR, solo werks are quite nice in build quality, I've been working around cars for 10 years I'm sure I can spot faulty, poor design and build quality. And I have not had anything bad to say about these coils. I did mention they are only suited for daily driving and spirited drives, Didn't say they are up to KW standards where you'd hit the track day in and out and beat on them. But these are the best choice for driving on the roads and compared with ST Coilovers, they are similar in quality and come with the same warranty so which would you choose the one for 500$ or the one for a 1000$?

and Sergio I believe you were my TA for my Solid Mechanics Lab haha small world.

AutoWerkez 05-31-2013 03:47 PM

and plus Solo Werks are a new company so you can't completely hate on the underdog, see other reviews from vw people and if you come across someone who has a complaint from a noise or something, improper installation from some idiot thats never put in coilovers before.

T.Dot_E30 05-31-2013 03:51 PM

BTW, like most brands FK has different lines. Their top line coming with Koni dampers and stainless steel housings, which I have. I doubt a set of $500 dampers will be as reliable or last as long as a set of well know ones such as Koni, Bilstein, etc. Which is what SIR is saying.

I don't think he was showing you disrespect.

When new, even racelands look and feel decent, but what sets them a part from well known brands are how quickly they start to fall a part and die. Obviously you won't know this until a few years / thousands of kms later.

Bullet Ride 05-31-2013 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AutoWerkez (Post 1611434)
... but in fact the coilovers are made with quality materials. Seeing how I'm a third year Automotive Engineering student you can take my word for it.

No disrespect, but I lol'ed when I read this ^

Explain to me how it is that you determined these coilovers are made with quality materials? Did you do some desctructive testing? Did you cut apart a set to take some samples, polish and etch them and then analyze the grain structures under a microscope? How about some tensile or micro hardness tests? Maybe an EDX analysis to determine the composition of the alloys used?

I'll agree that the build quality and finish looks good, but for all you know it could be made out of some cheap ass steel.

As an engineering student you should also know that no one can take your word for it until you're a PEng, at least not legally :rolleyes:

AutoWerkez 05-31-2013 04:10 PM

No I get where hes coming from tho
I wasn't interested in these coilovers at first too I had my eyes set of Bilstein PSS10s but with school being way to expensive that dream kind of went down the drain.
After doing some research into them seemed like the best bet just to eliminate wheel gap and replace my shot oem struts and shocks for a oem ride and feel.
And after my friend ran them on his VW GTI for 50k km, his are still holding up quite well. I thought I'd try them out and I do like them.

So I still have good expectation from these coils. But with new companies producing coils for so cheap is quite risky but I'm quite sure these will hold up quite well. or Atleast three years until the warranties done *th-up*

SiR 05-31-2013 04:12 PM

I wasnt trying to be disrespectful at all . T.Dot summed it up well as well with some additional comedy(but accurate comments) from bullet.

For the price its tough to disagree with them for a coilover but to think they have the damping performance and longevity of a much more expensive and well proven set up is naive.

Some threaded rod ,housings and welding are easy enough to make. Its other aspects (in design and durability) which they will most certainly fall short on.

They are fine considering the price. The car isnt going to flop off the road but thats where it ends. Thats all we're getting at. The damping control wont even be on the same planet as the good stuff. Adequate for street driving of course.
Definitely wont ride as well as oem though.(in terms of comfort)

AutoWerkez 05-31-2013 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bullet Ride (Post 1612689)
No disrespect, but I lol'ed when I read this ^

Explain to me how it is that you determined these coilovers are made with quality materials? Did you do some desctructive testing? Did you cut apart a set to take some samples, polish and etch them and then analyze the grain structures under a microscope? How about some tensile or micro hardness tests? Maybe an EDX analysis to determine the composition of the alloys used?

I'll agree that the build quality and finish looks good, but for all you know it could be made out of some cheap ass steel.

As an engineering student you should also know that no one can take your word for it until you're a PEng, at least not legally :rolleyes:

LOL seems everyone has a problem with someone trying to say a entry coilover is nicely built and cheap.

Well I'm sorry I'm not a PEng but I've been working on cars long enough to know when something is built nice enough and feels sturdy enough. If you wanted to be so anal about such a statement on quality, Would you want me to analysis grain structures of the materials used, find the yield stress and strain that can be applied until it deforms causes slips in grain boundaries and shit? Or would you rather a general comment from someone whos got to take a close look at a lot of different coilovers, who got to install a lot of different coilovers and whos driven on different ones and seen many different failures of coils.

Its just a review, I'm not affiliated with solo werks if you want them go buy it, but if my car flops off the road I'm sure I'll post here and warn you all.


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