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Westle's Suspension Thread

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Westy, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    Just about to tackle my suspension and I have the following to go on:

    - Front drop links
    - Top mounts and bearings
    - Ball Joints
    - Rear drop links
    - KW Shocks and springs 20mm/15mm

    Here's the gear:

    Audi top mounts, bearings and ball joints:
    [​IMG]

    eBay front and rear drop links:

    [​IMG]

    Now the front links look good but I'm slightly worried about the quality of the rear ones!!

    The two links are made from different material by the looks of it and the welds look a bit suspect on one of them:

    Good one looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    And bad one like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As for the shocks and springs, I'm awaiting the following kit from DPM:

    KW 20mm/15mm Lowering Springs & Shocks Suspension Kit S3 8L 1.8T Quattro 01/99> - £498.25 : The premiere online mail order VAG suspension and performance specialists. We offer a wide range of all the best branded suspension and performance parts for

    A huge thanks to Damian who responded to emails very quickly and was extremely helpful with any questions I fired at him.

    My goal here was to get the car feeling tight again without going to harsh and i'm sure this setup will be fine for my driving.

    Anyway, depending on when the shocks and springs turn up i might be tackling this job this weekend or next weekend so I'll update this thread then.
    #1
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  3. cecilthesausage
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    cecilthesausage ...It's Never Finished...

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    You better get the spotlights ready mate ready for some late night mechanic sessions:yes:
    #2
  4. s3dave
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    s3dave TFSI Hybrid

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    [Mar 24, 2011]
    clocks go forward this weekend so that gives you another hour of daylight lol
    #3
  5. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    Late night summer mechanics on the way ;)

    I've just notified the ebay seller that i'm not too happy with the quality of one of the rear drop links. Hopefully I'll get another one soonish. Luckily the rear drop links are only a 10 min job so I can do them at a later date.
    #4
  6. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    Ok the ebay seller has got back to me to assure me that both items are from the same manufacturer (Motor factor offering car parts and accessories - Firstline Factors) and 1 is old stock and 1 is new stock. Why he couldn't have just sent me 2 new stock I dont know.

    Anyway he has sworn blind that they are of the highest quality and that firstline are a well know company in the UK so they are going on my car.
    #5
  7. mk1chopper
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    mk1chopper Missing the S3

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    How much did you save on the drop links rather than getting oem ones?
    #6
  8. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    About £15 for the fronts and £15 on the rears. In hindsight I might as well have just got OEM ones!
    #7
  9. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    I have some brand new droplinks for my own S3 at home, I will take a pic for you tonight to compare, but it will be like nearer 12am before I get home.
    #8
  10. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    UPS in Barking have my springs and shocks so I wont be fitting them tonight :( maybe on Sunday.

    The guy assures me they are top quality so I'll be putting them on anyway ;)
    #9
  11. wibble111
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    wibble111 needs to scratch the itch

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    [Mar 25, 2011]
    Might be worth beefing up the weld on the one in the photo's as its only tacked on by the looks of it, the tack looks like it has cold lap aswell (IMO), basically means the 2 materials arent correctly fused. Are the drop links under any load do you know when on the car?
    #10
  12. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 28, 2011]
    These arrived today and will be fitted on Friday night in another late night mechanics episode ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  13. MUSH
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    MUSH MUSH Developments Ltd.

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    [Mar 28, 2011]
    Sweet! Nice parts. I wouldnt be overly happy about them droplink welds.

    Thumbs up for Damian!
    #12
  14. The Stig
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    The Stig Member

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    [Mar 28, 2011]
    i hope you can take a lot of pictures and descripe your work, because i am planning to buy this suspension also.
    Keep up the good work!
    #13
  15. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 28, 2011]
    I'm not best pleased with them to be honest with you but the guy swears blind they are top quality. I've got to pick up some tools for this job from my mates garage tomorrow night so I'll see if he can strenthern the welds a bit.


    I will matey.

    The whole point of me starting this thread was to show that suspension doesn't have to cost a massive amount of money for a half decent setup.

    I also wanted a non coilover setup or a really low ride so this setup should be an improved OEM type of setup.
    #14
  16. The Stig
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    The Stig Member

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    [Mar 29, 2011]
    Nice, that's exactly what i want. What are you planning with your arb's. I saw mine had rust all over them, didn't look to good...
    #15
  17. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 29, 2011]
    Both my arbs are standard for the moment. The front one is only a few years old and I had a new rear one 18 months ago. When they need doing again I will look at my options. So all in all this is quite a standardish setup.
    #16
  18. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [Mar 29, 2011]
    Can't wait to get cracking Friday night matey. it's gonna be a long one line up the coffee's. lol
    #17
  19. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Mar 29, 2011]
    Tell me about it mate! I'll get a few bottles of beer in the fridge too ;)
    #18
  20. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 3, 2011]
    Well I got it all finished on Saturday after a horrible Friday night! It took 3 of us (all IT engineers) 4 hours to do one front shock! And this was only after some help and guidance from a lift engineer as a 4th person joined the crew :)

    I thought it made sense to tackle the front suspension first as i had done rear shocks before so we started at 6pm Friday night. After the initial learning curve of the first front shock, top mount, drop link, and ball joint we managed to do the other side in 2 hours. A huge thanks to S3baby, "Big cheese" from the 8P section and my mate James for all your help. The guys left at 00:30 on Friday/Saturday and S3baby and I tackled the back on the car in the morning.

