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Most comfy coilovers

bigpapasmurf Feb 14, 2014

  1. bigpapasmurf

    bigpapasmurf Member

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    So with what are probably 11 year old shocks on the S3, Im using it as an excuse to look at replacing the suspension and whilst Im at it, dropping it a bit. However, given its my daily, and the roads in town are freakin awful, I dont want anything too crashy. Im steering towards FK AK Street shocks as they look decent for the money. But they dont have adjustable damping. Does anyone have any thoughts on whats a good set, whilst keeping the thing riding nicely?
     
  2. Prawn

    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    AP and Weitec Hicon GT's are both particularly comfy as far as coilover ride quality goes. I couldn't comment on the FK's, but my weitecs gave a really nice comfy ride compared to the cheap ebay stuff many people run.
     
    warren_S5 likes this.
  3. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    I'm running APs and they aren't particularly crashy - well not as much as I thought they'd be when I put them on 2-3 years ago.

    Can't say I've personally tried any other sets on my own S3, but a lot of my mates who I've taken out also comment that they aren't that harsh for coilovers. I have however ruined that comfort after polybushing everything up to the max! lol.

    I have set them at a sensible height which also helps greatly.

    FYI I got my set here (forum sponsor)

    AP Coilover Suspension Kit S3 8L 1.8T Quattro 01/99> - £450.00 : The premier online mail order VAG suspension and performance specialists. We offer a wide range of all the best branded suspension and performance parts for all VAG vehicles at the bes
     
  4. S3 Paul

    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    The H&Rs i went for are the best ive felt to date.
    Seriously worth the money
     
  5. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    Were they the mono or the twin tube out of interest?
     
  6. S3 Paul

    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    Twin pal.
    Very comfy but hold really well.
     
    kwistof likes this.
  7. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    It worries me that the ones linked above are £450. Why are the Bilstein B8 shocks more than that for just shocks? By the time you get springs involved you're up to £750 ish... Is it purely a quality or a name cost?
     
  8. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    Exactly that really fella.....brand names and quality.

    I mean we all practically own a golf gti with 4wd running gear don't we :p

    The B8/apex spring or what ever spring combo is not actually a 'kit' AFAIK like the AP coil over kit is- You can buy the shocks and springs that fit separately and they are designed by different companies- therefore it will be more expensive buying the items individually.

    It's like most things though bud- different materials/research/warantee and in some instances design all equates to different prices being offered for trying to achieve 'the same result'
     
  9. superkarl

    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    This question is like asking what is the safest gun.
    If comfort is your main goal you probably shouldn't consider coil overs.
     
    S3_NDJ, VAG-Slag and kwistof like this.
  10. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    Simple - A spud gun :)
     
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  11. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    A starting gun?!

    Makes sense, Kwistof, but as SK has said, I've always thought of coilovers as being much more harsh on roads that the spring/damper setup, so wondered if that was a reason as well... but your points make sense!
     
    kwistof likes this.
  12. superkarl

    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    Granted a quality coilover set shouldn't be uncomfortable.
    But they're sole purpose is for performance and keeping your car straight and level and its tires on the tarmac.
    If a coilover is designed with comfort in mind then its compromised.

    This is why people buy shock and spring combos. Esp ones designed to work together and tick all boxes, comfort and performance.

    I have AP coilies, they do the job, if they were at all crashy id get rid, no good coilover should be harsh
     
  13. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Coilovers will generally always be stiffer then a good quality springs and shocks kit, there's just no way to avoid this.

    Spending more will usually get you a better kit with a more refined ride quality because as with most things in life you get what you pay for.

    A point to note, adjustable damping doesn't always mean the kit will be more comfortable, adjustable damping usually comes into it's own when you want to stiffen the ride up for track.

    Damian @ DPM Performance
     
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  14. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Whilst coilovers are a way of achieveng a high level of adjustability in respect of ride height / ride characteristics, speak to many potential buyers about the likes of corner-weighting or optimum set up characteristics and their expressions usually go blank. For cars that go to shows that owners want to drop into the weeds / add stance then I can accept the use of coilovers as a way of achieving this end goal. Likewise it you regularly take your car on track days then again, it provides an element of flexibility to tune your car for better handling (assuming you seek the appropriate help in getting it set up properly).

    However I've also read numerous threads over the years of corroded coilovers that can no longer be adjusted, owners who've fitted them and then never used any of the adjustability, or worse have bought cheap tat from China which fits badly or breaks.

    Given that there are many more moving parts in a cheap coilover than a spring/damper set up I would never consider spending less on a coilover kit than a spring/damper set up. Whilst they are likely to be better than old / knackered OEM suspension, some are so hard they can make the cars suspension skittish on the road surface which actually reduces grip and increases braking distance as the car doesn't track the road well.

    Personally if I was looking to upgrade or lower a cars suspension I'd just buy good quality lowering springs and fit a damper like Koni's FSD which reacts to your driving inputs and stiffens up with increased lateral load. It will be 99% of what you need most of the time without the stress / hassle / set up challenges / corrosion on non INOX models. I suppose buyers think they will get more kudos or be viewed as 'committed' if they can show they have coilovers fitted; it's become the thing to do these days so people just do it whether they understand what they're walking into or not; I wonder how many coilover set ups on UK roads have been properly set up! [/Flame suit on!]
     
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  15. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    Completely agree Warren. And although I don't know much more, I do understand the corner weighting reasoning/term.

