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  1. #1
    leshkin's Avatar
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    Talking It handles great now!!!

    That's what I said after driving my S3 after the Bilstein shocks, H&R springs and Golf R32 ARBs were fitted yesterday. Just as comfy as the standard set-up (if not more) with little body roll.

    Why can't Audi do this from factory? I'm sure the car would have an even bigger following and better sales if they'd bothered to pay a little more attention under there.

    Anyway, I thought I'd share my joy with everyone here... My drive to work might take a little more time than usual due to some diversions tomorrow morning

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  3. #2
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    Works 60% the time, Everytime.

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    Good to hear. I will be going for the Neuspeed TT setup though. What sizes are the R32's?

    2003 Audi S3 + Go faster bits

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    Quote Originally Posted by MintyS3 View Post
    Good to hear. I will be going for the Neuspeed TT setup though. What sizes are the R32's?
    That's my preffered set-up...and absolutely spot on for the roads we get 'up north'.
    A bit more expensive for sure...but brilliant.


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  6. #5
    leshkin's Avatar
    Speeding in reverse gear

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    IIRC Front is 23mm and rear is 19mm, VAG-parts sell them for 170+vat, so is a budget option. I'm extremely happy with the results though and after driving about for a couple of days can't understand the need to spend more on ARBs unless you're racing. The feel is great and it turns much nicer than with the standard poo.

    The setup I went for is quite conservative and went for the -25mm H&R springs, but roads in London leave much to desire, so I didn't want to go mad.

    I'll try and upload some pics soon, but with the weather being the way it is lately it looks filthy, so many on here will not approve

  7. #6
    Ess_Three's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leshkin View Post
    IIRC Front is 23mm and rear is 19mm, VAG-parts sell them for 170+vat, so is a budget option. I'm extremely happy with the results though and after driving about for a couple of days can't understand the need to spend more on ARBs unless you're racing.
    I'll explain the 'need' for some:
    The set up you have is 4mm larger front and rear...so it rolls less, equally. The chassis balance remains the same, and it still tends to understeer when you run out of front end grip - which you will quite soon if you haven't messed with the front balljoints to get as much negative camber as possible.

    With the Neuspeed 22/19 set up, you have a proportionally harder rear than front...which gives a slightly more rearward set up and resists understeer a bit longer than on the R32 23/19 set up.

    It's not to say either is bad, or one significantly better...just one tends to make the turn in just a bit sharper...and in my mind - and experience - is just a bit more chuckable.

    Nothing to do with racing...if you were racing you'd be going bigger than 23mm on the front most likely...and much bigger than 19mm on the rear.



    The feel is great and it turns much nicer than with the standard poo.
    Sure does...
    Especially if there is some negative camber added through a combination of lowering and pulling the balljoints outwards.


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  8. #7
    leshkin's Avatar
    Speeding in reverse gear

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    Hi Ess_Three,

    Thanks for your reply, you definitely know what you're talking about and I used your guides as a basis for deciding on what shocks/springs to go for.

    Here are some pics I made this morning... she does need a clean though

  9. #8
    fingermouse's Avatar
    thats me

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    same set up as mine
    red to red black to black blue to bits

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    Dark Knight

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    low

    doesn't look any lower ?


    Quote Originally Posted by leshkin View Post
    Hi Ess_Three,

    Thanks for your reply, you definitely know what you're talking about and I used your guides as a basis for deciding on what shocks/springs to go for.

    Here are some pics I made this morning... she does need a clean though
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  11. #10
    Marc1's Avatar
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    Sounds like your car is set up really nicely.

    I'm interested to find out how upgrading the rear ARB affects FWD cars. Is this more likely to result in too much oversteer?
    Thanks

  12. #11
    leshkin's Avatar
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    Yeah S3mad, only slightly lower (me being a cluts with a camera doesn't help either). I like that it looks very close to standard as don't want the extra attention/rep of a boy racer that normally comes with lowered cars - it's the difference in handling that makes me giggle every time I drive it. I'm sure fingermouse and everyone else who has this setup, will back me up on this

    I'm planning a trip up North in a couple of weeks, so can't wait to see what it can do on the back roads (GPS set to "shortest route and to avoid M-ways" )

    Marc, I wouldn't know about FWD set-up, sorry. Learned most of what I know from reading Ess_Three's posts. Logic dictates that the same principles apply, but with the usual FWD differences of extra understeer. You will have to decide on how you want your car to handle and base your choice on that. I wanted safe understeer characteristics (closer to std) for fast road use, so the proportional change to R32 ARBs made sense. This eliminated much of the body roll when cornering hard, but still feels safe. There are many variations of ARBs, so this really depends on what type of handling you want. In any case, upgrading the shocks/springs makes alot of sense when upgrading the ARBs, so keep that in mind.

