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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Shined! Brief How-To and Review inside.

After much anticipation, I've finally installed my Shine Real Street suspension. The kit included: (2) 225lb front springs, (2) 180lb rear springs (linear spring rates), Bilstein HDs front and back, and rear bar.
Tools Used : Impact wrench w/16mm, 18mm, 21mm & 22mm sockets, 2 hydraulic jacks, 2 jack stands, pry bar (in lieu of VW sreader tool), spring compressor, channel locks, WD-40, lock-tite, #12 bit for drive shaft screws, cobalt 3/8 drill bit, electric drill, cutting fluid, and rustoleum.
How-To : I started with the back (VeeDubAllStars helped me with this BTW, thanks bro).
1. Jacked up the rear end, supported it with stands, and chocked the front tires.
2. Removed the wheels and set them aside.
3. Loosened the bottom bolt on the shock
4. Loosened the top retainer bolts on the shock.
5. Compressed spring, and removed it.
6. Removed Bolts and removed shock.
7. Shine springs are shorter, so they didn't need compressing to put in.
8. Bilstein shocks went in using the reverse procedure for shock removal. Lock-Tite was used on the bolts since new lock nuts were not provided.
Front:
1. Raise front, and support with stands, chock rear tires.
2. Removed driver side wheel (easier side).
3. Disconnected ABS sensor and brake lines from strut housing.
4. Removed retainer bolt from sway end-link.
5. Removed pinch bolt on the bottom of the strut, and lubed it with WD-40.
6. Used impact wrench to remove top bolt off the strut.
7. Used prybar to spread pinch retainer at the bottom of the strut.
8. With some twisting back and forth, remove the strut (spring still in place).
9. Compress spring until pressure is removed from the strut plate/bearing.
10. Use impact wrench to remove bolt to remove strut bearing/bushing assembly.
11. Slide spring off strut, and carefully decompress it.
12. Compress Shine spring some and slide it over the new Bilstein.
13. Replace strut bearing/bushing assembly to the top of the strut. there shouldn't be any pressure between it and the spring. If so, compress spring more.
14. Tighten strut bearing bolt and decompress spring.
15. Put new strut in place, and line it up with the opening of the strut tower.
16. Place jack under the A-arm, and raise it so the hole lines up for replacing the sway bolt.
17. Replace pinch bolt.
18. Use supplied lock-nut and fasten the top if the strut w/plate.
19. Reconnect ABS and brakes to strut housing.
Front Passenger Side:
Same as the driver side EXCEPT, you must disconnect the drive shaft, to allow it to droop enough to remove the strut. It's kind of a PITA if you're flying solo, because you have to place the car in and out of gear to rotate\lock the shaft to remove the bolts.
Shine Bar:
1. Measured the beam to find the center to ensure proper placement of the bar.
2. Put the bar in place, and secured it with clamps.
3. Brushed on cutting fluid onto the cobalt drill bit, and drilled very slowly. Keep the drill bit oiled with fluid, to reduce friction and buring up your bit.
4. Drilled the outter-most end first, and secure it with the supplied bolt and nut. Make sure the nut is facing down, to allow better clearence for AM exhausts.
5. Drilled the opposite end, and secured it with a bolt and nut.
6. Drill the other two holes and secure them with bolts and nuts.
The whole installation took about 5 1/2 to 6 hours, once I scrounged up all of the tools. I'm sure I could shave an hour or so if I ever do another one. Oh, BTW, I broke my prybar
. Thought you might like to know.
The Results:
AWESOME!! Before it felt like I was at the mercy of my suspension. Now I'm at the mercy of my tires. Good tires will complete this setup and bring out it's full potential.

ROLL is nearly eliminated, as I can cut through some twisties like they're nothing. It almost feels flat through the turn. It truly is confidence inspiring when accelerating through the same roads, I used to have to decelerate to handle.
PITCH has been greatly reduced as well. Squat is almost undetectable, as power is now less wasted in unwanted suspension travel.
YAW has been, along with everyhting else, completely balanced. There is almost no understeer whatsoever! I can dash through a turn and produce the same neutral slide whether I'm braking mid-turn, lifting off the gas. Accelerating through a turn tends to push a tiny bit, but that's to be expected with front wheel drive. Honestly, I feel my tires rolling over onto its sidewalls, more than I can feel understeer.
TURN-IN is almost catlike! It used to feel like bad lag on an internet game, where I would turn the wheel and there would be an annoying shift of weight and then finally the car would react and turn, while the back end just drags its self behind as if it's not even doing anything. Now its like she knows what I'm thinking, and reacts as soon as I do. Even the tail keeps up and plays its part.


This suspension rides smoot as butter, but has a firm, well defined feel in the seat. Road noise is no better or worse than before. I'll know more after I make my morning commute back and forth to philly for work. The ride is nothing near harsh. In fact, I was so used to my 300ZX, that this felt a little soft compared to what I was used to. Nonetheless, this is a well balanced, easy to drive, comfortable, fun suspension without the potential drawbacks of any great performing system.
I give this kit 2 http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif ! Thanks Dick and Eli for your help over the phone. Thanks VeeDubAllStars for lending me your garage, and tools. Once the weather gets above freezing, I'll wash the car and post some pics.
Hope this helps some of you who may be on the fence with a suspension choice.


