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Definitive suspension thread required!!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by c4cpa, May 22, 2013.

  1. c4cpa
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    c4cpa New Member

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Right guys,

    I've only been a member for a couple of days and having searched through about a billion suspensnion threads, i still havent got the answer im after so ...

    Why dont we collate all the info into one thread and make it a sticky??

    Basic stuff like differences between the different standard suspension options:
    I've found through searching that the sport setup is 10mm lower than standard SE, S-line is 20mm lower and S3 is 30mm lower but couldn't find if this is done purely on spring rates or if they each use different rated dampers? (I'm sure the S3 would?!?)

    We should also have forum recommended aftermarket options (springs/shocks/coilover kits) split into 3 categories to help people make thier choices:

    Budget
    Mid range
    Top/Ultimate/Best (What ever you want to call it)

    It also wouldn't hurt to have things like alignment figures and bolt torque settings as well?!?

    What do you reckon? Just need people in the know to add the info!!
    #1
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  3. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Sounds like a good idea.

    I'd be happy to add my 5p's worth on the setups I've had.

    I can maybe do that later today.
    #2
  4. gilberto
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    gilberto Member

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Good idea, although i'm finding the standard set up to be very good.
    #3
  5. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Wait till you load up some power on it!

    I think sharing as much info as possible really helps to save money and get better results.
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  6. immo
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    immo Stop me

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    [May 22, 2013]
    I agree this would be very helpful.
    #5
  7. Shadders
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    Shadders New Member

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Yer I think this would be good as im looking to change the suspension on my S Line and would like some peoples opinions. Im looking at AP coilovers at the moment.
    #6
  8. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 22, 2013]
    So...here's my setups so far,and apologies for the lengthy post.

    Stock:

    I think it's basically OK if the car hasn't been modified,but as soon as you up the power and place more load on the chassis,it's shortcomings are brought out.

    It's soft,and underdamped,and prone to way too much understeer and body roll.

    Uprated suspension setups.....what one calls budget and another calls top end is very different,so if I classify by cost it may be better....this doesn't include fitting and setup.


    £1k-1.5k


    kW v3 and H&R anti-roll bars:

    This makes a huge difference to the overall handling,and to be fair,the ARB's make a big percentage of that.

    Body roll is much better controlled,and damping over bumps at speed is also much better,with the car not bouncing from one bump to the next.
    The drawback with this setup is the range of bump and rebound settings,and the need to fiddle with those until you get the ride and handling to your liking.

    Understeer is also reduced,but not eliminated....you need a fair bit more to get to that unfortunately.

    Ride height is also easy to adjust,and most people take around 20mm off the height with this setup,using the adjustable spring platforms to do so.


    £2k-2.5k

    kW Clubsport suspension:


    [​IMG]


    This is a much stiffer track-oriented system,and uses linear rate springs,as the picture below shows,comparing the Clubsport at the top,to the v3 below it.




    [​IMG]


    Adjustable topmounts also allow camber to be increased,which is not possible on the stock suspension.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    It's probably too hard for comfort for many users,and cost is also an issue,but as with most things,you do get what you pay for,if you really want to sharpen the handling,and get the most from it.

    If you want to spend more,you can,with both AST and Nitron offering systems for race use.


    Settings:

    This will vary according to tyres,suspension system in use,and whether or not you have adjustable topmounts.

    Mine currently runs 3 degrees negative camber at the rear,and 2.5deg negative at the front.

    [​IMG]


    We did this partly to help squeezing the tyres safely under the car,but also to get better all round grip under cornering,and whilst you can do the rears on stock suspension,it's the front that's limited.


    One other thing that helps....

    Haldex controller:

    This preloads the rear much quicker than the stock controller will,and does ad a bit to the handling and traction,but I think it's best done after everything else.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
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  9. wuta3
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    wuta3 Well-Known Member

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    [May 22, 2013]
    I have said it before and I will say it again, my jaw hits the floor whenever I see Alex's suspection and wheel setup. Perfect.
    #8
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  10. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Thank you very much!

