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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As somebody said earlier on this forum, referring to both John Hennessey's superb pricing and the world-class performance of the KW Variant 2 coilovers - RUN, DON'T WALK to get a set of these on your ride. I'll second that, particularly if greatly improved handling and safety is anywhere in your priority list.

Teamed up with Hotchkis Sport anti-sways, these KWs are truly the ultimate suspension mod for the LX Hemis. The install was finished Thursday night, and I have since put approx. 700 demanding, highly-spirited, miles on them.

The performance results from the combination of the KWs and the Hotchkis bars are remarkable. The term CARVE now has clear and precise meaning. And gone completely is the nasty steering wheel kick all too common with our stock suspension and stock ContiSeals when encountering a bump with the suspension loaded.

They are the match, and more, of the SRT8 suspension - no little praise - a point demonstrated at both high speeds and in super-tight, gnarly, twisties. At traction limits in high G turns the car remains flat - I was unable to intentionally induce body roll.

Basic city manners are improved also. One killer speed bump near my residence was barely tolerable at 11 mph with my stock suspension. A test run at 15 mph with the KWs showed much less pitch and rebound, and was significantly more comfortable than with the stock suspension at 20% or so less speed. Transiting uneven surface heights and textures at an angle no longer requires steering wheel input to maintain course.

My settings:
Springs: Total drop: Rear 1 /1/4", Front 1 3/8.
Rake: 1/2"
Rebound damping: Front: 2 turns, Rear: 1 turn.
Alignment: I split the difference between Hennessey Performance recommendations for fastest lap time, and factory settings. Toe-in is zero.

On my car these settings are so near perfect that I'll not be changing anything anytime soon - I'll merely be enjoying the tremendous refinement to handling and responsiveness.
 

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Meister said:
As somebody said earlier on this forum, referring to both John Hennessey's superb pricing and the world-class performance of the KW Variant 2 coilovers - RUN, DON'T WALK to get a set of these on your ride. I'll second that, particularly if greatly improved handling and safety is anywhere in your priority list.

Teamed up with Hotchkis Sport anti-sways, these KWs are truly the ultimate suspension mod for the LX Hemis. The install was finished Thursday night, and I have since put approx. 700 demanding, highly-spirited, miles on them.

The performance results from the combination of the KWs and the Hotchkis bars are remarkable. The term CARVE now has clear and precise meaning. And gone completely is the nasty steering wheel kick all too common with our stock suspension and stock ContiSeals when encountering a bump with the suspension loaded.

They are the match, and more, of the SRT8 suspension - no little praise - a point demonstrated at both high speeds and in super-tight, gnarly, twisties. At traction limits in high G turns the car remains flat - I was unable to intentionally induce body roll.

Basic city manners are improved also. One killer speed bump near my residence was barely tolerable at 11 mph with my stock suspension. A test run at 15 mph with the KWs showed much less pitch and rebound, and was significantly more comfortable than with the stock suspension at 20% or so less speed. Transiting uneven surface heights and textures at an angle no longer requires steering wheel input to maintain course.

My settings:
Springs: Total drop: Rear 1 /1/4", Front 1 3/8.
Rake: 1/2"
Rebound damping: Front: 2 turns, Rear: 1 turn.
Alignment: I split the difference between Hennessey Performance recommendations for fastest lap time, and factory settings. Toe-in is zero.

On my car these settings are so near perfect that I'll not be changing anything anytime soon - I'll merely be enjoying the tremendous refinement to handling and responsiveness.
Meister,

That really was a fantastic write up.....I have mine set at 2.5 turns in the front and 1 turn in the back and am pretty happy. My drop is pretty aggresive (there is about 1/2" gap front and back)....I think I need to break down and get the sway bars.....
 

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Good write up meister. You got me all excited talking about how well the KWs perform. You have totally convinced me that this was a worthwhile purchase and I can't wait to get the installation done. I'll start (and hopefully finish) my tomorrow.
 

