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Gti Full Suspension Build - Looking for Advice

ScarletMk7Gti

New member
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
Mk7.5 Gti
Hey everyone, this is my first time posting after years of lurking on both this and the mk5 forums. My first car was a mk5, and since then I’ve been very much a fan of the Gti, which is why I bought a new one in 2019. After thinking through fantasy build after fantasy build, the time has finally come when I can bring it to life. I am hoping the seasoned golf vets on this forum can help me make sure I have checked all the boxes, and have made the right choices on suspension components. To prefice the component list, I will briefly outline my goals with the car.

Inspired by the recent Porsche gt and rs offerings in the new gt3 and gt4rs, I have decided that what I want out of my car is the utmost in feel and dynamic capability, while still remaining driveable on the street. I am - and will continue to be - using this car as a daily driver commuting on the smoothest tarmac only New Jersey’s 287 can offer. However, I really do want to start tracking the car extensively in the near to mid term future. I am, as will become clear from the components I will be listing, more than willing to trade in comfort for feel. One last thing to note is that I know this car is not the perfect base for such a build on paper, but I love this car so this is a more emotionally driven journey than one with any real objective goal. Now onto the parts.

1) Verkline MQB fwd bundle.

It is a set of tubular subframes and control arms with monoballs pressed in. I have already purchased this kit and am awaiting delivery. I want to base the rest of this build on the Verkline bundle.

2) Ohlins R&T coilovers

I am leaning strongly towards this set mostly for the dfv design which is very appealing from an engineering perspective. However, I am interested in hearing different opinions on what people might consider a better option for this build.

3) H&R sway bars front and rear

I like these because they are solid and seem to be really strong and well built. I do worry about them being too stiff, however, given that I will also be running coilovers. Also I am really unsure which front endlinks to go for. The Verkline kit comes with rear end links but not fronts. I would appreciate any suggestions there.

4) BFI stage 1 engine and trans mount kit paired with APR pendulum mount

As far as I know, these are widely considered to be the best brands for the respective mounts. I am most likely going to buy these, but, like with everything else, I would appreciate some input incase something better exists

5) Unibrace UBQ and XBQ as well as the Eurocode front strut bar

I really want the car to feel solid like a bank vault (someone on the forum made that analogy and I really like the sound of it). Is there anything else short of a roll cage that I can do to appreciably add to the chassis stiffness? Keeping in mind that the tubular subframes should do a lot to stiffen the chassis just by themselves.

So that completes the list of components that I have specced for this build. As mentioned above, I have already purchased the Verkline bundle and am looking for advice on which components would go best with it. From what I can tell, this build is going to be a bit on the unique side as far as the chassis and suspension mods are concerned, which is why I am asking for your help. Are there any parts of the car I’ve left out? Any better quality parts that I could pick instead of the ones listed above? Any tips on aligment specs, monoball maintenance, etc.?

Thanks to everyone who responds to this long and sorta esoteric post. Apologies for the novel.
 

mike-y

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Los Angeles
If you get the Verkline kit, just know that you will increase harshness quite a bit due to the spherical ball joints. if you daily the car like you said, you may not want to go this route. Yes, you'll gain feel, but on anything other than a near-perfect road surface, it's going to be harsh.

Otherwise, mods look fine, though I'd only add the rear H&R bar (leave front stock). if you get the BFI mounts, I'm not sure if you'll need the pendulum mount, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.

I didn't see wheels/tires/brakes on your list. IMO, you should upgrade these before you start adding power.
 

DarkArrow

Go Kart Champion
Location
OC
Car(s)
'18 R
You mentioned you want to start tracking extensively in the future. Do you have experience where you would be able to utilize the benefits of these mods?

If no, I recommend only a rear sway bar and something to add some negative camber and seat time.

If yes, your expertise is beyond mine, and the only thing I'll add is -2.5* this past weekend wasn't enough negative camber for my tires.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
I’d pass on the APR dog bone, since there’s nothing wrong with that piece OEM. I’ve been running all three BFI mounts for over 100k miles issue free.

