Whesls and suspension

handyman

Member
Hi all
I am currently running a2 1.6 fsi 2004 with the 17 inch wheels 205/40R/17 tyres the car has 120.000 miles. To my knowledge the shocks and suspension have never been replaced. My wife finds the car a little hard on her back with the road humps that we have around Yeovil.
Have had the wheels totally refurbished and straightened and now look fantastic.
My question is two fold
1.Would changing the wheels to higher profile give a softer ride and if so any recommends from experience would be grateful
2. Replacing shocks and springs to gas shocks would this also soften the suspension and give a less hard ride, again any recommends on brands and make from those who have went down this route
I no longer drive the car that fast having mellowed my driving habits with age but would love to continue using her for the foreseeable future.

Regards Alex
 

damadgeruk

Admin Team
205/45R17 is an improvement with very little rub though real improvement comes with 16 or 15“ wheels. Original suspension likely to be well past its best, check here for more...
 

Andrew

A2OC Donor
Your wife is correct, the 205/40/17 with their elastic band tyres they are rock hard, I felt likewise and sold mine after a few months. Pity you had the 17" wheels refurbished as the simplest way to increase comfort is to reduce the wheel size, I went for 195/55/15, much more forgiving rubber between the base of your wife's back and the road, the jarring goes away. I suggest you buy a set of 15" wheels as an experiment and put the tyres on what I have and let your wife assess. You can always sell the 17" but you are unlikely to recoup your refurbishment costs.

Barring that and sticking with the 17", as mentioned moving to 205/45/17 is reported by members to offer a disproportionate increase in comfort bearing in mind the relative small increase in tyre wall height, but they normally rub on full lock and speed bumps when loaded. The improvement possibly also a lot to do with new rubber and quality tyre brand.

Yes, refreshing the suspension will also help.

Andy
 

Kleynie

A2OC Donor
But reducing the wheel size isn't solving the root of the problem, 15 year old suspension components will not make for a good ride.
I would be changing the shocks, springs, top mount bearings, drop links and control arms.
 
I was just going to say similar as Kleynie

Ive just refurbished my fsi suspension and i'm extremely happy with the transformation even running 17 sport wheels. It's a different car now!

At the very least you want to change Front and rear Top mounts,
Shocks front and back, i used Bilstein B4 shocks and new bump stops as they were completely gone at 96K.
You'll want new from shock bellows,( protects the shock piston form road debris water etc.)
You'll need 2 front strut Bolts from Audi, holds lower shock to upright/hub and must be changed as it's a stretch bolt.

As i've just done this job i found the only nuts and bolts that needing changing, and that was only from a cosmetic point of view, was the lower rear shock nut and bolt where it attaches to the rear axle. I changed all the nuts and bolts at considerable cost from Audi :oops: but there really is no need to except where they are single use stretch bolts. As i bought before hand,expecting trouble, it was a pleasant surprise to see they all looked like new.
 

Andrew

A2OC Donor
But reducing the wheel size isn't solving the root of the problem, 15 year old suspension components will not make for a good ride.
I would be changing the shocks, springs, top mount bearings, drop links and control arms.
I was just going to say similar as Kleynie

Ive just refurbished my fsi suspension and i'm extremely happy with the transformation even running 17 sport wheels. It's a different car now!

At the very least you want to change Front and rear Top mounts,
Shocks front and back, i used Bilstein B4 shocks and new bump stops as they were completely gone at 96K.
You'll want new from shock bellows,( protects the shock piston form road debris water etc.)
You'll need 2 front strut Bolts from Audi, holds lower shock to upright/hub and must be changed as it's a stretch bolt.

As i've just done this job i found the only nuts and bolts that needing changing, and that was only from a cosmetic point of view, was the lower rear shock nut and bolt where it attaches to the rear axle. I changed all the nuts and bolts at considerable cost from Audi :oops: but there really is no need to except where they are single use stretch bolts. As i bought before hand,expecting trouble, it was a pleasant surprise to see they all looked like new.
Nobody I think will disagree a suspension refresh is in order, indeed Alex(@handyman) comments in the last few words of his last post "now for the suspension".

What I like about reducing wheel size is it is a quick fix within the skill level of the most basic DIY owner to complete at home in an hour. Suspension refresh on their other hand means either putting the car in the hands of a professional (and costs) or a lot of research and a much higher DIY spannering skill level. A good start on the research would be your posts.

Andy
 

handyman

Member
thanks for the advice so far.i agree a suspension refresh is in order but my original ? was gas or oil shocks, any opinions
on that subject and brands would be great
 

damadgeruk

Admin Team
thanks for the advice so far.i agree a suspension refresh is in order but my original ? was gas or oil shocks, any opinions
on that subject and brands would be great
My thread link in post 3 is worth a read. Many of us have been doing the same recently so lots of help available once you have an idea of what you want to do.
 
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