    I was up at 8am the next day and it took us an hour per side to do the back. Just as I rolled my car off the driveway Finesse turned up for a cam cover and adjuster gasket change.

    Anyway I'll get pics and a small write up on here as soon as photobucket is working again.

    I'm very happy with the setup now, all my clunks and rattles have gone and the steering and sharpness of the car are great. I've not given it too much beans into corners yet as I'm letting it all settle in but it does feel and look great.
    #19
  21. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 4, 2011]
    Ok people it picture time ;)

    Myself, S3baby, and my mate James started work on this on Friday evening at 18:30. We had planned on it taking us about 2 hours per front corner and an hour per rear....... How wrong we were!!!

    None of us had ever tackled suspension before so we were in unchartered territory and the first front shock was a bit of a learning curve to say the least!

    I knew the fronts would be a bit harder as we had to do the top mounts, drop links, and ball joints where as the rears only had drop links and i'd already done the rear shocks last year when I failed an MOT.

    Anyway we were following advice given to us from my mechanic friend and some of the things we'd read on this dear forum.

    We started by removing the top mount covers. An easy task you may think.........

    [​IMG]

    Not the best start as the bloody thing snapped off in my hand, oh well, nothing major.

    We then removed the top nut and the cup then loosened the 2nd nut that hold the top mount on. We did this on both sides so that when the car was jacked it would be easy to release the top of each shock.

    [​IMG]

    We decided to remove the front drop link next. Removed in this pic, it connects to the hole at the top of the shock and the bottom end goes in the ARB.

    [​IMG]

    We then removed the lower ball joint on the bottom of the hub. I do have a pic but its soooo blurry that I wont bother posting it. I really need to get a decent photographer to my late night mechanics sessions!

    With the new ball joint on we started to compress the spring in an attempt to get it out the way so we could lift the shock up and out of the hub.

    [​IMG]

    We removed the long bolt that pinches the hub around the bottom of the shock and we used a fair amount of penetration fluid to try and make life easier. This was the hardest bit trying to get the bottom out.

    [​IMG]

    We managed to free up the bottom of the shock but we hadn't compressed the spring enough to be able to lift the shock fully out the hub. We then had a bright idea of trying to move the spring out towards the wheel arch and slide it off the top of the shock...... this back fired, big time. We got the spring wedged in the wheel arch and we were loosing our patience by this time so S3baby went a bit mental with the dremmel!!!

    Notice the genius use of sunglasses for safety glasses! Dont try this at home kids!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With the fecking spring out the way we managed to lift out the old shock:

    [​IMG]

    After we'd all stopped high fiving and dancing (as this little git had taken 3 and a half hours) we started to bolt on the new one.

    One top mount ready for assembly.

    [​IMG]

    New shock and spring in:

    [​IMG]

    A 4th member of the team joined us at 22:30 and we moved round to the drivers side. You may have noticed that all the above pics are of the drivers side, that's because I couldn't be bothered with the first shock as it was such a shambles.

    Anyway with our experience from the passenger side shock we managed to get the drivers side done in a decent 2 hours and decided to call it a night at 00:30

    I was up at 07:45 the next morning, in agony from the work the night before. S3baby arrived at 08:30 and after a strong black coffee we plodded on with the rears.

    We started by undoing the bottom bolt on the shock and replacing the rear drop link:

    [​IMG]

    The rear springs were a PITA too and the only way to get them out way to cut the crappy rubber stuff away from the top of the spring:

    [​IMG]

    Spring out :) :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next was to remove the top bolt of the rear shock which is under the wheel arch trim. You have to remove 5 torx screws and just pull the trim out the way enough to get a socket on the bolt.

    [​IMG]

    Next the spring went in:

    [​IMG]

    And the shock and all done up.

    Here are a few before/after pics:

    Before
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So far so good. All my knocks and clunks have gone and the car feel lovely to drive. I actually aim for the bumps in the road now ;)
    #20
  22. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [Apr 4, 2011]
    lmao, the dremmel and the sunglasses. god i really wish i could work with your guys. looks heaps of fun! top stuff. and the after pics look good, it looks just right in my opinion! now get snap happy with the camera and get some cool shots up
    #21
  23. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 4, 2011]
    Yeah we do have a good laugh.

