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  1. #1
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    Lowered suspension kit fails to lower car?

    Hello folks,

    Would anyone be able to advise me if my car looks as it should following the fitting of a KW suspension kit which is supposed to lower the car by 35mm? I had the suspension kit (click link to see kit) which was comprised of springs and shock absorbers, fitted yesterday and unless my eyes deceive me the car actually seems higher than it did before I had the new and supposedly lowered shocks and springs fitted. In fact to me it looks to be slightly jacked up at the rear.

    The car seems to feel better on the road and it certainly takes the many bumps and speed humps on the roads where I live better with the new set up so there are no complaints in that department.

    My car is a late 2008 facelift A3 Quattro 170bhp 3dr with after market 18“ alloys with an offset of 45 running on 225/40/18 rubber. According to the box in which the suspension kit come it was the right kit for my car. Is it possible the garage may have fitted the suspension wrong? I took it back today and they had it on the ramps double checking everything and they said it was ok - however I am not convinced and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pages/products/product_info.mhtml?product=3872676
    Last edited by Sulzer_Mike; 29th September 2011 at 13:23.
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


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  3. #2
    Khufu's Avatar
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    I know it takes some time for the suspension to settle but im not sure how long, Forum Guru N8 would though ;-)

    I've a standard a3 sport with same size of wheels & my suspension is definately lower than that. The 35mm drop will be from standard SE height so if have a sport or an s-line it wont drop it as much as 35mm.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

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    1inchpunch's Avatar
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    Am I missing something? Is the OP missing here?
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  5. #4
    Ads
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    This site has been doing some crazy stuff today. Somebody else posted in another thread and it took about 4 hours to appear.

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    Being a fairly large and busy community, we find ourselves under attack from spam with ever growing frequency, so we're now running quite an aggressive anti-spam system. It's actually been in place for a good month or two, so I'm sure you'll agree it's doing fairly well at going about its business fairly quietly. Occasionally though, it gets a bit excited by posts which are link/image-heavy, particularly from users who haven't been in the database for very long. These posts are put into a queue for manual approval, therefore there can sometimes be a bit of a delay.

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  7. #6
    N8
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    This is why I always say go COILOVERS! As you have height adjustability. With springs you're f'd basically as it'll be either too low or too high, and what can you do about it? NOTHING. Except take it out again, which is MORE time or more MONEY for someone else to do it.

    Suspension takes around 1000 miles to bed in properly.

  8. #7
    Ads
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    No way should your car be THAT high after lowering, IMO.

    If yours is an SE then you should see the full 35mm drop eventually, or at least 25mm until it settles.

    Looking again, the front might be ok actually. But the rear looks way too high.
    At the rear mine has only been lowered by an extra 10mm on yours but looks loads lower, and its not fully settled yet.
    Last edited by Ads; 29th September 2011 at 14:22.

  9. #8
    danb986's Avatar
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    From my experiences in the past, the more expensive kits don't really settle much, whereas the cheaper ones usually settle about 10mm. Some expensive makes even put the fact that their kits don't need 'settling' in as a selling point.
    I've always had around 10mm of settling though, which still makes yours look too high. I'm sure that it shouldn't sit like that.

    I used to be manager of a car tuning and styling shop and we had our fair share of problems with suspension kits. It's not impossible for the kit to be made or boxed wrong. We used to do all the run of the mill stuff like Spax, Jamex and PI, and we had instances with all of them where cars have sat uneven after lowering. The manufacturers were all good at taking them back and swapping them over, but they never covered the cost of fitting it all again.
    If you can, physically read the part numbers off of the shocks and springs and check with the manufacturer that they are correct for the kit.
    Now: 2010 A3 SB S-Line Black Edition 2.0TDi 140CR. Panther Black
    Retro'd: Black S-Line badges | Private Plate | Come home lights activated | Fogs as corning lights activated | Hill hold assist activated | TPMS (via VCDS) activated | 3.5" s/s tailpipe | LED interior lighting.

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  10. #9
    bez101's Avatar
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    if that was my car id put the old stuff back on its looks way to high

  11. #10
    Ads
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    Another thing... that kit you bought says its for 2.0 AND 3.2, but when you look on KWs website and some retailers they show seperate kits for both... i.e. one for TDIs and one for 3.2s.

    Also, for the quattro I can only see 30mm lowering kits. The one you've got is 35mm which only seems to be available for FWD.

