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Daily Driven STU Setup

krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
My novel.

Not trying to detract from the wealth of info in the STH thread, but I figured I would start my own post to help refine the direction I'm going. I would like to dial my car in better, not only to improve in autocross, but potentially daily driving as well. I am hoping to maintain more of the emphasis on the daily driving, than autocross, so going all out within the STU sideboards probably won't happen. This would be in regard to full race compound bushings, etc. But others perspective would be greatly appreciated.

For 2021, I placed 2nd in PAX, 3rd in RAW, and 1st in STU for my region (East Idaho). Traveling to other, larger regions I usually stay around top 10 in both, and typically maintain top 3 in STU. So overall I feel good, but I tend to overdrive the car a bit and I'm hoping to improve the mechanical components to potentially allow me to improve overall. I like to drive to my events, compete, have fun, feel great at doing so, then blast the AC and drive home, all while not rattling my kidneys.

Current setup:
  • 2018 Golf R w/DCC, 6MT
  • All the stage 2 bits, w/ EQT stage 2 tune
  • Southbend Stage 3 clutch/fywheel
  • 18x8.5 ET45mm race wheels w/ 245/40/R18 tires, currently Kumho V730
  • Wheel stud conversion
  • Stock shocks/struts
  • Emanuel Design springs (unknown rates as they won't share them, but close to OEM)
  • Eurosport street camber kit
  • H&R 25mm RSB
  • BFI Stage 1 engine/trans mounts and dogbone insert
  • Stock brakes, but EBC yellow pads, RBF600 fluid
  • RS3 brake ducts
Current alignment settings, not optimized for autocross.
  • Left Front
    • Camber | -2.3°​
    • Caster | 7.9°​
    • Toe | .10°​
  • Right Front
    • Camber | -2.3°​
    • Caster | 8.0°​
    • Toe | .08°​
  • Left Rear
    • Camber | -2.0°​
    • Toe | .12°​
  • Right Rear
    • Camber | -2.0°​
    • Toe | .16°​

So what I want to address is the shocks/springs, camber, bushings. I do NOT want to ditch the DCC setup, so I know I am very limited on options, which I am okay with. Here is what I am looking at, and would gladly take any perspective on these.
  1. For shocks/struts/springs
    1. Bilstein B16 Coilover setup​
    2. Bilstein B6 setup with a set of springs​
    3. Both would be about the same price when it's all said and done. I'm not really interested in the KW DCC coilovers.​
  2. I need more negative camber, with my target being -3.0° for the front and rear. I know others have had great success with the GC plates, and other brands out there, but I want to think I can get to the -3.0° mark without them
    1. Slot the top mount holes slightly​
    2. WHITELINE Roll Center correction kit (ball joints) - says up to -0.5°​
    3. How about the lower control arms with new bushings? Offset for added + caster? WHITELINE arms say -0.25° to -0.50° additional camber​
    4. SPC rear camber arms, adjustability up to -3.0°​
  3. Should I be looking at the rear control arm bushings as well?
  4. How about a FSB? Most of what I can find is info on the GTI, not much on the R
  5. I fear I need a catchcan. I think I made about 24 events so far this year, and I'd say 8-10 of them I experienced the smoke on some hard right hand turns
    1. Anyone know of a catchcan that doesn't require me to ditch my OEM washer fluid reservoir? Petty I know, but I really don't want to get rid of it​
  6. What are the thoughts on the front strut bars, or the rear chassis/strut brace? Effective, snake oil? I mean the Racingline rear brace just looks super nice if nothing else. But I can think of other places to put money, unless there's good value in them.

Autocross9-11-2021-80.JPG

If you made it through all that, and don't mind sharing your thoughts, good/bad, I'd greatly appreciate it.
 
Last edited:

ckuhns

Autocross Champion
Location
Scotts Valley, CA
Car(s)
2019 Golf Sportwagen
I don’t have a Golf R, but a 4motion Golf Sportwagen, so very similar platform.

I can speak to the B16’s, they’re really great, going from full soft to full stiff is a nice and wide range, though Bilstein does NOT approve them for use with camber plates, though I have the fixed 034 plates with no issues so far..

