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Bilstein or KW ?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Olynth, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    We are looking for a suspension system for S3. But dont know which one is better and need some advice.
    Bilstein PSS(not pss9) or KW Variant 1


    Thanks
    #1
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  3. Boydie
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    Boydie Guest

    [Aug 15, 2008]
    Prices of both?

    Availability of both?

    Personally, KW's for me - dont know why, but been in a few KW'd cars and the ride is awesome! Definately on my list for my next car!
    #2
  4. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    bilstein is £65 expensive than kw but the price and the availability is not important.
    just the quality and the performance.
    #3
  5. JustCharlie
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    JustCharlie Member

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    try the eibach system, made by kw, and a bit cheaper. have used it on a mk5 golf ED30 and was really impressed
    #4
  6. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    i looked to the eibach web site and couldnt find suspension system for s3 8p. they just have a front spring.
    #5
  7. JustCharlie
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    JustCharlie Member

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    give awesome a ring 01617660777, they'll let you know if theres a kit for the S3
    #6
  8. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    This was post on E38 about KW. Koni also supply the dampers for FK so basically KW V2/Koni/FK are the same thing by the looks of it.


    V1 - AL-KO produced to KW specifications (AL-KO is used for a lot of OEM dampers)
    V2 - Koni
    V3 - KW's own "
    #7
  9. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 15, 2008]
    do you think should we go with the v1 ?
    we dont want to change the stiffnes we just need the height adjustable and nice handling car.
    #8
  10. leecs3
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    leecs3 thinking about stuff

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    [Aug 16, 2008]
    no idea as ive never tried them myself. If your going for coilovers, i'd want full adjustable as the more you lower the firmer you need to set the dampers.
    #9
  11. Evolve
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    Evolve Member

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    [Aug 16, 2008]
    Hi,
    Both will give you an improved ride with the ability to change the height. In our experience, B14 PSS kits just edge it in terms of quality and feel. However, I'm sure there are those that prefer the KW over the Bilstein.

    We sell thousands of Bilstein shocks every year and can guarantee that what you will get with the B14's is a very good handling car whilst still maintaining ride comfort.
    #10
  12. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 16, 2008]
    I had Bilstein springs and shocks fitted a year ago, and I have not found them to be an ideal solution. They certainly take the float out of the suspension, and abolish the unsettling bounce on bumpy B roads, as well as preventing the dramatic bounce that occurs when a big bump is met midcorner at speed. However, set the shocks to anything above 2 and the road noise increases and becomes loud at 4. Driven for 5,000 miles on typical French D roads this year, the ride just about loosened every filling I have, although it was fine on main roads. The shocks also tend to react to any sharp ridges or potholes with a loud "crash", which is quite alarming! Some of the ridges on French autoroutes leading up to the paytoll sound like a series of gunshots. As a result I have set the shocks to 1, and they are less inclined to lock up in these situations. The downside is that the ride feels both soft and jiggly (an odd combination) on smooth undulating roads although it firms up on bumpy roads.

    In summary I have found the Bilsteins rather disappointing..........
    #11
  13. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 16, 2008]
    I'd say the KW's are less harsh then the Bilstein's which are really a very track orientated coilover kit.

    Damian @ DPM
    #12
  14. Phat_Dub
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    Phat_Dub New Member

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    [Aug 18, 2008]
    i've just put KW's on mine, and they are awesome! i had FK Konigsports on my last car, they were good, but these are really awesome.

    Ordered from G-Werks

    i will post up some pics later this week..
    #13
  15. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 18, 2008]
    What version did you go for?

    I am interested in this near the end of the month from AMD as they have that KW ver 3 offer on.

    Alisdair
    #14
  16. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 18, 2008]
    KW V2s. Bilstein's rust in the winter, all about STAINLESS STEEL.
    #15
  17. ben@amdessex
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    ben@amdessex Member

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    [Aug 19, 2008]
    KW's (V3) are awesome in my personal opinion.

    I drove a car with them on last week. same make and model as mine. totally different drive! with the KW's on it transformed a awesome car to a truly awesome car! the ride (harshness) was better than standard and it handled better too.

    Im not just saying this because we sell them. this is my own unbiased opinion.

    Ben :D

    p.s we are doing free fitting on them at the moment, which is a cracking deal.
    #16
  18. mjair
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    mjair New Member

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    [Aug 20, 2008]
    If you want something simple, perhaps go with H&R street performance coilovers which are basically Bilstein minus the rebound/compression adjustability.

    Otherwise, Bilstein for street as they are a lot simpler to adjust and very little difference in ride compared to the KW's.

    KW's are great for the track with the extra level of adjustability but adjusting is a pain in the a**.
    #17
  19. hatmeow
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    hatmeow Turbo is the only way....

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    [Aug 20, 2008]
    I am using a set of Bilstiens and I think they are the best shocks I have tried. There is a high level of control without too much sacrifice in ride comfort. But Stuart is right, anything above a 4 setting results in a very bumpy ride that is more suited for the track. I have my PSS10 set at 2 in the rear and 4 in front and I am achievieing near stock ride with much improved handling for the street.

    I have not tried KW but my local dealer who sells both said that they are great for the first year but starts to leak in the second. He mentioned that the overall quality of bilsteins is better and can last much longer
    #18
  20. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 20, 2008]
    Ben @ AMD, V3s are more track based though. V2s are perfect for the road. Mine are oustanding on my A3. Cheaper too which helps.
    #19
  21. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 21, 2008]
    Thats what I am worried about N8.

    Once installed i dont really want to constantly piss about with them...

    But I asked about the offer for KW ver2 they they were about £300 more than the kw 3 offer.

    sugguestions?