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I had teh privilage to drive Meister car and it is all that and then some. Althogh I do have the KW V2, I don't have the Hotchkis sway bars, yet. My car handles great and my drop, well is a little more aggressive. The front is down 2" and the rear at 2 1/4", there's a tad bit of day light there. But where I really was the difference with the sway bars. I feel sorry for the young buck who rolls up next to Meister and thinks he's going to school him, they will just get their back sides handed to them.

Meister had a couple of other nice mods of interest. The jet chip, unreal the power band was nice and clean. The car really responded and reacted on the money. The GSM fan mod, nice. The last was the led cabin lights, that really finishes off the interior.


Meister has really done this car right and he drive's it like he stole it.
 

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Jimbo is the man

fatchance said:
I had teh privilage to drive Meister car and it is all that and then some. Althogh I do have the KW V2, I don't have the Hotchkis sway bars, yet. My car handles great and my drop, well is a little more aggressive. The front is down 2" and the rear at 2 1/4", there's a tad bit of day light there. But where I really was the difference with the sway bars. I feel sorry for the young buck who rolls up next to Meister and thinks he's going to school him, they will just get their back sides handed to them.

Meister had a couple of other nice mods of interest. The jet chip, unreal the power band was nice and clean. The car really responded and reacted on the money. The GSM fan mod, nice. The last was the led cabin lights, that really finishes off the interior.


Meister has really done this car right and he drive's it like he stole it.
Meister is my guru for all my mods. I take the cue from him for most everything and he's the best for advice.
 

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BBSRT8 I'm looking forward to your review. I'm not convinced that the addition of the KWII and sway bars will add enough to the SRT8s existing ride to warrant the cost.

Plus I want to hear about the change in everyday driving not just at the track where my ride never goes.

Any SRT8s with the KW feel free to chime in.
 

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Well, I finished installing the KWs and The Hotchkis swaybars about 1:00 PM today (three hours today and three hours yesterday. Not to bad). After taking a little break and rechecking all the fasteners I put the tires back on and took a little drive. I immediately could feel the difference in the ride quality. It was firmer without being overly harsh. I can now "feel" the road much better than I did with the stock setup.

I have the shocks adjusted to KWs recommended settings and I think it should be fine for now. Once I get some more driving time in, I may make small adjustments and see how I like them.

I didn't push the car hard for the first 20 minutes. I just drove it on some roads that I know are a little rough to get an idea how the suspension would react. While it is an improvement over the stock SRT8 suspension, it wasn't a huge one. I may feel different later on as I get in more driving time in varying conditions.

When I decided to start getting more agressive, I was very impressed with the way she now handles. Quick lanes changes were very stable and this thing was staying flat even when taking turns at a fairly high rate of speed (without breaking the law of course). I would have to say that the Hotchkis swaybars are a very big improvement over the stock ones.

I wasn't able to get more than an hour to play with my new mod, but I will experiment some more when I get back on the 23rd (Duty calls and I got to get underway tommorrow).

Some tips about the install:

If you are planning on doing the swaybars (and I highly recommend that you do), save yourself some hassle by buying them now and put them on at the same time that you install the suspension. You will already have most of the steps required to be accomplished done anyway and it would be a pain in the butt to have to repeat all that work later. I am glad somebody convinced me to get them now.

When I got to the part where I needed to remove the coil from the front shock I couldn't find my spring compressor (honestly, I have one somewhere). Thank goodness for the local part store and their free loaner tools. The spring compressor (at least the one I had) was too big to fit on the tightly wound coils of the KW springs. After trying to force it to work and getting frustrated, I figured out I could just adjust the adjusting ring all the way down, install the spring and get the nut on, then adjust the adjusting ring back up. No spring compressor needed! :)

I also needed to modify the top boot on the front shocks. I had to cut off the lower portion because it didn't fit inside the new coil.

