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  1. #1
    2nd Gear

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    help me improve my handling!

    its time for me to start looking at looking at improving the handling of the car, i have a 1999 150bhp A3 1.8t sport around 68k miles.

    so far all i've done is changed the standard 16" competiton alloys for 17" avus alloys with eagle f1's running 32F/36R and am in the process of getting a 312mm front brake kit installed.

    i am unsure whether the previous owner has replaced any other parts prior to me getting the car, probably not so assume its still running the standard suspension parts etc.

    based on the mods i've done, i'd like the car to (in no particular order):
    -be slightly lowered so theres less space between arch and tyre (i understand the sport suspension is already lower than standard) but no so much that i scrape the LCR lip or my wheels start rubbing the arches.
    -reduce body roll and understeer when cornering (upper/lower strut braces?).
    -reduce nose diving under braking.
    -be able to drive around in some comfort.

    are there any parts that probably would have worn out and need replacing by now? i understand that the cambelt is recommended to be changed around the 75k mark, is there anything like that suspension-wise that i should be aware of?

    also, im quite a newb when it comes to cars in general, i've seen the terms: "coilovers, shocks, arb, dogbone mount, powerflex bushes, lowering springs" all mentioned on this forum and others, but i have no idea what any of them are for! for example, why would i buy the "powerflex front kit" (from www.powerflex.co.uk) what will it give me over the standard part(s) it replaces??

    so, can someone suggest what i would need and what the hit on my wallet would likely be?

    i dont think i can fork out for the most expensive stuff (heard KW coilovers are mega expensive, whatever they do!), it is *only* an 1.8T after all, if i wanted to go to town on mods, i'd start with a better base car like a RS4 but i do realise that im not going to be able to get change from a tenner given what needs to be potentially done.

    ..at the end of the day i want the car to handle better as opposed to looking nicer due to being super lower or anything like that.

    thanks.

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  3. #2
    Reverse Gear

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    Mate, i went for Eibach sportline springs, Im not even joking, the car handles superbly now, I would fully recommend them.

    Infact, I cant imagine driving the car without them. I did not expect them to make anywhere nere the difference they did. The car has very very very little bodyroll now, feels like it doesnt roll at all.

    The ride is very similar to stock also, which is nice.

    After fitting these, I really couldnt see how coilovers would improve the car, it sits at a very good height, low enough to have a nice stance and not too low that its impractical for speedbumps etc.
    Last edited by phill1.8T; 14th September 2006 at 03:26.

  4. #3
    2nd Gear

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    how much is yours lowered by? which kit did you get? a quick google brought up this site:
    http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pag...sub_category=1
    ..but, there are 4 different kit there although at a glance, 2 look like they lower the same amount(?)

    if i click on the first one, theres a blurb that says:
    Please Note: If you are lowering your car by more than 40mm short shocks are required
    short shocks, whassat then?

    got any pics of what your car looks like lowered? anything else thats recommend doing at the same time as the eibach springs?

  5. #4
    6th Gear

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    does anybody at all bother reading the faq's?


  6. #5
    Neutral

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    try "ess three's star performance testing" FAQ. Covers pretty much everything and is a cracking read!

  7. #6
    2nd Gear

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    thanks will check it out.

  8. #7
    Timbo's Avatar
    Slowest car ever round the Top Gear track?!?

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    To be fair Ess_Three's experiences relate to his old S3, which has different suspension to a 1.8T Sport. The fwd cars have a much simpler torsion beam rear end, which means (a) when lowering you don't need to worry about adjustable tie bars and (b) there's not really any alignment adjustment to be done at the rear. In addition the lower links at the front aren't slotted so the front camber isn't really adjustable, and the only adjustment possible is front toe.

    On top of all this I haven't heard of anyone using Bilstein B6's or B8's on a 1.8T Sport so we don't know how well they'd work.

    Do read Ess_Three's threads though as they give good background on suspension (and other) modding.

    I'd say if you're having the springs changed you should change the dampers at the same time, at 68K miles the originals will be past their best and it'll add very little to the labour charge. I've got Bilstein B4's (supposedly uprated OEM replacement) with Eibach springs and I'd say they're a bit under-damped. Comfortable enough though, and fairly cheap. You can get them with shorter bodies for lowered cars too (although I didn't so can't tell you what they're like).

    The A3 1.8T Sport has much more mechanically in common with the Mk IV Golf GTI than it has with the S3, so I found lots of useful advice over at http://www.uk-mkivs.net.

    HTH
    1997 1.8T || AmD Stage 1 || Eibach springs || Bilstein shocks || EBC Brakes - Gone!
    2006 Nissan 350z GT

  9. #8
    silver75's Avatar
    Big Ron

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    Skanky I have an fwd A3 as well to lower your car and not going for coilovers I would say get the Eibach Sportline spings or the H&R that lower your car about 50mm. Lowering the car this low will put extra strain on the standard shocks, so upgrade these as well. Most people on here would say go for the Bilstein shocks. Lowering with the Eibach Pro kit or any springs that are around 30mm lower than standard will decrease body roll but the car wont sit much lower if your car is 1.8T. I think you can still use the OEm shocks with these. Hope this helps.

    Smart Roadster 03
    Ford Sportka 05

  10. #9
    A3_Turbo's Avatar
    Swaying towards IHI....

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    I'll also be needing to lower mine when my wheels are fitted is there genreal opinion that you cant lower it 50 mm on standard shocks?

    Jason

  11. #10
    Timbo's Avatar
    Slowest car ever round the Top Gear track?!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_letts
    I'll also be needing to lower mine when my wheels are fitted is there genreal opinion that you cant lower it 50 mm on standard shocks?

    Jason
    You could do, but I wouldn't. You'd be using the OEM shocks in a part of their travel they weren't designed to be used in. I reckon if you're taking it all apart to change the springs you may as well change the dampers too as they're not that expensive by and large.

    Bear in mind that if you lower the car too much the roll centres may be adversely affected, so it may affect handling and you may get bump steer issues.
    1997 1.8T || AmD Stage 1 || Eibach springs || Bilstein shocks || EBC Brakes - Gone!
    2006 Nissan 350z GT

  12. #11
    2nd Gear

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    any opinions on the KW shocks/spring kit (http://www.dpmautostyling.co.uk/cata...oducts_id=2145) deal with things like nosediving/understeering/bodyroll?

    how would these things compare to koni fsd's bearing in mind i'd like comfort as well..

 

 

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