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KW Suspension Questions

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
I'm looking at picking up a decent coilover set. KW is on the short list, but I've got a few questions. There are obviously 2 primary routes - keep / delete DCC.

Here are the options I found. I'm pretty sure they are listed from the least to most aggressive aside from the DDC kit.

Street Comfort
V1
V2
V3
Clubsport (Could be wrong about this one)
DDC Kit (Obviously Variable)

Question #1 - Where does the DDC kit fall categorically in terms of ride / stiffness? I'm not sure how it's classified considering it's a variable suspension. Where would each setting fall in terms of stiffness? - Comfort, Normal, Race.

Question #2 - Does the DCC Cancellation Kit actually work? I'm reading some reviews where people are saying the kit doesn't eliminate some of the codes / lights in some cases.

Question #3 - Is the DDC kit worth it? How good do they actually ride compared to stock VW DCC suspension?


I found this thread - https://www.vwvortex.com/threads/kw-ddc-coilovers-for-mk7-r-beware-before-ordering.8456905/

Looks like KW was having some serious issues with coil binding back around 2017. Customer support also didn't seem the best based on the OP's experience. Have the new kits been revised? Does anyone have experience they can share?

Thanks

PS: Why does KW call it a DDC kit instead of DCC?
 

Keehs360

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
Mk7.5
1) dunno
2) some fault codes could spring up here and there but not a big deal
3) it’s a waste of money if you’re going for full track car. It’s just over priced for what it is. But if you’re gonna street/track dcc is a solid option

extra credit question) no idea. I like the fortunes. They’re affordable. Rebuildable. And if you want to take tracking seriously, the fortunes can be modified. If you’re not digging the fortunes, the bilstien b8’s with good springs go a long ass way. I have zero experience with dcc coils and shocks other than the stock dcc shocks, sorry
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
Just a casual street driver with occasional spirited driving / canyon runs. Definitely not a track focused car. Want to lower the car a bit and retain the daily comfort. I figured a DCC coil kit would tick all of the boxes, but don't want to ruin the street drivability of the car, either.

My other concern is the cost of going to a fully DCC compatible coilover. I like the thought of retaining the original functionality of the cars different drive modes, but don't want comfort to end up feeling like race, which would essentially make race completely useless. If that were the outcome, I'd save the $$ and go with a static kit and purchase the DCC cancelation. Hence my question about whether or not the cancellation kit actually works. You say that "some fault codes could spring up here and there," what does that mean exactly? The whole point of the kit is to prevent that from happening. I'd hate to shell out the +$400 just to throw codes anyway.

I've always heard really good things about KW, but after I found the thread listed in my initial post, I'm wondering what KW's track record is like these days. My other option is the Bilstein B16 setup, but same story, is this overkill for the street? Fortune Auto makes excellent suspension kits, though I admittedly haven't looked too much into what they offer for this platform.

I'm even thinking about the BC + DDC cancellation kit. Buddy of mine has them on her MK7 GTI and literally beats the shit out of her car. Has never had an issue... but again, I would love to retain the original functionality of the DCC system.
 

Keehs360

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
Mk7.5
Just a casual street driver with occasional spirited driving / canyon runs. Definitely not a track focused car. Want to lower the car a bit and retain the daily comfort. I figured a DCC coil kit would tick all of the boxes, but don't want to ruin the street drivability of the car, either.

My other concern is the cost of going to a fully DCC compatible coilover. I like the thought of retaining the original functionality of the cars different drive modes, but don't want comfort to end up feeling like race, which would essentially make race completely useless. If that were the outcome, I'd save the $$ and go with a static kit and purchase the DCC cancelation. Hence my question about whether or not the cancellation kit actually works. You say that "some fault codes could spring up here and there," what does that mean exactly? The whole point of the kit is to prevent that from happening. I'd hate to shell out the +$400 just to throw codes anyway.

I've always heard really good things about KW, but after I found the thread listed in my initial post, I'm wondering what KW's track record is like these days. My other option is the Bilstein B16 setup, but same story, is this overkill for the street? Fortune Auto makes excellent suspension kits, though I admittedly haven't looked too much into what they offer for this platform.

