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The DFV Technology Advantage. So what is DFV? It is Dual Flow Valve technology and it sets Ohlins apart from competitors. Only Ohlins has DFV technology on its road and track products. With DFV, the dual flow valve gives the same characteristics on rebound as it does on compression, thanks the damper fluid having a consistent path of flow in both directions. This means that the wheel and tire can quickly and effectively resume their important position back on the ground, providing grip and traction. The new Ohlins Road and Track range uses DFV technology on every single fitment, making it the perfect upgrade for the enthusiast that needs comfort and agility in the one unit.
Figure 1: (Compression flow) At low shaft speeds, oil flows mostly through the shaft jet bleed (lower dotted arrow). At higher shaft speeds, oil flows mostly through the compression ports in the piston (upper dotted arrow). At very high shaft speeds, or during sudden shaft accelerations, oil can also escape through the compression ports in the DFV, increasing comfort. Figure 2: (Rebound flow) At low shaft speeds, oil flows mostly through the shaft jet bleed (lower dotted arrow). At higher shaft speeds, oil flows mostly through the rebound ports in the piston (upper dotted arrow). At very high shaft speeds, or during sudden shaft accelerations, oil can also escape through the rebound ports in the DFV, maintaining tire contact with the road. Because DFV opens more quickly and easily on minor road imperfections, ride comfort is surprisingly supple and more akin to an OEM shocks than a coilover set-up. Over undulating surfaces, the compliance of the Road and Track units allows your Miata to crest bumps and potholes, whilst still keep stable and in control. Traction is always maintained at its optimum level. When comparing suspension, why settle for second best?
Figure 3: (Vehicle no DFV) Without DFV the oil can not flow through the piston quickly enough on the rebound stroke after hitting a bump, so the tire is not able to stay in contact with the road.
Figure 4: (Vehicle DFV technique) The DFV valve opens, letting the oil flow quicker through the piston on the rebound stroke after hitting a bump, enabling the tire to stay in contact with the road. When adjusting ride height on coilover units, it is worth comparing how it is done. On many inferior designs, height is adjusted by raising or lowering the lower spring platform. This has the effect of compressing or extending the spring, which can limit the suspension travel that may cause topping out. The Ohlins method is to leave the spring seat in its perfect position, while the lower flange spins easily on the threaded body, to allow you to adjust with absolute precision whilst maintaining the perfect characteristics that we took so long to design in! Once you have set it all up, the adjuster simply locks off to maintain your exact settings.
Dampers will get hot. That is one thing that you can be sure of. As the piston moves within the damper, it generates friction and therefore, heat. Although we cannot stop heat, we can deal with it, and this is yet another way that Ohlins differs from the competition. As the heat increases, the viscosity of the damper fluid can change, altering the car handling characteristics. With Ohlins a unique needle bleed valve expands with temperature, closing the gap that the fluid travels through, maintaining a consistent damping rate. The best thing of all? You will not even notice! All you feel is that the car responds consistently, lap after lap, turn after turn. Allowing you to concentrate on braking points and apexes whilst the Ohlins technology takes care of the damping.
Figure 5: Thermal Expansion Design Advantages.
These kits amazing out of the box, but there is still plenty of adjustment for you to set things your way. You like stiff and reactive? Or soft and forgiving? It is all there. Too much low speed rebound damping can have an adverse effect on grip, so the easily accessible adjuster at the top of the Ohlins units allows small, but positive increments of fine tuning, so you can take into account every single parameter. Sounds complicated? It is actually very easy to adjust a few clicks either way to find the settings that work for you.
Since 2010 super light-weight design with a majority of the parts in aluminum and on top of that all shocks have proven through extensive corrosion tests according to ISO 9227.
Spring Rate Front 392 lbs/in (7kg), Rear 224 (4kg)
Ohlins has long lead the way for suspension design in the world of motorsports from Motorcycles to Indy Cars. This package comprises aluminum bodied, mono tube design shocks, with 30 clicks of adjustment. The beauty of the Ohlins is not only will your MX5 Miata handle better, be easier to drive at the limit, but it will also ride better. Spring rates are 7kg front and 4kg rear. This is a great choice for the dual purpose user who wants a setup that can be VERY comfortable around town yet super competent in the twisties, the race track, or the autocross course.
