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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To preface this, I have a 2002.5 GTI (1.8t). I am finally in the market for a new suspension setup. At first I was under the impression that you just need a good set of coilovers to lower you car, to get better handling. But, after reading some of the books that TechEd has wrote here, I can see the error in my ways. Even after reading through those forums, I still feel the urge to lower my car to reduce or eliminate some of the wheel gap. I would still like the car to handle the best it can at that lowered ride height though. Even after reading through countless forums, I am still lost and not sure what kind of suspension would be best for me in my scenario whether its coilovers, lowering springs, a cup kit, or just some good shocks and springs. Ride quality is not a huge deal for me but its obviously a plus if its good. To Also, all of the forums that I have read through are 10+ years old, so I don't know if the same products that they were talking about back in 2008 are still any good or if they are even still around.

With all of this being said, I would really appreciate any information that you can give me, whether if its from your experience, from what you've heard, or just from what you know!

(EDIT): I really like the sounds of getting some KW V2's, although I am not dead set on getting them, I think that is my best option.

If anyone has done or knows about fixing the front end geometry (after being lowered) and can help me out and show me my options that would be greatly appreciated!!

Please help a guy out!
 

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Mk4 VR6, Mk2 16v, E30, P71 CVPI
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I'm running ECS coilovers because I wanted something good for a cushy street car that I could adjust, and they were only $600 with all the trimmings. I did not expect them to be so good. They are perfect for the street, and I've had them on the track a number of times now and they are doing better than expected there. I've used H&R coilovers in the past with nothing but great experience. They are stiffer and less bouncy than the ECS setup, but more suited to a gutted/noisy/uncomfortable car.

You don't need to lower it much to make it look good, but the alignment problems with the front are always there even at stock height.. Don't worry too much about that part. You need to change to a USRT/Audi TT front end setup to really fix the front end geometry so it's the best it can be on a track, which you don't care about.

I'm just saying that for what you seem to be looking for, I recommend the ECS coilovers I'm using. I really thought they would be worse... With my ride height, the springs are still above the tires and still allow for wide tire fitments. Mine is not wide at 215/40/17.



 

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
although not a set of coil overs, i have heard great stuff about koni yellows with H&r lowering springs. i run koni fsd (a softer ride than yellows) and i absolutely love it.


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Yeah I also have heard great thing about koni yellows, would that be a cup kit? Also, where did you buy yours?
 

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm running ECS coilovers because I wanted something good for a cushy street car that I could adjust, and they were only $600 with all the trimmings. I did not expect them to be so good. They are perfect for the street, and I've had them on the track a number of times now and they are doing better than expected there. I've used H&R coilovers in the past with nothing but great experience. They are stiffer and less bouncy than the ECS setup, but more suited to a gutted/noisy/uncomfortable car.
Would you say that you prefer the ECS coils over the H&R? Which one felt like it preformed better? Also, did you previously have the H&R coils on your Jetta or another car? Thanks for the help!
 

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Mk4 VR6, Mk2 16v, E30, P71 CVPI
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The H&R coilovers have been on my Mk2 Jettas. Although, since my Mk4 has transitioned to track use and I'm going to be stepping up to R compound next time, I'm expecting those tires to overwhelm the ECS setup and I will go to H&R next.

The H&R setup is definitely the better performer. They are stiffer than the ECS, but neither is a titty-jiggler setup. The reason I recommend the ECS I'm running is that it's very comfortable and well suited to a street car with a interior that is comfortable enough to bring women around in. I drive the car very aggressive on the street when I can and the suspension is good enough for that, but still comfortable all the time that I spend just cruising along.
 

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The H&R setup is definitely the better performer. They are stiffer than the ECS, but neither is a titty-jiggler setup. The reason I recommend the ECS I'm running is that it's very comfortable and well suited to a street car with a interior that is comfortable enough to bring women around in.
I am not too concerned about the ride quality, if I were to go the coilover route, I've heard very good things about both the H&R Street SS, and the KW v2's, and they would be two of my considerations. Which H&R coilover did you have on your mk2, and what are you considering getting on your mk4?
 

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Mk4 VR6, Mk2 16v, E30, P71 CVPI
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My Mk2 set is of the old style where there was only the base model, the ultra low, and the ultra ultra low. I have the base model, which is only wound halfway down to be at the height I'm after. The ultra low models are so far past ruining the stock suspension geometry, I don't even think the SCCH/USRT front ends can get it right.

Looking at the current line of H&R, I would be considering the RSS or RSS+ (which I don't think is available for Mk4). I get the impression that RSS models are similar to the old style ones on my Mk2, and that the other offerings are for the sake having more midrange stuff than the old cup kits that had no adjustment but weren't as uncompromising as the flagship model.
 

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I just went Koni Yellows with H&R OE sport springs. I really like the set up for a summer fun car.

That being said I do have some New Eibach lowering springs and or some used solowerks coilovers if you decide to go that route :)

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just went Koni Yellows with H&R OE sport springs. I really like the set up for a summer fun car.