    I couldn't have done half of what's been done to that car without help from ASN,VAGOC,and AMDTuning.

    Having others who can feed back on what works,and what doesn't makes a big difference,and stops you wasting money on things that just don't make an improvement.
    Initially,I thought the Haldex controller would make a big difference......it makes a difference for sure,but it's not huge,and you need all of the other bits right first,to get the benefit.
    #9
  11. percymon
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    percymon Member

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    [May 22, 2013]
    great idea - just remember that different people have very different views on whats comfortable in terms of ride. Some are happy with 18s on S-line suspension, others find it very hard. Ditto cars lowered 45-50mm running 19" rims - great for the looks but they come at a compromise in other areas. You pays your money...
    #10
  12. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Good idea,any input welcome so we can make this a sticky to help members choose which suspension.
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  13. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 22, 2013]
    Pretty much the same as I was getting at with regards to prices.

    Some will say one price is middle grade,where another may think it silly money,and the same goes for suspension and handling feel.

    Getting it right is difficult,and fully adjustable suspension can get around that,but often at a price,and also the cost in setup and adjustment time.
    #12
  14. A3SBQ
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    A3SBQ A3 SportBack 2TFSI quattro DSG

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    [May 22, 2013]
    I am all in for this.
    We need also differents in the ARB producers sutch as:
    H&R
    VolkswagenRacing
    others....?

    And also witch thikness front/rear

    How will this act on the ride quality and performance.

    Thanks for bringing this up. Have been thinking on this for a wile.
    Also thanks to S3alex again for shearing his experiences.
    #13
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  15. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Thanks again.

    As well as H&R,Eibach also make ARBs for the S3,but I am not sure about VWR's parts as they sometimes source from others as with the VWR intake which is from ITG.
    #14
  16. JJ.Foulds
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    JJ.Foulds Well-Known Member

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Alex, can you suggest a cheaper option than £1k? surely a half decent kit of around £400-500 would be adequate?

    JJ.
    #15
  17. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Sure.....all I'd done there was to do what was suggested by c4cpa,and put down the stuff I'd used and the prices.

    There are plenty of other kits at far lower prices.

    AP Coilovers will do you an entire kit for the A3/S3 at around £440 inc VAT.

    Weitec do a similar kit for around £500

    H&R for about £540

    Bilstein,if I remember,from about £700 up.

    There are cheaper kits even than that,but you do get better results and quality obviously with a bit more money put into it.


    It's going to come down to the compromise between how much you want to spend,and what sort of results you want,and I can only really speak about what I've used.
    #16
  18. JJ.Foulds
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    JJ.Foulds Well-Known Member

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    [May 23, 2013]
    sorry wasnt meaning anything of it lol, but to a noob like me, i dont even know the main 'brands' over the cheap ones lol but thanks for suggesting the AP i will look into these for mine i think.

    JJ.
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  19. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    No worries.

    For the money,AP and Weitec seem to get decent feedback.

    A number of really cheap kits have very poor performance over bumps at high speeds,and tend to give a very hard ride,with poor control.
    The more costly kits(and especially the very expensive ones) can give you a decent and reasonably compliant ride,as well as being able to maintain damping over bumps.

    What we need now is a few people who have any of these kits to add to this thread.
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
    #18
  20. leeds2592
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    leeds2592 When I grow up, I want a 964!

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    [May 23, 2013]
    I've got AP's on mine and I think they're very good for the price. I've had no problems whatsoever since fitting and the ride confort is pretty good. They are slightly bouncy though.
    #19
  21. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Is there any adjustment on those for height,and bump/rebound settings?


    I guess this thread is going to be looking for features on each,as well as how they drive.
    #20
  22. Mikemc
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    Mikemc Active Member

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    [May 23, 2013]
    To be fair JOMs get great feedback for £180
    #21
  23. leeds2592
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    leeds2592 When I grow up, I want a 964!