I have adjustable front and rear swaybars from 034 Motorsports, combined together they work awesome! Definitely recommend the front one.

I also have the alloy super pro control arms for the added caster, and supposedly the little extra camber.. dunno how much but on my wagon the 034 fixed plates add -1.4 degrees, combined with lowering and the super pro arms, I’ve got -2.1 up front.

I’ve heard the roll correction adjustable ball joints have caused issues with rubbing on brake discs for some people, so that’s worth investigating, though that might have been just with aftermarket bigger brakes than you have, worth considering though.

Hopefully some of that’s helpful!
 

GTIfan99

Autocross Champion
Location
FL
I think the Superpro offset LCA would get you closer to your camber goal without a lot of added NVH if you do the street version.

.16 toe to me means toe in. -.16 would be toe out.

If you're really .16 toe, I'd go to -.15 front, -.30 rear.

Go to a lipo battery and it frees up space for that CC and shortens the routing.

In my experience, building ST cars over the years, spring rate, good shocks, sways and negative camber are the big levers you want to pull.

With my GD WRX and STI, they responded well to front and rear sway bars. With the GR STI, it didn't like the front sway. My STR build NC didn't like the front sway with the spring rates I was using.

I read about GS GTI guys trying FSB and not liking it at all and I went with a big rear bar in GS. Back in the day, I ran my GD STI in AS with a 32mm fsb and it actually gained grip up front. GR understeered more with fsb. Point is, every platform is different, weight distribution, spring rates, camber curves will all affect how a platform reacts to a FSB. I've yet to hear anyone with this platform reduce understeer with a FSB.

My goals for my GTI are similar to yours, in that a
I want a streetable ST car. I wish I had DCC, but I'm on koni sports and a Frankenstein spring set. I'm trying to get the excess rake out of the car right now and adding rear spring rate. I think I have a little higher spring rates than you do, the APR front is somewhere around 210 and I'm at 280 rear now, moving to 336. Might even go up 400 in the rear. The konis on full soft up front are good on the street with my FK510's. Rear are 1 full turn from full soft and seem perfect for the 280 spring. Might stiffen a little when I go up in spring rate. The konis are a little harsh with RE71R. Looking at V730 for next year.
 
Last edited:

scrllock

Autocross Champion
Location
MI
My novel.

Not trying to detract from the wealth of info in the STH thread, but I figured I would start my own post to help refine the direction I'm going. I would like to dial my car in better, not only to improve in autocross, but potentially daily driving as well. I am hoping to maintain more of the emphasis on the daily driving, than autocross, so going all out within the STU sideboards probably won't happen. This would be in regard to full race compound bushings, etc. But others perspective would be greatly appreciated.

For 2021, I placed 2nd in PAX, 3rd in RAW, and 1st in STU for my region (East Idaho). Traveling to other, larger regions I usually stay around top 10 in both, and typically maintain top 3 in STU. So overall I feel good, but I tend to overdrive the car a bit and I'm hoping to improve the mechanical components to potentially allow me to improve overall. I like to drive to my events, compete, have fun, feel great at doing so, then blast the AC and drive home, all while not rattling my kidneys.

Current setup:
  • 2018 Golf R w/DCC, 6MT
  • All the stage 2 bits, w/ EQT stage 2 tune
  • Southbend Stage 3 clutch/fywheel
  • 18x8.5 ET45mm race wheels w/ 245/40/R18 tires, currently Kumho V730
  • Wheel stud conversion
  • Stock shocks/struts
  • Emanuel Design springs (unknown rates as they won't share them, but close to OEM)
  • Eurosport street camber kit
  • H&R 25mm RSB
  • BFI Stage 1 engine/trans mounts and dogbone insert
  • Stock brakes, but EBC yellow pads, RBF600 fluid
  • RS3 brake ducts
Current alignment settings, not optimized for autocross.
  • Left Front
    • Camber | -2.3°​
    • Caster | 7.9°​
    • Toe | .10°​
  • Right Front
    • Camber | -2.3°​
    • Caster | 8.0°​
    • Toe | .08°​
  • Left Rear
    • Camber | -2.0°​
    • Toe | .12°​
  • Right Rear
    • Camber | -2.0°​
    • Toe | .16°​

