Front end too high after TDI suspension rebuild - KYB RH1664 Springs

It’s a long post, so brace yourselves!

In preparation for my A2’s upcoming MOT, I booked it in to my regular garage to get last year’s advisories and a few other bits sorted ahead of time. Jobs were nearly all related to the front suspension which looked to be mostly original apart from the springs which had no paint markings on, so unlikely to be OE.

After reading what must have been every single suspension related post on the forum I had ordered all the parts in advance based on the recommendations here. Car is a 2001 1.4 AMF TDI, base spec/non sunroof model running 15” pepperpots with 185/60/15 tyres.

Parts replaced (both sides) were:
  • Monroe Reflex shocks
  • KYB RH1664 springs
  • Meyle cast control arm/ball joint assembly
  • Meyle HD drop links
  • Meyle top mounts (complete)
  • Bump stops/dust covers/stretch bolts

Also had new discs, pads, brake flexis, ABS sensor, driver’s side bearing replaced but unrelated to ride height. Tracking was done also.

I’m well aware the back end has been low since I bought the car 5 years back, and looks to be on original parts so it’s booked in for new springs, shocks and mounts etc shortly. The garage were surprised that the front was sitting so much higher than before, they suggested it might settle a little bit once I’ve put some miles on it, but probably not by a huge amount.

You can see by the before and after pics that there is a huge difference:
a2.jpg


A2b.jpeg


Regardless, I don’t think refreshing the back will balance the front end out too much. The only other thread I could find relating to the KYB RH1664 springs was @Howey ’s and after a follow up on there it hasn’t changed in 9 months so looks like this is what you get with KYB RH1664 Springs on a non-sunroof TDI.

Long term I’m not happy with how the car looks, any thoughts on the best springs for resolving the issue? Ideally I’d like the ride height to be as it was in the first pic. There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice on the Suplex/Spidans - some say they’re good or used to be good, others reported a break within a few months of fitting.

Feel like I’ve gone around in massive circles trying to find the best solution so I’d be grateful of any advice and assistance in getting a bit closer to the ground again. Also hoping this thread might be of use for others looking to replace their springs and seeing the 1664s as a potential option - wish I’d known, would have saved me a bit of money.

I’ll put a post up in the big suspension thread too with pictures - would actually be really useful to have some kind of thread/post with various suspension setups and wheel/tyre sizes on view, of course this might list already, if so please hit me up with a link!

Thanks

Andy
 

froggy

Member
It’s a long post, so brace yourselves!

In preparation for my A2’s upcoming MOT, I booked it in to my regular garage to get last year’s advisories and a few other bits sorted ahead of time. Jobs were nearly all related to the front suspension which looked to be mostly original apart from the springs which had no paint markings on, so unlikely to be OE.

After reading what must have been every single suspension related post on the forum I had ordered all the parts in advance based on the recommendations here. Car is a 2001 1.4 AMF TDI, base spec/non sunroof model running 15” pepperpots with 185/60/15 tyres.

Parts replaced (both sides) were:
  • Monroe Reflex shocks
  • KYB RH1664 springs
  • Meyle cast control arm/ball joint assembly
  • Meyle HD drop links
  • Meyle top mounts (complete)
  • Bump stops/dust covers/stretch bolts

Also had new discs, pads, brake flexis, ABS sensor, driver’s side bearing replaced but unrelated to ride height. Tracking was done also.

I’m well aware the back end has been low since I bought the car 5 years back, and looks to be on original parts so it’s booked in for new springs, shocks and mounts etc shortly. The garage were surprised that the front was sitting so much higher than before, they suggested it might settle a little bit once I’ve put some miles on it, but probably not by a huge amount.

You can see by the before and after pics that there is a huge difference:
View attachment 87521

View attachment 87522

Regardless, I don’t think refreshing the back will balance the front end out too much. The only other thread I could find relating to the KYB RH1664 springs was @Howey ’s and after a follow up on there it hasn’t changed in 9 months so looks like this is what you get with KYB RH1664 Springs on a non-sunroof TDI.