That being said I do have some New Eibach lowering springs and or some used solowerks coilovers if you decide to go that route :)

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How do you like your koni yellows/H&R setup compared to the solowerks coilovers or any other coilovers you have previously had?
 

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For daily driving I really like the Koni yellow set up so far. They are more forgiving becuase of the large amount of clearance. That being said the solowerks were pretty low. I probably should have tried raising them a bit before changing them out because on the roads I was driving I had to pay attention to the road or I could bottom it out lol. The car did handle pretty well on the coilovers have not noticed a huge decline since lifting it up.

They are a nice budget friendly coilovers and the car looked great.

Below is how it looked on the solos. Too low lol.


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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For daily driving I really like the Koni yellow set up so far. They are more forgiving becuase of the large amount of clearance. That being said the solowerks were pretty low. I probably should have tried raising them a bit before changing them out because on the roads I was driving I had to pay attention to the road or I could bottom it out lol. The car did handle pretty well on the coilovers have not noticed a huge decline since lifting it up.

They are a nice budget friendly coilovers and the car looked great.

Below is how it looked on the solos. Too low lol.


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Yeah I love how your car looked on the solowerks. Where did you buy the cup kit setup?
 

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Mojave Beige Metallic 2001 GTi
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There's soo many options and variables with suspension,it all really comes down to what you want/expect out of the set-up and once you figure that out, how much are you willing to spend to achieve that.
 

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There's soo many options and variables with suspension,it all really comes down to what you want/expect out of the set-up and once you figure that out, how much are you willing to spend to achieve that.
The biggest thing that I am going to want to get out of the set-up would be to reduce the wheel gap. A close second would be to improve the handling. I am compromising a little bit, as I would like to have no wheel gap at all, so I can still retain some handling. I have very briefly looked into getting different control arms, spindles, etc so the car would have good handling at the lowered ride height. I don't have much information about that so if you do, I am all ears. For the suspension set up alone (example: just the coilovers) I wouldn't want to spend more than around $1300. I am a newbie to all of this kind of stuff so if I sound stupid or am missing information PLEASE enlighten me! :)
 

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The biggest thing that I am going to want to get out of the set-up would be to reduce the wheel gap. A close second would be to improve the handling. I am compromising a little bit, as I would like to have no wheel gap at all, so I can still retain some handling. I have very briefly looked into getting different control arms, spindles, etc so the car would have good handling at the lowered ride height. I don't have much information about that so if you do, I am all ears. For the suspension set up alone (example: just the coilovers) I wouldn't want to spend more than around $1300. I am a newbie to all of this kind of stuff so if I sound stupid or am missing information PLEASE enlighten me! :)
If reducing or eliminating wheel gap is your number 1 priority,then almost any set of coilovers will accomplish that. I also put that first when I built my first VW (Mark 3 Golf) and went with a cheaper option because of that. That quickly got old once I started daily driving it,the bounciness and lack of proper damping is a common side effect when you combine cheap with suspension lol. Looking back now,almost 20 years later I can say I strongly suggest to put ride quality first 😂 anyways enough blabbering,for that price point I'd go with KW V1's. They go plenty low,and they last forever if you take care of them and leave the bump stops in (ask em how l know lol). They also ride amazingly well even spun all the way down. Besides those,H&R and Bilstein are other really good options around that price.
 

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2002.5 Volkswagen GTI 1.8T, Rave Green, 5 speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If reducing or eliminating wheel gap is your number 1 priority,then almost any set of coilovers will accomplish that. I also put that first when I built my first VW (Mark 3 Golf) and went with a cheaper option because of that. That quickly got old once I started daily driving it,the bounciness and lack of proper damping is a common side effect when you combine cheap with suspension lol. Looking back now,almost 20 years later I can say I strongly suggest to put ride quality first 😂 anyways enough blabbering,for that price point I'd go with KW V1's. They go plenty low,and they last forever if you take care of them and leave the bump stops in (ask em how l know lol). They also ride amazingly well even spun all the way down. Besides those,H&R and Bilstein are other really good options around that price.
Ok awesome, I was thinking about KW V2's since they have adjustable dampening, it is a $200 difference between the V2's and the V1's. I was also considering H&R SS since I have heard such good things about them and the KW's but I think that I might lean towards the KW's since I really like that they are stainless steel. Do you think the adjustable dampening would be worth another $200?
 

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Ok awesome, I was thinking about KW V2's since they have adjustable dampening, it is a $200 difference between the V2's and the V1's. I was also considering H&R SS since I have heard such good things about them and the KW's but I think that I might lean towards the KW's since I really like that they are stainless steel. Do you think the adjustable dampening would be worth another $200?
Oh definitely worth it for just $200 more,you won't be disappointed with the KW's if you choose to go that route (y) And if you ever need them rebuilt, the process is super easy. At least it was the last time I had them rebuild and shorten a set for one of my Mark 3's in 2007 or so.
 
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