So what I want to address is the shocks/springs, camber, bushings. I do NOT want to ditch the DCC setup, so I know I am very limited on options, which I am okay with. Here is what I am looking at, and would gladly take any perspective on these.
  1. For shocks/struts/springs
    1. Bilstein B16 Coilover setup​
    2. Bilstein B6 setup with a set of springs​
    3. Both would be about the same price when it's all said and done. I'm not really interested in the KW DCC coilovers.​
  2. I need more negative camber, with my target being -3.0° for the front and rear. I know others have had great success with the GC plates, and other brands out there, but I want to think I can get to the -3.0° mark without them
    1. Slot the top mount holes slightly​
    2. WHITELINE Roll Center correction kit (ball joints) - says up to -0.5°​
    3. How about the lower control arms with new bushings? Offset for added + caster? WHITELINE arms say -0.25° to -0.50° additional camber​
    4. SPC rear camber arms, adjustability up to -3.0°​
  3. Should I be looking at the rear control arm bushings as well?
  4. How about a FSB? Most of what I can find is info on the GTI, not much on the R
  5. I fear I need a catchcan. I think I made about 24 events so far this year, and I'd say 8-10 of them I experienced the smoke on some hard right hand turns
    1. Anyone know of a catchcan that doesn't require me to ditch my OEM washer fluid reservoir? Petty I know, but I really don't want to get rid of it​
  6. What are the thoughts on the front strut bars, or the rear chassis/strut brace? Effective, snake oil? I mean the Racingline rear brace just looks super nice if nothing else. But I can think of other places to put money, unless there's good value in them.
1. B16 would be ideal, all of the bilstein DCC kits are impossible to find last I checked. Ordered some over summer and they ended up backordered til at least Christmas.
2. Mk3 TT arms and balljoints offer a ton of extra camber (possibly enough to get to -3 with nothing else), though I'm not familiar enough with Solo rules to make a recommendation on combining that with bushings.
3. They certainly don't hurt. Trailing arms especially, you can pick up a second set very cheaply and there's only one bushing to buy.
4. I like the feel of both in an R, it gives you more adjustability. I don't know if a haldex tune is legal but that will give you back some oversteer (and you're tuned, so you're fairly front-biased).
5. Only off the shelf option I know of is ECS. It doesn't do much unless you get a PCV plate as well, though. I have the spulen plate since they sell it separately. Works well on track with high boost, but the can doesn't have the best baffle. It's not very hard to get a bracket fabricated and lines made to run whatever universal can you like in another spot.
6. Front strut bar made a negligible difference, whereas the rear strut brace (both eurocode) made the rear end more lively. I don't think the rear upper bar is functional enough to be worthwhile. Almost all other bracing is snake oil IMO.
 
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GTIfan99

Autocross Champion
Location
FL
You can't do LCA and keep your Eurosport camber kit in STU, but you could do LCA and offset LCA bushings or camber plates and offset LCA bushings. You have to choose. I chose Eurosport camber kit and slotting, but you don't actually gain much with slotting if sticking with factory style front springs. My springs are rubbing the strut towers on the inside.

You have to run the factory PCV, but can use the most recent revision for the R, which is BL, and a CC. I'm using BL in my GTI, which technically isn't legal until VW lists it as the latest revision for the GTI, but I have the BM version still if I want to go to any national level events.

Halden tune isn't legal.
 
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krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
Great info, thank you so far.

So yeah, after re-reading the Solo rulebook for the 10th time, I finally caught that you can't have camber plates and LCA replacements/ball joints, just one or the other. However it does allow the offset bushing or camber bolt, in the stock arm as long as it's not added metal. So that would mean I pick one of the big companies for their offset bushing, whiteline, superpor, powerflex, etc.

I also read it better now that you have to retain the factory PCV. Initially I read it as you have to retain the system, so there goes a decent CC option. So from here I look to see which revision of the PCV I have, make sure it's the most current, and see how to incorporate the CC to the factory PCV? Some more reading there.