  13. #12
    Ess_Three's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    Sounds like your car is set up really nicely.

    I'm interested to find out how upgrading the rear ARB affects FWD cars. Is this more likely to result in too much oversteer?
    Thanks
    Same principle...but FWD cars tend to like far bigger rear ARBs!

    On a FWD car, if you upgrade both ARBs you tend to get a larger front with a much larger rear bar...unlike the R32 S3 set up...and more like the Neuspeed TT set-up.
    With FWD you don't have the advantage of any rear drive to help push you through the corner, so the rear wheels are basically castors, following the front wheels...a stiff rear ARB will radically reduce understeer.

    With FWD you don't care if the rear wheels slide sidewards round the bend (lift off oversteer), in fact to some, that's the best way of getting the chassis to come alive and corner quickly.

    With 4wd like the TT/S3 there will be some rear drive...so you don't want the rear so stiff that you break traction as then you are wasting power and torque...you want to use it to push you through the bend.


    As with all things...go too big and it becomes unstable - that point is very dependant on how much front grip you have...but in general terms you can fit any available FWD uprated rear ARB and get good gains...sometimes it's better with an uprated front ARB too - certainly in the dry - but in the wet, it's sometimes better to have a standard front ARB and a big rear ARB.

    Sadly, there is no fixed rule...anything bigger is better...to a point.


    Eibach ARBs tend to work well on VAG FWD cars...but depending on what spec the rest of your set-up is, you may then find that you get much quicker everywhere until you again find some understeer...where you need to drop the front size back a bit, or go bigger on the rear!
    Science it isn't...
    Trial and error it is likely to be!


    It's very unlikely you will ever get 'too much oversteer' on a FWD car...sure, it can be provoked on certain set-ups with lift off oversteer...but just fitting a big rear ARB is unlikely to turn your FWD hatch into a uber death machine.


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  14. #13
    Ess_Three's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leshkin View Post
    In any case, upgrading the shocks/springs makes alot of sense when upgrading the ARBs, so keep that in mind.
    I'd say it's essential to have uprated dampers with ANY form of uprated ARB.

    This is my view based on writing off a great car when the standard rear dampers couldn't control the big rear ARB (it's only another spring after all) so it unloaded quickly, halfway round a bend, at some speed...resulting in a written off ITR.

    I learned the hard way...I'd hate someone else to do the same.
    In my view...
    Springs and dampers first....with an aggressive set-up.
    Then play with tyre pressures etc
    Then ARBs...if you need them.
    The final piece to the puzzle is playing with alignment settings...but that only gives small gains over and above the stuff mentioned above.


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  15. #14
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    The eibach kit for the A3 uses a 22mm front bar, and a 25mm rear bar, which si absolutely awesome.

    I ran it for a while with just the rear, and it is VERY tail happy, but not ideal, as the front is still able to roll a fair bit and the rear is so stiff in comparison, it just feels odd, like it nose dives then the back end starts to slide.

    The full 22/25 setup feels very planted and very neutral. I don't really get any hint of understeer now, unless I purposefully try to provoke it.
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  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    I'd say it's essential to have uprated dampers with ANY form of uprated ARB.

    This is my view based on writing off a great car when the standard rear dampers couldn't control the big rear ARB (it's only another spring after all) so it unloaded quickly, halfway round a bend, at some speed...resulting in a written off ITR.

    I learned the hard way...I'd hate someone else to do the same.
    In my view...
    Springs and dampers first....with an aggressive set-up.
    Then play with tyre pressures etc
    Then ARBs...if you need them.
    The final piece to the puzzle is playing with alignment settings...but that only gives small gains over and above the stuff mentioned above.
    Wow, Leshkin, Ess Three and Prawn thanks for all the info. I should have said in my case it's actually a B6 A4 Avant Sport rather than an A3 or S3, so kind of a big hatch. Sorry, I just read posts in alot of the sections and this interested me alot. So Leshkin apologies for the slight highjack.

