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Suspension

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by RichA3Turbo, May 2, 2004.

  1. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    Right, want some advice...

    I know there is lots of info on here about suspension setups but most is for A3/S3 Quattro and not fwd.

    What is th best setup for an A3 fwd? I know this is down to personal taste aswell, but basically, all i want is:

    30-40mm drop for looks
    Excellent handling
    Adjustable damping (Koni the only ones?)

    I am not fussed if it coilover or separate spring/shock combo, as long as it handles well!

    What do you all recomend?

    Rich
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  2. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    And just to add, if anyone knows of the best size/brand ARBs to use, that would be helpful too.
    #2
  3. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    Rich...
    Here you go:

    Koni coilovers or Koni dampers / quality springs (Eibach or similar) - both great!

    Eibach anti-roll bars. Replace the front with Eibach, add the additional rear Eibach -fantastic!

    Rear suspension - can't do anything with it.

    Front suspension - you need negative camber...not easy on an A3. Try to get it to -1.8 degrees or so...but that'll be hard for A3 owners.
    In fact, for those with big wheels (like you) perhaps a little less, maybe -1.5 or -1.6 degrees per side.

    Add some toe out...perhaps 4-6 minutes per side.

    Try running front tyre pressures at standard or a few psi less.
    Try running rears at above standard - maybe 3 or 4 psi above.

    The key is the negative camber...and on an A3 you'll struggle. Sorry.
    #3
  4. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ess_Three said:
    Rich...
    Here you go:

    Koni coilovers or Koni dampers / quality springs (Eibach or similar) - both great!

    Eibach anti-roll bars. Replace the front with Eibach, add the additional rear Eibach -fantastic!

    Rear suspension - can't do anything with it.

    Front suspension - you need negative camber...not easy on an A3. Try to get it to -1.8 degrees or so...but that'll be hard for A3 owners.
    In fact, for those with big wheels (like you) perhaps a little less, maybe -1.5 or -1.6 degrees per side.

    Add some toe out...perhaps 4-6 minutes per side.

    Try running front tyre pressures at standard or a few psi less.
    Try running rears at above standard - maybe 3 or 4 psi above.

    The key is the negative camber...and on an A3 you'll struggle. Sorry.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cheers Glen,

    I will be doing this soon. May go for shock spring combo as to be honest, with coilovers i may never change the settings which would make them pointless.

    Will have a good look at the front setup next time i have the wheels off and see what setting are ajustable.

    Cheers

    Rich
    #4
  5. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:

    Cheers Glen,

    I will be doing this soon. May go for shock spring combo as to be honest, with coilovers i may never change the settings which would make them pointless.

    Will have a good look at the front setup next time i have the wheels off and see what setting are ajustable.

    Cheers

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A matched spring & damper combination will be fine...but you may not end up with an especially pleasing ride height.
    If you can find a set of springs that gives a 'nice' height, you're onto a winner.

    Dampers will be fine if they are anything quality: Bilstein, Koni etc...

    I don't have adjustable dampers on the S3 and don't feel the need for them..I can't comment on the range of adjustment available for the A3...but on my Mk3 GTI I do have adjustable dampers - and needed them in order to accurately set the chassis balance up the way I like it.

    This is probably more important on a FWD car as you can't use the drive that a 4WD car affords you.
    I would probably be tempted to go with adjustable damping at the very least...that way you can run the front soft enough to make the ARBs work, and run the back hard enough to assist turn in.

    Also with you sprinting on the 1/4 mile...cranking up the rear dampers will help prevent weight transfer during hard acceleration - helping stop wheelspin. The old "turn the back dampers right up" trick! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


    David R and I discussed the front camber issues of the A3 at length some time ago - it's not particularly adjustable.
    Even the balljoint offers less adjustment than on the S3.

    So, what to do?
    Eccentric pillowball top mounts? That'd give camber options...but they'd be harsh and noisy.

    Longer bottom arms?
    Will the S3 arms / balljoints fit?
    If they fit the subframe, they'd offer wider track at the bottom and hence lots more negative camber...but would that be too much negative camber?
    Would the S3 balljoints fit the A3 hubs? Are the diameters the same?

