Notice: I am not affiliated with Sakebomb Garage, nor am I being compensated for this review.
Now that I’ve got a few trackdays under my belt on the Sakebomb FPSpec Ohlins coilovers, I felt I should recap my impressions thus far.
Cliff’s Notes Version: I absolutely love these coilovers for dual-use street and track, and highly recommend them for anyone looking to add significant performance with absolutely no sacrifice to street comfort. While they may not offer the range of adjustability that 2- or 3-Ways can provide, I believe that they are the best single adjustable coilovers in their class for all-around performance and comfort.
Car: ’00 AP1 S2000
Spring rates: 12k front / 12k + 5k helper rear
Swaybars: FPSpec 32mm front at stiffest setting / FPSpec 21mm rear
Wheels & Tires: Volk ZE40 17×9 +61 square with Bridgestone RE71R 255/40-17, 30.25psi front / 29.75psi rear
Other: Rear Adjustment Extenders, Megan Front Offset Camber RCA / Megan Rear Toe Arm RCA, no aero, softtop down, rollbar
Alignment: -3.2 front camber, zero toe / -3.0 rear camber, 0.40* toe-in
*corner balanced at 50% crossweight with driver
Service & Support
The process for determining the best suspension setup for my car was very straightforward. SBG sends you a form to fill out with your current/planned mods, aero, wheel/tire setup, etc. they also ask you what is important to you, the sort of vehicle balance/behavior you hope to achieve, and what your goals are.
Following my submittal of this form, several emails and a few phonecalls between me and Heath/Christian helped determine their recommendation. They were very helpful, and discussed the different options that they felt would work well with my setup. I wound up pulling the trigger on the above setup + the FPSpec front and rear swaybars. They described the feel as “firm and sporty like an M3, tossable and predictable like a Miata, without the bite at the limit like the AP1”. Which, so far, has all been true.
Downstream support has been great, as well. Heath and Christian are always available to answer questions regarding the setup, future modifications, etc. They typically respond within 24 hours.
Product Unboxing Impressions
The coilovers arrived in a well padded box, springs installed and preloaded. I had to set the ride height by adjusting the lower mounts per their initial ride height suggestions. Following the install, I wound up lowering by an additional .65″. In total, I think that Im lowered about 1.25-1.5″.
Quality of all parts are top notch. The SBG rear lower mounts, pillowball top mounts, and spanners are all extremely nice additions to the standard Ohlins DFV. The yellow powdercoated Swift Springs are also a nice touch, and match the clean look of factory Ohlins. And of course, the longer stroke of the rear dampers was a crucial improvement over the OTS DFV. For all that you get with this kit, it’s a no brainer decision if you’re considering the standard DFV.
The packaging of the swaybars couldve been better. The 32mm bar arrived with a large quarter-sized chip in the powdercoat. SBG stepped up and gave me a nice discount on the adjustment extenders, which have been a great addition.
The adjustment extender knobs are machined aluminum, and anodized to match the Ohlins adjuster knobs perfectly. They installed easily, and just mount with a set screw to the rear adjusters.
Compared to the stock early-AP1 suspension, the Ohlins are as-comfortable, if not more-comfortable. On the street, I run the dampers at 3-clicks from full soft. I live in the Chicago Suburbs, and am no stranger to nasty potholes. The car takes bad potholes no worse than stock did, and handles bumpy railroad tracks with ease. Regular road bumps and dips, absolutely no problem. The car feels sporty and firm, but in no way does it feel too stiff or oversprung. Which was a big concern of mine with the 12k rates.
I have no noticeable bumpsteer, but Im also not quite as low as some may go.
1 click on these dampers makes a difference. When i first got them, I screwed around with them, adjusting a click or two and driving, and repeating several times. Each time I adjusted, I could feel it. I wound up determining that the 3 clicks from soft is the best for comfort without being too “pillowy”.
I really like the optional adjustment extenders, which make it easy to adjust the rear damping on the fly. My only gripe is that the driver side one rubs against the rubber evap gas tank boot, making it more difficult to feel the clicks. No problem when softening for street, but before trackdays I reach my hand behind the trunk carpeting so that I can add some clearance so that I know that Im at the right amount of clicks. The other issue for some, which is no problem for me, is that you cannot run them with the spare tire in place.
Are the extenders worth the extra money? Maybe, maybe not. They’re certainly a “nice to have” but not a “must have”.
The balance of the car, after corner balance and proper alignment, is spot on. Its exactly what I was looking for. I can toss the car into corner entry by trailbraking, get on throttle to plant the rear end, and stay flat out to rotate the rear around the apex. I have yet to unload either rear wheels, which I attribute to the combination of square spring rates, rear helper spring, big fsb, and tiny rsb. As a complete system, it works extremely well together. As I continue to get faster and drive more tracks, I assume that there may be opportunity for rear wheel lift, but none yet.
I am running 6-clicks from stiff front, and 7-clicks from stiff rear. Adjusting the damping completely transforms the car for the track. If youre doing track driving, I highly recommend adding the front and rear RCAs, as well.
If you get a little overzealous mid-turn, it can still spin on you, but nowhere near the unpredictable snap that you can get from the AP1. Both times that Ive spun (since getting a new alignment to fix my screwed up rear toe) were instances where I made driver mistakes. One of those times I shouldve saved it, but I hit the windshield wipers on counter-steer and it threw me off.
All in all, the car is extremely predictable and makes me feel an incredible amount of confidence to continue pushing the limit for faster and faster laptimes.
I absolutely love these coilovers for dual-use street and track, and highly recommend them for anyone looking to add significant performance with absolutely no sacrifice to street comfort. While they may not offer the range of adjustability that 2- or 3-Ways can provide, I believe that they are the best single adjustable coilovers in their class for all-around performance and comfort.