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Coilover choice: Ohlins vs ??

20
26
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Jacksonville, FL
Hello there. New member, first post. Just purchased a 2017 GT PP1 6MT and plan to build it into a worthy HPDE track car and maybe for TT. I'm new to the S550. Have been tracking a BMW M3 6MT for about 5 years but essentially stock other than wheels/brakes/camber plates. I will trailer it to the track and use it 90% track and 10% street. I will drive it on the street some but first priority is track performance. Have been reading all I can on the forum to try to figure out what the most important considerations for suspension starting with springs/shocks/struts. I agree with the line of thinking that its best to spend the money up front and get good quality and something you can grow with/into rather than upgrade over time and end up paying more over a longer time. Budget is not a big issue but I don't want to pay for something I'll never need. I do enjoy having settings/controls including ride height adjustment so was planning to purchase a coilover system as opposed to say the FP struts/shocks/springs although they look to be a great solution but no adjustability. I have read that the Cortex are high quality. And the I'm considering the Ohlins for the S550.

Ohlins Road & Track for 2015-2020 Ford Mustang S550 [FOU MR01]​


I've also been told I should consider the Steeda solution:

Steeda S550 Mustang Pro-Action Front Coilovers & Adjustable Rear Ride Height Kit (2015-2021)​


How important is it to have the ability to control both the compression and rebound? Ohlins have both and looks like Steeda only the rebound control.

I've seen very little mention on the forum about Ohlins. Appreciate any thoughts on how they stack up quality wise and compared to the others and any other recommendations you have.
 
92
94
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Raleigh, NC
Hello there. New member, first post. Just purchased a 2017 GT PP1 6MT and plan to build it into a worthy HPDE track car and maybe for TT. I'm new to the S550. Have been tracking a BMW M3 6MT for about 5 years but essentially stock other than wheels/brakes/camber plates. I will trailer it to the track and use it 90% track and 10% street. I will drive it on the street some but first priority is track performance. Have been reading all I can on the forum to try to figure out what the most important considerations for suspension starting with springs/shocks/struts. I agree with the line of thinking that its best to spend the money up front and get good quality and something you can grow with/into rather than upgrade over time and end up paying more over a longer time. Budget is not a big issue but I don't want to pay for something I'll never need. I do enjoy having settings/controls including ride height adjustment so was planning to purchase a coilover system as opposed to say the FP struts/shocks/springs although they look to be a great solution but no adjustability. I have read that the Cortex are high quality. And the I'm considering the Ohlins for the S550.

Ohlins Road & Track for 2015-2020 Ford Mustang S550 [FOU MR01]​


I've also been told I should consider the Steeda solution:

Steeda S550 Mustang Pro-Action Front Coilovers & Adjustable Rear Ride Height Kit (2015-2021)​


How important is it to have the ability to control both the compression and rebound? Ohlins have both and looks like Steeda only the rebound control.

I've seen very little mention on the forum about Ohlins. Appreciate any thoughts on how they stack up quality wise and compared to the others and any other recommendations you have.
I have the Ohlins and like them. The adjustability is great. After about 3 events I think I have then where I want them. These are my first coil-overs though so I’m afraid that I can’t compare to anything except OEM performance pack suspension.
 
58
43
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
Call cortex and get custom valved shocks with matched springs for the type of driving you'll do most+ type of tire you use most. You can get a traditional 2 way adjustable set for not much more than ohlins.

In either case your service interval on the coilovers will be about the same, if you track your car that service interval goes down.
 
20
26
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Jacksonville, FL
Call cortex and get custom valved shocks with matched springs for the type of driving you'll do most+ type of tire you use most. You can get a traditional 2 way adjustable set for not much more than ohlins.

In either case your service interval on the coilovers will be about the same, if you track your car that service interval goes down.
Good idea. Thanks for the feedback. I will give them a call. Are you suggesting Cortex because you think they are of higher quality (build, durability, reliability, performance, etc) compared the the Ohlins?
 
Thanks. In your profile you have “MCS 2 way with remote reservoirs with ohlins module” listed. What is the Ohlins module you’re referring to? Appreciate it (reminder I’m a coilover noob!)
You wont need it if you do not have a magnaride equipped car.....(powerpack 2)
 
58
43
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
Good idea. Thanks for the feedback. I will give them a call. Are you suggesting Cortex because you think they are of higher quality (build, durability, reliability, performance, etc) compared the the Ohlins?
Cortex uses JRI which was founded by former penske engineers. Of all the companies I've spoken with they seem to have the best informed "know how" imo. Their quality is top notch and like ohlins are a traditional hydraulic damper. I would not suggest mcs unless you get a remote reservoir because without it they run much to high gas pressures. With cortex you can ask for them to fill with as little gas as possible, although the trade off is that compression is related to the gas pressure you're running. TL/DR the cracking force on dampers can affect low speed compliance.
 