Long term I’m not happy with how the car looks, any thoughts on the best springs for resolving the issue? Ideally I’d like the ride height to be as it was in the first pic. There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice on the Suplex/Spidans - some say they’re good or used to be good, others reported a break within a few months of fitting.

Feel like I’ve gone around in massive circles trying to find the best solution so I’d be grateful of any advice and assistance in getting a bit closer to the ground again. Also hoping this thread might be of use for others looking to replace their springs and seeing the 1664s as a potential option - wish I’d known, would have saved me a bit of money.

I’ll put a post up in the big suspension thread too with pictures - would actually be really useful to have some kind of thread/post with various suspension setups and wheel/tyre sizes on view, of course this might list already, if so please hit me up with a link!

Thanks

Andy
I’ve got quite a lot of suspension issues to rectify, was looking at KYB but this has certainly put me off. Would be interesting to see if new rear suspension made a big difference but as you say, I can’t see how it would make that much difference 😮.
 

AndyP

Member
I would say you have two problems, firstly the front is now a little too high and secondly the rear is too low. Have you got correct springs on the rear AND are the rubber spring seats still in place, or have they disintegrated completely?
 

carlston

Active Member
...any thoughts on the best springs for resolving the issue? Ideally I’d like the ride height to be as it was in the first pic. There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice on the Suplex/Spidans - some say they’re good or used to be good, others reported a break within a few months of fitting...
Broken Spidan spring less than 2 years old

Front Springs matching OEM part number 8Z0411105AL
Eibach R10662
Sachs 997854

Rear Springs matching OEM part number 8Z0511115AS
Eibach R10923
Sachs 996648

The gknautomotive.com online catalogue lists both of the above OEM part numbers for the 1.4TDI without sunroof, however I would avoid Spidan/Suplex springs due to too many broken springs.
 
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Robin_Cox

Member
On my car, replacing the front springs raised the height very slightly - maybe about half an inch. This resulted in the car looking somewhat like your 'after' photo above. Replacing the corroded rear springs with the appropriate Bilstein B3 but critically, replacing the various completely knackered rubber parts (spring seats, bumpstops, subframe bushes etc. ) resulted in the rear height now matching the fronts so it has balanced things up visually. On our local roads having the extra half inch of travel really does help.

I will also concur with the doubts about overall quality of the Suplex (can't comment on Spidans but I understand they may well be the same company). I swore by them on the front of our 1.4i - lovely subtle ride on our roads and nice feel overall - until one of the springs broke in half less than a year after being fitted and maybe a couple of thousand miles of use at the most without warning. Replaced them both with the next-most-supple (on paper) Sachs which are just as nice to drive but fractionally firmer and have been really happy so far.
 
It’s a long post, so brace yourselves!

In preparation for my A2’s upcoming MOT, I booked it in to my regular garage to get last year’s advisories and a few other bits sorted ahead of time. Jobs were nearly all related to the front suspension which looked to be mostly original apart from the springs which had no paint markings on, so unlikely to be OE.

After reading what must have been every single suspension related post on the forum I had ordered all the parts in advance based on the recommendations here. Car is a 2001 1.4 AMF TDI, base spec/non sunroof model running 15” pepperpots with 185/60/15 tyres.

Parts replaced (both sides) were:
  • Monroe Reflex shocks
  • KYB RH1664 springs
  • Meyle cast control arm/ball joint assembly
  • Meyle HD drop links
  • Meyle top mounts (complete)
  • Bump stops/dust covers/stretch bolts

Also had new discs, pads, brake flexis, ABS sensor, driver’s side bearing replaced but unrelated to ride height. Tracking was done also.