I'm even thinking about the BC + DDC cancellation kit. Buddy of mine has them on her MK7 GTI and literally beats the shit out of her car. Has never had an issue... but again, I would love to retain the original functionality of the DCC system.
Makes sense. Dcc is pretty good at balancing street and track duties. But the price hurts so much 😂

I don’t envy your position. Gluck with the decision
 

Chogokin

Autocross Champion
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
I can't speak for the KW kit...but I do have the B14 kit. For the cost I think its a pretty good street-able coilover kit. The ride isn't overly harsh over bumps and dips...but still firm enough for spirited driving. I have mine paired with a Neuspeed rear sway and I'm pretty happy with the setup. Your getting a German made coilover kit...and you can also send the dampers to Bilstein to rebuild...or for custom valving if you want to.

I did have the KW coilover kit on my Mk3 some 20 years ago...I had no issues with them. That was when they only had one version. They were good back then...and I'm sure they are good now. Its hard to go bad with a German suspension company. The quality will always be there. I also had some H&R coilovers on my B5 S4. Those rode and performed pretty good too.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
Just a casual street driver with occasional spirited driving / canyon runs. Definitely not a track focused car. Want to lower the car a bit and retain the daily comfort. I figured a DCC coil kit would tick all of the boxes, but don't want to ruin the street drivability of the car, either.

My other concern is the cost of going to a fully DCC compatible coilover. I like the thought of retaining the original functionality of the cars different drive modes, but don't want comfort to end up feeling like race, which would essentially make race completely useless. If that were the outcome, I'd save the $$ and go with a static kit and purchase the DCC cancelation. Hence my question about whether or not the cancellation kit actually works. You say that "some fault codes could spring up here and there," what does that mean exactly? The whole point of the kit is to prevent that from happening. I'd hate to shell out the +$400 just to throw codes anyway.

I've always heard really good things about KW, but after I found the thread listed in my initial post, I'm wondering what KW's track record is like these days. My other option is the Bilstein B16 setup, but same story, is this overkill for the street? Fortune Auto makes excellent suspension kits, though I admittedly haven't looked too much into what they offer for this platform.

I'm even thinking about the BC + DDC cancellation kit. Buddy of mine has them on her MK7 GTI and literally beats the shit out of her car. Has never had an issue... but again, I would love to retain the original functionality of the DCC system.
The kw are generally twin tube kits and more comfy on the street, but the greater adjustability of the v3 most people will never tune correctly. If you think you'd make use of it, it's a good kit. Kw springs aren't always the best, but coil springs are easy to swap. Not sure about their edc as a whole, never tried it.

I currently run the ohlins dcc cancelers (never had an issue) and the b16 kit. I also have top mounts. This is too harsh for me for the street and too soft for track. On street potholes and expansion joists can all be very strongly felt in the cabin and the interior makes a lot of noise as it impacts things. This was supposed to be my dual duty car, but ultimately I bought a dedicated car and now I'm spending my time unmodding it... The suspension and getting dcc back is my first goal. While this setup provides less roll and allows tuning front to rear to stabilize tire pressures better, it's not significantly more capable to the point I would sacrifice dcc for it.

The dcc sleeve kits are interesting but ultimately if you reduce height on the stock shock, don't go more than a half inch or so. Absolutely no more than 1 inch, and that's really pushing it. I had the mss track pack at one point... It was noisy, too short for the shock so it would let the coil just float, and ultimately not worth the cost. I also tried the 034 springs and they were a tad better but ultimately once broken in fell victim to the same too short for the shock issues. I don't believe any spring kit out there (save for maybe ground control) will properly work with dcc shocks and be at the correct length. Even with ground control's setup you'll have to request a special adapter to allow a helper spring in front. Don't run dcc in front without a helper spring if you lower, it won't end well. You need the slack to maintain at least 10lbs of preload.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
The kw are generally twin tube kits and more comfy on the street, but the greater adjustability of the v3 most people will never tune correctly. If you think you'd make use of it, it's a good kit. Kw springs aren't always the best, but coil springs are easy to swap. Not sure about their edc as a whole, never tried it.

I currently run the ohlins dcc cancelers (never had an issue) and the b16 kit. I also have top mounts. This is too harsh for me for the street and too soft for track. On street potholes and expansion joists can all be very strongly felt in the cabin and the interior makes a lot of noise as it impacts things. This was supposed to be my dual duty car, but ultimately I bought a dedicated car and now I'm spending my time unmodding it... The suspension and getting dcc back is my first goal. While this setup provides less roll and allows tuning front to rear to stabilize tire pressures better, it's not significantly more capable to the point I would sacrifice dcc for it.

