Compression and rebound adjustment with one adjuster
Linear coil Springs
The Ohlins Road & Track kit has been designed to give a ride smooth enough be used on the road whilst retaining the ability to offer competent performance on the track. Ohlins have decades of experience in building high end performance dampers and the road and track kits have been developed to bring some of that technology to the road at a reasonable cost.
The damping rate on the Ohlins Road & Track units is fully adjustable and ties compression and rebound together as a matched setting. In 95% of cases the Ohlins dampers will suit the customers needs straight from the box, although further assistance can be provided if required, .
Many of the applications available are ride height adjustable without affecting the fitted length and preload of the spring, although spring preload can also be adjusted. A unique feature on the Ohlins Road & Track dampers is the Dual Flow Valve (DFV) technology. This additional valve supports the basic function of the main piston by allowing increased oil flow through ports in the DFV with sudden damper accelerations. This translates to a more supple ride on uneven road surfaces and harsh high damper speed impacts. The one way adjuster allows simple changes between firm and soft settings via the adjuster.
The DFV Technology Advantage
Similar to a double digressive piston, the dual flow valve gives the same characteristics on rebound as it does on compression, thanks to the damper fluid having a consistent path of flow in both directions. This means that the wheel and tyre can quickly and effectively resume their important position back on the ground, providing grip and traction. The Öhlins R&T range uses DFV technology on all fitments, 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 tyre contact with the road.
Because the DFV opens more quickly and easily on minor road imperfections, ride comfort is surprisingly supple and more akin to an OEM strut than a coilover set-up. Over undulating surfaces, the compliancy of the R&T units allows the car to crest bumps and pot-holes, whilst still being stable and in control. Traction is always maintained at its optimum level.
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 tyre is not able to stay in contact with the road. This results in a harsh and jarring ride quality which many coilover brands are known for.
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 tyre to stay in contact with the road.
When adjusting ride height on coilover units, it’s worth comparing how it’s 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 Öhlins method is to leave the spring seat in its perfect position, whilst the lower flange spins easily on the threaded body, to allow you to adjust with absolute precision whilst maintaining the perfect characteristics that took so long to design in. Once you’ve set it all up, the adjuster simply locks off to maintain your exact settings.
Dampers get hot and as the piston moves within the damper, it generates friction – and therefore, heat. Although we can’t stop heat, we can deal with it and this is yet another way that Öhlins differs from the competition. As the heat increases, the viscosity of the damper fluid can change, altering the car’s handling characteristics. The unique needle bleed valve expands with temperature, closing the gap that the fluid travels through, maintaining a consistent damping rate. This is unnoticeable upon application, all you’ll feel is that the car responds consistently, lap after lap, turn after turn. Allowing you to concentrate on braking points and apexes whilst the Öhlins technology takes care of the damping.
Figure 5: Thermal Expansion
These kits all work well ‘out of the box’, but there’s still plenty of adjustment for you to set things your way. Too much low speed rebound damping can have an adverse effect on grip, so the easily accessible adjuster at the base of the Öhlins units allows small, but positive increments of fine tuning, so you can take into account every single parameter. Just a few clicks either way from factory settings will soon have your car responding precisely to your inputs and driving style.
Most of the Road & Track McPherson struts also feature camber adjustable upper and lower mounts to give you the possibility to fine tune your wheels for the right occasion – whether you want to go for a ride in your neighborhood or take your car for a spin at the track on a weekend.
Perfection in performance has been the Öhlins way since 1976. They have achieved this through an obsession with detail and quality. Every part of the manufacturing process sets new standards for the automotive industry, whether it’s material choice, design, manufacture or even a small detail like packaging. Only when it is perfect can it leave the factory. The new R&T range finally puts Öhlins incredibly high standards of research, development and manufacture within the reach of the discerning enthusiast. This range is pure Öhlins, but the good news is – you won’t need a race team budget to afford it.
Öhlins have supplied many of the top teams in motorsport, but also thousands of genuine enthusiasts. They only manufacture to one quality and every new client is as important as the last. In their view, the relationship doesn’t end with that initial sale. They see their role as providing support and back up thereafter, for as long as the client needs it. That way all Öhlins units are fully serviceable and adjustable, making sure that they give faithful and dynamic service for years to come. The fully trained and approved service centers can make your old Öhlins units perform like new and even make changes in damper characteristics to suit your set-up preferences. Remember that the road and track range was born out of their motorsport programme, where the impossible has to be made possible, so you can expect the same level of care and attention to detail on the R&T range.
The choice of materials used is one of the key factors behind Öhlins success. Each component is surface treated to ensure reduced friction and superior performance. The piston shaft and damper walls are micro-finished and plateau honed for optimum lubricity and low friction coefficient. This attention to detail is the same across the entire range of Öhlins products. Without this fine surface finishing, excessive friction can reduce the compliancy of the damper causing a loss of function.
Damping rate on the R&T units is fully adjustable and ties compression and rebound together as a matched setting, meaning that in 99% of cases, the units will work superbly, straight ‘out of the box’ with only the smallest adjustments required to suit the car or drivers individual preferences. Despite what other suspension manufacturers may tell you, comfort is king, even when you are trying to set up a competition machine. Öhlins vast experience on events like the World Rally Championship and Isle of Man TT races has shown us that the fastest drivers and riders are those that aren’t being shaken to bits as they go flat out. The science of compliance is a hugely important part of the design work.
The carbon steels bodies are salt spray tested and can service 240 hours of abuse, whilst still retaining function. Don’t let those stunning race car looks fool you. These are real-world units for daily driven cars.
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