I’m well aware the back end has been low since I bought the car 5 years back, and looks to be on original parts so it’s booked in for new springs, shocks and mounts etc shortly. The garage were surprised that the front was sitting so much higher than before, they suggested it might settle a little bit once I’ve put some miles on it, but probably not by a huge amount.

You can see by the before and after pics that there is a huge difference:
View attachment 87521

View attachment 87522

Regardless, I don’t think refreshing the back will balance the front end out too much. The only other thread I could find relating to the KYB RH1664 springs was @Howey ’s and after a follow up on there it hasn’t changed in 9 months so looks like this is what you get with KYB RH1664 Springs on a non-sunroof TDI.

Long term I’m not happy with how the car looks, any thoughts on the best springs for resolving the issue? Ideally I’d like the ride height to be as it was in the first pic. There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice on the Suplex/Spidans - some say they’re good or used to be good, others reported a break within a few months of fitting.

Feel like I’ve gone around in massive circles trying to find the best solution so I’d be grateful of any advice and assistance in getting a bit closer to the ground again. Also hoping this thread might be of use for others looking to replace their springs and seeing the 1664s as a potential option - wish I’d known, would have saved me a bit of money.

I’ll put a post up in the big suspension thread too with pictures - would actually be really useful to have some kind of thread/post with various suspension setups and wheel/tyre sizes on view, of course this might list already, if so please hit me up with a link!

Thanks

Andy
Gosh that is pointing skywards looks like it’s just about to take off .... that is the problem with this mix and match in the last two a2tdis I’ve done on complete suspension refresh I’ve used Bilstein B3 &B4 polo hd top mounts and febi buffers ..meyle drop links You end up with a perfect job.. I can only speak for my own experiences ..
 
Gosh that is pointing skywards looks like it’s just about to take off .... that is the problem with this mix and match in the last two a2tdis I’ve done on complete suspension refresh I’ve used Bilstein B3 &B4 polo hd top mounts and febi buffers ..meyle drop links You end up with a perfect job.. I can only speak for my own experiences ..
Thats the exact same as I did, perfectly level, just around an inch higher all round due to new components.
 

donp38

Member
To me looking at the before photo. it looks to have been lowered.
You have now the 'correct' std height front, but with that lowered rear give you the look you have.
If you want a comfort ride, then you need to sort the rear....
The good news is if you want a comfy ride then you have done the hard work, the rear is easy...just springs and dampers..
 

Robin_Cox

Member
To me looking at the before photo. it looks to have been lowered.
You have now the 'correct' std height front, but with that lowered rear give you the look you have.
If you want a comfort ride, then you need to sort the rear....
The good news is if you want a comfy ride then you have done the hard work, the rear is easy...just springs and dampers..
and probably at this age - the rubber bits that sometimes are forgotten but make a huge difference in terms of making the cars feel closer to new. In my suspension refreshes in the past 4 years since I started with the A2, the most significant improvements in refinement have been made with the <£20 per component Febi bushing / spring seat kits in various parts of the suspension than gross component changes.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
Long and short of it . If you want it back as it was refit the worn out suspension. You are on pepperpots, so the gap is WAY to little as it was. You need to fit all new rear suspension. KYB springs are fine, replace all the bushes and shocks.

I run 17" wheels and went back from sport suspension to standard. Yes the car sits higher, but I now can drive over speed bumps and not scrape my Votex front spoiler nor my mudflaps when cornering.

The gap on the front is always larger than the rear to allow for steering and the arch on the rear sits lower to the ground anyway.
 

Pras

Member
I just checked my purchase history and the KYB part number I fitted to my TDI is RH3243 - they give you the correct height
 

neo

Member
I think that your car is lowered, I run 25mm lowering springs on mine (with the same winter tyre dimension as yours) and the before height looks similar.
Can you check paint marks on the rear springs?
 

philward

A2OC Donor
This has to be asked, did you torque up the suspension arms with the weight of the car on the ground and preferably with a driver and a passenger sat in it?