Ill second that you over shot on the front end components. Especially being in NJ the road debris will accelerate wear on those spherical bearings so even if you’re ok with the harshness you’ll be replacing components regularly given your climate. SuperPro LCA have been great on my car, and adding CSS swivels would be my next move for additional camber.

Ohlins are undisputed great quality & performance. Look to Mini7 for set up advice.

All the chassis braces are probably overkill, but I haven’t even installed the strut bar I grabbed from a buddy cheap so I have no life experience there.
 
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kep

Ready to race!
Location
Boston
Car(s)
Mk7 Golf R, NA Miata
I would start with just the ohlins, and only start modifying after you gain more driving experience. Most of the mods you mentioned will be detrimental to NVH, and the mk7 platform is quite capable on track even when completely stock. Also consider that if you intend to start competing, many of these mods would put you in classes where you will be completely outclassed.
 

scrllock

Drag Racing Champion
Location
MI
If you're planning on being competitive with this, keep in mind that spherical bearings, aftermarket subframes and (especially) modified suspension pickup points (verkline modified kinematics wishbones) tend to place you in very stiff classing.

I wouldn't bother with it on a street-driven car, the benefits over some poly bushings and the normal basic suspension mods (bars, coils) don't outweigh the negatives (NVH, labor-intensive maintenance) of spherical joints everywhere. And I think most chassis bracing besides a rear strut brace to address the weak-spot of a hatchback is snake oil.

I hope you're spending just as much on forged wheels and Cup2s to actually benefit from this stuff. Might as well add functional aero, too.
 
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odessa.filez

Autocross Newbie
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
I don't track, I autocross.

Same concern as Mike-y on the Verkline, in terms of NVH..Spherical bushings.plus poly dogbone = NVH in caps :). Weight savings is nice but weight reduction this low in the car will raise CG. Using control arms only, for camber is good in general but could limit tire size. You may want some of your camber in the top mount instead of 'all in the LCA.

Can't argue with the dampers. I'm told they're great.

Bars will help with roll control and.help make DD tolerable. That said, what is your target for front / rear rates, including bars?

Not big on upgraded mounts. Not running a lot of power. Seriously doubt they would improve my times. Same goes for chassis bracing.

One big challenge at AX is managing IAT. I suspect it's an issue at track as well. Cooling may be a better investment than some of the mods you're planning. Brakes seem important for track as well, AX folks can get by with stock.
 
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acorazza

Go Kart Newbie
Location
NYC
One thing missing from your list is camber plates. You’re definitely gonna need more camber if your planning to teach and the Ohlins don’t come with camber plates. I’m running the Vorshlag plates myself and on smooth roads they aren’t bad but they definitely hit harder on rough roads. I’m in NY so our roads are similar and the harsh hits are definitely sharper. They are supposed to pair better with coils like the Ohlins though because you can use a different spring perch. I’m considering the Ohlins myself to see if they help with the ride comfort on big hits
 

ScarletMk7Gti

New member
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
Mk7.5 Gti
I’d pass on the APR dog bone, since there’s nothing wrong with that piece OEM. I’ve been running all three BFI mounts for over 100k miles issue free.

Ill second that you over shot on the front end components. Especially being in NJ the road debris will accelerate wear on those spherical bearings so even if you’re ok with the harshness you’ll be replacing components regularly given your climate. SuperPro LCA have been great on my car, and adding CSS swivels would be my next move for additional camber.

Ohlins are undisputed great quality & performance. Look to Mini7 for set up advice.

All the chassis braces are probably overkill, but I haven’t even installed the strut bar I grabbed from a buddy cheap so I have no life experience there.
So the OEM dogbone is adequately resilient to handle the extra load placed on it from the stiffer mounts (in the sense that the dogbone might become a comparatively weaker link when compared to an OEM setup)? 100k miles speaks for itself I suppose. The Verkline front subframe comes with a non-voided subframe bushing, hopefully that performs similarly to the BFI insert with respect to the dogbone. I was just thinking to throw it in because I'll be in there regardless, but if you say that it and the OEM are functionally the same, then I will likely skip that part.