See our Forum Installation Instruction section for notes and pictures on install.
Application Notes from Brian: Ohlins makes Formula One dampers, and the 'stock' shocks for many of the most amazing SuperCars in the world from Koenigsegg to Zonda. We have used Ohlins for decades and have always been amazed with the ability of this brand to provide both great handling AND great ride quality, and their NC MX5 Miata coilover kit continues this tradition. The ride is very close to stock yet less busy and more controlled and the handling is light years beyond stock...we set top time of day in our local autocross on our first day out with these installed....simply amazing. One of the great features is that you can set pre-load independent of height setting thanks to the multi-piece construction (beware of designs the other guys are selling that skip this feature because you get lots of noise without this feature!)
Ohlins are what I used for years on my motorcycles because they are the best, and we approached Ohlins to make these for the MX5 Miata application because we wanted our customers to enjoy the best MX5 Suspension! Ohlins are what you find on Formula 1 cars and at the highest level of motorsports and now you can have the best on your Miata. Please see our forum install notes if you plan to do the install yourself. Ryan Otis drove this kit with spring upgrade (and no re-valve) to 6th overall at 2012 SCCA Autocross Nationals and set top STR time on the West course....yet it rides like a fresh new BMW, amazing!
Update 2015. Had a few questions about what Ohlins will do to 'compete' with some motocross sourced one-piece shocks from a competitor. The issues with the one-piece coilovers in this price range is that you can't dial in the amount of pre-load you want on the springs, and you can't put the travel where you want it. That old single piece shock style usually ended up with very LONG heavy spring stacks comprised of both LONG main spring and helper springs to prevent spring CLANG-CLANG noise, with the additional downside of lots of unnecessary unsprung weight (which has same performance downsides as heavy wheels). Another problem is that Motocross shocks on the Miata would be okay if the Miata was 400 pounds like a typical Motocross Bike, but using such small piston area and volume on a 2400 pound Miata is not recommended for consistency or durability (for track use in particular it would mean MUCH HIGHER piston temps that results in FAST wear, not a good idea).
In contrast, the Ohlins setup is not merely proven and designed for the Miata, it is quite a bit more sophisticated with the three piece design meaning you have constant pre-load on the main springs without need for helper springs to avoid spring clang issues and without having nearly a foot of spring stack to band-aid around the issue of a cheaper one-piece design.
INSTALLATION NOTES. See our MANY PAGES of install thread in our forum Installation Section! Note we usually have customers CAREFULLY drive the result for a few hundred miles before corner balance or alignment because the car will settle significantly. Once that is complete we usually start most customers at 13.25 inches front, 13.5 inches rear, measured center of wheel up to fender lip.
DRIVEN DAILY...AND COMPETITION PROVEN. What better way to prove this setup is the BEST MX5 Coilovers for the money then to take them to competitions and WIN, WIN, WIN. This is the setup in my "Project Blue" daily driver below that is regularly top time of day at local autocross events. Yet while it is fast enough to consistently win it is also comfortable enough that we daily drive this car on long road trips...including the 437 mile drive drive each way to Laguna Seca for a full weekend of fast laps...and back 437 miles home again in comfort.
This is also the exact same setup we run in our NCLIGHT Project Track Car that has track records like the counter clockwise record at Chuckwalla Raceway....in a field of Vipers! Talk about bring a knife to a gunfight....yet we won and set a Miata lap record in a field of Vipers, see the article about it from Grassroots MotorSports bottom of this page. It was so fast the TV commentator dubbed it the "Mighty Miata"...and we stuck the corners thanks TO OUR STANDARD OHLINS KIT RATES...not the higher rate race kit, because we wanted to prove that even our standard Ohlins kit can be VERY, VERY, FAST!
PROVEN FAST, PROVEN RELIABLE, PROVEN THE BEST MX5 COILOVERS FOR THE MONEY!