Ohlins DFV Damper Technology
The Ohlins DFV may be the most underrated track damper on the market. Since Ohlins classifies the DFV as a “Road” & Track damper, many track enthusiast do not consider them as a top track damper. Don’t be fooled, even though the DFVs are more compliant that stock dampers, they have design features that keep it at the top of the track damper class including its unique namesake feature.
DFV 3 distinct oil paths
Typical dampers have 2 sets of paths for oil to flow through, one for low speed piston movements and another for high speed movements. Additionally, other dampers use a blow off valve when the piston is forced to move faster than its high speed valving allows. During this “Super High Speed” piston movement, the blow off valve allows the piston to quickly move through the oil however it is left to rebound slower through the high speed valving. This creates a situation where the damper compresses much faster than it can rebound causing the tire to lose contact with the road creating instability.
During these extreme wheel movements, DFVs allow the wheel to get back down to the ground as quickly as it went up. This is where the DFV (Dual Flow Valve) gets its name as it is essentially a 2 Way Blow off Valve. These 2 way “Super High Speed” Oil valves are noted via solid lines below.
The number one modification you can make for your car is the Driver and Drivers drive faster when they feel confident. The DFV 3rd Super High speed Oil path provides the ultimate driver confidence during those extreme moments on track. Hitting a bump, dip, curb or hole at high speed can create instability or twitch that will rattle the driver and it could take a few corners or even laps to feel confident again. Even worse, these extreme moments can cause the driver and car to crash. The DFV will allow the tire to move up AND down quickly and control the car in situations that many other track dampers physically can not. The DFV is top tier technology and design at a value price.
Temperature Sensitive Bleeder Valve
Ohlins DFVs have a temperature sensitive bleeder valve on the low speed oil path. When the dampers are cold the needle opening contracts providing the colder, less viscous oil a less restrictive path to move through. During hot lapping the sessions the needle opening expands to restrict the more viscous oil, creating a more consistent low speed damping across operating temperatures. Additionally, the DFVs have 46mm pistons compared to 30-44mm pistons found in other systems. This provides increased damping sensitivity across more precise piston movements.
Single Adjuster, Dual Adjustments
Another reason the DFV often gets overlooked as a great track damper is the fact that it is classified as a single adjustable damper. However, each adjustment changes BOTH compression and rebound, providing changes similar to a dual adjustable damper. The single adjuster allows the DFV to be more affordable while maintaining Ohlin’s quality and revolutionary design.
16 lbs of Weight Savings
The Ohlins DFVs are designed in Sweden and Machined in Japan out of Aluminum. Aluminum allows the shock to dissipate heat better throughout and shed about 16lbs over the OEM dampers. The OEM dampers weigh in at about 51lbs (varies across models) across all four corners while the DFVs come in at about 35lbs. 16lbs is a significant weight savings for a part upgrade on a car that weighs as little as the Miata. More importantly it is 16lbs of unspring weight, further improving handling by improving wheel/tire dynamics.