On the spherical bearings, I have read so many mixed reports from rattles and creaks in the first couple miles to years of trouble free performance. I am hoping that the rubber boots and PTFE lining will keep them quiet for at least a year, at which point I will assess whether the added performance is worth the added NVH. If not, I will have some solid rubber bushings pressed in. Do you have any personal experience with spherical bearings?
 

ScarletMk7Gti

New member
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
Mk7.5 Gti
I don't track, I autocross.

Same concern as Mike-y on the Verkline, in terms of NVH..Spherical bushings.plus poly dogbone = NVH in caps :). Weight savings is nice but weight reduction this low in the car will raise CG. Using control arms only, for camber is good in general but could limit tire size. You may want some of your camber in the top mount instead of 'all in the LCA.

Can't argue with the dampers. I'm told they're great.

Bars will help with roll control and.help make DD tolerable. That said, what is your target for front / rear rates, including bars?

Not big on upgraded mounts. Not running a lot of power. Seriously doubt they would improve my times. Same goes for chassis bracing.

One big challenge at AX is managing IAT. I suspect it's an issue at track as well. Cooling may be a better investment than some of the mods you're planning. Brakes seem important for track as well, AX folks can get by with stock.
Regarding the control-arms-for-camber point, I am looking for about 2 degrees of front camber to start, seeing as the wheel will deflect less with spherical bearings and will therefore need less static camber to compensate. Given all of that, would there be a significant difference in wheel fitment to get -1 from CSS swivels (or camber plates) and another -1 from the control arms vs. -2 from the control arms alone?

For spring rates, I will just use the 70N/mm front and rear that are supplied with coilovers. I don't know how to get a combined rate given the bar rate (which I do not know), if that's what you're asking. If it is, I'd appreciate some help with the calculation if you think it is important to know for setting up the car at this level.

I feel you on the chassis bracing. I'm dubious on the effect of bracing on this chassis given how stiff it is supposed to be from factory. However, for the mounts, I do feel my engine moving quite a bit with just an APR stage 1 low torque tune so the mounts are definitely on my list if only for that reason. I'm not too concerned with lap times or objective speed, just how it feels to drive.

Cooling is gonna be the next phase of mods for me, at minimum I will get an upgraded IC before hitting AX or track.
 

ScarletMk7Gti

New member
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
Mk7.5 Gti
If you're planning on being competitive with this, keep in mind that spherical bearings, aftermarket subframes and (especially) modified suspension pickup points (verkline modified kinematics wishbones) tend to place you in very stiff classing.

I wouldn't bother with it on a street-driven car, the benefits over some poly bushings and the normal basic suspension mods (bars, coils) don't outweigh the negatives (NVH, labor-intensive maintenance) of spherical joints everywhere. And I think most chassis bracing besides a rear strut brace to address the weak-spot of a hatchback is snake oil.

I hope you're spending just as much on forged wheels and Cup2s to actually benefit from this stuff. Might as well add functional aero, too.
No plans to track competitively. These mods are almost entirely to make the driving experience more engaging/feelsome/precise as possible just for my enjoyment. I tend to agree with you regarding the chassis bracing. The reviews are generally good and make the products seem really attractive, but given how good modern engineering is, you are probably right.

Cup2s maybe not, but some Yoko a052s are on the list for this summer for sure.

For functional aero, I think the OEM diffuser is an amazingly well designed piece, I mean the way the car squats around 150-160 mph is crazy. Jokes aside, have you heard of the Verus diffuser? Any thoughts?
 

ScarletMk7Gti

New member
Location
New Jersey
Car(s)
Mk7.5 Gti
If you get the Verkline kit, just know that you will increase harshness quite a bit due to the spherical ball joints. if you daily the car like you said, you may not want to go this route. Yes, you'll gain feel, but on anything other than a near-perfect road surface, it's going to be harsh.

Otherwise, mods look fine, though I'd only add the rear H&R bar (leave front stock). if you get the BFI mounts, I'm not sure if you'll need the pendulum mount, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.

I didn't see wheels/tires/brakes on your list. IMO, you should upgrade these before you start adding power.
Wheels/tires/brakes are 100% on the list, I just wanted to keep this discussion more focused. I agree with you, power beyond stage 1 is last on the list.
 
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