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Fitting - Bilstein B8's & H&R 25mm Lowering springs

spiker Jun 27, 2020

  1. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    letter in the post - car tax

    £330 ! for 12 months - always seems to come just at the time I have shelled out for loads of other stuff. I forget how expensive car tax was on the S3

    Shouldnt we get some form of rebate for maintaining older cars - because we are eliminating the carbon footprint cost of a new model ? ;)

    Anyway - drive time
     
    Asim1 likes this.
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  3. AGB-S3

    AGB-S3 Registered User

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    I think the car is now finished........omg don't even think that ...
    these things as psychic ... )


    I thought that , till the driver door lock decided to enter a fail mode ,

    I run the tracking values from the chart at 25 mm lowered, handles fine , no more high speed 'weaving , which though was the front lifting , turned out to be the rear end set up , and , with the replacement full size , -25mm hr rear spring , I would say its actually better than the short koni+adjuster set up , but , that might of been expected , with full size vari rate spring - retained the koni damper , rear Tyre's look to be
    quite even and no ripples on the tread .. so far so good ..

    Good to see , you found some out of spec items, in the suspension.steering , had to be really , just needed the right inspection
    routine and someone who actually knows what should and should not be .. all engineering is a compromise , the trick is
    picking the right combination , eg replacing the aftermarket recirculate valve , with a plastic Audi oem cured 101 issues ,
    where as the big brake kit 'they' fitted , improved the stopping ..but caused the car to dive like a dolphin under
    hard breaking with standard suspension ... fine ''now'' with coil-over's ...

    G,
     
    spiker likes this.
  4. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    Been for a couple of drives now - 10 mile then another 30 miles today

    So first impressions are that the car feels more compliant over rough terrain , turn in has been improved althought the car is still loading up on hard cornering so suspect my next upgrade will be the ARB's - it made such a difference on the last one

    Crashing has gone which means the drive is more enjoyable and I am not having to weave around to avoid marks in the road

    It feels as though I can feel the compliance in the top mounts now - perhaps a weird thing to say but there seems to more 'give' which actually improves the ride and the feeling of enjoyment. Nothing on the car is poly bushed ( having removed those other top mounts ) and after this I plan to replace bushes in the future with OEM ones. ( Note - I used polybushes throughot on the previous one and it was 'fine - everywhere incl dog bone - just not the top mounts). On balance the standard bushes seem to work better for me

    Ok so I am getting older , but have now had and messed with 4 of these beauties now and done at least 250,000 miles in them over the past 20 years - and honestly I dont think these cars suit being polybushed unless you plan to put them on a track - if you dont I dont think you need to - just my thoughts for what they are worth

    If anything the car feels too low - I do feel everything now - I expected the dampers to be a bit more delayed but they are very responsive to the road surface so thats going to get used to but in a good way. Car feels more planted - I know people use this expression a lot , me too but I think I get what that really means now - there doesnt appear to be any lift anymore even on the rougher surfaces and it feels as though I am getting maximu grip from the new tyres

    Car feels tight - fast and fun to drive again - just how it should have been when I picked it up

    So car handles and looks better - was it all worth it ? looking back I think I would have done some things differently

    Next up - lessons learned
     
  5. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    Yes - I meant this part of it is finished , the car will never be finished ;)
     
  6. hydro s3

    hydro s3 S3 amk

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    Sounds like you are really enjoying the car at the minute. Always good when that happens
     
  7. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    Lessons Learned then:
    • Buy as many ancilliary components as possible sale or return from Audi as you never know what will need replacing
    • Buy longer bolts for the tie bar at the back as the original ones arent long enough to reuse
    • Dont use polybush the top mounts
    • let me repeat that DONT POLYBUSH THE TOP MOUNTS (imho)
    • Check the finish of the springs before fitting
    • Dont assume that work carried out by a garage before taking ownership of a car was done correctly
    • Consider Eibach next time ( strongly )
    • Dont lower the car any more than 25mm - 25mm is plenty for standard road use
    • Do buy tyres from Black Circles and shop around for parts - DPM were much cheaper
    • Dont ever use that garage in Wales again
    • Do take the extra time and expense to do the ARBS at the same time
    • If you are going to replace springs and dampers you may as well change track rods , check ball joints etc
    • Dont be afraid to have a go at stuff yourself but dont expect everything to go perfectly - learn from the experience
    Loving being back behind the wheel - car is a lot of fun now - glad I did this and the upgrade was definitely worth it

    Before anyone elses buys from that garage feel free to ask me what they did/said on pm
     
    hydro s3 and Asim1 like this.
  8. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    Had the geometry of the car properly looked at over the weekend using a frame - string and some expensive calipers
    Spent the day just looking at camber and toe front and rear

    Left Front
    Camber originally -0.54 now -0.76
    Toe originally +1.9 (!) now -0.11

    Right front
    Camber originally -0.46
    Toe originally +3.1 ( !!) now -0.09

    Feels Perfect on the front - nice straight line and sharp turn in

    Left Rear
    Camber originally -1.25 now -1.1
    Toe originally -6.6 now -6.6 (!!)

    Right Rear
    Camber originally -1.04 now -1.1
    Toe originally -4.6 now now -4.6 (!!)

    So as thought I do need another sdjustable tie bar for the back as I would rather have a little less camber and more parallel toe

    Second time I am going down the route of top and bottom adjustable arms - has anyone ever managed to get toe and camber on the rear to more acceptable levels with just one ? - I dont think its doable

    Has anyone managed it ?
     
  9. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    Just before lockdown I decided to take the car to see a man with the blocks of wood and string - to properly sort the aligment

    We put a frame around the car on the front and back bumper and connected the frames up with string ( I am sure some of you on here already know about this but I had not seen this done before ) then using calipers measured the toe settings and adjusted them precisely for each wheel and also checked camber and adjusted as much as was possible ( as second set of tie bars not fitted yet )

    This took about 2 hours , making minor adjustments and then re-measuring

    Took the car for a drive afterwards and it tracked perfectly straight . I had never had chance to do this before but highly recommend it as the accuracy was perfect.

    I have now bought another set of tie bars so I can do the bottom set too and sort out the rear camber and then abnother trip back to the frame and string game - all good fun

    Having had the bilsteins and H&R 's for a couple of months now they have settled and I am really happy with the improvements to the ride and handling over stock

    Messing about with cars is such fun ;)
     
  10. hydro s3

    hydro s3 S3 amk

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    Never heard of that string way before mate.
     
  11. AGB-S3

    AGB-S3 Registered User

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    You've been framed -)

    Assume one of the new all wheel lazer tracking set up's , produce suitable results

    I had a problem. finding some one who would look at the car, yes we do 4x4 ..then one glimpse of the s3 badge and then ..
    actually , we don't ... luckily , there is one close by in neston now , saves the run to north wales

    G..
     
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  13. spiker

    spiker trying to growl less these days

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    we used calipers to get it down to milimeter differences - it sounds rudimentary but it was very accurate

    Basically 2 aliminium poles - one each end of the car resting on the bodywork with padded brackets , connected front to back with string

    Made sure the shape was a true rectangle first of all and then made minor adjustments to each side of the tracking until the toe and camber were where we wanted it to be - wish I had taken a pic - I will next time
     

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