The dcc sleeve kits are interesting but ultimately if you reduce height on the stock shock, don't go more than a half inch or so. Absolutely no more than 1 inch, and that's really pushing it. I had the mss track pack at one point... It was noisy, too short for the shock so it would let the coil just float, and ultimately not worth the cost. I also tried the 034 springs and they were a tad better but ultimately once broken in fell victim to the same too short for the shock issues. I don't believe any spring kit out there (save for maybe ground control) will properly work with dcc shocks and be at the correct length. Even with ground control's setup you'll have to request a special adapter to allow a helper spring in front. Don't run dcc in front without a helper spring if you lower, it won't end well. You need the slack to maintain at least 10lbs of preload.
What about running this kit?

https://www.urotuning.com/products/...i-golf-r-w-dcc-1028000r?variant=8392178237495

I never use the DCC TBH. I'm not as worried about keep the functionality vs. keep a decent ride, though it would be nice to have the drive modes function the way they were intended.

I'm thinking the KW V1 kit w/ DCC delete is the way to go. The street comfort kit seems like it may be too soft overall, but I really don't know. All the research I'm doing is leading me to ambiguity.

FWIW - I'm running the Neuspeed sport spring kit on the stock DCC and the ride is actually very good. My only issue is the uneven ride height due to driver side being heavier, and the rears are a tad bit higher than the front. I'm looking for more control with height adjustability. I've also not done the strut calibration after installing the springs. Going to be asking the dealership about that depending on the route I go with a coilover kit.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
The v1 don't have adjustable dampening right? I would go with adjustable so you can at least balance out your comfort, sportiness, and rotation tendency.

If you want true height adjustability that keeps comfort in mind, you need a threaded shock body setup that allows independent tuning of height and spring preload. These get pricey quickly, but will really be the only thing capable of matching dcc in comfort, legitimately. Theres a reason the factory shocks run $2k, and any setup costing less has to compromise somewhere... Where are you willing to compromise is the question. Every preload based height change system will have a small range where it actually works very well, and is usually within stock height range to 20mm down. Outside of that the suspension design tolerance just doesn't exist and you start to sacrifice handling.

If you want the car to turn left and right exactly the same, that's where corner balancing will come in, and the end result will be driver front lowest, then passenger front, then driver rear, and finally passenger rear. Very similar to how stock is balanced, actually. Very good factory balance on these cars.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
The v1 don't have adjustable dampening right? I would go with adjustable so you can at least balance out your comfort, sportiness, and rotation tendency.

If you want true height adjustability that keeps comfort in mind, you need a threaded shock body setup that allows independent tuning of height and spring preload. These get pricey quickly, but will really be the only thing capable of matching dcc in comfort, legitimately. Theres a reason the factory shocks run $2k, and any setup costing less has to compromise somewhere... Where are you willing to compromise is the question. Every preload based height change system will have a small range where it actually works very well, and is usually within stock height range to 20mm down. Outside of that the suspension design tolerance just doesn't exist and you start to sacrifice handling.

If you want the car to turn left and right exactly the same, that's where corner balancing will come in, and the end result will be driver front lowest, then passenger front, then driver rear, and finally passenger rear. Very similar to how stock is balanced, actually. Very good factory balance on these cars.

From what I can tell, the Clubsports are the only set offered by KW that have a separate height adjustment by shock body threading. I would never run those on the street. I find it hard to believe that all of the other sets offered (V1-V3 & Street Comfort) that don't have the independent height adjustment don't ride well. Why would they make them if that were the case?

This is what I found:
V1 = Street = height adjustable only
V2 = Street = height and rebound adjustment
Street Comfort = Same as V2 w/ softer springs
V3 = Street = height, rebound, and low speed compression (not fully adjustable like some vendors will make it seem)

So you are saying to avoid all of these kits? I don't want to slam the car, just level it out and lower a bit. The V2s would give me rebound adjustment, but that's it. The V3s just aren't necessary in my case.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
Not saying avoid them all, just that you have different compromises. The clubsport spring rate is higher, but I will bet good money it's more comfy when setup properly than the v3, v2, and v1. I've driven on various sets of v3 on other platforms and the bilstein clubsport kit. V3 are very nice and ride pretty well. You're still looking at 20mm down max before your total shock travel starts to get impacted a lot.

There is a very good reason kw and bilstein state the clubsport kit is the entry level that's track capable.