    I dont want to get any decent pics till she's nice and clean. Whenever I have time to clean I always end up fitting new parts instead ;)
    #22
  24. The Stig
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    The Stig Member

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    [Apr 5, 2011]
    Yeah! You did it, good work!
    Any good tips for an other IT engineer ;-) Do's and dont's...
    Did you replace any rubbers?
    #23
  25. Dane
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    Dane Faster than a V12 Q7

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  26. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 5, 2011]
    I reused the bump stops and the plastic cover for the front pistons as they were fine and no new ones were supplied. You do get 2 new rubbers for the rear. I already had fairly new bushes so I left all them alone. I kept as much of it OEM as possible to keep the comfort. The drop was 30mm on the front and 25mm on the back.

    My only tip would be get some mates involved as this job needs at least 2 of you. You'll also need a decent set of tools, breaker bar, big allan keys etc.

    If anyone asked me to help them do there suspension I'd probably say no as it is hard work.
    #25
  27. S3 TAM
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    S3 TAM Pocket now empty

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    [Apr 5, 2011]
    Yeah I agree with decent set of tool + BIG thanks to BIGcheese "Lol" from the 8P Section, 2 Jacks made life much easier.

    It was a good crack mate well happy with the results, massive celebrations 10:30 saturaday morning, we should of cracked a beer open.

    Do's and Don't for IT Engineers, "Don't do suspention" Lol

    Loving the pic with me and the dremal look's like i have God's penis.

    I'll bring the SLR round and will get some pro photos. :)

    Oh and Tuffty we double checked all the nuts and bolts there all done up. ;-)
    #26
  28. The Stig
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    The Stig Member

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    [Apr 5, 2011]
    Haha, lol.

    How would two jacks help this job make easier?
    #27
  29. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 5, 2011]
    We used one to jack the car then had an axle stand to be on the safe side, then used the 2nd jack to jack the hub we were working on to line bolt hose up etc.
    #28
  30. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    After a bit of advice regarding 4 wheel alignment.

    I need to get my drivers side inner cv boot changed as it's split and has dumped it's grease. If I get the cv boot changed after I've had my 4 wheel alignment done is it going to misalign my tracking etc?
    #29
  31. Dane
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    Dane Faster than a V12 Q7

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    I reckon save it till after the CV boots been changed, taking the driveshaft out means moving the strut around a bit.
    #30
  32. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    Exactly what I thought. I'm trying to get an order together to get things done because I need my turbo refurbing too and I need a service so I'm thinking about getting the turbo done then bolted on service and CV done then 4 wheel alignment. Ching ching £££ :(
    #31
  33. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    Fair play to you guys getting there in the end but you seemed to come into a bit of hassle. For future reference you dont need a spring compressor to take out the original shocks. What you should have done to make getting the shock out a 2 min task was to take the ball joints out. When you do this the wishbone will drop from the hub enough for the shock to come out really easy without even compressing the spring.

    Just a suggestion westle, put the rubber things on top of the rear springs back in. When I first put my springs on they were nice and silent but I jacked up the car one time and spring position moved slightly and it caused the rear springs to knock on that little knuckle that goes through the top of the spring. May not happen to you but if you all of a sudden get a knocking from the rear put the rubber back in. Oh and do a full spanner check in a week or so just to check everything is still nice and tight.

    Good job though ;-)
    #32
  34. JS1500
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    JS1500 Howdy

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    And that is why I didn't do mine myself! Although I congratulate you guys on doing it.
    #33
  35. superkarl
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    superkarl MAN OF STEEL

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    [Apr 6, 2011]
    Westle mate, if you only undo the top bolt on the ball joint to take the shafts out, not the 3 on the underside, it will be fine. Alignment is adjusted with the 3 bolts attaching the ball joint to the wishbone
    #34
  36. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 6, 2011]

    Thanks mate. I'm arranging to get everything done in the next 2 weeks before I get my 4 wheel alignment. Need to get the turbo off pretty sharpish!
    #35
  37. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 7, 2011]
    Guys, do my rear springs look like they are the right way round? Is there a top/bottom?

    Just looked at them and they look kind of compressed and wondered if this was ok:

    [​IMG]
    #36
  38. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [Apr 7, 2011]
    Its quite common for the rear springs to be compressed like that, mines the same. My rear springs can only be installed one way due to the adjuster but yours could be upside down because the writing upside down on them, hard to say from just looking at them though.

    Take them off and see if they can be installed the other way round (writing the right way up), If so I would say you have them upside down.
    #37
  39. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 7, 2011]
    I checked them before fitting and they could go either way. I thought it should be writing the right way up but I looked at some KW spring pics and it looked like they should go this way up. Bit confused.
    #38
  40. S3 Nattie
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    S3 Nattie Quattro ist für sissies

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    [Apr 7, 2011]
    hmmm that is confusing. I did think the same when I was doing mine but then realised they can only go on one way anyway and that was with the writing the right way up.

    If it was me, if they can be installed either way I would have the writing the right way up. Could swap them round and see how the car feels/looks. I wouldnt worry about the spring being compressed like that though.
    #39
  41. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    [Apr 8, 2011]
    The car feels and hadles excellent at the moment so i'm really unsure. The springs have 3 coils in the midle that are close together then the top coil and a half are spaced out. This is the same each end as you can see in this pic:

    [​IMG]

    What do you think???
    #40

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