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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With everyone's emphasis geared towards dampening adjustibility and dialing in the correct ride height for asthetics, are coilovers really worth it ?

On a MK IV chasis there is no real "true" coilover kit. Only for the fronts. My question is: can a car with a well tuned spring/shock compete on the same level? If you never needed to adjust your cars ride height, could you not just get springs with identical rates to coilovers and have the proper shocks/struts to control them ? I do see a need to adjust ride height for varying weather conditions, but I don't think I would ever do it otherwise. I see some people run "Race springs" with rates around 285 in/lbs while people say they are just to rough for the street. While Coilovers like the Bilstein PSS 9 run front rates at 350 in/lbs. People say this is perfectly streetable. What gives ? Some say @ 250 in/lbs. the Shine setup will knock your fillings out. The rears also range from 160 in/lbs. all the way to 400 in/lbs. ? I am somewhat confused. I am told you need to have an alignment and proper cornerweight done EVERYTIME you adjust your ride height...... I have riddin in a Bilstein/Neuspeed Race car and I though it was smoother than my B/Sport setup. The reason for all of this is because I am considering PSS 9's as I am told they are the best for handling. I'm trying to justify $1200 vs $199 ? I have decent shocks already (Bilstein Sport) and What I'm hoping to hear is that Coilovers are a night and day difference.
Any insight ? I don't track race, and I don't auto X (although I would like to get into it) are coilovers just overkill when a good race spring/shock will surfice for the street. I like good handling nimble cars for the street. I can live with a 2.0" drop year 'round. What I can't lived with is knowing that I spent extra money when I could of gotten the same performance for less. Anyone running race springs ? Anyone run both setups ? I have a 28mm rear sway and was wondering if a coilover 300 in/lbs. rear spring setup would eliminate the need for this ?
I'm sure this has all been covered somewhere before, but I would appreciate past experiances with these setups. -Thanks.
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (darrenewest)

Coilovers can handle the higher spring rates without the filling lose because they are dampend to that specific spring unlike the spring/shock combo which is more of a "That's close enough" affair. What makes the coilovers worth the extra money is that you end up with a more streetable vehicle that gives you the ultimate in handling and comfort due to this above mentioned process. I have had many spring /shock combo's (not on Dub's) that I thought handled really well but the sacrifice I had to make in ride quality was ridiculous. This is my first vehicle that I purchased Coilovers for and I can honestly say that I will never go back to the Spring/Shock combo again. Now I have a car that rides better than stock ( a bit bumpier) and handles far better than my previous best Spring/Shock combo.
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (turbo02gti)

quote:[HR][/HR]Coilovers can handle the higher spring rates without the filling lose because they are dampend to that specific spring unlike the spring/shock combo which is more of a "That's close enough" affair.[HR][/HR]​
Depends on the combination. Shine has done a ton of real world R&D, and has springs wound to their specifications to work with Bilstein HDs. I would imagine that this is more than a "that's close enough guess".
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (f1forkvr6)

That is why the SHINE setup works so well, but you still have the ride harshness to contend with! Most Spring/Shock Kits that you buy are a "Close Enough" effort. Like I said, I have had very good Spring/Shock combos before but they did very little for ride comfort. I doubt you will find any one of these kits that offer the same performance as Coilovers and not be on the harsh side for daily driving.
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (turbo02gti)

OK, simple question..when the car is lowered around 1.8" (Sportlines) with good shocks will the ride quality be better with coilcovers set to the same exact height ?
I mean no matter what, the lower you go the harsher the ride, but I'm not lowering my car past 2", but I want to lower it the above ride height, or 1.5". In both of these ride heights, which will be more comfortable & corner better ?
Oh, and aren't cupkits "matched" springs and shocks, thus giving you the same ride quality as coils ?


[Modified by G3T3I7, 6:27 AM 11-15-2002]
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (G3T3I7)

quote:[HR][/HR]which will be more comfortable & corner better [HR][/HR]​
1.5" done right will handle better than 1.8" drop -- lower is not better....
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (turbo02gti)

quote:[HR][/HR]Most Spring/Shock Kits that you buy are a "Close Enough" effort. Like I said, I have had very good Spring/Shock combos before but they did very little for ride comfort.[HR][/HR]​
Handling/Ride Quality .... Life's full of trade offs. I have yet to drive, ride in, or hear of a suspension "upgrade" that substantially improves handling, and preserves near stock ride qualities. Not saying Shine is the best ever, it's just what I happen to have on my vehicle at this time, and for me it works great.
*spelling ...