I had the same questions as you last year when I got my car and decided to go with Fortune Auto 500's with Swift Springs. My reasons, they are custom built including spring rate, they are upgradeable, the 500's only have rebound adjustment, later they can't be rebuilt to 510's which add compression adjustment, you can then get them upgraded to their remote reservoir system. The starting price point was attractable to me. https://fortune-auto.com
 
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Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,549
4,081
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Run Remote Dual adjustable MCS shocks and somewhat like JRI the guys running MCS are guys who used to be at Moton. When I was at Woodhouse Auto Family we were the largest supplier of these shocks for Viper in the US. We often took off the KW systems from Dodge and SRT Racing ( Viper ACR-X ) and guys raved about the improvements with the Motion Control Suspensions. Vorshlag is a major Distributor of them on the Mustang and I would put them above the JRI shock systems -- yes , I am biased. Call Vorshlag and chat with them and see what they feel is best for you overall application. It was interesting when my Fabricator , Dean Palmer Racing Development, was installing the shocks ( he happened to Dyno them as he was curious about how they compared to Penskes ) and he came away super impressed with the MCS shocks. As noted I already felt that way after seeing tons of applications on Vipers and other machines -- my son has them on his EVO 9 ASP autocross beast!
 
3,611
3,436
You realize that you are entering the shock rabbit hole of death, correct?
Unless you have some experience with coil overs, you can adjust yourself right out of the ball park. If it were me, I'd run the car as is, or with adjustable standard shocks first, just to get some baseline and experience with adjustable shocks. Many (off the spring) standard type of shocks are really good quality. But, if you must, the JRIs seem like a decent choice, for the money, but Ohlins are also decent. The cars I work with almost all have Penskes, which are crazy money, and I would not recommend them except for a race only application. I have absolutely no experience with the MCS product.
First on your list would be to check the rulebook and see exactly what you are allowed to do, then come up with a modification strategy based on what you can afford, vs the change they make, if it were me, and I was allowed several mods, the shocks would be my last one, since they basically control all the rest. What I'm trying to say is, get the car baselined, then go coil over last, based on what you've learned.
 
Cortex uses JRI which was founded by former penske engineers. Of all the companies I've spoken with they seem to have the best informed "know how" imo. Their quality is top notch and like ohlins are a traditional hydraulic damper. I would not suggest mcs unless you get a remote reservoir because without it they run much to high gas pressures. With cortex you can ask for them to fill with as little gas as possible, although the trade off is that compression is related to the gas pressure you're running. TL/DR the cracking for
Run Remote Dual adjustable MCS shocks and somewhat like JRI the guys running MCS are guys who used to be at Moton. When I was at Woodhouse Auto Family we were the largest supplier of these shocks for Viper in the US. We often took off the KW systems from Dodge and SRT Racing ( Viper ACR-X ) and guys raved about the improvements with the Motion Control Suspensions. Vorshlag is a major Distributor of them on the Mustang and I would put them above the JRI shock systems -- yes , I am biased. Call Vorshlag and chat with them and see what they feel is best for you overall application. It was interesting when my Fabricator , Dean Palmer Racing Development, was installing the shocks ( he happened to Dyno them as he was curious about how they compared to Penskes ) and he came away super impressed with the MCS shocks. As noted I already felt that way after seeing tons of applications on Vipers and other machines -- my son has them on his EVO 9 ASP autocross beast!

the only issue i had with vorshlag was im having an issue with the cancellers and they said “we dont know call ohlins’’ and left urw hangin (i was standing next to their tech when he called in’’....im not really a fan of that business practice.

i mean, if i buy something you’re selling, of course you should stand behind it.

ive called cortex and their tech person was insanely helpful.
 
Last edited:

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,169
3,155
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
ive called cortex and their tech person was insanely helpful.
I had the same experience with Cortex. I called to ask what I needed to do to fit the JRI DA shocks to the rear of my Boss. The "Tech Guy" I talked to was the owner. 5 minutes on the phone and he had a satisfied customer with parts that worked. I had to remove the helper springs to fit the Apex 18x11's. Simple fix, handled immediately. Cortex does not make JRI shocks. They do make satisfied customers.
 
