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FTAO: Patrick RE:RS4 suspension

excursion Apr 1, 2004

  1. excursion

    excursion Member

    Hello Patrick, I thought I would post this as a seperate topic as it may prove useful for others.

    I have a few questions regarding the RS4 suspension, if you would be kind enough to answer them /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    Firstly, how much was the RS4 suspension? and do you condiser it's performance an improvement over stock?

    Finally, does it lower the car at all?


  2. DavidR

    DavidR Active Member

    My 2p (as I have this mod also) is that cost can vary from £200 upwards for used suspension. It is a ****** to fit, but does improve the damping and roadholding. Its not ideal, but as a cheap upgrade over stock suspension its pretty good value. It lowers the front of the car nicely (on the saloon) but the rear remains rather high....
  3. excursion

    excursion Member

    Thanks David, I didn't realise you had this mod also.

    Do you have any pics of your car, post fitment? I would like it lowered a touch but to be honest I'm more keen to keep a plush, but sporty ride (Having been in a few cars with coilovers I am not keen on them at all).

    I hear you re: fitting! I think i'll probably do the suspension arms at the same time, and remove everything as a unit /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
  4. Patrick

    Patrick Member

    Hi Mark,

    I'd agree with everything David said.

    I paid £400 + £70 VAT for my shocks n springs from Kim Collins @ QST. Not happy about the VAT I thought that was cheeky of Kim - never mind you could consider it expensive P&P as he didn't charge me for that!

    My reason for fitting the RS4 suspension were as follows:

    1. My stock S4 suspension was knackered at approx 40K miles. I didn't really notice how bad it was until I test drove the new S4 and an RS4 back to back. At the time I was hell bent on getting a RS4 within 6 to 8 months of discovering my suspension was worn. My options were fit new stock dampers at approx £100 per corner from VAGparts (if my memory is correct). Fit coilovers at approx £800 but I was worried these would be too hard and I hate clonky suspension! Or fit used RS4 suspension at approx £200-£400.

    2.The RS4 suspension is not a bad compromise - not to hard but gives a marked improvement on the S4. I should add I drove my mates 20K S4 with stock suspension and it too was ok in comparison to my stock suspension. It just goes to show there is something in the recommendation to replace suspension about 30 to 40K miles!

    3.The RS4 shocks n springs are almost identical to look at same colour/make so from an insurance assessor point of view they look stock.

    4. The car is only slightly dropped so it improves the look without the MAXPOWER wheels rubbing on the arches look which is not what I wanted.

    3. Unlike David I noticed my S4 avant sat a fraction lower at the back. By that I mean the gap between the tyre and wheel arch was uneven. I considered cutting a fraction off the front springs but they are the most time consuming to remove and I was unable to remove the pinch bolt from one side of the front suspension but managed to remove and refit the damper without removing the bolt despite what the manuals say. But it is damn hard you need 3 pairs of hands - of different sizes!

    Regarding David's comment about it being a ****** to fit. Well it is and it isn't. In principle the job is no more difficult from replacing the suspension in any other car. So there is no great need to take this to a Audi specialist of worse still a dealership! You will need the usual spring compressors available from Halfords and the like. You may need a lower ball joint separator. I didn't, both joints popped out easily.

    It all comes down to whether the pinch bolt is seized. The pinch bolt is a feature on all B5 A4s AFAIK.

    You can establish if it is seized without any major disassembly or specialist tools. Simply jack the car up and remove the wheel. Give both the nut and more importantly the pinching part of the hub a good wire brush to remove as much dirt and rust so that rust penetrate stands a chance of doing its work.

    Spray all round the bolt leave for 10 mins. Backing off the nut enough that the pinch bolt can move. Then try turning the bolt with a proper hex type socket i.e. one that grips the faces of the bolt rather than a socket that grips the corners of the bolt at the same time as turning get a mate to hammer the bolt. (At this point you will realise that if you have completely removed the nut you are unlike to get it back on as a result of the hammer. Hence my advice to merely back it off a few turns enough to see that there is a clearance between it and the hub unit.)

    If this fails you have four options:

    1. You can still remove the damper complete with spring but it is hard work and likely to burst the CV boot and the Audi version complete with the new CV bolt is £27 each.

    2. You can heat the bolt out but this runs the risk of burning the rubber boots on the two upper aluminium arms. You can't buy new boots and each arm costs approx £50. There are 4 in total. If that happens you are better off buying the complete A4 suspension kit from VAGPARTS at £330 + VAT I think.

    3. You can remove the entire hub, damper complete with upper strut mounting from the car, which will invariably require removing the ABS sensor from the hub which will also probably be seized. So if you don't fancy buying one of those it can be disconnected from the main wiring loom inside the car. That is what I had to do on the first side not to difficult but very time consuming.

    4. Some specialists are aware of a specialist tool which can but not always get the pinch bolt out. Star Performance in Fife is such specialist. David told me Jim's lad broke the tool attempting to get David's dampers out. I'm sure he will have a new one though!

    Three Audi dealerships I spoke to were not aware of a special tool and simply heat the bolt out. This is the quickest way. But like I say runs the very probable risk of burning the rubber boots at a cost to you for PARTS ONLY in the order of £200. Then there is labour to remove the old and refit etc etc.

    I took various pics of the operation with the idea of creating a tech guide. I can forward the pics to those who PM me until I get round to putting a tech article together.

    Audi world has some not bad tech guides. Unfortunately the lads who changed out their suspension didn't have any probs with pinch bolt and there is no warning of the potential pit fall in the articles.

    Hope this helps
  5. excursion

    excursion Member

    THANKYOU /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif What a quality reply! Thankyou so much, that was really appreciated. I enjoyed reading that and feel there's probably no stone left un-turned /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/groovy.gif

    Luckily I didn't encounter the siezed pinch bolt, the air gun usually takes care of most things. Props to you for writing an excellent guide, please do make sure you go on to write the full guide as I'm sure there are many like me that crave the delicate compromise between comfort and performance

    Thankyou so much.
    Mark /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heart.gif

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