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Beginner’s Guide / Tips for Buying a Street-Based Suspension

bfury5

Drag Racing Champion
Location
CT
looking for some help here, lowered the car on coils, had an adjustment, then had alignment. car was ok, then springs compressed and it seemed like i was pretty slammed as far as low is. had some decent bumps since I was slammed. After a week, seemed like alignment was off. Took car back in to readjust things (Fix alignment), shop raised the front and all is now smooth as far as going over bumps and everything is.

It stills pulls to the left tho, so im thinking alignment is off. Last time I talked with the tech he was saying it could be due to being lower, but im 100% thinking alignment is off since springs compressed ect and the alignment shop need to redo their job. Tech said its possible I might need shorter front end links as the OEM ones are long and im still pretty low on coils.

What do yall think? Will another alignment fix this with OEM front end links/sway bar, or do I actually need shorter end links. Car did drive good on initial alignment, Now if i take my hands off the steering wheel it pulls left. Tech was saying it could be torque steer, which I never had before. Any advice is appreciated, thanks.

I would get an alignment, I always get an alignment when changing the ride height. As you raise and lower the strut (in the front), if you leave the tie-rod the same length it will either cause the front tires to toe in or toe out depending on how you change the height.

Did you have two different shops do the height adjustment and the alignment?
 

mk7_bk

Autocross Champion
I would get an alignment, I always get an alignment when changing the ride height. As you raise and lower the strut (in the front), if you leave the tie-rod the same length it will either cause the front tires to toe in or toe out depending on how you change the height.

Did you have two different shops do the height adjustment and the alignment?
yeah, at this point I am just kinda dealing with it. Its only on acceleration around 70-80 on highway you can feel it drifting left
 

Desslok

Autocross Champion
Location
PA
Car(s)
2019 Rabbit
yeah, at this point I am just kinda dealing with it. Its only on acceleration around 70-80 on highway you can feel it drifting left

So, it's set up for NASCAR then.
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
looking for some help here, lowered the car on coils, had an adjustment, then had alignment. car was ok, then springs compressed and it seemed like i was pretty slammed as far as low is. had some decent bumps since I was slammed. After a week, seemed like alignment was off. Took car back in to readjust things (Fix alignment), shop raised the front and all is now smooth as far as going over bumps and everything is.

It stills pulls to the left tho, so im thinking alignment is off. Last time I talked with the tech he was saying it could be due to being lower, but im 100% thinking alignment is off since springs compressed ect and the alignment shop need to redo their job. Tech said its possible I might need shorter front end links as the OEM ones are long and im still pretty low on coils.

What do yall think? Will another alignment fix this with OEM front end links/sway bar, or do I actually need shorter end links. Car did drive good on initial alignment, Now if i take my hands off the steering wheel it pulls left. Tech was saying it could be torque steer, which I never had before. Any advice is appreciated, thanks.

post alignment sheet if you can.

front toe asymmetry is usually meaningless, rear asymmetry might affect it.

if your install shop loosened the front control arms.at the subframe attachment point and failed to re-tighten, that could cause a drift. Same where ball joint attaches.
 

Dakaos

New member
Location
Georgia
Car(s)
2016 MK7 GTI S
Hey guys! I would like to add my own experience to this thread. Very recently I picked up some Whiteline Springs and Rear Sway bar.

Here are the specs if anyone is wondering

Front 4.1kg/mm (229lb/in) rated springs 30mm drop
Rear 4.3kg/mm (241lb/in) rated springs 35mm drop

I haven't had much time with this setup. Also my struts and shocks are factory with 85+k miles on it, which I don't believe I'll keep for too long on the car. My impressions are the springs are minor in improvement from stock. Looks way better but seat time will tell if I really enjoy them or not. I've owned a car with cheap coils overs before in my 20s and I didn't think coils would be for me this time around because I daily drive the car. Love the info so far. I'll have to update my post after I put new dampers in. I'm leaning towards bilstein to be honest. Hope this helps the thread.
 

Spencerp808

New member
Location
Honolulu, HI
Car(s)
2019 gli autobahn
Ok so I have read and done my do diligence. I have 2019 mk7 gli. From what I understand the set up is the exact same as a mk7 gti. I'm only 100lbs heavier. I'm not a track guy or a racer. Spirited driving. I'm am thinking the bilstein B8 plus the h&r oe springs. I don't want a huge drop, just firm and lower a bit. @Hammersticks you seem to be the guy to ask. Will this fit my car? I know it's not a gti,but from what I've read other than exhaust there is no difference. Same 55mm connections, same everything. Am I correct in my thinking?
 