    I was planning on upgrading my stock 18mm RARB to the RS4 22mm RARB to help with body roll and reduce understeer, plus this is a very cheap option. Was really sticking with the stock sport suspension, but after reading about your past experience Ess Three, maybe I should be rethinking this?! Is the 4mm difference enough to cause concern with the current dampers in your opinion?

    Once again sorry for talking about an A4 in the A3/S3 section if it's not the done thing.

  17. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    I was planning on upgrading my stock 18mm RARB to the RS4 22mm RARB to help with body roll and reduce understeer, plus this is a very cheap option. Was really sticking with the stock sport suspension, but after reading about your past experience Ess Three, maybe I should be rethinking this?! Is the 4mm difference enough to cause concern with the current dampers in your opinion?
    Well, since Audi dampers tend to be soft as ****e when new...and I'll bet yours aren't new...I'd not be fitting a big ARB if it were my car.

    I can't remember the exact relationship...but something slong the lines of a 2mm increase in ARB size (diameter) is equal to twice the stiffness.
    So 4mm bigger = 4 times as stiff.
    That's not exact...but you get the idea. Basically, that's a big spring to expect worn out standard dampers to control...

    The risk is yours. It may be just fine. Then again....


    Once again sorry for talking about an A4 in the A3/S3 section if it's not the done thing.
    That's Ok...
    We'll just flog you at the next meet.


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  18. #17
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    The Clar!! it mouves!!!

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    incidently Leshkin...what has this little lot ended up costing you minus the ARBS?
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  19. #18
    leshkin's Avatar
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    Well, I got the springs, shocks and adjustable K&W (i think) tie bars for 550 squid from a former S3 owner on this forum - he never got to fit them as he sold the car soon after getting the bits. A pretty good deal if you think that this kit would cost much more from a shop.

    Fitting was done by a local mechanic for 450 squid. I wouldn't want to mess about with suspension as I have no clue how to do it, plus doing the work in the street was a bad idea

    Total was 1200 fitted. Someone who knows how to fit this lot could save themseleves quite a bit, but I'm not that person unfortunately. If you were to take the ARBs away, fitting would be much cheaper, maybe 150-200 less, since the front was a ***** to do as many here know.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    Well, since Audi dampers tend to be soft as ****e when new...and I'll bet yours aren't new...I'd not be fitting a big ARB if it were my car.
    Far from new to be fair, seem pretty stiff though, but non the less they are only OEM sport springs and dampers


    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    I can't remember the exact relationship...but something slong the lines of a 2mm increase in ARB size (diameter) is equal to twice the stiffness.
    So 4mm bigger = 4 times as stiff.
    That's not exact...but you get the idea. Basically, that's a big spring to expect worn out standard dampers to control...

    The risk is yours. It may be just fine. Then again....
    Crikey, that's a massive difference then! Maybe I need the S4 one then, which is a 2mm increase from mine. Either way, I obviously need to spend a lot more time looking into and may even need to put it on hold until I find suspension money. Hmmm!

    I'll take a look at your other posts re your previous car incident - What time period should I be searching under?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    That's Ok...
    We'll just flog you at the next meet.
    lol! Maybe I'll miss that meet then!

    Thanks for the further info!

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc1 View Post
    Crikey, that's a massive difference then! Maybe I need the S4 one then, which is a 2mm increase from mine. Either way, I obviously need to spend a lot more time looking into and may even need to put it on hold until I find suspension money. Hmmm!
    4mm will be fine I suspect...just ideally not when controlled byy saggy, worn out dampers!


    I'll take a look at your other posts re your previous car incident - What time period should I be searching under?
    Feb 2001...before I was on here.
    I had a 1999 Honda Integra Type-R and in the 22 months I had it, did 20 trackdays...it was perfect...sublime, and with the big Mugen ARBs on drifted like it had no right to.
    I was running JDM OEM dampers (to match the JDM 16" wheels) which were slightly stiffer than the UKDM dampers, and Eibach springs...and it worked well on the road and track.

    Until one day I hit a bump, mid corner and lost the rear end.
    It went one way, then the other...then back...each time me catching it and hitting the gas to make the LSD pull me clear...until at about 85MPH I hit the lockstop on left lock...hit a verge and rolled it.

    The only explanation was the rear ARB had unloaded quickly after hitting a pothole/bump (too quick to be controlled by the damper) and had broken the grip of one of the rear tyres. Game over.