I'll post more info when I get back and do some more driving..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Update

(Copied from my recent post in another thread, but pertinent here as well)

Just back from one of life's finer weekends. :)

Let me tell you, the tremendous driveability improvement that the Jet Chip provides the LX Hemi is nowhere more apparent than when flogging it in the tight twisties. Motor and transmission were instantly responsive to the demands of repeated quick cycles of WOT to ABS chatter to WOT....

Under those extremely demanding conditions the stock SRT8s I was running with in the mountains above San Diego were at least equalled by the combination of the instant responsiveness of my drivetrain and the superior suspension that the KW/Hotchkis combo provides my sweet C, most notably in the tightest, gnarliest, sections.

In terms of responsiveness, suspension, and overall balanced package there was one clear winner at the end of 45 spirited minutes of WOT flogging - Jet Chip and the KW V2/Hotchkis anti-sway killer suspension combo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
crhemi said:
Are you say your car outperformed the 2 Srt8's?
That's correct.
 

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Meister said:
(Copied from my recent post in another thread, but pertinent here as well)

Just back from one of life's finer weekends. :wink:

Let me tell you, the tremendous driveability improvement that the Jet Chip provides the LX Hemi is nowhere more apparent than when flogging it in the tight twisties. Motor and transmission were instantly responsive to the demands of repeated quick cycles of WOT to ABS chatter to WOT....

The two SRT8s I was running with in the mountains above San Diego were totally outclassed by the combination of the instant responsiveness of my drivetrain and the superior suspension that the KW/Hotchkis combo provides my sweet C.

There was one clear winner after 45 spirited minutes of WOT flogging - Jet Chip and the KW V2/Hotchkis anti-sway killer suspension combo.

uh...
that's an interesting point of view...
maybe next time I'll let you lead and I fill your backside with my hood and windshield... :wink1:
Oh, Dan...
care to chime in on this one?
Remember its always nice to have a leader to follow... :wink1:
My buddy always - The Meister man...

oh, and his ride performed admirably...
I will say that...

Remember you can be my wingman anytime... :wink1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
cbutler32 said:
...maybe next time I'll let you lead and I fill your backside with my hood and windshield... :wink1:...
Catch me if you can, buddy. :biggrin:

Especially in the super-tight twisties. :wink1:
 

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cbutler32 said:
uh...
that's an interesting point of view...
maybe next time I'll let you lead and I fill your backside with my hood and windshield... :wink1:
Oh, Dan...
care to chime in on this one?
Remember its always nice to have a leader to follow... :wink1:
My buddy always - The Meister man...

oh, and his ride performed admirably...
I will say that...

Remember you can be my wingman anytime... :wink1:

LMFAO, That was funny!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cbutler32 said:
...My buddy always - The Meister man...

oh, and his ride performed admirably...
I will say that...

Remember you can be my wingman anytime... :wink1:
As you know, Chris, I'd be honored. You're a superb LX pilot. :)

'Just need to get rid of some performance flaws in your sweet ride that brute horsepower can't mask and are cramping your style.

Especially in the super-tight twisties. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
fatchance said:
Now I know your Crazy, LOL.

I should have mine installed soon.
Who, me? :silly:

Great, fatchance. I look forward to your demo thrill ride with great...anticipation. :)
 

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Meister said:
As you know, Chris, I'd be honored. You're a superb LX pilot. :)

'Just need to get rid of some performance flaws in your sweet ride that brute horsepower can't mask and are cramping your style.

Especially in the super-tight twisties. ;)
I am thinking the same thing...
and there is someone here is SD who just added the same mods you did...
and I'm asking kindly for a ride...
as we all know...
there is now way in god's name he will let me drive his car... :biggrin:
But you never know... :wink1:
I'll settle for a ride for starters...

What fry's me is that someone PM'ed about a month ago on this stuff who sells it in SD and I cannot for the life of me remember his name or NIC...
as I was doing the clean out thing and deleted the wrong message...
oh well...
 

