Real life experience of lowering springs

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
With the A2OC jolly to Scotland upcoming, and the fact that Sam will be 8 months pregnant on the journey, it’s got me thinking about ride comfort.


I’ve already replaced the rear shocks on Frankie recently with KONI FSD’s on standard springs and the back feels great and I’m happy with the ride height.


The front shocks are not leaking or showing signs of damage, but they are the originals and have now done 100k so there is definite room for improvement.


I always feel that the front end of the A2 sits too high when compared with the back and so would like to bring the front end down a little but not at the expense of comfort.


I’ve previously had Monroe shocks with H&R 25mm springs on a previous project and found it to be very very firm. I also had coilovers on my last project and whilst better than the H&R springs they were still very harsh.


Does anyone have any personal experience of other brands of lowering springs eg ST etc and can comment on their comfort when compared with standard springs/shocks.


Any comments gratefully received.
 

Skipton01

Well-Known Member
Bilstein B8 are currently on Tank and having had Koni FSD all around (I was among the first in the UK to fit them back in 2004/5), I can testify that the Bilsteins are at least as good in terms of comfort as the Koni offering.

The key to comfort though is more in sidewall height as it's the tyres which act as the main buffer in sorting out the crash ride of the A2. Get this right (16" wheels with 195/55 tyres is a great choice) and you're well on the way to comfort.

However, forget H&R springs - they are way too hard for our little ally chums and should be avoided.
 
Agree with above ...Bilsteins are obviously top of the tree fitted as standard on Porsche the b8 from what I understand is a shortened version of the b6 I have them on my Porsche but my advise as above stay clear of the hr springs if your tracking the car they are great but they are harsh I have them ..20mm drop ..yes makes car look great aggressive stance .on perfect tarmac roads they are great ,.but we don’t have perfect roads far from it ..?..and on the Audi a2 which is already a firm ride.. no not in the real world driving on our roads ..
 

Dads Taxi

Member
I am currently going through a similar thought process with my tdi90.
A previous owner installed Bilstein B4s which are essentially the gas version of the standard shocks.
These in conjunction with 195/55 15 tyres on pepperpots give very reasonable comfort but arguably in typical German fashion, the car is still too stiffly sprung. If I was going to change the springs I would go with standard length softer ideally variable rate springs.
To my mind the main reason other than Aesthetics to lower the car is to control roll / improve turn in.
My conclusions are that given the state of Uk roads in general and those up north specifically I am not going to lower the car but rather keep the standard travel and start by going down the upgraded anti roll bar route.
 

Dads Taxi

Member
By way of a summary for those confused about the different Bilstein offerings - as I was, I found this ( modified ) guide:

B2's are oil filled, plain boring dampers often oem.
B4's are a step up, just plain standard gas dampers, little firmer than stock.
B6's are the sports version, monotube technology, brilliant.
B8's are B6's but shorter.
 
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Jellybean

Admin Team
Following this thread also.
I have noted a marked difference with the ride quality of my FSI SE compared to my SE and Sport TDIs. The FSI is running 16" and the other two are on 17"s.
Has anyone any experience of Air Suspension? Would this afford a better ride with the advantage of variable ride heights?

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
Last week I fitted a set of new 185/50/16 winter tyres onto a pair of SE alloys I had for the next few months. Just this change from the normal 205/40/17's made a big difference to comfort.

Unfortunately I haven't yet reached the time of life where I am sensible enough to go for function over form so better suspension will have to be fitted instead.
 

Kleynie

A2OC Donor
Adams A2 has B4 shocks and B3 springs, the ride is very nice even on 205/40/17's. However, it does sit quite high so probably no good for you Steve.
 

Philip

Member
Also interested in experiences - I have Monroe Reflex with original Sport springs; the ride comfort is considerably better than with the original dampers, but it's still occasionally very harsh (and the Monroes have raised the ride height, surprisingly).
 

Merlin3046

Member
Following the Definitive Suspension thread, I fitted petrol springs to the front of my TDi 90. As it turns out I believe the front is now riding a smidge lower than the back but I’ve not had a proper look on genuinely level ground. If you’re after lower ride height without destroying ride quality, that may be an option. I’ve not had any hint at bottoming out, probably helped by the new Koni struts.
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
Following the Definitive Suspension thread, I fitted petrol springs to the front of my TDi 90. As it turns out I believe the front is now riding a smidge lower than the back but I’ve not had a proper look on genuinely level ground. If you’re after lower ride height without destroying ride quality, that may be an option. I’ve not had any hint at bottoming out, probably helped by the new Koni struts.
Now that is something I had considered but thought it would be a no go as it would cause too much bouncing on the softer springs. Thank you for that, that really has given me food for thought.
 

Captain059

A2OC Donor
I agree with the hashness of the H&R comments. I have done it and they are still on. If I knew, I wouldn't have done it.
I am certainly not going to do it on the FSI, but most certainly will install an ARB, probably the H&R.
On the 1.4, that ARB was a great improvement on the handling.
Hope you'll find the perfect solution.
Let us know.
 
Just my 2 cents worth Steve. Stay with standard sports springs, sorry can't remember if it's se or sport. Assuming you have sport springs and that they are slightly lower than se springs, why not just stick with them and B6 Billies, in conjunction with an uprated arb with 195/55 16" tyres.

I'm using the se fsi with the sports wheels on 205/40 17" and i find that combination comfortable enough yet still maintaining decent handling. The Fsi on it's 16" se alloys is even better at the xepense of some handling lost because of 185/55 16" tyres.


Or,.....

Merlin mentioned recently he bought and fitted new technology Konis albeit expensive and likened the ride to magic carpet over the rough stuff, at least that is how i read his comments on it. I'm intrigued by these Konis to find out if they are the holy grail of shocks in that they are firm when cornering yet very compliant in the straight ahead position.
 

Skipton01

Well-Known Member
Koni FSDs are not the holy grail of shocks. They're good, but not that good. They were pretty much the best out there 15 years ago when I got mine done, but things have moved on and there are better solutions and cheaper solutions, which is why I didn't replace my FSDs with new ones last year.
 

Merlin3046

Member
Just my 2 cents worth Steve. Stay with standard sports springs, sorry can't remember if it's se or sport. Assuming you have sport springs and that they are slightly lower than se springs, why not just stick with them and B6 Billies, in conjunction with an uprated arb with 195/55 16" tyres.

I'm using the se fsi with the sports wheels on 205/40 17" and i find that combination comfortable enough yet still maintaining decent handling. The Fsi on it's 16" se alloys is even better at the xepense of some handling lost because of 185/55 16" tyres.


Or,.....

Merlin mentioned recently he bought and fitted new technology Konis albeit expensive and likened the ride to magic carpet over the rough stuff, at least that is how i read his comments on it. I'm intrigued by these Konis to find out if they are the holy grail of shocks in that they are firm when cornering yet very compliant in the straight ahead position.
Don't read too much into my comments. It's magic carpet compared to a 14-year-old shagged-out Sport suspension (I "un-Sported" it in my rebuild), but it's still an Audi A2, not a Citroen CX (*sigh*)! Note that SE & Sport springs are the same; the ride height difference was achieved via the strut top mounts and the spring cushions on the back.
 
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