I think if I'll be doing bushings, I might as well look at the rear then as well. Thanks.

I'll look at the eurocode rear brace, seams easy enough to add in/remove to see how it feels. Unless I get a good deal on the front/rear, I'll probably refrain from the front brace.

The front sway bar now. Seems like a lot of work to get that sucker in there. Are there any other bushings I should be looking at if I drop the subframe? ST rules say they can be replaced, just not with solid metal.

The coilovers... I might as well jump on the order now, as they do appear to be backordered. I was looking at ordering from demon-speed out of the UK, save about $800 it looks like. Either pay now or pay later with any warranty issues I guess.

For the alignment specs, yeah it's currently on positive for front and rear toe.

IMG_8704.jpg


I'll look around the area for a better alignment shop than a Les Schwab. I had a really good one in Utah, not opposed to the drive there to get it dialed, but maybe there's someone local.

Thanks again.
 

scrllock

Autocross Champion
Location
MI
The front sway bar now. Seems like a lot of work to get that sucker in there. Are there any other bushings I should be looking at if I drop the subframe? ST rules say they can be replaced, just not with solid metal.

The coilovers... I might as well jump on the order now, as they do appear to be backordered. I was looking at ordering from demon-speed out of the UK, save about $800 it looks like. Either pay now or pay later with any warranty issues I guess.
If you're dropping the subframe for the sway bar, that's a good time to do the control arms or any bushings in them. Not sure if you're allowed to do a full poly dogbone mount (if it counts as a "subframe mount bushing?") but that's a good time to cut out the lower puck, too. Nothing else really touches it besides the rack and I assume deadset kits are verboten.
 

krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
If you're dropping the subframe for the sway bar, that's a good time to do the control arms or any bushings in them. Not sure if you're allowed to do a full poly dogbone mount (if it counts as a "subframe mount bushing?") but that's a good time to cut out the lower puck, too. Nothing else really touches it besides the rack and I assume deadset kits are verboten.
Yeah while I think the deadset kit really isn't a bushing, the rules specifically say no all metal bushings. Doubt I'd ever compete nationally, but not sure if it's something I'd want to do "always knowing" in the back of my head.
 

bfury5

Autocross Champion
Location
CT
A few points to address:
  • Any of those suspension kits will probably limit you on what rates you can run, which is fine, but you'll have to compensate with rear and/or front bars to get the handling you want. Front rate will likely be too low, and you can compensate with FSB but then might need to remove some of that rear toe to get the car to rotate a bit better.
    • As an aside, you really don't need much more rear camber. Remember the rear is IRS and as it loads / compresses it naturally gains camber.
  • In the front, definitely do the offset bushings from Powerflex or somewhere else. Those are good for ~0.5deg of camber on top of whatever you get from the top of the strut. Slotting top holes is also good, but you're limited on that because the top hat will eventually make contact with the inside of the body.
  • Deadset kit isn't needed, money better spent elsewhere IMO (I never had any issues with subframe shift even on high grip tires, but YMMV).
  • Save money on the braces, with the kits mentioned and their springrates the braces won't add much if any.
  • You can do full poly dogbone as someone mentioned. I had trouble on mine where I kept smashing them, but I think that was a combo of FWD Manual + very sticky A052. No one else seems to have a problem with that, and AWD probably wouldn't.
It's fun / easy to throw parts at the car and try to be fast, but as @GTIfan99 mentioned and I think I've proven, good suspension / tires is 99% of the car.
 

krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
@bfury5

Do you think the option would be better going with a shock/spring combo over their coilover setup? I know you can get different coils for that, but aside from corner balancing, I don't feel I have the need for the adjustability.

Thanks for the other bullets.
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
I'm not STU. I run XSA for fun as my car (Golf.Sportwagen) will never be competitive in any class, except perhaps at the small club level.

That said, much of my modding has focused on having it both ways - a tolerable daily and a fairly aggressive suspension at ax.

