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Suspension for quick delivery...

FactionOne Dec 17, 2007

  1. FactionOne

    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi folks,

    As some of you may know my 8L A3 was replaced with a B5 A4 in February this year, and I'm hoping to put some of the wealth of B5 knowledge you have to good use...

    I've got a pre-facelift 1.9TDi saloon which I picked up 15/02/07 with just 68,000 odd miles on it, one owner and full service history... Since then its life has changed a little and it's become a bit of a serious workhorse; I'm now on just shy of 115,000 miles!

    I've got some knocking and stuff coming from the front end so I'm thinking it's time to change the arms/bushes; it's also due a cam-belt service and some general TLC.

    So, I'm going to sort out some new arms, a cam-belt kit and water-pump ready for the work to be done this weekend. I was thinking though, that while all the suspension is coming to bits for the new arms it might be an ideal time to change the dampers/springs too. I don't think the current dampers are shot yet (it doesn't bounce about too much), but AFAIK they're the original oil(?) items and will probably be getting tired sometime soon. The other thing is it's SE spec so a little jelly-like by design.

    I was just wondering if you guys had any recommendations for springs/dampers that certainly won't break the bank but might offer a little more of a confident feel on the road than what's currently there. I'm not looking for track-day or race spec stuff; just a little less bounce and roll on roundabouts etc...

    So, I was looking at things like the Bilstein Streetline kit - because it's inexpensive, a trustable brand and available for delivery before the weekend. I'm not too sure about 40mm drop but that's not much further than I was thinking. Does anyone have this kit or something similar? As far as I can see the dampers aren't any stiffer than stock though, so I guess any difference in feel is going to come from springs only?

    Are there any recommendations for the kind of thing I'm looking for?

    Also, while I'm at it(!) - I was looking at poly bushes for the front - am I still going to need to replace arms and stuff to fit these? Also are there any components at the rear that tend to wear too?

    Any advice would be great...

    Cheers,

    Rob.
     
  2. Markey

    Markey Active Member

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    Im not sure how hard the Bilsteins would be defo harder than the stock, you could consider some OE sports shocks with different springs as they can be a little better.
     
  3. joost

    joost Active Member

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    Feck me Rob! 50k miles in 10 months! Must be all that to-ing and fro-ing to Wales :eyebrows: .

    I've got the Eibach Sport-line springs and Pro-line dampers. Not the cheapest unfortunately, but give a decent ride (even on 18s) & defo improve the handling. IIRC the Weitec coilovers aren't half bad and is a decent price too. I'm sure other people will be able to suggest other makes - may be worth giving Damian @ DPM a shout or even Sarah @ Awesome.

    If you're replacing the springs, you'll need to uprate the dampers too, especially if it's an SE spec (they're a bit like me - built for comfort, not speed).

    AFAIK, if you're thinking of going polybush you won't need new arms. You can used the existing arms and replace the bushes in them with the poly ones. With regards the **** end, I'm assuming that yours is a FWD? There are bushes that go on the back too but I'm not sure how good they are at lasting out, nor am I sure what sort of a job it is to change them, sorry.

    Happy shopping!
     
  4. FactionOne

    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Cheers guys!

    Yeah Justin - I've been racking the miles up quickly! Every one's been worth it though! The car's done well tbh; so far it's only had oil, battery top-up water, and a minor electrical repair when one of the wires to the N75 burnt through leaving me no turbo for the last 200 or so miles of a journey - not bad considering the distance I've driven!

    I'm intruiged about the Bilsteins even more now; if they are going to be a bit stiffer than stock I'd be quite tempted by those - 1) they won't be 115k miles old 2) they'll be a bit stiffer 3) it'd be quite an easy and economical 'in-time-for-the-weekend' option...

    I did think about the more 'entry-level' coilover kits but sort of got to thinking that maybe spending similar money on more conventional springs and dampers might get better quality, especially given that the adjustability of coilovers isn't really of much value to me.

    I'd love to go for Eibach Pro-Line or Bilstein Sport type items, but I don't think the way I use my car would take benefit from the extra spend.

    Where do you think the bigger advantage lies... Refreshing all the arms and bushes with stock items (which can be done pretty inexpensively) and fitting something like the Bilstein Streetline kit or Weitec Ultra GT kit (or maybe their coilovers); or using stock springs/dampers and fitting poly bushes? Obviously the ideal would be to do both, but I'm just wondering which would contribute most towards somewhat subduing the roll and bounce on roundabouts etc?

    Regards,

    Rob.
     
  5. macca

    macca Member

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    if you don't replace the front arms, then make sure the ball joints are all ok. as these require arm replacement.
     
  6. FactionOne

    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I just took the plunge actually - thinking that I don't want potential extra hassle come the weekend with swapping poly bushes into old arms I've just ordered a full arm kit. I'm wondering about ball joints and wheel bearings too now, I noticed a bit of an odd noise with slight steering applied today... I'd try to do some investigating tonight but it's gonna be late by the time I leave work :s

    Cheers!

    Rob
     

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