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Fitted Life Project S14 Relaunches With KW Variant 3 Coilover System

By on Mar 15, 2013 in MOTOR WORK | 4 comments

Competition. It’s a driving passion and a motivational input that keeps us moving forward to do better. I love competition and that’s why I seek out the best things in life. I work hard, I compete, and I motivate myself to reach forward and grab excellence by the hand and rejoice within its glory. That’s the fighting spirit and that’s where life counts.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


Last time we checked in with the project S14, it was pretty much somewhat finished. It was equipped with D-MAX coilovers, HKS catback exhaust, interior details such as the classic Nardi 330mm wood grain steering wheel and accompanying Nardi shift knob, and other light performance mods. I wasn’t too comfortable with doing motor swaps since I lived in California and it would’ve been a huge hassle because I didn’t have the space. I felt this was pretty much it and I really needed to stay focused on saving up money for more important things in life…I guess.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


But that all changed. I felt a sense of automotive revival pumping throughout my veins. Something just clicked inside of me. Maybe it was the constant nagging of my cousin that eventually lead me to revisit my love of cars. Or maybe, it was the people that I met along the way. They were the source of my inspiration and even maybe my competition. This was my gateway to reviving the S14 project once again and I was pumped.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


To kick off the S14 project rebirth, I went ahead and ordered myself a set of KW Variant 3 Coilovers. These were a step up from my D-MAX coilovers and from the reviews, I was in for a major performance upgrade. Incorporating a 2-way pressure valve system and compression and rebound adjustability, this German grade state of the art coilover system was my pick of the crop. I wanted performance and I wasn’t going to settle for less.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


With all KW Variant systems, they do not include a top hat as they are designed to adapt to the stock top hats or with an aftermarket camber plate/top mount. A few days before the install, I called KW to check out if they offer top mounts and they did for the Clubsport setup or if you wanted to, you could order the camber plates found on the Clubsports for around $500 a piece (wowzers). As much as I love baller parts and killer quality suspension, I couldn’t build myself to dish out another $2000 on top of this $2000 plus coilover system. Imagine that, I would’ve been running a $4000 system if I did! Crazy! Rather than going with the KW top mounts, I went ahead and picked myself up a set of Tein pillowball mounts for front and rear.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


If you’ve ever had experience with changing out the stuts or springs on your car, then this install is a piece of cake. However, it did take me a hour or so, just to figure out a safe way to compress the coilovers to install the pillowball mounts. It took me so long, because I wanted to get the install right and I didn’t want to damage the coilovers in the process because that would be a $2000 mistake that I didn’t want to make.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


I was a bit preoccupied during the install so I wasn’t able to take shots of the coilover plus top mount install, but I managed to snap pics of the before and after. As you can see the car is not anymore slammed, but at a moderate and fantastic stance. As much as I love the whole slammed and stance scene, I feel like I’m pretty much past that phase. I want to create a performance driven car that looks good, feels good, and performs well. So with the ride adjustability, I dropped the front to their lowest setting and kept the rears the stock KW height which gave me a slight California rake with 6″ front clearance and 6.5″ rear clearance from the sideskirts to the ground. It’s drivable. It’s tuned. It feels right.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


After install wrapped up, it was time for the drive home. You’ve heard the stories about these epic coilovers and from my first drive with these coilovers, the KW Variant 3 system is brilliant. One of the biggest concern I had with my D-MAX coilovers was the rough ride at low speeds and over uneven surfaces. Unlike the D-MAX coilovers, the KW Variant 3s exceeded my expectations and they provided a very comfortable ride at low speeds and over uneven surfaces. They feel very comfortable, but firm, tight, and responsive. The high speed turning capabilities were also an amazing feel as I pushed my driving limit running a 45 mph corner at 80 mph comfortably. Due to the KW Variant 3 technology, during turn in speeds, variable suspension control due to the 2-way pressure valve system allows high performance cornering capabilities while retaining stability through the corner. Likewise, the suspension keeps the rubber on the tarmac and provides substantial traction. Bottom line is the KW Variant 3 coilover system is worth the hefty price tag.


Nissan 240sx S14 KW Variant 3


I still need to break the coilovers in and I’m sure it’s going to get better. I’ve got big plans for the S14 this year so stay tuned. The sky is the limit.

4 Comments

  1. Torby

    March 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Zenki love! Looks awesome, I think you have the wheels and stance perfectly dialed, there! Good investment on the KW setup! Cheap coilovers suck big time, I’ve made that mistake myself on my old S14. Keep it up, looking forward to what you have planned next!

    • Michael Cabuco

      March 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Torby! Yea a lot of people here in the States are really stuck on the slammed look, but I think this new stance is perfect for my taste. The KWs are a brilliant setup and I’m really stoked to do some more spirited driving with these. Yea man, I’ve got some unexpected plans for the S14. Stay tuned!

      • Derrick

        January 6, 2014

        Post a Reply

        I have also picked up a set of v3′s. I have the rears installed but have yet to do the fronts. On the front I have some crappy old Teins with Tein top mounts. As you now know, the kw’s are designed for the factory top mounts, were there any issues with mating the Tein top mounts to the kw coilovers? I only ask because I hear the the adjustment post on the top of the fronts is not long enough, and its very difficult to get the 26 pounds of torque required to tighten the nut around the adjustment post. Any info on this would be greatly appreciated as this job will take place in my driveway, so I would prefer to see these issues coming beforehand

        • Michael Cabuco

          January 6, 2014

          Post a Reply

          Derrick, the Tein top mounts do bolt onto the KW’s okay but there’s a lot of bare thread left on the top nut once installed. I’ve actually ran these coilovers hard for a few months with the Tein top mounts and they didn’t give me any issues. However, if you want peace of mind, check techno toy tuning’s camber plates and get the appropriate spacer to allow enough play between the kw top hat to the t3 camber plate. Lastly, a good strap wrench that can fit between the coils will help you with torquing that nut. Good luck with the install!

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