    Alisdair
    #20
  22. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 21, 2008]
    Weird. Once they are in, they are in. They just have to be set up correctly. Its upto you Alisdair get the V3s by all accounts if they are £300 cheaper!
    #21
  23. ben@amdessex
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    ben@amdessex Member

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    [Aug 21, 2008]
    I see what your saying BUT having been in several cars with them on, on the road they are brilliant, they are more track based in the adjustability stakes but this can be to some people advantage on a totally road based car. Say someone would like to get there car as low as possible, they can adjusted it so it retains a softer ride, which is very important to some people.

    If you are worried about the ride quality i.e being stiffer because its a "fast road, track kit". an example from my own experiance is I went out in a car the same as mine hit several bumps which my car sounds like it going to break in a car with KW's V3's set to recommended bump and rebound it was so much better. I was so impressed im going to get some myself.

    At the end of the day its all down to the owner of the vehicle and obviously budget, I have just put across my opinion on them as I too was dubious about how the V3's would feel on the road and had the same fears as people on here. I have been putting them off for ages. now im all excited as im getting them :jump:

    At the end of the day KW's no matter which version you buy are always going to be good quality. :)


    :arco: Ben

    p.s with reguards to the V2's being cheaper we are actually doing he V3's with free fitting, so in the end works out cheaper than the V2's :thumbsup: shameless plug I know but its a cracking offer! this doesnt affect my OWN opinion above though chaps.

    p.p.s it is my own opinion and not swayed by what we sell or do. :D just wanted to point that out so you dont think im just trying to flog you a product.
    #22
  24. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 21, 2008]
    Well then go for the V3s!
    #23
  25. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 21, 2008]
    See you soon then Ben!

    Just have to wait till payday!

    P.S would you have the sportec's on display aswell?

    want to see which wheels would look good on my baby!

    So far choices are:

    MTM Titan polish
    BBS CH
    BBS CK
    #24
  26. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 25, 2008]
    Useful tip, hatmeow. My car is the current generation S3. I'm not sure if the same applies for the S3. To give you an idea, the front tyre pressures are 39 as standard! With your A3 2.0T sportback, the weight distribution is bound to be different. With settings for the Bilsteins at 4 front and 2 rear, are there any handling problems? Did you reach this by trial and error? I have just kept all settings the same and moved up and down the scale. Does anyone else have any experience of this?
    #25
  27. Doublemint1984
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    Doublemint1984 Member

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    [Aug 25, 2008]
    R u all running your PSS10 so softly?

    I have set it on 6 on the front and 7 on the rear currently.
    #26
  28. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 25, 2008]
    Are you running an S3, and what sort of roads do you drive on? I drive on very bumpy roads on the North Yorkshire moors - much loved by Evo. My wife's Mini Cooper S devours these roads and leaves the S3 for dead. The S3 currently makes "crashing" noises with big bumps at setting 2, when the dampers seem to lock up. Will I have any fillings left if I set it up firmer??
    #27
  29. Doublemint1984
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    Doublemint1984 Member

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    [Aug 25, 2008]
    Yes im running an S3.
    Hmm...I guess we have better roads here in Luxembourg. Although i have never had any problems with crashing noises.
    Initially after the installation it was set to 5 everywhere.
    I then put it on 6 front and rear, and now i have read that setting the back a bit stiffer helps to fight the understeer, so I set it at 7, and it really mad a difference. Seems like its got lesser bodyroll now too.
    Im going to try 5 on the front and 6 at the rear sometime.
    #28
  30. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 25, 2008]
    Interesting. It could be that I'm setting it too soft and the extra travel is making the dampers lock and generating the crashing noise - which is really more of a loud "thump" from the area of whichever wheel hits the pothole or ridge. The specialist firm that fitted them said it was a "characteristic" of Bilsteins. I think I'll experiment with some firmer settings. Incidentally, do you change the settings yourself? I had a look but couldn't see much, so I've had the local Audi garage change them. But, it would be a lot easier if I could just do it myself.
    #29
  31. Doublemint1984
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    Doublemint1984 Member

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    [Aug 26, 2008]
    Sure you can do that yourself. For the rears just get your head under the exhaust an you should see the adjustment wheel.

    For the fronts you should turn the wheels to full lock to the left or the right to get better access.

    Not a big deal really.
    #30
  32. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 26, 2008]
    V1 is cancelled. now we are looking for V3 or pss10.we will need damper settings for the track use.but i am confused. is this crashing noise really characteristic of bilstein ?
    #31
  33. DPM
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    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 26, 2008]
    We've sold loads of Bilstein's and never experienced this problem.

    Damian @ DPM
    #32
  34. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 26, 2008]
    For me, this noise is the most frustrating thing about the PSS10s on the S3, as it actively discourages pressing on. When I asked Kim Collins of QST who fitted my Bilsteins about this noise, he said it was a characteristic of all of them. It can happen with any wheel and occurs when driving at speed and the wheel hits a ridge or a pothole. The pothole doesn't have to be large. The raised orange/red strips on the road that are intended to slow you down before reaching a motorway paying station in France can sound like gunshots if you're travelling over 70 mph and the dampers are are higher than setting 2. It never occurs on smooth surfaces or smooth bumpy roads. It never occurred with the standard dampers. What else could be responsible?
    #33
  35. stuartcalder
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    stuartcalder New Member

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    [Aug 27, 2008]
    Thanks for the advice, Doublemint1984 - easier than I thought. I've set the dampers firmer, at 5 front and 6 rear, and amazingly the ride is more compliant on the really bouncy roads - albeit firmer - and so far no noise from the dampers locking up on big potholes. I need a few days to explore the handling and find a few different roads, but first impressions are very good. Fingers crossed..........
    #34
  36. Olynth
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    Olynth Quattro

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    [Aug 27, 2008]
    happy to hear that mate. thanks for sharing.
    #35

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