The standard v1-v3 and pss kits are designed specifically for street use and are an off the shelf solution for ride height and comfort adjustability. Twin tube will always be more comfy than monotube and can offer a bit more stroke in some setups. They specify height adjustability ranges as a default on all of these coils, but there are more realistic limits per platform. 5-25mm is what bilstein specifically states if you email them. The standard 15-35mm is just what's written on the box. Kw I believe states a similar range. The mcstrut front end will limit you to about 20mm before handling gets impacted. Keep in mind you need a lot more static camber as you lower and more front bar to prevent roll induced camber gain.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
Not saying avoid them all, just that you have different compromises. The clubsport spring rate is higher, but I will bet good money it's more comfy when setup properly than the v3, v2, and v1. I've driven on various sets of v3 on other platforms and the bilstein clubsport kit. V3 are very nice and ride pretty well. You're still looking at 20mm down max before your total shock travel starts to get impacted a lot.

There is a very good reason kw and bilstein state the clubsport kit is the entry level that's track capable.

The standard v1-v3 and pss kits are designed specifically for street use and are an off the shelf solution for ride height and comfort adjustability. Twin tube will always be more comfy than monotube and can offer a bit more stroke in some setups. They specify height adjustability ranges as a default on all of these coils, but there are more realistic limits per platform. 5-25mm is what bilstein specifically states if you email them. The standard 15-35mm is just what's written on the box. Kw I believe states a similar range. The mcstrut front end will limit you to about 20mm before handling gets impacted. Keep in mind you need a lot more static camber as you lower and more front bar to prevent roll induced camber gain.

So the best usable range in terms of ride quality would be roughly 1". That makes sense.

1" is where I'd like to be, just enough to get rid of the wheel gap and level the car.

If you had to make a recommendation on best setup for street / occasional spirited driving, what would that be? I'm not partial to brand, just heard that KW was one of the best riding. You sound like you have good suspension experience, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Everyone seems to be partial online. I'm trying to look at this from a non bias perspective.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
So the best usable range in terms of ride quality would be roughly 1". That makes sense.

1" is where I'd like to be, just enough to get rid of the wheel gap and level the car.

If you had to make a recommendation on best setup for street / occasional spirited driving, what would that be? I'm not partial to brand, just heard that KW was one of the best riding. You sound like you have good suspension experience, so I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Everyone seems to be partial online. I'm trying to look at this from a non bias perspective.
It's all going to depend on budget and your end goals. Everything really comes with pros and cons. One of the best suspensions I've ridden on was a motion control setup. It was super compliant when soft and pretty stiff when set that way. I think it was about $4k though and my friend paid 400$/ shock to have them rebuilt every 3 years.

The ohlins always have great reviews in terms of ride comfort but they won't lower the car very far from the iterations I've seen for this platform. I got the pss10 and when set to full soft and the ride height is close to stock, they're okay, but they definitely feel like a monotube coil with the top mounts. They're cheap though and easier to throw away than rebuild, and they have decent adjustment.

If you're just trying to go lower and keep things comfy then stick with stock top mounts and go with kw v3... The dual adjustment is a pain to get to, but having both compression and rebound really let's you tune comfort in. If you truly won't mess with it much, that's a good route. If you want a lot more handling prowess you need tons more front camber and it's better to get it out of the css swivels and super pro lower arms than it is to get it from top mounts.

That's about as unbiased as I can be after going through 4 iterations on this one car and still not being happy with it. My personal goal now is to go to the ground control and stock shocks. I'll be going with moderate rates and basically stock ride height, and then tossing on the superpro arms and css swivels. Problem is finding time to do it all... Starting to feel like I'm maintaining a fleet :/.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
It's all going to depend on budget and your end goals. Everything really comes with pros and cons. One of the best suspensions I've ridden on was a motion control setup. It was super compliant when soft and pretty stiff when set that way. I think it was about $4k though and my friend paid 400$/ shock to have them rebuilt every 3 years.

The ohlins always have great reviews in terms of ride comfort but they won't lower the car very far from the iterations I've seen for this platform. I got the pss10 and when set to full soft and the ride height is close to stock, they're okay, but they definitely feel like a monotube coil with the top mounts. They're cheap though and easier to throw away than rebuild, and they have decent adjustment.

If you're just trying to go lower and keep things comfy then stick with stock top mounts and go with kw v3... The dual adjustment is a pain to get to, but having both compression and rebound really let's you tune comfort in. If you truly won't mess with it much, that's a good route. If you want a lot more handling prowess you need tons more front camber and it's better to get it out of the css swivels and super pro lower arms than it is to get it from top mounts.