In this regard, I've played around with spring rubbers in the front and bump springs (instead of bump stops) in the rear. Both can be quickly added (spring rubbers) or activated (bump springs with packers) at the event in about 10 minutes and then removed before heading home. This allows a huge bump in spring rate for ax which can be undone and brought back to stock rates.

I haven't attempted yet, but IMO given the rules, someone wanting to be competitive regionally or nationally needs to go beyond bolt on parts to gain an edge in the alignment area....for example, make your own camber plates and do what is legal to provide clearance to allow it.
 
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GTIfan99

Autocross Champion
Location
FL
I'll also add that locally, I'm in the top 5 to 10 in pax annually, won CS year end championship 3 times, GS once, STR one, state championships in various classes over the years a few times, but put a professional driver in my car,, and they'll still be .5 to 3 seconds faster on a 60 second course, and I know this, because I've codriven with a professional driver the last 3 years.

Funny enough, when we had the car dialed in for GS, I could get within half a second, but with my ill handling STH setup the last 2 years, i've struggled to get the setup sorted, and he was still able to pull off a top 3 pax, while I struggle to get within 2 seconds of him.

Now that I'm close to getting the car sorted, I'm sure the gap with close again, but it's amazing how fast a pro is even in a poor handling car.

So trust me, doing nothing to your car at all, there's 2 seconds in fixing the nut behind the wheel. It's too late for me, I'll always be mediocre, I've been autocrossing and tracking for 35 years. If I'm not any faster by now, it's never going to happen.

I was a much better driver in a RWD car, but couldn't do another Miata and the BRZ is meh to me.
 
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bfury5

Autocross Champion
Location
CT
@bfury5

Do you think the option would be better going with a shock/spring combo over their coilover setup? I know you can get different coils for that, but aside from corner balancing, I don't feel I have the need for the adjustability.

Thanks for the other bullets.
While coils do offer a lot of adjust-ability, most of that is used to set the car up once and then leave it alone. Adjustable ride height, camber plates, etc aren't really adjusted frequently. But having all of those be dynamic instead of static or locked in during setup lets you tune the handling of the car to your liking. For those reasons, a true coilover kit will always be superior.

That said, a solid shock / spring combo will be very reliable. And if you don't know how to setup coilovers or don't have someone to help guide you through different ride height settings, alignment settings, and damper adjustments, then all the adjust-ability won't mean much.
 

bfury5

Autocross Champion
Location
CT
I'll allow so add that locally, I'm in the top 5 to 10 in pax annually, won CS year end championship 3 times, GS once, STR one, state championships in various classes over the years a few times, but put a professional driver in my car,, and they'll still be .5 to 3 seconds faster on a 60 second course, and I know this, because I've codriven with a professional driver the last 3 years.

Funny enough, when we had the car dialed in for GS, I could get within half a second, but with my ill handling STH setup the last 2 years, i've struggled to get the setup sorted, and he was still able to pull off a top 3 pax, while I struggle to get within 2 seconds of him.

Now that I'm close to getting the car sorted, I'm sure the gap with close again, but it's amazing how fast a pro is even in a poor handling car.

So trust me, doing nothing to your car at all, there's 2 seconds in fixing the nut behind the wheel. It's too late for me, I'll always be mediocre, I've been autocrossing and tracking for 35 years. If I'm not any faster by now, it's never going to happen.

I was a much better driver in a RWD car, but couldn't do another Miata and the BRZ is meh to me.
It's always humbling to have an "alien" drive your car and realize how far you are from the true limits
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
While coils do offer a lot of adjust-ability, most of that is used to set the car up once and then leave it alone. Adjustable ride height, camber plates, etc aren't really adjusted frequently. But having all of those be dynamic instead of static or locked in during setup lets you tune the handling of the car to your liking. For those reasons, a true coilover kit will always be superior.

That said, a solid shock / spring combo will be very reliable. And if you don't know how to setup coilovers or don't have someone to help guide you through different ride height settings, alignment settings, and damper adjustments, then all the adjust-ability won't mean much.
I do adjust front camber and front toe at the event as well.

Tires also...having dedicated ax tires and street tires are more work each event but allows the car to have a more comfortable dd ride.afterwards
 
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