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Old 11-12-2018, 05:27 PM   #1
2Wavy
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New Ohlins vs RCE Tarmac 2

Hey all, I've been researching coilovers to get in the next few months and I was pretty much set on RCE Tarmac 2s, but I saw the recent post by Sakebomb Garage that the Ohlins R&T have been revised with more performance oriented spring rates. Now I'm debating whether to get the Ohlins R&T instead. Here are a list of differences I've gathered for each of the two options.

Ohlins:
- Monotube design probably slightly more responsive?
- DFV helps with ride quality
- 5k/5k springs (I think?) are a little more daily driver friendly
- Single adjuster (a little more limiting but makes it easier for me to adjust for track, canyon, etc without having to pull the trunk carpeting)
- No camber plates or slotted holes, so camber adjustment is a problem
- Ohlins quality is trusted even by OEMs

Tarmac 2:
- People here love it and it's a proven solution for performance
- Is probably better in terms of outright performance with the 7k/7k springs (although maybe a little harsh for DD?)
- Dual damping adjustability gives me a little bit more potential
- Stainless construction is probably more durable (although I live in California so corrosion isnt much of an issue)
- Slotted holes mean I don't need camber bolts or plates and can get a decent amount of camber
- More height adjustability (If I want to lower the car more)
- More shock travel?

Does anyone have any thoughts on which would be better for me? . For reference the car is a daily driver that sees about 10 autocrosses a year but I do want to start doing occasional track days in the near future. I'm also running 245 section Direzza ZII star specs.
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:29 AM   #2
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Tarmac 2:
- Is probably better in terms of outright performance with the 7k/7k springs (although maybe a little harsh for DD?)
I don't think these rates are too harsh for dd. I currently have 7k/6k springs on my car and given the adjustable damping I don't think they are harsh. Given you are wanting to track later on these would be much better than the 5k/5k of the Ohlins especially considering the motion ratio at the rear and the tyres you are running.
- Dual damping adjustability gives me a little bit more potential.
I have had dual adjustable dampers in the past and I'm guessing they took me about a month before I had them dialed in the way I wanted but certainly I thought dual adjustable dampers were the way to go. You can tweak them just right!
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:57 PM   #3
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NorCal or SoCal?

I wish I had ridden in some cars before buying my first suspension. Autocross would be a good opportunity to do that.

Both would be fun for casual autox or track use, I'd pick the softer rates for DD.
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Old 11-13-2018, 02:43 PM   #4
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- Stainless construction is probably more durable (although I live in California so corrosion isnt much of an issue)
Ohlins are aluminum (at least the ones for my FD are), so no rust worries and also significantly lighter-weight.

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Old 11-13-2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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@strat61caster currently in Socal

Does anyone know if Ohlins realistically need to be rebuilt more often than RCE's? I asked RCE and I they recommended roughly 4 years between rebuilds, I think Ohlins manuals states every 30k Kilometers, which is probably around 2 years for me. I'm not sure what real world numbers are looking like for people before needing a rebuild though.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:20 PM   #6
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@ZDan what were your general experiences with the ohlins on your FD? How often did you have to rebuild them?
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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@strat61caster currently in Socal

Does anyone know if Ohlins realistically need to be rebuilt more often than RCE's? I asked RCE and I they recommended roughly 4 years between rebuilds, I think Ohlins manuals states every 30k Kilometers, which is probably around 2 years for me. I'm not sure what real world numbers are looking like for people before needing a rebuild though.
It is pretty variable with all coilover brands depending on your usage and the quality of your roads and their recommendations can be all over the place. We would expect more thank 30k kilometers for most people with Ohlins for example.

- Andrew....still waiting on our vendor account to reup!

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Old 11-13-2018, 03:34 PM   #8
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@ZDan what were your general experiences with the ohlins on your FD? How often did you have to rebuild them?
IMO they were just about perfect for street/track usage. However spring rates for the FD are a lot more track-appropriate than for FT86... "Stock" FD rates were 11kg/11kg, I changed the fronts out for 13kg. Damping was *very* digressive, they blow off sharp bumps/impacts incredibly well.
I put about 30k miles and probably 20 track days on them over five years and never had to rebuild them.

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Old 11-13-2018, 03:49 PM   #9
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Does anyone have any thoughts on which would be better for me? . For reference the car is a daily driver that sees about 10 autocrosses a year but I do want to start doing occasional track days in the near future. I'm also running 245 section Direzza ZII star specs.
The Ohlins are great dampers with excellent valving and overall quality. We felt they were capable on the road and track with the "old" 6 kg/mm spring rates, and we also upped them to 7 kg/mm on our old BRZ. We've done a couple sets of the "new" Ohlins and used 5 kg/mm springs. Better than stock ride and a great all around street + fun suspension. It definitely is more on the road side of the road and track spectrum, however. Larger swaybars would help, and with your tires and amount of track + autox you do, I would recommend some camber plates as well.

FYI we've done a couple Tarmac 2s with 6 kg/mm springs (I had a set like that for my car briefly) and it can be very comfortable. The ride is as good or better than stock when adjusted correctly. The 7 kg/mm springs are a little firmer (duh) but still controlled and smooth...when adjusted correctly. We can help with that!

With T2s, you can get about -2.2 degrees camber up front using 2 of the OEM camber bolts and OEM top mounts.

If you don't want to mess with a 2 way and want something on the softer side of things, the new Ohlins with 5 kg/mm rates are a very good choice. The T2s 7 kg/mm springs are a very good track and auto-x capable set up that you can grow with and the 2 way shock adjustment gives you a little more potential to tune them the way you like (when adjusted correctly!). The T2s with 6 kg/mm springs would sort of split the difference...certainly no complaints about ride quality (our roads are terrible and I drive on cobblestone often) but still fun and capable on the track. The ride is quite good with the 6 kg/mm springs.

- Andrew

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Old 11-14-2018, 03:32 AM   #10
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@Racecomp Engineering I'm looking at the shock dynos for both pairs, and it looks like the Tarmac 2s can be set to much stiffer or much softer damping than the Ohlins. Does this mean at a soft street-type setting, the Tarmac 2s would tend to have a plusher ride (assuming you put the same spring rates on both?). With the wider adjustment ranges on the T2s, does this also mean T2s would have more headroom for spring rate changes if I ever chose to do that?
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:38 AM   #11
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@Racecomp Engineering I'm looking at the shock dynos for both pairs, and it looks like the Tarmac 2s can be set to much stiffer or much softer damping than the Ohlins. Does this mean at a soft street-type setting, the Tarmac 2s would tend to have a plusher ride (assuming you put the same spring rates on both?). With the wider adjustment ranges on the T2s, does this also mean T2s would have more headroom for spring rate changes if I ever chose to do that?
On the stiffer end yes, we designed them more towards the track end of things so the valving adjustment is centered around that and they have the headroom. The Ohlins are dialed back a notch (or two for the new Ohlins) from that.

On the softer end, since the Ohlins are designed more to the "road" side of things, their valving is centered around that. Our dampers do adjust down pretty soft, but I will say that when both are dialed way back, the Ohlins have a little better responsiveness on their soft street settings if that makes sense.

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