    See here ----> Audi A3 suspension from KW

  12. #11
    flying oyster's Avatar
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    keep that height the snow is coming
    S3 8L ming blue westys old car shed loads of mods

  13. #12
    N8
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  14. #13
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback folks - much appreciated.

    Well on the plus point, at least I can say I am not imagining it as everyone agrees it is not right. On the negative front I am now stuck with it because the garage has got rid of my old shockers and springs so I now have to find a solution to the problem.

    Does anyone have any idea if rear springs on an A3 can be fitted upside down and if so is it possible it could cause this kind of problem? I think I am clutching at straws with that theory in the hope a quick fix can be found but somehow I doubt that it will be that easy in this case.

    Ads makes an interesting point about some retailers listing a separate kit for the 3.2 and 2.0 Tdi Quattro. I thought this anomaly was odd before I ordered as it is almost sure a six cylinder 3.2 will weigh more than a four cylinder diesel. I did ring the retailer before ordering and I was given cast iron guarantees that the kit I was ordering was the correct kit for the car.

    Flying Oyster’s suggestion about the snow is interesting because my first thought was it will be better in the snow because it will have improved ground clearance but on the down side it might not snow this year and can I put up with the embarrassment of driving around in a partially jacked up A3 until next year? I am becoming paranoid, probably with good reason, that other A3 drivers are looking at me thinking what is that numpty playing at with his jacked up Quattro.

    Any suggestions or solutions to this problem would be greatly appreciated and in the mean time I will have to contact KW and see what they make of it.
     
     


     
     
     
     
     
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


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    Are they on upside down?

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  16. #15
    Khufu's Avatar
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    is there any way you can take a pic of the rear springs on the car?
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  17. #16
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
    is there any way you can take a pic of the rear springs on the car?
    Yes, I will do it when it is light tomorrow and upload the picture. I suppose if the rear springs were installed upside down - but the garage did assure me that they were not*, instead of lowering the car they may have the opposite effect and push it up?

    *The garage which installed the kit were not suspension specialists and I still have a suspicion they may have made some kind of monumental blunder when installing the kit.
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  18. #17
    Khufu's Avatar
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    The actual fitting isnt rocket science, expecially the rears. If the springs are seated in the rubber mounts top & bottom then they must be in right.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  19. #18
    TimG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8 View Post
    This is why I always say go COILOVERS! As you have height adjustability. With springs you're f'd basically as it'll be either too low or too high, and what can you do about it? NOTHING. Except take it out again, which is MORE time or more MONEY for someone else to do it.

    Suspension takes around 1000 miles to bed in properly.
    ^^ This. Although Bedding in means it might drop 5-10mm at best. Your gonna need a bedding in miracle
    Last edited by TimG; 29th September 2011 at 20:42.

  20. #19
    GNJ_Motorsport's Avatar
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    That does not look right at all! Also if you look at our listings we don't list a 35mm kit for the Quattro 2.0 TDI, only 30mm. So it is possibly the wrong kit. If you get the part numbers from the shocks and springs I would contact KW and ask them. We only have part numbers for the full kit here or I would check them for you.

    Audi - A3 8P (03-) - Suspension Kits - GNJ Motorsport

  21. #20
    Ads
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulzer_Mike View Post
    On the negative front I am now stuck with it because the garage has got rid of my old shockers and springs

  22. #21
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khufu View Post
    is there any way you can take a pic of the rear springs on the car?
    Pictures of the springs. The springs have the numbers 280116 280011 and the shock absorbers 61K 80 054 CKF 159

    Last edited by Sulzer_Mike; 30th September 2011 at 02:03.
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  23. #22
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    That doesn't look right. I'm no expert or anything, but don't think there should be 3 coils touching when the car is unladen and stationary. How is the ride quality? A bit crashy?
    Hunt is over

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  24. #23
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartayMcFly View Post
    How is the ride quality? A bit crashy?
    No, quite the opposite. If anything it feels slightly over sprung. I was driving along the M62 in the Warrington area and anyone who knows this stretch of road will know it is quite uneven due to mining subsidence. As I drove along the car felt more like a large saloon than a small hatch due to the way it handled the uneven surface at speed.

    I have not pushed it to the limit to evaluate how it handles when cornering at speed with this new set up as I am far from convinced that all is well regarding the fitting or the kit itself.

    I have contacted KW in Germany explaining the situation but as of yet I have had no reply.
     