[Modified by f1forkvr6, 7:03 AM 11-15-2002]
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (darrenewest)

you should indeed be able to get the same kind of ride from a set of good springs / shocks.
quote:[HR][/HR] I like good handling nimble cars for the street. I can live with a 2.0" drop year 'round. [HR][/HR]​
at this point you're already in trouble... 2" is too much for good handling really... anything dropped 2" is going to ride harsh, as you've effectively killed your suspension travel.
and yes, you are supposed to get an alignment after every time you adjust the coilovers, and most manufacturers suggest that the car be un-weighted when you DO adjust them...
coilovers are not a night and day difference from a good shock/spring combo. what springs do you have now? it's not entirely clear...
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (darrenewest)

p.s. i don't think any of the regular consumer - level coilovers are ready for 400lb springs... i'll call bilstein today and check....
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (John A)

Yes a spring/shock combo can compeat with a coilover.
There is no advatage of coilovers at a given hight vs a non hight adjusting strut at that hight.
In total coilovers have 2-1/2 advantages, hight adjustment, corner weighting, and if you have progressive springs preload can be affected on a coilover but that is only half a reason.
In reality every strut, coilover or not, is designed for a spacific ride hight, this ride hight is basically 40%-50% of the total travel when the car is not moving. Thus the coilover's ability to adjust hight is limited in reality as you will quickly run out of travel if the spring purch is moved too much.
Derek
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (dbottles)

its application-dependent for best results.
the reson I say this is that I had an A3 GTI VR6 with H&R Coils and Autotech rear sway bar.
then I got an 88 GLI with Tokico blues and Eibach springs, stock sways.
the GLI handles far better than the A3 did.
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (davedave)

All THAT means is that the Tokico's and Eibach's were not well matched and that the H&Rs were.
This doesn't prove any inherrent advantage for the H&Rs just because they are coil-overs, it just shows that H&R matched the spring rate with the proper dampening capabilities of their coilovers (threaded strut bodies & shock absorbers). A good suspension tuner can create this harmony just as effectively using OE diameter springs, struts & shocks.


[Modified by f1forkvr6, 12:24 PM 11-15-2002]
 

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My suspension setup is entirely stock. If I just swap out the springs for something like H&R sport springs (1.5" front, 1.4" rear drop), or Neuspeed sport springs (1.5" front/rear), do I need to do anything else to maintain my suspension chi? What I mean is, do I have to swap out the struts as well to maintain balance?
Does anyone prefer H&R or Neuspeed?
BTW: are there any good suspension FAQ's?
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (ryanslat)

Unless you live in an area where climate is a major issue then adjustability seems to be of minor concern. If dropping the MKIV 2inch's is already deemed to be "too much" of a drop then why is the ability of some coilover kits, made for the MKIV, that drop as low as 2.5, 3 inch's praised as an attribute??? I have a H&R cup kit which is a matched spring and schock combo thats drop the frnt 2" and the rear 1.75" (a few mm more once settled). But all I'm trying to understand is - unless you actually corner balance the car, which it seems not too many people do with coils, then how many ways are there to justify spending that much extra $$$.
BTW, with a properly matched spring/schock combination then is there really that big a difference between a perceived perfect drop of 1.5/ 1.8inch to a 2.0inch drop on a Golf/ Jetta that saaaay ......... had a rear sway on it and performance tires.
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (2.0LGtiPwr)

I don't think coilovers are just for those who need to concern ride height in different weather condition. Coilovers can give you the Exact ride height you want, which normal spring/shock combo cannot.
I've also heard that if you lower too much, you'll loose handling and power (something to do with the drive shaft is not straight/parallel to the ground)
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (f1forkvr6)

quote:[HR][/HR]All THAT means is that the Tokico's and Eibach's were not well matched and that the H&Rs were.
This doesn't prove any inherrent advantage for the H&Rs just because they are coil-overs, it just shows that H&R matched the spring rate with the proper dampening capabilities of their coilovers (threaded strut bodies & shock absorbers). A good suspension tuner can create this harmony just as effectively using OE diameter springs, struts & shocks.