58
43
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
TX
the only issue i had with vorshlag was im having an issue with the cancellers and they said “we dont know call ohlins’’ and left urw hangin (i was standing next to their tech when he called in’’....im not really a fan of that business practice.

i mean, if i buy something you’re selling, of course you should stand behind it.

ive called cortex and their tech person was insanely helpful.
My experience has been that Vorshlag was the only company where I had such a bad experience on the phone and email that I will never give them a dime. It takes ALOT to run me off.... However I'm not here to bash them; I would caution doing business with them and that's all, I understand if others have done business with them and had good experiences.

Rick @ Cortex has only ever been fantastic and willing to bend over backwards to simply provide customer service. It doesn't hurt he knows his stuff too.

I had the same experience with Cortex. I called to ask what I needed to do to fit the JRI DA shocks to the rear of my Boss. The "Tech Guy" I talked to was the owner. 5 minutes on the phone and he had a satisfied customer with parts that worked. I had to remove the helper springs to fit the Apex 18x11's. Simple fix, handled immediately. Cortex does not make JRI shocks. They do make satisfied customers.
For clarity, TMSBOSS is correct, Cortex does not make JRI shocks, however they do sell them and collaborate with JRI on custom packages that they offer.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
The CorteX JRi DA units provide the most flexible control in their price range. Highest level of control for a double adjustable damper.

The only downside IMO...There is a bit of a steep learning curve how to make adjustments.

There are a fair number of TMO members that eventually ended up with CorteX JRi DA dampers for various platforms. To my knowledge, nobody who did has subsequently ‘upgraded’ to some other brand/system.

Good luck deciding.
 
4,221
3,787
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
The CorteX JRi DA units provide the most flexible control in their price range. Highest level of control for a double adjustable damper.

The only downside IMO...There is a bit of a steep learning curve how to make adjustments.

There are a fair number of TMO members that eventually ended up with CorteX JRi DA dampers for various platforms. To my knowledge, nobody who did has subsequently ‘upgraded’ to some other brand/system.

Good luck deciding.
Pretty sure @flyhalf is on Cortex 2 way JRI's but lets let him answer that.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
357
345
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Another option for the S550 is the Shelby Double Adjustable set. Uses Penske internals developed on a shaker rig the right way, and IIRC the strut housing is made by Cortex.

BTW, I believe the Ohlins DFV are single-adjustable, though the adjustment may affect more than just the high-speed rebound that Koni yellows change. The DFV are higher-end street shocks, the TTX are Ohlins' motorsports line.

If you look at web sites for Ohins, Bilstein, Koni, etc., you'll generally see their offerings broken down into "street" and "motorsports" lines. TL;DR: High-end street shocks are $1-3K per set and use off-the-shelf valving and adjustments to work with a variety of spring rates. Motorsports dampers are $1-5K+ per damper and are typically custom-valved for each car setup, with the adjustments used to match pairs and fine-tune handling - major spring changes mean revalving, and they get rebuilt regularly. If going the "motorsport" route, find the person you trust to do the tuning/revalving/rebuilding on your shocks first, then discuss brands with them.

Always remember that the more knobs you have to play with, the more ways you can royally foul things up.
 
Last edited:
20
26
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Jacksonville, FL
Another option for the S550 is the Shelby Double Adjustable set. Uses Penske internals developed on a shaker rig the right way, and IIRC the strut housing is made by Cortex.

BTW, I believe the Ohlins DFV are single-adjustable, though the adjustment may affect more than just the high-speed rebound that Koni yellows change. The DFV are higher-end street shocks, the TTX are Ohlins' motorsports line.

If you look at web sites for Ohins, Bilstein, Koni, etc., you'll generally see their offerings broken down into "street" and "motorsports" lines. TL;DR: High-end street shocks are $1-3K per set and use off-the-shelf valving and adjustments to work with a variety of spring rates. Motorsports dampers are $1-5K+ per damper and are typically custom-valved for each car setup, with the adjustments used to match pairs and fine-tune handling - major spring changes mean revalving, and they get rebuilt regularly. If going the "motorsport" route, find the person you trust to do the tuning/revalving/rebuilding on your shocks first, then discuss brands with them.

Always remember that the more knobs you have to play with, the more ways you can royally foul things up.
Very helpful, thanks. Yes i know you need to get the settings right but that’s half the fun!
 

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