Real life experience of lowering springs

Robin_Cox

Member
Re Merlin xxxx's comment - 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.

There are differences in the mounts (and bumpstops) but I'm almost certain that the sport springs are not the same - there are a bunch of springs that are 20-25mm lower than others in the specification tables (I don't have the table right here to quote exactly), as well as also being thicker gauge, different diameter and so on corresponding to increased rate.
 

damadgeruk

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.
You mentioned fitting winters to a pair of wheels, are you running mixed summer and winter tyres?
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
You mentioned fitting winters to a pair of wheels, are you running mixed summer and winter tyres?
Yes I am, and I know your not supposed to, but I only use the car for 6 miles back and fore to work every day so they are just there to get me home if it snows.
 

damadgeruk

A2OC Donor
Yes I am, and I know your not supposed to, but I only use the car for 6 miles back and fore to work every day so they are just there to get me home if it snows.
I know, none of my business though had to check(only 'cos I care). :) On the plus side, will be great for oversteer.
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
I know, none of my business though had to check(only 'cos I care). :) On the plus side, will be great for oversteer.
I know mate. To be honest though, I barely get over 50 on my commute and haven't really noticed any difference, so they will stay on until March.
 

a2sumo

A2OC Donor
Suspension is such a personal thing - all I will say is try and get a drive of an A2 with different combinations and make your own mind up. I hear the negative comments on H&R springs yet I have three A2’s all with H&R springs. I have also had weitec and koni fsd.
I always say that suspension is much like shoes - some like hard leather soles some like soft and then some like stiletoes !
 
Great sum up and yes your right ..but if all of our roads were like they are in France yes H&R I have them on my 911 turbo s bilstein standad ..but where I live country lanes lots of pot holes not a pleasant experience until I get out onto A roads when yes car is like on rail tracks ..but in an Audi a2 even with standard suspension and 16” wheels it’s not the nicest ride where we are which is why I like the 15” pepper pot and larger profile tyres ..horses for courses I think a lot is dependent on were you live ..
 

Darren C

Admin Team
I totally agree with this, the roads you normally drive play a massive part on set-up and choice. This and how mad you are and how willing you are to let aesthetics rule over function. ;)

Great sum up and yes your right ..but if all of our roads were like they are in France yes H&R I have them on my 911 turbo s ..but where I live country lanes lots of pot holes not a pleasant experience until I get out onto A roads when yes car is like on rail tracks ..but in an Audi a2 even with standard suspension and 16” wheels it’s not the nicest ride where we are which is why I like the 15” pepper pot and larger profile tyres ..horses for courses I think a lot is dependent on were you live ..
 

Jellybean

A2OC Donor
For what its worth, I have put a set of 205/45 17s on my TDi Sport and the ride seems better than on the 205/40 17s it had. Not as aesthetically pleasing, but much quieter.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

sailesh

Active Member
I am using Weitec springs up front with the B8s and Bilstein rear springs with B4 dampers. Very happy with the ride and stance on my TDi 90
That’s a unique front/rear combination - is it still family friendly for ride comfort?

I plan to refresh my FSI Sport suspension next year, but it sounds like a visit to a social and some test rides are needed beforehand!
 

PlasticMac

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.
The shorter B8 is designed to suit lowered (therefore shorter) springs. B8s are shorter, due to internal stops, as lower/shorter springs have lost the first 20-25mm of suspension travel. They should not be fitted to standard sprung cars, as the longer springs will have a high pre-load (ie compressed at rest), giving a harsh ride. So, B6 for standard suspension, B8 for lowered suspension.
Mac.
 

Menno

A2OC Donor
The shorter B8 is designed to suit lowered (therefore shorter) springs. B8s are shorter, due to internal stops, as lower/shorter springs have lost the first 20-25mm of suspension travel. They should not be fitted to standard sprung cars, as the longer springs will have a high pre-load (ie compressed at rest), giving a harsh ride. So, B6 for standard suspension, B8 for lowered suspension.
Mac.
The B8's are on the front 2.5cm shorter.

I had them on with Pi springs, which where progressive springs and the A2 (TDI) was harsh and bouncy.
It felt like it was on the internal bumpstops at the front, in city and village areas: I didn't liked them and was feeling sorry for the components that had to put up with it on my A2.........

First I wanted to cut the internal bump stops at the front, but taking apart a brand new B8 was not something I fancied to do, nor buying new B6's (no unlimited wallet here....).
So, I took the Spidan petrol spring route, and installed a 1cm bush beneath the spring top plate (the thread on B8 is long enough to let the top nut engage fully).
Now I have a little more initial spring compression, which is fine in my opinion for a heavier TDI.
Bounce and harsh ride disapeared and feels more composed now.

Ofcourse it raised the front somewhat:
B8 with Pi springs: minus 6cm (!) in comparison with standard spring/shock set up.
B8 with Spidan 49527 and bush: plus 3cm on above mentioned, minus 3cm in comparison with standard spring/shock set up.

The springs on the aft are still the Pi progressive springs, and are fine enough. It went down to minus 3cm in comparison with standard springs/shock set up, and are a little stiffer (but not harsh) so they counter body roll nicely; no need for a rear ARB.

There was somebody here on A2 who said what a nice thing to have is a long spring range/movement and sufficient (firm) damping as preached by Colin chapman/Lotus........... Maybe I'm not there yet, but I'm pretty close I guess.
The set up I've got is doing nice on motorways and in city/village conditions, and has lowered the car enough to my likes.
I would lie if I said the roadholding (on smooth tarmac) is as good as with the Pi spring on the front, but then again it's my daily transport and not a Nurburg track tool........

Aloha, Menno.
 
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.........can I raise the issue of tyres..............it doesn't matter what type of suspension you use tyres give the grip and therefore effect handling.............ride quality has to be a compromise between how much grip you want and under what circumstances...............that's why race cars have different setting for wet and dry conditions
 

Ryan D

Member
Hi Steve I am currently looking at all possible options to lower the car by 20/25mm. I have looked at the h&r springs, prosport coilovers and tired to look into buying a2 sport springs but can’t find any for sale. They seem to come back as the same spring on the se as the sport on places like eurocarparts. I see above you say the coilovers were better comfort wise to the h&r, on that basis would you not recommend them atall or is it something I could put up with? And advise is welcome. Cheers
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.
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
I haven’t run an A2 on coilovers for a few months now, but Jom blueline coilovers are just as comfortable as an A2 with 100k mile suspension albeit much more controlled.

On their highest setting they don’t look out of place at all because the A2 rides quite high as standard anyway.
 

Ryan D

Member
When fitting coilovers is there anything else I should be changing like boots, mounts or anything like thst as my car has 170k on it.
I haven’t run an A2 on coilovers for a few months now, but Jom blueline coilovers are just as comfortable as an A2 with 100k mile suspension albeit much more controlled.

On their highest setting they don’t look out of place at all because the A2 rides quite high as standard anyway.
 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
Just the top mounts on the front and you may need shortened drop links depending on how low you go. Everything else isn’t needed, so they are quite a cheap way of changing suspension.
 
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