    In all honesty, a lot of use want the "fit and forget" option. But some springs and damper sets will not allow for "lowz". The sole aim of my old Clio was to remove the massive arch gap. It was a 1.2, so would never really get up to speed to use the handling (although it wasn't bad at all).

    For the S3, I just want less lean and understeer, so am still tossing up just adding an R32 rARB or to go the whole hog...
     
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  16. superkarl

    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    ^wise words.

    Id love to take my car to the appropriate people for a complete setup
     
  17. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    Why don't you ? I mean you've gone the whole hog on the engine pretty much- few hundred quid for a corner weighting session and proper geo line up should be on the books surely?

    I'll be venturing down that route come summer so will be reporting back my findings :)

    JD - Rear R32 ARB is a great first handling mod- definitely recommend it as a starter to try and rid some of the natural understeer the S3 is set up with from the start
     
  18. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    Interestingly someone put me off it slightly, by saying something about them feeling the rear was trying to overtake them when pushing on... presume there isn't much truth to this?

    To be perfectly honest, the lean is that bad - it's just the understeer that provokes a lack of confidence when pushing on...
     
  19. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    I think the clue is in the description dude... someONE put you off ;-)

    It hasn't caught me by surprise tbh - the times it has kicked out it's because I was forcing it and had just over the legal amoutn of tread on my rear tyres lol
     
    JD09 likes this.
  20. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    Fair! I'll get it ordered today. A mate is handy with a spanner so I'll get him to do it!!
     
  21. superkarl

    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    having rebushed and rebuilt my suspension in stages, id advise you to replace the rear trailing arm bushes for some powerflex ones first.
    They're a huge bush, voided rubberand take a beating.
    I fitted my r32 arb before hand, amazing improvement in understeer and general behaviour.
    Then later I rebushed the trailing arms, it was exactly the same again, just as good an improvement if not better than the arb.

    The plus side of the bushes before the arb is you don't get that added stiffness to the ride that an increase in arb size gives you (in some cases arbs can make ride worse, and in fact if you have the right suspension that's set up right no one should need arbs, some people who compete don't even use anti roll bars!)

    Bottom line, rebush the car first and all new joints etc, thatl leave you with a car that behaves how the stock setup is supposed to. Then you can assess suspension and if need be anti roll bars. Its the logical way to do it, imo of course
     
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  22. panderoo

    panderoo New Member

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  23. bigpapasmurf

    bigpapasmurf Member

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  24. JimS3

    JimS3 Active Member

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    Bought my S3 with Weitec Hicon GT's on it and the ride was proper jarring on the country roads.

    Swapped to an Eibach springs / Koni shock setup and its much more forgiving.

    I have not had any other coilovers to compare the Weitec Hicon GT's to though.
     
  25. jezzy

    jezzy Member

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  26. s3_trev

    s3_trev Northern Ireland Gold Supporter Audi S3 Team Brill Red

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    The H&R springs combined with Bilstein B8 dampers seem to be a much respected option for the 8L S3.
     
  27. Sam_

    Sam_ Down under

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    You won't be wanting my setup then :) Super solid. To quote the mrs, "I don't like it. How can you fix it?".

    To echo what others have said; making sure all your bushes and joints are in good shape is step 1 really. You could have the best suspension in the world and if your bushes are knackered it'll feel like the worst suspension in the world. Then of course once you have everything fitted, it's worth taking it somewhere for a proper geometry setup to get the best out of it and for the sake of tyre wear at least.

    A good spring/damper combo would make for a great fast road setup, as above. I've run Bilstein/Eibach combinations on previous cars with great results. I'm sure Bilstein/H&R would be the same.

    Then there's the tyres....
     
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  28. bigpapasmurf

    bigpapasmurf Member

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    Thanks for all the info y'all. So after doing some digging, and taking all the above into account, I recon the best thing for me is a set of Eibach springs with some Billy B8s. Now to do some saving :p
     
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  29. DPM

    DPM Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Very good choice!

    Damian @ DPM Performance
     
  30. JD09

    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving VCDS Map User

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    Sorry if I've asked this before Damian - I appreciate matched shocks are the best route and I'm coming round to that idea by saving... but, a lot of the Clio lot run Eibachs with standard shocks... and from the description of Eibachs Pro spring kit;

    "Ideal for use with original dampers in good condition, or upgraded sports dampers."

    With my dampers being pretty much brand new (2-3 years old since total refit with new parts from Awesome), are these still going to create a bouncy ride?
     
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  31. willh92

    willh92 Active Member Team Brilliant Black Audi S1

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    Has anyone done a write up on how to change the rear ARB to a R32 one at all, can't find anything?

    Also considering the AP coilies, seem to be held in high regard by a lot on here so that's good enough for me!
     
  32. warren_S5

    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Inspired choice, respect to you for daring to be different!
     
  33. kwistof

    kwistof South East Events Moderator Regional Rep

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    willh92 likes this.
  34. S3 Paul

    S3 Paul Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    I found the biggest issue was expecting a 10 year old car to handle well on its factory ( very tired) set up
    I fitted koni coilovers first, Not bad but not great, The seized and the drop link mount snapped off,
    Since then i poly bushed the wish bones and modded them to give a little more camber adjustment,
    Fitted KW adjustable rear arms... new trailing arms and bushs R32 rear ARB with poly bushs recently fitted the H&R coilovers i mentioned earlier , the last part of it all is the fit the poly bushs to the other tie bars,
    I had a full Hunter alignment and it was day and night but i will get it done again once ive replaced a cv boot and put the poly bushs in the arms.
     

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