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Should I Do A Full Suspension Overhaul With My Eventual Coilover Upgrade?

geokilla

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
I've been considering a long time on doing a coilover upgrade for my GTI. It normally sees about 5 to 6 full track days a year and I go pretty hard at it, though I didn't hit the track this year cus I was hurt. My car has only 67k km and I've been tracking on the original suspension. Only suspension related upgrade are the SuperPro rear sway bars and endlinks. So with my eventual coilover upgrade, what else should I pair with it to cut back on labour costs? I'm thinking the following:
If I'm missing anything else, please let me know. This will be the final upgrade for the car. After that, it'll just be replacing parts as they wear.
 

scrllock

Autocross Champion
Location
MI
Have owned and installed most of these.
For steel OE arms you can get new arms off rockauto for like $50-80/ea and then press your choice of bushings in. Or just re-use your old arms. Front LCA bushings do a ton for feedback.
Strut mount depends on the coilovers you're picking up. Not everything works with stock mounts.
CSS knuckles are nice but very pricey and it's easier to just use plates/bushings. The more camber you can swing the better.
BFI stage 1 is great. Stage 2 makes for awesome upshifts but decel at certain RPMs is brutal.
Rear trailing arm bushings are high value vs. other rear upgrades, unless you need extra toe/camber adjustment in the rear.

Make sure you have adjustable endlinks front and rear (if your coilovers don't come with them) to remove preload.

Only way I see this saving labor is if you do both the LCAs and the mounts so you can lift up the trans to clear the subframe bolt. Those are higher value than the items which benefit from dropping the subframe (aluminum subframe, front sway bar, deadset kit). Keep in mind you have to remove the brakes for the knuckle install, but not just for the strut.
 

geokilla

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Have owned and installed most of these.
For steel OE arms you can get new arms off rockauto for like $50-80/ea and then press your choice of bushings in. Or just re-use your old arms. Front LCA bushings do a ton for feedback.
Strut mount depends on the coilovers you're picking up. Not everything works with stock mounts.
CSS knuckles are nice but very pricey and it's easier to just use plates/bushings. The more camber you can swing the better.
BFI stage 1 is great. Stage 2 makes for awesome upshifts but decel at certain RPMs is brutal.
Rear trailing arm bushings are high value vs. other rear upgrades, unless you need extra toe/camber adjustment in the rear.

Make sure you have adjustable endlinks front and rear (if your coilovers don't come with them) to remove preload.

Only way I see this saving labor is if you do both the LCAs and the mounts so you can lift up the trans to clear the subframe bolt. Those are higher value than the items which benefit from dropping the subframe (aluminum subframe, front sway bar, deadset kit). Keep in mind you have to remove the brakes for the knuckle install, but not just for the strut.
Thanks for your input. I'm going for a "OEM+" or "stage 1" handling upgrade. Just got a couple more questions:
  • Do I need new control arms or can I just use the old ones and change the bushings? No accidents or anything. I know it's hard to tell over the Internet and I'll definitely get a second opinion from the mechanic. But just trying to add up the costs and see how much all this may cost me.
  • I'm thinking of Sachs coilvers sold by FCP Euro. Though they're out of stock and the price went up 25% so I may have to choose something else.
  • What plates and bushings would you recommend if I don't get the CSS knuckles?
  • I already have adjustable SuperPro rear endlinks. Are they the same thing as what you said?
 

scrllock

Autocross Champion
Location
MI
Thanks for your input. I'm going for a "OEM+" or "stage 1" handling upgrade. Just got a couple more questions:
  • Do I need new control arms or can I just use the old ones and change the bushings? No accidents or anything. I know it's hard to tell over the Internet and I'll definitely get a second opinion from the mechanic. But just trying to add up the costs and see how much all this may cost me.
  • I'm thinking of Sachs coilvers sold by FCP Euro. Though they're out of stock and the price went up 25% so I may have to choose something else.
  • What plates and bushings would you recommend if I don't get the CSS knuckles?
  • I already have adjustable SuperPro rear endlinks. Are they the same thing as what you said?
I doubt you need new arms unless they're bent or structurally corroded. I'd guess at worst they could use a decent cleanup and some rust converter?

If I were daily-driving the car in winter, I'd just get the Bilstein B12 pro-kit and call it a day. If you're set on fully adjustable stuff, keep in mind things like spring and rebuild options. The sub-$2k options like Fortune Auto, Feal, Redshift, ORT, etc. are relatively popular because they can be valved and sprung however you like, then rebuilt later on if your needs change. If you plan on dumping the car in the next couple years, maybe don't worry as much about it.

I went with Vorshlag for more camber, but I'm not concerned with inner tire wear. If you do a lot of commuting you might want to stick with a compromise setup like the Eurosports. Only firm suggestion I'd make is avoiding 034/ecs mounts. People seem to like the camber-adjustable powerflex front bushings. I'm using whiteline balljoints instead, but haven't been able to beat on them yet. I think the combination of both of them might be an issue with autocross rules classing, but not sure on that.

