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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
The install went very smoothly these past two days and I couldn't be happier! The car is now laying happily on the ground.

Yesterday morning I started the day by measuring my fender height as it sat with the stock suspension on:
Front: 26.5"

Rear: 26.5"

I decided to do the front suspension first because I figured it would be a quicker job than the rear and I had family coming over for Thanksgiving so I only had a few hours to work on the car. I'll spare you the details of removing the stock suspension since I've already covered that before.
This is what the completed front suspension assembly looks like:

I decided to spend the extra money for a set of Bilstein Sports to help with ride quality and because they're shorter than the stock shocks so I can go lower. The bags are made by Universal Air Suspension and they are their AeroSport model. The silver piece on the bottom is the spring perch that came with the Bilstein's. I had it machined down so that it wouldn't be in the way of the air line fitting. Once I had done that, the brackets and the bags just slid right on and then I bolted the shock to the upper perch and it was ready to be installed.
This is what it looks like installed:

Clearance is tight, but it doesn't rub on anything and that's all that really matters.
The front suspension went in SUPER easy and works perfect without any leaks. It didn't sink at all after sitting all night at full height.

This morning I tackled the rear suspension. The front suspension was pretty easy to design since it's basically just a MacPhearson strut, which lots of cars have and there are tons of bracket kits out there for them. The rear suspension on the other hand, is a design all it's own and I had to design the bag mounts from scratch:

I ended up using a modified front bag bracket made for a Chevy S-10. The long bolt sticking out of the bottom only actually needed to be about 2 inches long, but it didn't get in the way of anything, so I just left it on (it's welded into the bracket). The white thing on the bolt is a nylon bushing that goes into the hole that normally holds the upper spring perch in. This is to center the bracket and keep it from rattling around. The bottom bracket started life as an adapter plate to mount a Firestone bag to a bracket designed for a different kind of bag. I had it drilled to work with my Slam Specialties bags, then I added a metal bushing (which you can see poking out of the top there). This bushing fits in the hole in the middle of the lower spring perch and allows the bracket to pivot a little as the suspension articulates up and down.
Once I got the stock springs out, the bag was installed like this:

(The bag has air in it in this photo to keep it secured in place until I put the car on the ground). Clearance is super tight in the rear also, but again, it's not rubbing on anything so that's good.
And that was it! It took about 4 hours this morning to install the rear suspension and a little over an hour of that was doing a little bit of last-minute fabrication.
I'm a little bit happier with the rear fender height now:

 

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Discussion Starter · #269 ·
Re: (Capt. Obvious)

I'm super glad I decided to spend the money to get the Bilstein's, the car rides INCREDIBLE, better than stock in my opionion. It's a little bouncy when I drive it super low, but that's expected since when I have it all the way down it sits on the bump stops. When I first started this project, I said the car would handle just as well as a set of coilovers, and I was more or less correct in my assertion. However, going low was more important than pulling 1g on a skidpad, so I sacrificed some performance ability. Also, since the spring rate of the air bags increases as you put more air into them, and as you put more air into them they also go higher, when it's at "optimum" pressure for corning hard, the car is almost at stock ride height. There are different bags I could have gone with to get around this, but again, they wouldn't give me the (lack of) height I'm after.
The rear is exactly where I thought it would sit and I'm very happy with it's height. But the front I'm a little dissapointed in. I expected it to be about an inch and a half lower than it is, but my shocks are too long and they are bottoming out.
SOOOO, I'll be fixing that issue in the near future.
I've had one issue already that is very annoying: I developed a MAJOR leak in the passenger rear. It wasn't rubbing on anything, so I'm confident I didn't put a hole in it. I'm pretty sure I over-tightened the compression fitting on the air line going into the bag and tweaked the air line (I used push-to-connect fittings everywhere else, and now I know why...). I'm going to tear that corner apart in the morning and find out for sure what the issue is.

Oh, and I suppose you want to see some pictures, huh?


Sorry the pics aren't that great, I'll be getting some better ones very soon, I promise.

Also, for all of those who have been asking, I will be posting a breakdown of everything I bought, where I got it, and how much it cost later this weekend.



Modified by Capt. Obvious at 11:00 PM 11-23-2007
 

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Re: (Cru_Jones)

Looks killer darrick. What are you thinking about the front? cutting the shaft down and re-threading it?
and how about a full height pic.



Modified by SKIDMRK at 11:16 PM 11-23-2007
 

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Discussion Starter · #272 ·
Re: (SKIDMRK)

Quote, originally posted by SKIDMRK »
Looks killer darrick. What are you thinking about the front? cutting the shaft down and re-threading it?
and how about a full height pic.


That's one possibility. The other idea was to shorten the other end where the "fork" comes off to connect to the control arm (if that makes any sense
).
At full height, the car is as high as stock (maybe even a little higher in the front).
 

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Re: (Capt. Obvious)

Quote, originally posted by Capt. Obvious »

That's one possibility. The other idea was to shorten the other end where the "fork" comes off to connect to the control arm (if that makes any sense
).

that seems like it would be the easiest
looks good http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
you makin me want to bag the MKII
honestly though, wait till you get the wheels you wanna rock cause if **** happens(and it probably will) you dont wanna be "beyond laid out"
oh and yes the push lock parker fittings kick ass, also make line changing way easier


Modified by Cru_Jones at 11:48 PM 11-23-2007
 

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Re: (Capt. Obvious)

Quote, originally posted by Capt. Obvious »

That's one possibility. The other idea was to shorten the other end where the "fork" comes off to connect to the control arm (if that makes any sense
).

talk to tolliver about this. IIRC, he did this on one of his b5.5 wagons.
 

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Re: (Capt. Obvious)

Quote, originally posted by Capt. Obvious »

That's one possibility. The other idea was to shorten the other end where the "fork" comes off to connect to the control arm (if that makes any sense
).
At full height, the car is as high as stock (maybe even a little higher in the front).

This is what i was thinking that whould be really easy to do also! looks good man! we are finishing my brothers A3 today and tomorrow.
 
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