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Everything suspension related, advice, upgrades, do's and don'ts

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by CabbageGT, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. CabbageGT
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    CabbageGT Member

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    [Feb 26, 2014]
    Hi All,

    As I've been stripping back my A3 1.8n/a, I've become aware of just how much needs doing to this car.

    Therefore I'm looking into refreshing the suspension, starting with the front, and reserving ideas for when I get to the back.
    The car is currently on stands with the engine removed and subframe/steering rack and front suspension completely removed.

    I intend to go down the Polybush route if I can spare the dough. And at some point there will be coilovers involved.

    Regarding coilovers, has anyone had clearance issues with 15" alloys?. I know it sounds daft me wanting to lower the car on 15" alloys, but I can't dedicate the money to both at this point, and I think I'd rather sort the suspension first.

    Anti roll bar is quite corroded, is there an easy upgrade available here?

    Wishbone bushes, any special eccentric bushes required or is it safe to use standard poly bushes?

    Strut braces, is there any point, and has anyone installed one?

    Other than the rear and front bushes, anti roll and drop links. Are there any other potential upgrades to be had here at the front? Top mounts?

    As for the rear, will I need a special tool for the bushes, or is the special tool just a threaded bar, some nuts and washers and sockets?!

    So basically, before I go and by a load of replacements, I'm asking if there's anything special I can do to make things better than standard, while doing my best to keep my spendings down. Anything I might have missed which will require attention, anything I can use from the bigger cars to give mine an updated setup.
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  3. IrishDave
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    IrishDave Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2014]
    Personally I think your mad. For the amount it will cost you, in the end you could nearly buy a better car.
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  4. CabbageGT
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    CabbageGT Member

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    [Feb 26, 2014]
    I completely agree with you, but it's in my nature to take things apart, it's mostly about the tinkering, then there's the end product, and I just think it's more rewarding knowing you can take it all apart, tweak it all, put it all back together again and have a car your proud of. If I had the money I'd only pick a more expensive car and do all the same things to it. Besides it's another learning curve for me. I know enough to fix a standard car, if money was no object I'd go straight into the deepend and buy everything. But this project is about substantial modifications on a budget. Car goes back on the road first, then I'll look at engines.. Buying a new car would be a letdown to the whole project. I plan to drag this out, at the same time theres enough work to keep me going while funds develop.
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  5. JimS3
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    JimS3 Active Member

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    [Feb 26, 2014]
    Agree with IrishDave, can't see any point doing all the suspension / chassis work you list and sticking the weak NA lump back in. As it's already out why not find something more interesting to put back in the engine bay?

    Top and bottom braces made a noticeable difference on my MK4 golf, more responsive when changing direction and wondered around less over uneven roads.

    As for Anti Roll bars, if keeping with OEM stuff the front bar off a MK4 GTI is 23mm, and the rear beams were stiffer. But with the rear you are better off just getting an aftermarket rear ARB. I run a GTI 23mm front bar and Whiteline adjustable rear on my daily diesel Golf. All interchangeable with the A3.
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  6. CabbageGT
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    CabbageGT Member

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    [Feb 26, 2014]
    Call it preparations for the bigger things to come, the suspension is shot in places and needs doing regardless. The engine is not a worry to me, I can get by on the n/a for now, plus it gives me a good feel for the innards before throwing in everything a turbo brings into the mix. Honestly I see your point, I just don't have the funds to support the power increase as of yet. If I had the power, I'd want to do the suspension and brakes too, for now I can tackle the suspension and brakes while still living on the n/a.

    Ace, thanks for the tip. I guess the top strut brace needs bolting, I.e. I will be drilling holes in the top mount Bay Area to accommodate this?

    I've noticed there are adjustable drop links on eBay, is this a lowering support mod? I guess it's something to do with the arb rubbing on the driveshafts? I can't see what else these would be for.

    Thanks again for any tips and advice.
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  7. JimS3
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    JimS3 Active Member

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    [Feb 27, 2014]
    You need to drill holes for the top brace, three per strut tower and use some stainless m8 or m10 bolts to clamp it down,

    The holes for the lower brace are in the subframe, but you will need a pair of captive nuts to push into the holes.

    Adjustable drop links are only usually needs up front if lowering in excess of 50mm.
    That much drop will make it handle **** anyhow.
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  8. CabbageGT
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    CabbageGT Member

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    [Feb 27, 2014]
    Cheers JimS3, you've been a great help, that should get me going.

    One other question, not sure if this is a suspension question or not, but the subframe has two rear bushes, is it worth replacing these as a mater of course? Not sure entirely on there involvement with the suspension, and why they didn't just bolt the frame straight onto the car. It would certainly act more like a strut brace and help stiffen things up, unless the stress is too much for the subframe?!! Any ideas?
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  9. JimS3
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    JimS3 Active Member

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    [Feb 27, 2014]
    There is very little reference to replacing the rear subframe bushes, the last few times I have shifted a subframe across to correct cross camber issues the bushes have looked ok.

    The TT 225 had a two piece almost solid rear subframe mount bush, few people seem to of tried them, but Audi must of seen it as an upgrade to revise the part. The TT part will fit the A3, S3, Golf, Leon etc, but I think they are quite pricey.
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