Edit my car is an unmodified TDi on Audi springs. It is difficult to see because it is black but it rides quite high.

InkedIMG_5632_LI.jpg
 
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Thanks all for the replies, pics and info on your own experiences, greatly appreciated! :)

It's certainly possible the car has been lowered at some point, I don't know a huge amount of the history before I had it, it had a few owners before I did and there's nothing in the (sparse) receipts to suggest any of the suspension has been renewed at all. I'll make sure the garage keep a hold of the old rear springs to see if there are any identifying marks on there.

@Pras - annoyingly I had a set of the 1.4 petrol springs which had been sent by mistake when compiling all the bits and pieces, would have used those if I'd known! That may be the best solution without going down the lowered spring route - have you any pics of yours to hand? Would be interested to see.

@philward - I left it all to the garage to sort, not sure how it was torqued up but will ask. Would torquing up fully laden as suggested affect ride height? Might be worth revisiting if so.

@audifan - I think if I end up with a similar arch gap balance front to back as yours then I can certainly live with that for now. Fingers crossed!

It's booked into the garage in a couple of weeks for the full rear suspension refresh so I will report back with updated pics once that is done. The bushes, bump stops and top mounts will be replaced along with the shocks and springs so hopefully at the very least it will even things out somewhat. If there's anything else worth doing while it's in bits let me know.

I think ultimately I'll run it through the winter (I've got fat winter tyres to go on, so a bit extra clearance won't harm) and revisit the front ride height in spring once my bank account has recovered a bit.

Thanks
Andy
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
All suspension nuts and bolt should only be torqued up "weight on". Suspension springs do gradually sag with time, but without offending you, yours must have been riding on the bump stops or what was left of them.
 
No offence taken! There's been a catalogue of neglect from previous owners so I fully expect the worst on bits of the car I've not renewed yet. The good news is, once the rear suspension is replaced then much of the important work on a car of this mileage (200k) I know has been done properly.
 

A2Z

A2OC Donor
Thanks all for the replies, pics and info on your own experiences, greatly appreciated! :)

It's certainly possible the car has been lowered at some point, I don't know a huge amount of the history before I had it, it had a few owners before I did and there's nothing in the (sparse) receipts to suggest any of the suspension has been renewed at all. I'll make sure the garage keep a hold of the old rear springs to see if there are any identifying marks on there.

@Pras - annoyingly I had a set of the 1.4 petrol springs which had been sent by mistake when compiling all the bits and pieces, would have used those if I'd known! That may be the best solution without going down the lowered spring route - have you any pics of yours to hand? Would be interested to see.

@philward - I left it all to the garage to sort, not sure how it was torqued up but will ask. Would torquing up fully laden as suggested affect ride height? Might be worth revisiting if so.

@audifan - I think if I end up with a similar arch gap balance front to back as yours then I can certainly live with that for now. Fingers crossed!

It's booked into the garage in a couple of weeks for the full rear suspension refresh so I will report back with updated pics once that is done. The bushes, bump stops and top mounts will be replaced along with the shocks and springs so hopefully at the very least it will even things out somewhat. If there's anything else worth doing while it's in bits let me know.

I think ultimately I'll run it through the winter (I've got fat winter tyres to go on, so a bit extra clearance won't harm) and revisit the front ride height in spring once my bank account has recovered a bit.

Thanks
Andy
Might be a good idea to adjust your headlights down (via the adjuster next to the light switch inside the car) if you intend to drive it for a while before having the rear suspension done, as at the moment you will certainly be dazzling oncoming motorists if you haven't adjusted them already 👍
 

Howey

Member
It's only the springs (and potentially the lower seat cups) that effect the ride height.
My car came with an expensive receipt for rear springs, having covered 40k upon removal they were clearly over an inch smaller than the replacements I bought and fitted. Really easy peasy job! No markings or details on paperwork to identify the old rear springs.
 
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