    Something to think about...

    To add negative camber..it's simple:
    a) move the tops of the struts inwards
    Or
    b) move the bottom of the hubs outwards

    Neither are easy - both may prove to be impossible!


    As a starter, I'd be looking to see just how much you can adjust the position of the bottom balljoints.
    If you can get (or make) about 10mm, you should get a degree or so...I think the A3 bottom arms are steel fabrications so it's possible that a specialist will be able to slot the balljoint holes then weld in some machined strengthening plates to return the strength to the arm.
    Worth a look at least.


    Making a car handle really well, that doesn't want to do so is never easy...or cheap.
    Anything's possible...How far do you want to go? How long have you got? How much do you want to spend? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devil.gif
    #5
  6. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ess_Three said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:

    Cheers Glen,

    I will be doing this soon. May go for shock spring combo as to be honest, with coilovers i may never change the settings which would make them pointless.

    Will have a good look at the front setup next time i have the wheels off and see what setting are ajustable.

    Cheers

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A matched spring & damper combination will be fine...but you may not end up with an especially pleasing ride height.
    If you can find a set of springs that gives a 'nice' height, you're onto a winner.

    Dampers will be fine if they are anything quality: Bilstein, Koni etc...

    I don't have adjustable dampers on the S3 and don't feel the need for them..I can't comment on the range of adjustment available for the A3...but on my Mk3 GTI I do have adjustable dampers - and needed them in order to accurately set the chassis balance up the way I like it.

    This is probably more important on a FWD car as you can't use the drive that a 4WD car affords you.
    I would probably be tempted to go with adjustable damping at the very least...that way you can run the front soft enough to make the ARBs work, and run the back hard enough to assist turn in.

    Also with you sprinting on the 1/4 mile...cranking up the rear dampers will help prevent weight transfer during hard acceleration - helping stop wheelspin. The old "turn the back dampers right up" trick! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


    David R and I discussed the front camber issues of the A3 at length some time ago - it's not particularly adjustable.
    Even the balljoint offers less adjustment than on the S3.

    So, what to do?
    Eccentric pillowball top mounts? That'd give camber options...but they'd be harsh and noisy.

    Longer bottom arms?
    Will the S3 arms / balljoints fit?
    If they fit the subframe, they'd offer wider track at the bottom and hence lots more negative camber...but would that be too much negative camber?
    Would the S3 balljoints fit the A3 hubs? Are the diameters the same?

    Something to think about...

    To add negative camber..it's simple:
    a) move the tops of the struts inwards
    Or
    b) move the bottom of the hubs outwards

    Neither are easy - both may prove to be impossible!


    As a starter, I'd be looking to see just how much you can adjust the position of the bottom balljoints.
    If you can get (or make) about 10mm, you should get a degree or so...I think the A3 bottom arms are steel fabrications so it's possible that a specialist will be able to slot the balljoint holes then weld in some machined strengthening plates to return the strength to the arm.
    Worth a look at least.


    Making a car handle really well, that doesn't want to do so is never easy...or cheap.
    Anything's possible...How far do you want to go? How long have you got? How much do you want to spend? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devil.gif


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cheers Glen... will have a more indepth look into it. Would definately want asjustabe shocks at the very least!...

    We will have a chat next weekend /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Rich /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
    #6
  7. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ess_Three said:
    The key is the negative camber...and on an A3 you'll struggle. Sorry.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Glen,

    H&R do camber adjusting bolts for all cars with Mcpherson struts. Would these be a viable option?

    [​IMG]

    Rich
    #7
  8. Ess_Three
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    Ess_Three Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:

    Glen,

    H&R do camber adjusting bolts for all cars with Mcpherson struts. Would these be a viable option?

    [​IMG]

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think you need to have a look at your front suspension, Rich.

    Unless I'm mistaken, the A3 uses the bare strut inside hub type of mount, not the twin flange mount as shown on the H&R diagram.

    If the A3 does indeed use the type of hub like a Mk4 Golf and S3...this type of camber bolt doesn't apply as the strut mounting is completely different.