[Modified by f1forkvr6, 12:24 PM 11-15-2002][HR][/HR]​
I only said the Eibach/Tokico's offered better handling on my A2 than H&R coils do on my heavier A3 VR6
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (davedave)

quote:[HR][/HR]I only said the Eibach/Tokico's offered better handling on my A2 than H&R coils do on my heavier A3 VR6
[HR][/HR]​
Yep - my bad ... re-aread your post and got it backwards. The way the thread was going I was expecting everyone to pile on the "coil-overs rock, everything else sux" campaign.
I agree with you -- it can be application dependent. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
The best handling will come from the best match of spring rate/dampers for each particular chassis. This can come from either coil-overs, or a spring/shock combination.


[Modified by f1forkvr6, 7:18 AM 11-19-2002]
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (2.0LGtiPwr)

quote:[HR][/HR]If dropping the MKIV 2inch's is already deemed to be "too much" of a drop then why is the ability of some coilover kits, made for the MKIV, that drop as low as 2.5, 3 inch's praised as an attribute???[HR][/HR]​
Pure marketing hype. If it looks like a touring car (a la BTCC, DTM, etc ..) it "MUST" be fast ... .
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (f1forkvr6)

For most of us (including myself) the question comes down to 2 things: handling and comfort. Now to answer your question...
In terms of handling I think it's perfectly possible to find a spring/shock combo that performs just as well as a coilover setup. However, the difference then lies in the comfort. As mentioned earlier, due to the very nature of the coilover setup, it will almost always be more comfortable than a spring/shock combo (set at more or less the same height).
I have B+G coils on my car and have ridden on H+R coils. I have also ridden on Neuspeed Sport/Koni combo (set at stiffest) and Eibach Sportline/Koni combo (set at softest). All these on the A4 platform. I have to say that while the handling characteristics of all setups were fairly close (all were pretty flat, low body roll), the ride was much more comfortable in the cars with coils.
This is just an inherant quality of a coilover setup. Since most folks don't take their cars to the track or auto-x (as stated already), it comes down to handling and comfort (with streetability being very important IMO). Just depends on what you want out of your car... A killer handling machine at the lowest cost (get spring/shock combo for cheap) or a killer handling machine with some better ride comfort (get coils)?
 

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Re: Can a Spring Shock Combo Copete with Coilovers ? (burdelli)

quote:[HR][/HR]As mentioned earlier, due to the very nature of the coilover setup, it will almost always be more comfortable than a spring/shock combo (set at more or less the same height) .... This is just an inherant quality of a coilover setup.[HR][/HR]​
Wow ... this is just wrong. The two things that most affect handling and comfort are:
1. Spring Rates (Springs)
2. Effective control of the springs energy (shock absorbers, struts).
No matter what option you choose, coilovers (defined as threaded body struts and shocks, with 2.5" diameter springs) or a non-coilover system ("regular" struts and and shocks with OEM diameter springs) - you will be using springs. Additionally no matter what form the dampers come in (threaded bodied struts/shocks or "regular" struts/shocks) their main purpose is to control the springs.
There is absolutely NO "inherent quality" in a coilover setup, that has anything to do with spring rate, or spring control capabilities – period. Spring rates are spring rates, no matter what diameter the coils are wound. Shocks/Struts/Dampers all do the same thing no matter what they look like.
In short: All setups use springs, and to a point higher spring rates = stiffer ride and better handling. All setups have something to control the energy of the springs - either in the form of shocks/struts with or without threads on the outside – and there is a VAST selection of valving – adjustable or nonadjustable - one can choose from. The precise match between and spring rate and spring control is what makes a particular suspension setup handle better or worse, or the ride more or less comfortable.
This has to make sense by now.
quote:[HR][/HR]A killer handling machine at the lowest cost (get spring/shock combo for cheap) ... [HR][/HR]​
Not always true either - SRS kit costs pretty much what a lot of coilover kits cost. There are also many dampers out there that cost $1,000 plus for each corner - and no, they're not all coilovers.
There is no “best” suspension setup for everyone.
Coilovers have no inherent impact on ride quality.
Coilovers offer no noticeable advantage to the average driver during the every day commute.
Coilovers, can help those that race corner balance their car – this is their advantage.


[Modified by f1forkvr6, 5:40 PM 11-20-2002]
 
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