Unread 07-31-2013, 10:57 AM
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Default Vorshlag's Shock Page & New Damper Offerings

For years Vorshlag has been known as a suspension designer, manufacturer and retailer of high end shocks, top mounts, springs and more. Performance suspension products are the core of our business, and that will never change. Sure, for some car models we also make LS1 V8 swap kits, motor mounts, bushings, wheel studs, wheel spacers, and other Vorshlag products. And we sell parts from brands like Forgestar, D-Force, Whiteline, Eibach, Cobra, Motul, and many others. But suspension development is our number one game.

One of the main components of an automobile suspension are the dampers or "shock absorbers". These can make or break your handling performance and ride quality, and are a key ingredient to lowering lap times. Some of you know that Vorshlag introduced AST shocks to the North American market back in 2006, and we're still a dealer for their products. We became a Moton shock dealer in 2011, and in 2012 we added the Bilstein Motorsports products to our shock selection. In 2013 we added Motion Control Suspension shocks to our all monotube line-up of high end dampers.

Between these four great shock companies there are dozens of damper models that cover a wide range of costs, features and advantages. To help explain what is what we have come up with a new Vorshlag Shock Page, linked here. Check out that page and see what we offer. And while we do not list every single shock model for each of these companies on our shopping cart yet, we can get everything they make.

The choices can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. Not every brand and model will be right for you, and often we will talk customers out of a more expensive option if it doesn't fit their racing needs, skill set, or required use (road conditions, tracks in their area, or class restrictions). We will share the drawbacks of each model as well, pointing out things like the extra hassles of mounting remote reservoirs, or any weaknesses we've seen over time. Call our shop line at 972-422-7170 and ask for technical help, which we give freely. Vorshlag's suspension gurus have decades of racing experience and can help you pick the right shock for your car, class, use, and budget. Let us help make your car fly...

As we install new damper models onto new cars we will add that information to this announcement thread. We've got several installs of new shocks already in the queue, so stay tuned for more shock pr0n...

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Unread 12-03-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag's Shock Page & New Damper Offerings

Who, long time without a post here. We have been selling a wide variety of shocks over the past 6 months so I will post up some new offerings here more often, plus things we have learned along the way. Today's tech is about the differences in Bilstein PSS / PSS9 / PSS10 / Clubsport monotube coilover kits.

Vorshlag is a Bilstein dealer but so far the PSS stuff not a big mover for our customers, yet, most of whom are more track oriented than these kits are probably made for?

That said, we did a complete PSS9 + Vorshlag camber plate + Powerflex bushing install on a customer's E36 325i track car (above and below) in September and he really liked it. I drove the car on the test loop and the street several times and was pretty impressed with the ride and handling.

Vorshlag Tester Adam Faust running at ECR with NASA November 1-3rd, 2013, on Bilstein PSS9 coilovers

Our Tester Adam just tracked his E36 in November (moving from HPDE1 to HPDE3 that weekend - he is an experienced autocrosser now moving towards track events and eventually Time Trial) at a the NASA race weekend at ECR and sung the praises of the suspension all weekend, so maybe we should be trying them on more cars? His car came to us with blown Konis and lowering springs, so of course going to inverted monotubes was a big step up, but he was running some competitive times in the car, too. These PSS kits are cost effective right out of the box, if maybe a bit conservatively sprung.

BMW E36 M3 PSS9 kit we installed back in September with progressive rate fronts and variable rate rears

My biggest pet peeve is that many of these PSS kits come with variable rate or dual rate, beehive style springs (often made for OEM top mounts) and you can't opt out of those. This is done for TUV reasons (Germany) and why they won't let us opt out of the included springs. We have tried and failed to get only the dampers, but upgrading to coilover springs isn't terribly costly, either. Changing spring rates lets you fine tune the handling and beef up the on-track or autocross performance.

The front PSS10 struts are inverted, which is a performance plus. They have 40mm shafts and 36mm pistons

Inverting the rear doesn't really do much for a standard shock, but having the front struts inverted is actually pretty helpful. This makes the strut stronger and have less deflection in lateral loading when extended, meaning you lose less camber dynamically. And an inverted strut will have less unsprung weight, but they also have a bit more seal drag.

The dampers are unusual in that they are almost always inverted, even the rear shocks.

The other oddity are the fact that these single adjustable shocks have one knob tied to both rebound and compression, which could make them harder to tune on a track car, but for a street car it isn't that much of a limitation. The included spring style is not consistent, either: some PSS kits come with a 60mm coilover springs while others come with the beehive springs. And even within the 60mm sprung kits, some of those springs are variable rate and some are straight rate.

Bilstein non-adjustable PSS kit for BMW E39. Note the dual rate rear springs

One thing that people confuse a lot is the naming... PSS vs PSS9 vs PSS10. Here's what we have listed on our shock page to help explain the differences in these Bilstein PSS kits:

Bilstein PSS / Bilstein PSS9 / Bilstein PSS10 / Bilstein Clubsport:
  • Perfect fitment right out of the box. Fully developed system including springs and dampers; some kits include new top mounts
  • Proven inverted coilover strut design with 36mm pistons and 40mm shafts, very durable, great ride quality and good handling w/o adjusters
  • Adjustable lower perch adjusts from stock as much as 60mm lower, but ideal for 30-40mm lower (shorter shock and strut bodies)
  • Triple layer encapsulated zinc external coating that is extremely corrosion resistant
  • Systematic feature progression from street to time-trial use (PSS -> PSS9 -> PSS10)
  • Bilstein PSS: height adjustable, designed for street use
  • Bilstein PSS9: 9-position combination rebound and compression adjustment, height adjustment, designed for street and track use
  • Bilstein PSS10: 10-position combination rebound and compression adjustment, height adjustable, designed for street and track use
  • Bilstein Clubsport: 10-position separate compression and rebound adjustment, height adjustable, designed for track use. Includes top new mounts and the costs are significantly more expensive than PSS9/10 kits.
  • Medium to Higher cost options. Great performance upgrade from Bilstein Sport/OEM spring options
The other differences in PSS9 and PSS10 is the adjuster style The PSS9 is an "old style" non-linear adjuster and the PSS10 is a "new style" adjuster that has more even changes/linearity between clicks. We've seen more and more kits come out with the PSS10 style adjuster lately.

Whenever we do use these kits (the shocks themselves are very nice) we try to get the customer to let us chuck the included variable rate springs and go to 60mm coilover springs, which the bottom perches of the struts are made to accept. Then we use our camber plates on strut cars. But some folks want that cushy ride so we keep the included springs.

Bilstein PSS9 kit with beehive springs and Vorshlag camber plates with OEM upper perches

We've been slowly adding these PSS kits to our website as we find testers to buy them so we can rate the springs, photograph the parts and install the kits. Sure, we could just plop every application on our website and use the "stock photos" that everyone else uses... but the Bilstein stock photos are pretty limited and often don't show everything that comes in a given kit. So far we've only done a handful and each of those is on our online catalog.

Bilstein PSS9 kit for Subaru GD comes with linear rate 60mm springs + tenders at all four corners

So we are looking for more Testers to try out Bilstein PSS kits. Drop us a line at sales@vorshlag.com if you would like to try a PSS kit. If you are local, if you meet our Tester criteria, and if there is a PSS kit we haven't done available for your car we will do the install + corer balance at a reduced price.


Last edited by Fair!; 12-03-2013 at 05:20 PM.
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