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"Spirited" in CA

Great Road Trip

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just returned Monday 2:30 am from a PHENOMENAL road trip to SD. Had plenty of seat time with Meister and CButler. I enjoyed EVERY minute of it including the "Quality Time" with our CHP friend on I-8!

First off: Props to Meister. That has to be the fastest, most dialed in, 5.7 on the road! That being said, his recent post of:

"The two SRT8s I was running with in the mountains above San Diego were totally outclassed by the combination of the instant responsiveness of my drivetrain and the superior suspension that the KW/Hotchkis combo provides my sweet C.

There was one clear winner after 45 spirited minutes of WOT flogging - Jet Chip and the KW V2/Hotchkis anti-sway killer suspension combo."

Let me say, well, not exactly. Not once did Meister (or anyone else) pass, or "Outclass" me, in 3 days.

Did Meister do the 5.7 proud and hang with the big boys? Hell yeah!

Did his numerous mods eliminate most or all of the 5.7's shortcomings? Hell yeah!

Did he surprise me with how well his car could hang with my 6.1 from 90 mph+? Hell yeah! (til 128 at least) He did not run side by side with me, but I didn't walk away from him as fast as I thought I might. Of course with the speed limiter he was unable to run with the big boys at warp speed. (we kept it under 170 all weekend, I swear)

On our Friday night and Saturday morning "Spirited Drives" he was VERY Impressive! Between his unquestionable Fighter Pilot Skills, and quite capable 300C he was ever present throgh the twisties.

On our Friday night adventure he ran up my ass (under braking) several times, making me wish he had the Brembo's and glad he didn't kiss me there!

On Saturday during the first half of our Mountain Run, he held his own, but wasn't "Waxing My Tail". Eventually I moved back and hung more with our two other friends, and watched Meister and Chris "Check Out". A good time was definitely had by all!

On Sunday we hit the drag strip at CA Speedway, and had some fun with the GSM boys. My 6.1 ran low 13's all day. I believe Meister ran low to mid 14's all day. The silver SRT-8 with 100 shot of Nitrous beat my NA SRT-8 by about 1/2 second in a head to head run. His mid 12's to my low 13's. The GSM Supercharged 300C SRT-8 beat me by a little more than 1 second. His 11.99 to my 13.04.

The ultimate "Fun Day" to me would be to all register together for the Jim Russell "Performance Driving Clinic" at Sears Point Raceway. 20 or so drivers can run their own cars on the 12 turn road course with passing allowed!

Laguna Seca would be another Ideal track, but I haven't seen any option to run our cars at that track.

And by the way. I ran Sears Point on 9/7/05 and sent 15 "Sports Car" drivers home wondering WTF just happened to them. So I doubt SERIOUSLY that even a heavily modded 5.7 will "Outclass" me there either!


Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DanRealtor said:
...I doubt SERIOUSLY that even a heavily modded 5.7 will "Outclass" me there either!...
Easy, my friend. :) That's not the issue.

It's best to not take your friend's words out of context. ;) It was the tightest, twistiest, sections that I've referred to. The more the race is a drag race, the more it tilts to the favor of unmodded 6.1Ls. But the more the race is an autocross, the more it tilts to a totally responsive, superbly suspended, 5.7L.

The tighter the twisties got the more the inherent throttle & tranny lag that only goes away with chips and GSM mods, coupled with a less capable suspension, turned the tables in favor of the perfectly performing and better suspended 5.7L vs. the laggy, in both engine and transmission response, less sure-footed, but more powerful, 6.1L.

My car (not ME, but my car) owned the super-tight twisties. Sorry you weren't in position to observe it. By the the time we were in the really tight stuff you were several minutes back, and not privvy to seeing the show.

I look forward to our next outings. I'll be highly pleased to see firsthand the performance gains you realize from your new mods. And the Hotchkis/KW combo is absolutely must mod for both you and Chris, IMO.
 

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Wish I had someone to jock, and drive against here. They see the 6.1L and just fall behind and admire the splendor.
 
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