Hammersticks

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Ok so I have read and done my do diligence. I have 2019 mk7 gli. From what I understand the set up is the exact same as a mk7 gti. I'm only 100lbs heavier. I'm not a track guy or a racer. Spirited driving. I'm am thinking the bilstein B8 plus the h&r oe springs. I don't want a huge drop, just firm and lower a bit. @Hammersticks you seem to be the guy to ask. Will this fit my car? I know it's not a gti,but from what I've read other than exhaust there is no difference. Same 55mm connections, same everything. Am I correct in my thinking?
Sorry I have not done any research or due diligence on the GLI to confirm any sort of fitment. They may very well fit, but that doesn't mean it's going to handle or look the way you want. It may all be stellar, but I can't vouch for it, and certainly not going to tell you to go spend $800. :) Also, per the initial post the B8's are light on compression damping so the extra weight could potentially cause some bottoming issues anyway. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I definitely don't want to lead you down a potentially expensive (or worst case, dangerous) path. Maybe someone else with direct experience can chime in. Thanks for understanding.
 

Mr. Conundrum

Go Kart Newbie
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
2017 GTI Autobahn
Hello suspension gurus! I'd like some thoughts on DCC and lowering springs on a GTI.
I've talked with sandman a bit about the Eibach pro kit w/ DCC and he's had great success over 60k mi lowered. I don't think lowering more than an in/25mm is healthy for any shock not designed for it, so that leaves me with 3 options.
1. Eibach Pro
2. H&R OE
3. DGs
I'm leaning towards Eibach or DGs. I would like to increase spring rates at least a bit.
Are the DGs actually stiffer then the stock GTI springs? I've seen 10% thrown around, but idk where that came from.
After installing springs, what is involved with alignment and recalibration of the DCC ride height?
Will I need to invest in adjustable endlinks? I'm planning on upgrading sway bars first, so I'd like to plan ahead there.
Note: I'm also planning on upgrading to Bilstein B6 Damptronics if/when my stock dampeners fail.
Thanks!
 
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efaily

Go Kart Champion
Location
Chicago 'burbs
Car(s)
2019 GTI SE Exp pkg
The Racingline/VWR springs should be a good option for stock DCC dampers also. You don't need adjustable end links. There's no recalibration of DCC dampers that I'm aware of for ride height. Ride height really shouldn't have much impact on valve rates in the adjustable dampers, as they should be consistent throughout the full suspension travel. I assume that DCC only adjusts the compression rate,, and not rebound,, but I'm not positive.. You might find that a different setting is a better match for the slightly stiffer spring rate, depending on your ride preference.
 

Mr. Conundrum

Go Kart Newbie
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
2017 GTI Autobahn
The Racingline/VWR springs should be a good option for stock DCC dampers also. You don't need adjustable end links. There's no recalibration of DCC dampers that I'm aware of for ride height. Ride height really shouldn't have much impact on valve rates in the adjustable dampers, as they should be consistent throughout the full suspension travel. I assume that DCC only adjusts the compression rate,, and not rebound,, but I'm not positive.. You might find that a different setting is a better match for the slightly stiffer spring rate, depending on your ride preference.
Thanks. I know the VWR springs are a popular option, but they lower more than I would like. My limit is 1"/25mm, both for damper health, general drivability, maintaining suspension travel, etc. I would actually prefer something in the 0.5-0.75" range. Handling is top priority, then wheel gap second.

I see you have DCC and VWR springs. The reason I bring up recalibrating is from this thread. See page 2 for the directions on recalibrating via OBD11. Some say it makes a real difference on ride, and I imagine it would also help damper longevity.
 

efaily

Go Kart Champion
Location
Chicago 'burbs
Car(s)
2019 GTI SE Exp pkg
VWR lists the lowering range of their GTI springs at 20 to 25mm?
Very interesting thread, full of misinformation, but interesting. Thanks for the link..I'll look more into the programming/recalibration to understand what it's actual purpose is, because their theories in the thread don't make sense. The only variable in the DCC dampers is the adjustable valve which changes compression damping rate, and possibly rebound rate, although less likely. The isn't any other variation built into the dampers. Lowering springs are shorter in length and stiffer in spring rate to compensate for the reduced spring rate. They will result in a firmer ride. The number one issue with lowering is contacting the bump stops.Bump stops are necessary to protect the damper internals from mechanical damage from internally bottoming out. If not trimmed properly, contact with the bump stops increases effective spring rate greatly, leading to incrediblely harsh ride.
 