Superpro doesn't sell adjustable rear endlinks, just fronts. You want to zero out your preload both front and rear if you can (basically your endlink should fit into the sway bar with as little work as possible while the corners are at rest i.e. jacked up or on ramps, not drooping).
 

krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
Thanks for your input. I'm going for a "OEM+" or "stage 1" handling upgrade. Just got a couple more questions:
  • Do I need new control arms or can I just use the old ones and change the bushings? No accidents or anything. I know it's hard to tell over the Internet and I'll definitely get a second opinion from the mechanic. But just trying to add up the costs and see how much all this may cost me.
  • I'm thinking of Sachs coilvers sold by FCP Euro. Though they're out of stock and the price went up 25% so I may have to choose something else.
  • What plates and bushings would you recommend if I don't get the CSS knuckles?
  • I already have adjustable SuperPro rear endlinks. Are they the same thing as what you said?

I went with the Bilstein B16 coilovers. I bought them from https://sportcompactwarehouse.com/ after signing up for their text alerts, gave 5% off, and their Black Friday sale (2021) with another 10% off.

I have the Eurosport camber pucks on the OEM top mount. I did this to minimize additional NVH, and keep things simple over a spherical bearing type adjustment. I live in a cold weather climate, and didn’t want additional issues with snow and salt.

I went with the Powerflex camber and caster bushings on the OEM control arms up front, and the Powerflex rear trailing arm bushing for the back.

I’m using the whiteline adjustable endlinks on the H&R bars.

All other hardware and bearings were replaced with OEM during the swap.

I daily drive my car, and wanted it to be competitive in autocross, without tipping the scale on the daily comfort.

Will you be doing the work yourself?

I do all my work if possible, and to save on down time I would have considered buying a new OEM set of LCA’s to get setup to speed up the swap over. But the nice aluminum ones would be great, but don’t fit in my class rules.
 

geokilla

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Thanks guys for your input. I bought the following for $4,025 CAD. May you let me know if I should change my order:

  • Bilstein B16
  • 034 Motorsports Dynamic+ RCO - Camber & Roll Center Adjusting Ball Joints
  • SuperPro Camber Strut Mount
  • BFI MQB Stage 1 engine mount kit
I'm missing the following I think? I only want to spend another $500 CAD.
  • New strut mount and strut bearing to be purchased. Febi strut mount bearing and Febi strut mount is what I'm thinking since people are saying 034 are no good.
  • New front endlinks to be purchased. Do you have a recommendation?
They said I can probably leave the rear end as is, especially since I'm close to my budget of $4.5k CAD for parts. I already have the SuperPro rear sway bar and endlinks installed.

Will you be doing the work yourself?

I'm not doing the work myself as I'm not skilled enough, nor do I have the tools or space to do so.
 

krs

Autocross Champion
Location
Reno, NV
Car(s)
MKVIIS R
Thanks guys for your input. I bought the following for $4,025 CAD. May you let me know if I should change my order:

  • Bilstein B16
  • 034 Motorsports Dynamic+ RCO - Camber & Roll Center Adjusting Ball Joints
  • SuperPro Camber Strut Mount
  • BFI MQB Stage 1 engine mount kit
I'm missing the following I think? I only want to spend another $500 CAD.
  • New strut mount and strut bearing to be purchased. Febi strut mount bearing and Febi strut mount is what I'm thinking since people are saying 034 are no good.
  • New front endlinks to be purchased. Do you have a recommendation?
They said I can probably leave the rear end as is, especially since I'm close to my budget of $4.5k CAD for parts. I already have the SuperPro rear sway bar and endlinks installed.



I'm not doing the work myself as I'm not skilled enough, nor do I have the tools or space to do so.

This is the suspension install kit I bought, had everything I needed.

https://www.shopdap.com/make-model-...imate-suspension-install-kit-for-mk7-dcc.html

I have the whiteline endlinks, they work with no issues.

https://whitelineperformance.com/products/klc167a-link-kit

You’ll get a few other opinions on branding I’m sure. I would have went with a better brand ball joint besides the 034 personally.
 

geokilla

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG

Brian_

Go Kart Newbie
Location
TX
Car(s)
MK7.5 R
Thanks guys for your input. I bought the following for $4,025 CAD. May you let me know if I should change my order:

  • Bilstein B16
  • 034 Motorsports Dynamic+ RCO - Camber & Roll Center Adjusting Ball Joints
  • SuperPro Camber Strut Mount
  • BFI MQB Stage 1 engine mount kit
I'm missing the following I think? I only want to spend another $500 CAD.

Just need the new strut mount bearings, your SuperPro Camber Strut Mounts replace the strut mounts you have linked from FCP.
 

scrllock

Autocross Champion
Location
MI
Thanks guys for your input. I bought the following for $4,025 CAD. May you let me know if I should change my order:

  • Bilstein B16
  • 034 Motorsports Dynamic+ RCO - Camber & Roll Center Adjusting Ball Joints
  • SuperPro Camber Strut Mount
  • BFI MQB Stage 1 engine mount kit
I'm missing the following I think? I only want to spend another $500 CAD.
  • New strut mount and strut bearing to be purchased. Febi strut mount bearing and Febi strut mount is what I'm thinking since people are saying 034 are no good.
  • New front endlinks to be purchased. Do you have a recommendation?
They said I can probably leave the rear end as is, especially since I'm close to my budget of $4.5k CAD for parts. I already have the SuperPro rear sway bar and endlinks installed.



I'm not doing the work myself as I'm not skilled enough, nor do I have the tools or space to do so.
You don't need a new strut mount, the superpro replaces it. See this video:


I re-used my bearing without issue, but if you're in there, it's cheap.

OE balljoints are fine, but please let us know how the 034 ones work out.

I'm happy with my superpro front endlinks, no complaints. I switched from superpro to whiteline in the rear in order to set preload.
 
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