Edit: Typos, more content
Drove in the snow today for the first time, with no complaints. It reacted pretty much the same way as stock. Predictable, controlled, just more firm


[Modified by 3wheelinWolf, 10:40 AM 1-28-2003]


[Modified by 3wheelinWolf, 8:47 AM 1-29-2003]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (VW97Jetta)

quote:[HR][/HR]Dammit.....will somebody PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEEEEAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEE buy my Bilstein PSS & Autotech Rear Sway (both never installed) so I can get this setup????????????[HR][/HR]​
LOL
That's funny. Even my wife laughed when she read it. BTW she approves of the ride. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

Pretty cool setup huh? It's amazing that so many discount it because it's not adjustable, or the springs aren't progressive, or its not a coil-over setup. It may not be fancy, but it just plain works!
Tires will most definitely complete the transformation ... may I suggest:
Potenza S-03 (cheap, avaliable, very responsive, rock in the dry/wet), or Toyo T1-S (not as cheap, avaliable, slightly softer sidewall, rock in the dry/wet, and 3-5 pounds LIGHTER)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (f1forkvr6)

How are the potenzas in the snow? I was looking at the Michelin XGT H4 (i think) and they got pretty good reviews. I like Bridgestones though.
Does temperature effect dampening? It's like 7 degrees here, and i wasn't sure if there would be any difference between the way it handles now vs in the summer.
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

quote:[HR][/HR]How are the potenzas in the snow?[HR][/HR]​
Just say NO. Or in otherwords .... CRAP. Don't try it. Invest in some winter wheels (ugly scratched alloys, or steel wheels) and decent snows.

quote:[HR][/HR]I was looking at the Michelin XGT H4 (i think) and they got pretty good reviews. I like Bridgestones though.[HR][/HR]​
Not even in the same class.

quote:[HR][/HR]Does temperature effect dampening? It's like 7 degrees here, and i wasn't sure if there would be any difference between the way it handles now vs in the summer.[HR][/HR]​
Nothing noticeable ... there may be a slight effect in theory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (f1forkvr6)

Steelies and snow tires it is. I'm going to wait until winter is over before I switch from my OEMs. TY for the quick replies.
Do you have any other suspension component reccomendations? I like a tight ride
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

Bushings, engine mounts, higher spring rates (using 300/250 on my B4 Passat, MKIII G/J VR6 uses 300/200 from shine), lightweight wheels, lightweight brakes ...
Just remember ... the more you do, the stiffer and less compliant your ride will be. Make sure you consider the trade-offs before adding additional hardcore race parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (f1forkvr6)

Right. I have the ES mounts, but they don't fit. I was looking into sway bushings but they dont make 23mm just 21mm. I need 23mm cos its a bigger bar on my WE. Probably not gonna change my wheels. Brakes will be something to consider, but I don't really race around. Not a fan of strut braces or the lower stress bar? I'd do control arm bushings if someone had a press and could hhok me up
.
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

Congrats! This setup is really all an A4 needs! ....... And as others said, the only other thing to do now (most important) is the tires. Last wek I put S-03 on my car and it makes huge difference. I think those tires makes you fully exploit the suspension setup you have. Yes, they are heavy ( mine were 24.5 lb for 205-55-16 according to my scale), but the side wall feels like it is with cement inserts. The whole tire is so stiff, the guy mounting it had hard time. Trully unbeleiveable going through corners. Many corners became like straight line. Just go get them at least once in life ......
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

Glad you're happy with the set up! I now have 15,000 on mine and have loved every minute of it (with the right tires).
Don't be afraid of the LCA and strut bushings. I have the full VWMotorsport bushing compliment on my car including engine, front tranny, rear tranny, struts, control arms, even the rear torsion beam. They are rated at about a 70-75 shore strength if I remember correctly. Not as firm as polyurethane, but a definite improvement over stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (pyce)

quote:[HR][/HR]Congrats! This setup is really all an A4 needs! ....... And as others said, the only other thing to do now (most important) is the tires. Last wek I put S-03 on my car and it makes huge difference. I think those tires makes you fully exploit the suspension setup you have. Yes, they are heavy ( mine were 24.5 lb for 205-55-16 according to my scale), but the side wall feels like it is with cement inserts. The whole tire is so stiff, the guy mounting it had hard time. Trully unbeleiveable going through corners. Many corners became like straight line. Just go get them at least once in life ......[HR][/HR]​

Wow! That's two for the Potenza S-03s. I'll have to look into those. As far as the little extra weight is concerned, no big deal. I enjoy handling performance more than anthing else.

I'm not afraid to try out bushings, just need to know which ones to get, and which ones I can install myself with the limited tools that I have. Links would be great too!
Thanks fellas
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

quote:[HR][/HR]I have the 16" Wolfie BBS wheels and the OEM rubber.
205/55/16 i believe.[HR][/HR]​
I make a big guess here - you are talking GoodYear RS-A........ I had them on my car and I felt something was wrong with the whole car as handling was worse than before (when I had Yoko ES-100). Honestly, just waste them without waiting for them to wear. Those tires are an insult, but I had to go get the S-03 as to realize that......
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Shined! Review inside. (pyce)

Yeah, RS-As. I'm gonna have to take your advice. I read all of the reviews and test results of the S-03s and can't wait till winter is over. I'm gonna put my Goodyears on my steelies, I think they did a fine job this winter. Thanks again.


[Modified by 3wheelinWolf, 7:59 PM 1-28-2003]
 

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Re: Shined! Review inside. (3wheelinWolf)

quote:[HR][/HR]Yeah, RS-As........ I think they did a fine job this winter.....[HR][/HR]​
Surprisingly enough, I found them to be pretty good those few times on the snow. It is not snow tire, but maybe I expected way worse performance, so when the car was going where I pointed it, I was nicely surprised
 
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