That's about as unbiased as I can be after going through 4 iterations on this one car and still not being happy with it. My personal goal now is to go to the ground control and stock shocks. I'll be going with moderate rates and basically stock ride height, and then tossing on the superpro arms and css swivels. Problem is finding time to do it all... Starting to feel like I'm maintaining a fleet :/.

I'll be honest. The stock DCC struts w/ Neuspeed springs ride incredibly well. Very compliant, soft, and the differences in drive modes are very noticeable. They aren't bouncy and don't have an after market feel to them at all. My first mistake when installing them was not reading the instructions to their entirety. Neuspeed specifically states to cut the stock bump stops at very specific points when installing the springs. I was always wondering why the car didn't sit as low as advertised, and was convinced that bump stops couldn't be the culprit.

After a quick call to Neuspeed support, I realized that I'd fucked up. I recently cut the bump stops where the instructions indicated and reinstalled the spring kit. The car is now lower and the overall ride has completely changed. I was literally sitting on the bumps for almost a year, and always wondered why the setup felt so stiff. I'm now at the point where the springs are actually settling for the first time ever, so I'm giving things time to set in. Here are the measurements I currently have.

These measurements were taken from the edge of the fender to the top edge of the wheel. I realize the best way to do this is to the center hub, but I'm just attempting to show the variance in height between the corners. I've done some research and found that the MK7 R is very well balanced, and although a little front end heavy, the right rear is the lightest corner.

Check out this video @ 12:34 - youtube.com/watch?v=yvn6vNTF0ZI&t=1109s

Here are the numbers:

FL - 6.2 cm
RL - 6.7 cm
FR - 6.6 cm
RR - 6.9 cm

You can see that there is a marginal difference between the two sides, but the FL & RR have the biggest discrepancy. Enough so to visibly tell the difference when looking at the car from the outside. That in combination with the fact that it's unsprung weight. I'm not sitting in the driver's seat when taking these measurements, so once I'm in the car the driver front is even lower. I can't help but notice that this corner will be significantly lower than the rest of the car anytime it's driven. I'm typically the only person in the car.

I'm reading accounts online that go a variety of different ways. Some install springs and have the driver side higher and vice versa. I'm not sure if I'm just being OCD and just need to leave it alone, or if I should legitimately order a coil kit and dial in the suspension / ride height to my liking and be done with it? That's what got me to this point.

My thoughts are - give the current springs time to settle in and see where I'm at. If I'm still not satisfied, I'll order coils. I need an alignment, but don't want to do that till I decide on what the permanent solution will be. Don't want to pay for more than one of those.
 

victorofhavoc

Autocross Newbie
Location
Kansas City
If you're happy with the comfort, I wouldn't change stuff out. The height difference you're talking about is pretty close to where my car sits AFTER a corner balance. The only difference is mine are even a bit more different. Keep in mind when you sit in the car you're between the wheel base, so while you're more up front, you're still fairly close to the middle, so you will lower both front and rear. You can stack weights in the seat and see. I always drop off weights, to estimate me, with my car when I get alignments + cb.

Chasing identical wheel well sizing will likely burn up a lot more money and you'll always trade off something. Better to put that money into control arms and get much better handling, though they'll make the front to rear fender gap different on the front wheels!

Keep your dcc, it's totally worth it for street.
 

aloha_from_bradley

Drag Racing Champion
Location
AZ
If you're happy with the comfort, I wouldn't change stuff out. The height difference you're talking about is pretty close to where my car sits AFTER a corner balance. The only difference is mine are even a bit more different. Keep in mind when you sit in the car you're between the wheel base, so while you're more up front, you're still fairly close to the middle, so you will lower both front and rear. You can stack weights in the seat and see. I always drop off weights, to estimate me, with my car when I get alignments + cb.

Chasing identical wheel well sizing will likely burn up a lot more money and you'll always trade off something. Better to put that money into control arms and get much better handling, though they'll make the front to rear fender gap different on the front wheels!

Keep your dcc, it's totally worth it for street.

I ran around and double checked to make sure everything was installed properly this morning. The rears are sitting in the bottom cups with the ends of the springs against the stops. I also rechecked torque as well. Everything seems to be perfect. I guess you are right, I'm just chasing something. Though, this has happened to me with most of my cars in the past, and I was able to get the ride height pretty perfect with coilover adjustments. I've just never had to deal with the DCC setup.

An alignment is next on the list, and I definitely need it. Maybe that will even things out a tiny bit. Thanks for your input.
 
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