Author Topic: Suspension Upgrade  (Read 456 times)

Offline El1M1N8OR

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Suspension Upgrade
« on: March 17, 2019, 12:04:31 PM »
Hi guys,

Joined the club recently and already have encountered an issue :doh:

Broken front spring O/S spring.

A replacement of both front shocks and springs at a local garage was my first thought..

However, I am thinking of replacing the entire suspension with an upgraded kit.

The main reason for posting here is how do I find out if my front strut tops are 50mm or 55mm for the upgrade.  Is it just a visual inspection or does parts have to be removed to take a measurement?

Also, looking on Demon Tweeks, I have went from the ST Suspension, to the Koni STR.T, to the H&R comfort kits. 

Any advice on selection for the best bang for budget.. Maybe bang is not the best choice of words but you get my drift..

Offline AJP

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Re: Suspension Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 06:53:28 PM »
If it’s a mk5 GTI you want 55mm.

The main thing you should decide now is whether you want coilovers or a spring and damper kit. In my experience modern coilovers (if you avoid the budget crap) aren’t the ‘track-only break your back firm’ they used to be. I’ve found numerous times playing around with mk4s and now my mk5 that often a decent set of coilovers can feel comfier than a set of aftermarket springs and dampers.

I’ve had the Koni STRT spring and damper set before and didn’t rate them. Uneven drop and very uncomfortable. Although that was the mk4, so maybe things are better on the mk5.

ST coilovers are basically what Weitec coilovers used to be. Name change at the most. They’re essentially KW dampers but not stainless. So you’ll get the characteristics of KW coilovers (rated highly by many in this game) but theoretically without the pricetag of KW coilovers. I say theoretically, because last time I checked ST themselves were overpriced - at least compared to Weitec back in the mk4 days. Which brings us on to.....

Vogtland. Same rebranded KW coilover kit. Same damper characteristics. Same non stainless strut bodies as ST. I think they use Vogtland’s own springs (they established themselves as a coil spring manufacturer years ago). BUT... priced a mile better than ST. I run them, and after I think two years now, I’m still as pleased with them as the day they were fitted.

If you’re not bothered about going much lower than stock or having the capability to adjust the ride height of each corner individually, a shock and spring kit could be a worthy option. I’d personally avoid the lower end stuff like Koni STRT. VWR aka Racingline do a kit that’s been run by a couple of folks on here who I’d trust my own car with - and they like the kit.

Bilstein are to dampers what Walkers are to crisps. They’re good. Just do your research on the different dampers Bilstein offer, because they make so many different types that will ultimately all ride slightly differently, and ride quality is a subjective thing.

 I’ve no experience of H&R Comfort, but again, H&R are a solid name.

If your budget is in the ballpark of OEM shock and spring renewal, do just that. Standard suspension isn’t terrible. You could pay the same money for an aftermarket kit, and end up with something terrible.

Offline El1M1N8OR

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Re: Suspension Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 09:51:24 PM »
Sound Advice AJP.

I will have to make a decision soon.  A few brands I've not heard of might be worth a look.

It would be more for comfort now adays, the boy racer is going grey and balding.  I consider the full kit upgrade to prolong the length of the shocks and springs as I know the MK5 GTi is bad for breaking springs.

Much appreciated  :happy2:

Offline Pudding

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Re: Suspension Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 11:46:55 AM »
55mm is the girth of the shock absorber, which you can measure if you have a set of calipers.  As AJP said, all but the very earliest of GTIs will have the girthier 55mm size  :happy2:  A wider strut allows more oil capacity and a bigger piston, which gives better damping  :smiley:

The Racingline kit is great for daily cruising and is cost effective, but it runs out of talent very quickly when pushing it.

I would say the best performing kits are monotubes, but they don't ride as well as twin tube dampers.  The stability of monotubes when pushing on is unbeatable though.

Decide what you want from the car and set your budget accordingly.   You can't have your cake and eat it with suspension I'm afraid.  There will always be an unfamiliar road or scenario where aftermarket suspension causes purchase regret.  Just depends what you're prepared to compromise on.
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Offline djcamgti

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Re: Suspension Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 09:50:54 PM »
I've just updated the OEM shocks and springs with the VWR offering, and so far i'm happy with it. Compared to the OEM which was 14 years old and on 144k miles i'd say the VWR kit is more comfortable, yet the car seems to have less body roll. It's lowered the car by 20mm rear and 25mm at the front which hasn't provided any ground clearance issues so far.

I've also replaced the top mounts for the Audi S1/S3 versions, and replaced the front bushes with the Superpro ALK kit.

At £540 i think the VWR kit is good value for money, compared to VW quoting £1250 to replace them for OEM. For all the above supplied and fitted by Indigo GT including a hunter 4 wheel alignment i paid £1500

Offline djcamgti

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Re: Suspension Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2019, 10:29:09 PM »
Hello,

Photo of the finished ride height with VWR springs. It’s about 25mm lower.