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  25. #24
    Khufu's Avatar
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    I'd 2nd that, they surely shouldn't be touching! Mind you, if they weren't it would be even higher?$%$^^!
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  26. #25
    danb986's Avatar
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    You do normally get some coils that will be closer together, but usually at the ends. This is to help make the ride more progressive as some parts will be compressed easier than others. The gaps in yours should be more even I would've thought.
    But I'd have to agree in that they don't usually touch in the middle. Although I've never seen other KW springs to compare them to.
    Now: 2010 A3 SB S-Line Black Edition 2.0TDi 140CR. Panther Black
    Retro'd: Black S-Line badges | Private Plate | Come home lights activated | Fogs as corning lights activated | Hill hold assist activated | TPMS (via VCDS) activated | 3.5" s/s tailpipe | LED interior lighting.

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  27. #26
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    Theres no way thats the correct kit for your car. You could call somewhere like Venom Motorsport and get them to confirm the correct part numbers for your car and compare to what you've got (or tell them your part numbers you have and see if they can match them?)

    It is very odd though because its so high, like they are made for the extra weight of the 3.2, but it even seems a bit to high even for that!

  28. #27
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    This is really beginning to crack me up now, not only does the car look bad since it has had the new suspension fitted, but now it also has started to creak from the rear passenger side. Took it back to the garage which fitted the kit - for the third time, they sprayed some kind of lubricant which cured it for 10 minutes and now it creaks every time you go over a bump or brake.

    I have been studying part numbers and the suspension kit I had delivered had the part number 20010055 and this kit supposedly fit’s the A3 Quattro 3.2, 2.0FSi and 2.0TDi. However the kit for the Sportback A3 Quattro 3.2, 2.0FSi and 2.0TDi also has the identical part number of 20010055 which means the 3dr and Sportback A3 must have identical suspension? If buying KW springs on their own rather than part of the suspension kit, the part number is 25010055 and again this would suggest all 8P A3 Quattro’s share identical springs.

    So good so far, but when looking at Eibach springs they appear to have different part numbers for the A3 Quattro 3.2, A3 Quattro Sportback and the A3 Quattro 3dr.

    Does anyone know if A3 Sportback Quattro’s and A3 3dr Quattro’s have identical suspension? If they have different suspension I might then have a clue as to what’s gone wrong.
    Last edited by Sulzer_Mike; 1st October 2011 at 02:52.
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


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    Hi m8, are the locating pegs fitted in place at the bottom
    Of the spring carrier, i cant see in your pix, i ask coz if these
    Arent properly in place the springs wont sit down deep
    Inside the carrier, basically your looking for a metal fixing
    Stud poking through the underside of the carrier, hth

    Cal

  30. #29
    Sulzer_Mike's Avatar
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    I will check it out in the morning Cal - thanks for the suggestion. This picture shows more or less what the springs looked before they were fitted.
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  31. #30
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    I would doubt a 3.2 weighs more that a 2.0 TD, the 3.2 is not a heavy engine and in any case his extra ride height is all at the back. the 3.2 is one of the lightest/compact v6's made and is not carrying turbo's and intercoolers etc or its battery up front.
    I am not a suspension guy but in the bike world springs are progressively wound and a spring that sits coil bound stationery and unladen is not actually a spring any more. There is without a doubt something very wrong there to the extent i would be worried about using it until i was sure i knew what was going on. Especially as you say you have been on the motorway !!. If one of those springs brakes or the anti roll bar snaps ( i have had that after fitting Spax to a Manta) you WILL lose control. ( i span the Manta through 180 degrees on a gentle bend in the road).
    Last edited by paddy; 1st October 2011 at 05:47.
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  32. #31
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    http://www.trwaftermarket.com/en/News/TRW-coil-springs/

    T
    his shows how a progressive wound spring should sit with tighter coils at the ends partly because the spring its self is smaller dia at the end when its a conicle spring like yours..
    Ibis white Revo S3 and now matching Vivaro LWB HR 2900 :-)

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  33. #32
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    I took the car into a suspension specialist (National Tyres) today and their suspension expert said the previous garage responsible for the fitting, fitted the suspension in the correct way. Nevertheless I requested they remove and re-fit the rear suspension just so I could have peace of mind. This they did and there is absolutely no difference.