Mr. Conundrum

Go Kart Newbie
Location
North Carolina
Car(s)
2017 GTI Autobahn
VWR lists the lowering range of their GTI springs at 20 to 25mm?
Very interesting thread, full of misinformation, but interesting. Thanks for the link..I'll look more into the programming/recalibration to understand what it's actual purpose is, because their theories in the thread don't make sense. The only variable in the DCC dampers is the adjustable valve which changes compression damping rate, and possibly rebound rate, although less likely. The isn't any other variation built into the dampers. Lowering springs are shorter in length and stiffer in spring rate to compensate for the reduced spring rate. They will result in a firmer ride. The number one issue with lowering is contacting the bump stops.Bump stops are necessary to protect the damper internals from mechanical damage from internally bottoming out. If not trimmed properly, contact with the bump stops increases effective spring rate greatly, leading to incrediblely harsh ride.
Everything I've seen says they lower 1.2-1.4" or about 30-35mm. Here and Here, for example.

You're right, but how DCC adjusts compression and rebound is affected by input it receives from various sensors. Comfort/Normal/Sport are not just fixed compression/rebound rates like you could set on a coilover. The dampers have a min and max rate, and they are able to dynamically adjust themselves anywhere within that range between min and max, likely several times a second. The DCC modes just set parameters and the range of dynamic adjustability in software. Additionally, I believe DCC can adjust dampening at individual corners dynamically as well.
One sensor that feeds data into the system is the height position sensor, which I believe tells the control unit where in the stroke the control arm is, and thus, where in the travel the damper is. There is one on each corner (see picture, it's the green plastic tab).
The DCC system is calibrated with the assumption of factory ride height and suspension travel. So if you reduce that travel, I can definitely see how it could lead to poorer ride quality if it thinks the damper is always under some amount of compression even when that's the new natural resting height.

Note: I actually don't know a lot about the specifics of DCC. In fact, very few people outside VAG really do, because you'd need to reverse engineer the software to see how it really behaves under specific circumstances. Generally, I think I have a pretty good idea, but some specifics may not be accurate. If there's someone else who knows more, feel free to correct me on the details.
 

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efaily

Go Kart Champion
Location
Chicago 'burbs
Car(s)
2019 GTI SE Exp pkg
Everything I've seen says they lower 1.2-1.4" or about 30-35mm. Here and Here, for example.

You're right, but how DCC adjusts compression and rebound is affected by input it receives from various sensors. Comfort/Normal/Sport are not just fixed compression/rebound rates like you could set on a coilover. The dampers have a min and max rate, and they are able to dynamically adjust themselves anywhere within that range between min and max, likely several times a second. The DCC modes just set parameters and the range of dynamic adjustability in software. Additionally, I believe DCC can adjust dampening at individual corners dynamically as well.
One sensor that feeds data into the system is the height position sensor, which I believe tells the control unit where in the stroke the control arm is, and thus, where in the travel the damper is. There is one on each corner (see picture, it's the green plastic tab).
The DCC system is calibrated with the assumption of factory ride height and suspension travel. So if you reduce that travel, I can definitely see how it could lead to poorer ride quality if it thinks the damper is always under some amount of compression even when that's the new natural resting height.

Note: I actually don't know a lot about the specifics of DCC. In fact, very few people outside VAG really do, because you'd need to reverse engineer the software to see how it really behaves under specific circumstances. Generally, I think I have a pretty good idea, but some specifics may not be accurate. If there's someone else who knows more, feel free to correct me on the details.
How about from the source? Racingline says 20 to 25mm. https://www.racingline.com/mqbg-chassis

FYI, totally agree with your comment in bold above. I'd love to get more specifics about the DCC dampers. Not disputing anything your saying about DCC, because I don't have any facts, but that's sounds like an incredibly sophisticated, expensive system to be able to make those kinds of adjustments. I'd be very surprised if all of that were the case for the difference in price between a non DCC and DCC equipped GTI. I'm familiar with the height position sensors from anti roll bar installation. I thought the height position sensors were used for the auto leveling headlights? Any VW engineers in here? LOL
 
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