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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone have any experience with running the ECS adjustable sway bar end links and airlift performance front struts? The reason I ask is because I just purchased the ECS adjustable's and even at their shortest length, they are longer than the ones you get with the airlift performance struts when you buy a kit. I don't want to put them in if they are gonna cause issues because they are too long, I'd rather just return them and get airlift ones. Here's a pic for reference, they are for a MKVI.



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2007 B6 Passat 2.0T, 1994 E36 M3 3.0L, 2004 Silverado Z71 5.3L
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Strange that a kit intended to be used to adjust ride height easily would not also include adjustable end links so that they can be adjusted appropriately to various ride-heights. The whole point of adjustable end links is to avoid suspension preload when lowering a car so if you have an end link that is too long for the current ride height then your suspension will be preloaded which mainly means a FAR less comfortable/supple ride, among other things. No preload is the key to a comfortable ride on aftermarket suspension setups. The way you can tell is to see how those ECS end links match up with the car at curb weight and set at whatever ride height you will probably run the car at most of the time. If you install end links with car on jacks you will preload your suspension. Get under the car at curb weight (use ramps and if you're pretty low then you'll need some 2x4 so that you don't scrape going up the ramps) and then if the ECS end links are too long to bolt into their respective holes on the sway and strut then they will preload your suspension and you're advised to find end links that can be adjusted shorter. The key is end links that can be just the right length to slide in to the bolt locations with car at curb weight and whatever ride height you prefer. Take measurements so you know by how much shorter you need them to be, if applicable. End link lengths are usually measured/advertised in millimeters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Strange that a kit intended to be used to adjust ride height easily would not also include adjustable end links so that they can be adjusted appropriately to various ride-heights. The whole point of adjustable end links is to avoid suspension preload when lowering a car so if you have an end link that is too long for the current ride height then your suspension will be preloaded which mainly means a FAR less comfortable/supple ride, among other things. No preload is the key to a comfortable ride on aftermarket suspension setups. The way you can tell is to see how those ECS end links match up with the car at curb weight and set at whatever ride height you will probably run the car at most of the time. If you install end links with car on jacks you will preload your suspension. Get under the car at curb weight (use ramps and if you're pretty low then you'll need some 2x4 so that you don't scrape going up the ramps) and then if the ECS end links are too long to bolt into their respective holes on the sway and strut then they will preload your suspension and you're advised to find end links that can be adjusted shorter. The key is end links that can be just the right length to slide in to the bolt locations with car at curb weight and whatever ride height you prefer. Take measurements so you know by how much shorter you need them to be, if applicable. End link lengths are usually measured/advertised in millimeters.
Thanks for the reply and explanation. I'll give it a try today measuring the distance at curb weight. I guess my only other question now would be how would the lengths change? I mean the sway bar is where it's at, and the mounting tab on the strut is stationary, the bag and the threaded collar in the performance struts are where you get your height adjustment. Once the strut is secured in the knuckle the distance between the sway bar and the struts mounting tabs never changes, other than when the suspension is cycling?


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Ride height (at a given moment) and strut to bar length may be static but range of motion and suspension dynamics aren't so it's best to install end links at curb weight and preferred ride height. Ride height isn't a significant factor in end link length setting but remember that even though the mounting holes distances don't change, suspension dynamics are not static. If they were preload wouldn't be a concern in the first place. You could consider it a perfectionistic touch, though. To your point, however, and just to be clear, it is basically guaranteed that because the ECS end links are longer than the ones supplied with your kit that they will not be suitable. I just like to check before sending things back, but it is exceedingly unlikely that they will be suitable from what we know so I wouldn't blame you if you don't bother checking.

I should take this moment to mention something else actually. Is this a daily drive car or a track car, mainly? If it's mainly a track car then you may actually want to introduce some preload on one side because preload is essentially a twisting force on the sway bar at rest. Although one thing that preload causes is a less comfortable ride for daily driving, it can also be intentionally used to make the car "happier" to take a left or a right corner depending on which side the preload is on. If your car is mainly DD then, yes, you want no preload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ride height (at a given moment) and strut to bar length may be static but range of motion and suspension dynamics aren't so it's best to install end links at curb weight and preferred ride height. Ride height isn't a significant factor in end link length setting but remember that even though the mounting holes distances don't change, suspension dynamics are not static. If they were preload wouldn't be a concern in the first place. You could consider it a perfectionistic touch, though. To your point, however, and just to be clear, it is basically guaranteed that because the ECS end links are longer than the ones supplied with your kit that they will not be suitable. I just like to check before sending things back, but it is exceedingly unlikely that they will be suitable from what we know so I wouldn't blame you if you don't bother checking.

I should take this moment to mention something else actually. Is this a daily drive car or a track car, mainly? If it's mainly a track car then you may actually want to introduce some preload on one side because preload is essentially a twisting force on the sway bar at rest. Although one thing that preload causes is a less comfortable ride for daily driving, it can also be intentionally used to make the car "happier" to take a left or a right corner depending on which side the preload is on. If your car is mainly DD then, yes, you want no preload.
Thank you for the clarification. Yes, it's a daily driver, so I don't need the preload. I did do what you suggested and checked it at ride height, and as you said they are too long. Guess they will be going back. When I measured it, the end links airlift supplied are exactly what are needed, imagine that, so I will be ordering a set of those. Thanks for all you're help and explanations.


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My pleasure, glad their product is all that is needed. Happy motoring!
 
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