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    [May 23, 2013]
    No adjustable bump/rebound settings on the cheaper £430 AP's, just height adjustable from 35-65mm both front and rear IIRC.

    The AP X coilovers are bump/rebound adjustable but they're over £700.
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
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  24. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    I think that's going to be the biggest drawback then with cheaper kits,as I think the kW v1 kit has limited adjustments but if they work better than the stock dampers,then it's a decent result.
    #23
  25. leeds2592
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    leeds2592 When I grow up, I want a 964!

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    [May 23, 2013]
    All depends on how involved a person wants to get I think as well. A lot of people, like myself, are happy with just the height adjustment. But obviously if more power was needed to be put down or someone wanted more comfort as well as lows etc, then the cheaper kits probably wouldn't suffice.
    #24
  26. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    That's it exactly.

    I think the best way to save money when you're modifying a car is to have a very clear idea of what you want when it's done,and a good hold on the budget.

    Otherwise,you buy things are over-specc'd,or aren't up to the job,but either way,you lose money.
    #25
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  27. mohsin1315
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    mohsin1315 Member

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Hopefully I can add some value here. I have upgraded the stock S3 suspension (having covered about 55k miles) with a H&R Cup Kit. I have had this for about 8k miles now. At the same time as upgrading, top mounts, front drop links and the front arb (standard Audi one) were replaced. A few months after rear arb bushes and lower control arm bushes were also replaced.

    My feedback on the cup kit itself is that it is quite stiff and you need to give it time to settle. People report that it can be very bouncy but this settles after a month or so. The car seems to be much more stable and solid now compared to stock, the ride is less clunky and more refined (think more thud less clang). At speed through corners, there is still understeer on intial turn in, but the lowered ride height and added stiffness give you the confidence to predict and feel more of what is happening. I'm no handling guru but to me the car feels more stable - especially cruising along a motorway, more predictable when you throw it around, and sounds more solid through the bumps. The downside is that you feel the bumps a lot more as the car is now stiffer than it was before. The lowered ride height (30mm I think over the standard S3 drop) is noticeable but not too impractical. Speed bumps are not an issue. The cup kit cost me just over £500 from Awesome GTi.

    Truth be told the biggest difference to refinement was down to replacement of the rear arb bushes and lower control arms bushes. The back of my car was very noisy and these changes have meant that the back end now feels and sounds like it is properly screwed together. I also had a chance to drive the car at the point the front arb was replaced independent of other changes and this had a similar effect on improving the ride quality. None of the parts removed were massively past it but you could certainly feel an improvement. My advice, before upgrading, get the standard stuff checked out if all you are after is an improvement in ride quality rather than handling improvements.
    #26
  28. S3Alex
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    S3Alex Rarely neutral

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    [May 23, 2013]
    Very good point about the bushes.

    I had all of the bushes replaced with Superpro fast road bushes and the front TCA arms with a Supaloy anti lift kit.

    The overall result was tighter and better feel.

    It's rarely one thing makes a huge difference as much as the whole thing together.
    #27
  29. c4cpa
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    c4cpa New Member

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    [May 24, 2013]
    This is a great start guys!! Thanks for the input thats already come in and S3Alex, i can only admire what you've done with your build ... What a car!!!!
    I totally agree that, at the end of the day, a suspension setup is going to come down to personal preference and what's perfect for one person could be deemed as to crashy and uncomfortable for others.
    I think we need to start off with a sort of FAQ so people don't start 'another suspension tread' lol
    i'll throw something together when I get back from work later and see what you all think and we'll take it from there!!
    #28
  30. ramp1990
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    ramp1990 Member

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    [May 24, 2013]
    Im new to audi had a landrover before i knew what needed changing and each bit of suspension eg, suspension turrets, dampers, springs, radius arms, bushes, Could you brake down the suspension set up on the audi? sorry if its a knob question,
    #29

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