For many European vintage car enthusiasts, an Opel Kadett C – also known as Vauxhall Chevette, Buick Opel, Chevrolet Chevette and Opel K-180 – is still the most beautiful car in the world, even after decades have passed. For all fans of the two- and four-door Opel Kadett C sedans built from 1973 to 1979 and the Kadett C coupe, we’ve produced the KW V3 Classic stainless steel coilover suspension.
Our KW Classic dampers and KW Classic coilovers differ from conventional vintage car suspension replacement parts through our vehicle-specific and intelligent tuning methodology, which goes far beyond subjective driver tests.
No matter which vehicle we develop a suspension for, we always use our vehicle dynamics test bench. This servo-hydraulic 7-post vertical dynamics test rig originates from Formula 1; our particular machine was sourced from the BAR Honda Team.
When developing our KW Classic applications, we use our vertical dynamics test bench to analyze, among other things, the resonance frequencies of the classic car body. Therefore, even before the first road or track test takes place, the company can accurately simulate exactly what happens when a car drives over a bump in the road.
We’ll try to explain in a few simple words what our colleagues on the suspension development team are accomplishing here. During the analysis runs on the vehicle dynamics test rig, the wheels are positioned on the four “platforms” (shown in the picture above).
To make the Opel Kadett C resonate, these pedestals move vertically. These up-and-down movements cause the wheels to bounce in and out. This test simulates driving the Kadett on public roads.
From the perspective of our R&D engineers, they see something completely different and talk about the car body passing through frequencies from one (1) Hertz to 20 Hertz in phase zero at a constant speed in a hub sine wave.
Our team analyzes the resonance frequencies of the respective car. If the oscillation is not properly damped, the entire system can no longer be controlled.
It sounds a bit abstract, and it is. From this data, for example, our engineers read how small transverse joints or wavy asphalt surfaces affect the suspension.
Armed with this information, our Research and Development department has the necessary information to design the dampers and springs to perfectly match each other and the respective vehicle and the field of application. Due to our modern damper technology used in the KW Classic suspension for the Opel Kadett C, we have much more flexibility in the suspension design.
In reality, a properly tuned sport suspension design should not be characterized as hard damping. Direct handling, more body control and maximum tire grip are fundamental for a safe and sporty ride.
With the KW V3 Classic coilover suspension for the Opel Kadett C, a bypass channel in the valve is manually opened or closed via the integrated 16-click rebound adjustment. This influences, among other things, how quickly the suspension will rebound when load changes are made. The rebound stage can also be described as how the body is tethered to the road.
With the low-speed compression stage, twelve clicks are available to reduce or increase the cross-section in the low-speed compression stage valve to adapt the damping to the desired ride profile. The low-speed compression stage is used to specifically influence body roll during turn-in and pitch behavior during braking and acceleration. Damping on long bumps is also influenced by the low-speed compression stage.
In the event of sudden or abrupt bumps the preloaded high-speed valves, which cannot be externally adjusted, open rapidly in combination with the low-speed valves to handle the excessive compression force effectively. This prevents the tires from losing grip on uneven road surfaces, transverse joints or bumps.
The KW V3 Classic coilover suspension has shorter damper housings than the standard components. As a result, the center of gravity of the Opel Kadett C body is lowered by a minimum of 25 millimeters after installation of the kit.
With the threaded housing and composite spring perch, the body can be continuously adjusted an additional 25 millimeters to reach a total lowering of 50 millimeters. The KW V3 Classic stainless steel coilover suspension is available now with part certification for all two- and four-door Opel Kadett C sedans built from 1973 to 1979, and for the Kadett C Coupé.