    If the A3 does (and I'm cvertain it does not) use the type of strut mounting shown in the diagram, you don't need fancy-pants bolts to do the job. You simply set the camber by loosening the standard bolts then yark them up tight once you are happy.
    My Mk3 GTI is like that...and i've never wasted my money on camber bolts in my life in any of my previous cars.
    #8
  9. dunk
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    dunk Member

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    the a3 struts will not work with the camber bolts.
    you need to elongate the bottom ball joint holes a little (once slotted, someone needs to put extra washers on and weld them on to the bottom arm to reenforce/hold the position)

    and slot the top of the strut inwards a little - again you can weld washers to the strut top to re-enforce and hold the position. you cant do the tops a lot before the springs catch on the inner body work but its worth doing this first to see if you get enough neg camber - the turrets are under mostly compression as well so are very unlikely to break at all.

    Lancia inteagrale were notorious for being very badly out from factory - most serious owners ended up adjusting the top of the struts with welded washers at least, to get left and right sides matching up even close to the factory settings because the cars were made uneven/bent due to old/bad factory processes)
    #9
  10. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ess_Three said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:

    Cheers Glen,

    I will be doing this soon. May go for shock spring combo as to be honest, with coilovers i may never change the settings which would make them pointless.

    Will have a good look at the front setup next time i have the wheels off and see what setting are ajustable.

    Cheers

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    A matched spring & damper combination will be fine...but you may not end up with an especially pleasing ride height.
    If you can find a set of springs that gives a 'nice' height, you're onto a winner.

    Dampers will be fine if they are anything quality: Bilstein, Koni etc...

    I don't have adjustable dampers on the S3 and don't feel the need for them..I can't comment on the range of adjustment available for the A3...but on my Mk3 GTI I do have adjustable dampers - and needed them in order to accurately set the chassis balance up the way I like it.

    This is probably more important on a FWD car as you can't use the drive that a 4WD car affords you.
    I would probably be tempted to go with adjustable damping at the very least...that way you can run the front soft enough to make the ARBs work, and run the back hard enough to assist turn in.

    Also with you sprinting on the 1/4 mile...cranking up the rear dampers will help prevent weight transfer during hard acceleration - helping stop wheelspin. The old "turn the back dampers right up" trick! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif


    David R and I discussed the front camber issues of the A3 at length some time ago - it's not particularly adjustable.
    Even the balljoint offers less adjustment than on the S3.

    So, what to do?
    Eccentric pillowball top mounts? That'd give camber options...but they'd be harsh and noisy.

    Longer bottom arms?
    Will the S3 arms / balljoints fit?
    If they fit the subframe, they'd offer wider track at the bottom and hence lots more negative camber...but would that be too much negative camber?
    Would the S3 balljoints fit the A3 hubs? Are the diameters the same?

    Something to think about...

    To add negative camber..it's simple:
    a) move the tops of the struts inwards
    Or
    b) move the bottom of the hubs outwards

    Neither are easy - both may prove to be impossible!


    As a starter, I'd be looking to see just how much you can adjust the position of the bottom balljoints.
    If you can get (or make) about 10mm, you should get a degree or so...I think the A3 bottom arms are steel fabrications so it's possible that a specialist will be able to slot the balljoint holes then weld in some machined strengthening plates to return the strength to the arm.
    Worth a look at least.


    Making a car handle really well, that doesn't want to do so is never easy...or cheap.
    Anything's possible...How far do you want to go? How long have you got? How much do you want to spend? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devil.gif


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ok mate. Cheers!! Had a look wheil i was cleaning this morning just after i posted this and realised it isnt possible. D'oh! Oh well.
    #10
  11. Gambba
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    Gambba Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:
    Ok mate. Cheers!! Had a look wheil i was cleaning this morning just after i posted this and realised it isnt possible. D'oh! Oh well.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry Rich if I'd seen this earlier I would of told you they definately weren't a viable option and you could of cleaned your car with your eyes shut /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif I should know since I've done 3 suspension changes on MkIV and A3's to date /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #11

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