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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    Feb 2001...before I was on here.
    I had a 1999 Honda Integra Type-R and in the 22 months I had it, did 20 trackdays...it was perfect...sublime, and with the big Mugen ARBs on drifted like it had no right to.
    I was running JDM OEM dampers (to match the JDM 16" wheels) which were slightly stiffer than the UKDM dampers, and Eibach springs...and it worked well on the road and track.

    Until one day I hit a bump, mid corner and lost the rear end.
    It went one way, then the other...then back...each time me catching it and hitting the gas to make the LSD pull me clear...until at about 85MPH I hit the lockstop on left lock...hit a verge and rolled it.

    The only explanation was the rear ARB had unloaded quickly after hitting a pothole/bump (too quick to be controlled by the damper) and had broken the grip of one of the rear tyres. Game over.
    Sounds like you had a lucky escape there, dangerous stuff for sure. Does this basically mean the shock is not rebounding quick enough?

  23. #22
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    The damper is letting the spring (coil spring and ARB) rebound too fast...
    More rebound damping was needed to slow the release of the spring.

    Same as you'll find on standard Audi dampers - especially worn ones!


    Bump damping is when the damper compresses, like when you hit a bump and the spring compresses and the damper compresses...
    Rebound damping is the rate at which the compressed spring (or spring and ARB) are allowed to return to thier uncompressed position.

    In both cases, the damper is doing exactly that...damping the weight of the car against the spring.
    The term 'shock' is technically incorrect...as it's the spring that actually absorbs the shock of the bump, the spring being controlled by the damper.


    So, being pedantic;
    Your comment:
    Does this basically mean the shock is not rebounding quick enough?
    ...is true, although meaning the opposite of what you really means.
    The shock absorber (the spring) is indeed rebounding quick enough for what it wants to do based on it's spring pressure...but too fast for what we want it to because the damper isn't strong enough to slow it down and control it!


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  24. #23
    Prawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leshkin View Post

    Fitting was done by a local mechanic for 450 squid. I wouldn't want to mess about with suspension as I have no clue how to do it, plus doing the work in the street was a bad idea
    Glad you've got it done, but 450 for fitting sounds incredibly expensive!!!

    I paid 150 to have my shocks/springs/anti roll bars fitted, as well as new wishbones, ball joints, and track rod ends, drop links, and a steering rack tie bar, and the reciept for the parts was 91, so that's only 59 for labour!

    It only took the chap 4 hours to do the lot!
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  25. #24
    Works 60% the time, Everytime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prawn View Post
    Glad you've got it done, but 450 for fitting sounds incredibly expensive!!!

    I paid 150 to have my shocks/springs/anti roll bars fitted, as well as new wishbones, ball joints, and track rod ends, drop links, and a steering rack tie bar, and the reciept for the parts was 91, so that's only 59 for labour!

    It only took the chap 4 hours to do the lot!
    Thats very cheap. I would of expected 59 to cover just 1 hours labour.

    2003 Audi S3 + Go faster bits

  26. #25
    leshkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prawn View Post
    I paid 150 to have my shocks/springs/anti roll bars fitted, as well as new wishbones, ball joints, and track rod ends, drop links, and a steering rack tie bar, and the reciept for the parts was 91, so that's only 59 for labour!
    I'm guessing that this is for a FWD A3... The 4WD system does make things a little more difficult. I'm sure I paid slightly over the odds to get mine done, but don't think it's by much.

    Yours does sound extremely cheap though

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ess_Three View Post
    The damper is letting the spring (coil spring and ARB) rebound too fast...
    More rebound damping was needed to slow the release of the spring.

    Same as you'll find on standard Audi dampers - especially worn ones!


    Bump damping is when the damper compresses, like when you hit a bump and the spring compresses and the damper compresses...
    Rebound damping is the rate at which the compressed spring (or spring and ARB) are allowed to return to thier uncompressed position.

    In both cases, the damper is doing exactly that...damping the weight of the car against the spring.
    The term 'shock' is technically incorrect...as it's the spring that actually absorbs the shock of the bump, the spring being controlled by the damper.


    So, being pedantic;
    Your comment:

    ...is true, although meaning the opposite of what you really means.
    The shock absorber (the spring) is indeed rebounding quick enough for what it wants to do based on it's spring pressure...but too fast for what we want it to because the damper isn't strong enough to slow it down and control it!
    Thanks Ess Three, that all makes sense.

 

 

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