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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Am looking for some feedback on these, which took over from the HKS Max IV GTs:-
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The reason for asking is that I'm seriously thinking about them for my WRX wagon. I need to replace the rear struts/shocks and would prefer to do all four corners at the same time, so am looking at various options including these. Although it's my daily driver, the cost of a decent strut/spring set-up is not that far away from an HKS set, plus I've found a dealer near me who supplies and fits them, so...

Thanks in advance. :)
 

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Little Homie
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In that price range I'd opt for the kw variant 1.

Either way hks falls somewhere between bc shit-teir quality and decent quality. You can find better but they are better than the garbage. They fall somewhere around the feal 441s. Not the greatest, but ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In that price range I'd opt for the kw variant 1.

Either way hks falls somewhere between bc shit-teir quality and decent quality. You can find better but they are better than the garbage. They fall somewhere around the feal 441s. Not the greatest, but ok.
Thanks XJ! Tbh, I'd never even heard of KW before but have just looked them up and the V1s seem to get some good reviews. There's also a dealer over here, not too far from me, so that would make life easier. Prices look to be about the same as HKS, so it's a contender for sure. Will do some more digging around. (y)
 

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2010 Subaru WRX Limited Hatchback 5MT
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I was recently in this position and looked at several different options. What you want to look at is twin-tube vs monotube, inverted, fixed perch vs adjustable, ride height adjustability range and top hats to name a few.

I had considered the HKS. They are inverted monotube with a threaded (adjustable) perch, so you can change ride height without changing suspension travel.

I know KW is a popular option, but to my surprise the V1 are twin tube, so not inverted, and have a fixed perch. The height adjustability will differ between the two.

Some will allow a max ride hieght of -1.5" from stock, whereas some will be +1.0". Depending on your needs this makes a big difference. From what I remember the KW use your stock rubber top hats so should be more comfortable than metal ones like the HKS. But I've read the most recent HKS coilovers were designed on American roads i.e. crap roads so are supposed to be very comfortable. HKS claims they are made in their factory in Japan whereas KW are made in Germany. A few years warranty with HKS vs lifetime with KW.

Of course there are all the other options too. Some are available for only GD vs GR vs VA. I went with H&R, which are essentially rebranded Bilsteins. So do your research and see what fits your needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the reply - much appreciated! My strut top hats have the familiar cracking, so the cost of replacing those (with Group N ones) would have to be added into the equation if they're required for the KWs. Interesting to hear about the US testing of the HKS ones, as one of the things I like about HKS is that they're Japanese and that's where both car and driver live! As my daily driver, I only need/want a slight drop in ride height but am really keen to get rid of the bouncy sofa feeling of the stock set-up!

Can I ask why you went for H&R?
 

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My pleasure :)

See there you go, you need new top hats. So price also needs to be considered which I forgot to mention.

Which brings me to why I chose H&R. I really wanted the HKS, but they were backordered and about $600 more. For the age and condition of my car I personally didn't think it was worth the investment. I was going for best bang for buck.

Another thing attracting me to the HKS was the spec sheet, which was very detailed. That translated to me as quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! (y)

The HKS does look like a quality piece of kit but that's reflected in the price. I may therefore have to have a chat with that nearby HKS dealer to see what they can do for me! ;)

Will keep you posted with progress. Thanks again for the replies.
 

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I would personally choose the manufacturer with the most demonstrable R&D behind their product instead of "monotube vs. twin-tube."

There is a reason why KW underpins a fair number of the best autocross and Global Time Attack cars on the grid. KW is simply masterful at suspension tuning. If the manufacturer doesn't publish their shock dyno results, they are automatically disqualified in my eyes. Even Feal does this. Many others tend to capitalize on the "oh they are coilovers so they must be good" mentality. We all know the manufacturers that are the best at that type of marketing....

EDIT: HKS and others often suffer from another phenomenon -- it's JDM so it must be better. Some of the lamest engineering I've seen in recent times has originated in the Japanese aftermarket. Proper engineers solve problems. Lame engineers create solutions for "problems" that don't exist.
 

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Also consider this. Buying from a company overseas like that will be a headache when it comes time to rebuild them. If your car is not a daily and you can live without it for several weeks while you send your coils away to be rebuilt then cool. Or you can always send them away to be rebuilt and throw your stock suspension on while you wait. One perk from buying from a state side suspension manufacturer is that turn around time is much less. This is why I went with fortune auto. They are pretty good coils and turn around time is usually only 2-3 weeks when they need rebuilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's a good point though, and is one of the reasons why I'm thinking of buying local. I can get better deals online but the extra cost of shipping and extra hassle if something goes wrong are definitely factors worth considering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, as the previous pics indicated, I went ahead and bought the HKS coilovers for the wagon! I was able to negotiate a better deal on them, plus they had the wagon ones in stock, so I signed on the dotted line! They were fitted last Tuesday, so I've now had a week driving them and the verdict is... I like 'em! (y)

The ride of the car has been transformed. It now really is a “Sports Wagon” as opposed to the bouncy sofa it had become due to those sticking rear struts. There’s no more bounciness or knocking from the rear and I can actually feel the shocks working as I drive over bumps and undulations in the road. Ride height is about 2cm lower, which is quite noticeable in terms of both handling and looks, as shown below. It feels harder but not overly harsh. Yes, the car’s a little less comfortable now and you feel the bumps and potholes more but it doesn’t rattle my fillings! One thing that was a bit disconcerting was being bucked up (for want of a better description) over some high speed dips in the expressway. Not in a dangerous way but it took me by surprise the first couple of times. I suspect that the lower ride height is a factor there, so I need to live with it for a while before deciding whether the current setting strikes the right balance between performance and appearance.
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Another issue I have is what to do next? I was going to get some larger (22mm) Cusco sway bars for both ends but am going to hold fire on those whilst I put some miles on the coilovers. Plus I have just received some other goodies which should make a bit more of a difference, namely KartBoy endlinks and diff outrigger bushes, TIC diff mount bushings and a Group N pitch stop mount. Fitting all of that should keep me busy over the summer holidays but for the moment, I just want to drive!🤟
 

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The rear diff outrigger and diff mount bushings are nothing short of game-changing. It might seem silly to say this, but I think the impact will be even greater than the springs/struts. Just wait and see.
 
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Yes and it's very irritating that subaru hasn't changed this in ~20yrs. :mad:

Even on '21 the diff/carrier/subframe bushing inserts make a massive difference, & that's just inserts, not bushings. Plus there's no difference in nvh, so subaru doesn't even have that excuse.
 

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It may not have increased NVH for you, but for me it was a huge difference. Tolerable though, for the trade-offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Will let you know what difference they make in terms of both handling and NVH as soon as they're fitted - probably in the next few weeks. (y)
 
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