    The suspension ‘expert’ said it is almost certain I have been sent the wrong suspension kit or that components within the kit were wrong. He said not only was it too high at the back but he said the creaking sound was caused by the dust jackets which sit over the pistons on the rear shockers. He said they should be fairly loose fitting but in fact they were a really tight fit which he claimed was unusual.

    Here are some pictures I took during the re-fitting episode today.

    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  34. #33
    Khufu's Avatar
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    i'd agree, the springs have been fitted correctly by the look of the pictures. It has to be a fault with the springs themselves. I'd say they have been boxed wrong TBH, any year appropriate rear VAG range spring would look better even if not actually correct for the car.
    2003-2008 1998 Red A3 8L 1.8 Sport
    2008 -> 2003 Akoya Silver A3 8P1 2.0 FSi Sport

  35. #34
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    Just a quick update on this ongoing affair. Yesterday two new rear springs (pictured) arrived from KW in Germany. They believe these new springs will resolve the issue. The replacement springs have identical numbers and look the same as the springs currently on the car but they have not yet been fitted so I cannot make further comment at present.

    Before the springs were dispatched I was asked, not unjustifiably from the manufacturers point of view, to measure the distance from the fender (wheel arch) to the centre of the hub. This I did and the measurements were

    370mm front left
    370mm front right
    390mm rear right
    390mm rear left

    Since then I have become a bit of an anorak when it comes to A3 fender to hub measurements. I measured an 05 A3 Quattro S-Line 3dr and the fender to hub measurements were 370mm on all four corners. So it appears to me that my car has been lowered 15mm on the front to make it equal to a Quattro S-Line on the front but on the rear I believe it is higher than standard.

    Does anyone else have a standard A3 Quattro and if so it would greatly appreciated if you could give the standard fender to hub measurements as I will probably get arrested for interfering with motor vehicles if I keep on measuring fender to hub distances of parked A3’s I spot when on my travels. A3 Quattro’s are surprisingly difficult to find when you are looking for one by the roadside!
     
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  36. #35
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    Coilovers

  37. #36
    Rob-Quattro's Avatar
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    Mines an s-line but I can still measure if required?
    Lava Grey A3 Hatchback S-line 170 Quattro, 18" Speedline Turini's, Bilstein B8 Shocks, 35mm H&R Springs, H&R ARB's, Small Remap, Darkside Development EGR Delete, K&N Panel, Full S3 Brakes, Yellow Stuff Pads, Drilled/Grooved Disc's, Bi-Xenons, DRL's, Full Leather, RNS-E/Changer/Bose, LED Interior Light Pack + Ambient Lighting, Rain And Light Pack, Rear Parking Sensors, Cruise Control, Auto Folding Mirrors, Black Grill/Badges, MY11 Rears, Lamin-x Fogs.

  38. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-Quattro View Post
    Mines an s-line but I can still measure if required?
    Thanks Rob, it would be appreciated. I think yours will be 370mm on each corner if it has standard S-Line suspension.
    Last edited by Sulzer_Mike; 15th October 2011 at 20:36. Reason: typo
    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  39. #38
    WWW.APR-REMAPS.CO.UK

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    definately wrong springs that cars way to high go for h&r you wont be dissapointed
    A3 2.0 TDI SLINE MY09 PHANTOM BLACK -MODS - APR TRICORE REMAP 175 BHP, XENONSHOP SPECIAL CANBUS HID KIT, LED DRL CONVERSION, 19" RS4 ALLOYS, H&R SPRINGS, PRIVACY GLASS, ARMREST, HEATED SEATS, PDC, IPOD DOC, BLU-TOOTH PREP, COMFORT LIGHT PACK, INTERIOR ELEC LUMBER, S3 GRILL.

  40. #39
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    >>UPDATE<<

    Hi Folks,

    Just an update for anyone interested. I had the new rear springs, which were sent as replacements by KW, fitted today and they have now lowered the car to what in my opinion is an acceptable level.

    It has been a lot of messing but I got there in the end. Sincere thanks for all the advice and feedback.

    Audi A3 2.0 Tdi 170 bhp Quattro SE


  41. #40
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    Hi Mike,
    Interesting thread. That now looks much better!

    Do you reckon you'll get any compo for the time/money you've had to waste so far?
    Audi A3 2.0T FSI S-Line Special Edition, 2006, Avus Silver. Eibach Pro springs, H&R 10+12mm Spacers, AMD remap, MY11 Rear clusters, Flat bottom steering wheel, Chrome S3 SE Gearknob, R8 Oil Cap.

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