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

geokilla

Go Kart Champion
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 Champion
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
Las Vegas, 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 Champion
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
Las Vegas, 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 Champion
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG

Brian_

Go Kart Champion
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.
 

geokilla

Go Kart Champion
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
The parts that I bought in post #6 are not valid due to me being an idiot and leaving things till the last minute. So now I have the following waiting to be picked up and installed in Spring.

Part
Total Including Tax (CAD)
BFI Stage 1 Engine Mount Kit with DSG Mount$877
Whiteline Front Roll Centre/Camber Correction Kit
Whiteline Front Control Arm - Lower Inner Front Bushing
Whiteline Front Strut Mount - Kit
White Front Sway Bar - Link$955 <-- For the whole Whiteline order

This gives me the opportunity to further refine my parts and I am looking into buying the following:

Part
Total Including Tax (CAD)
Front Sway Bar. Leaning SuperPro or Whiteline to match Rears~$500
Coilovers. Bilstein B16~$2,200
2X Febi Strut Mount Bearings~$55

I'm debating whether I should get the B14 instead so I can buy other suspension parts. The adjustments on the B16 are nice but I'm not so sure if I will play around with it. According to what I read online, the B16 performs similar to the B14 if the damping is set to 5/10? Toronto roads suck so I plan on using them with the smallest drop possible to avoid hitting the curbs when my family drives the car and to keep the ride supple, similar to having DCC in comfort mode in the MK8R. Also, does the B16 manual come with recommended settings? I don't want to mess up the suspension balance or anything as I'm not nearly as skilled to play around with those things.

Any other parts should get for my car to improve the handling and braking? As I put, I'm leaning to the SuperPro or Whiteline front sway bars, but open to other, cheap suggestions too. I saw in the other thread people talking about the Audi aluminum subframe and the Audi or Porsche Macan brakes but I'm not too interested in them. At least not right now. The Porsche brakes require me to buy 18" rims and I like my 17" rims. Of course, also checked scrllock's build and I think I covered everything? My car is still a daily first so I'd like to think my upgrades will make it OEM+ or stage 1 at most.
 

GoatAutomotive

Autocross Champion
Location
Georgetown, TX
Car(s)
2017 VW GTI SE, DSG
Maybe too late to help you, but if you’re paying someone labor to replace the rear bushings on your front LCAs, you’d likely do better to just buy one of the pre assembled stamped steel arms from Whiteline or a comparable company.

The labor savings alone (1-1.5hrs) would cover the cost of the complete arms, and your front LCA bushings would be fresh as well.

I did precisely this on mine.

Finishing up the install tonight. Will do a full write up after road testing, alignment, etc.

Everything else you listed looks solid.

The B16s are pricey, but are a top quality product from everything I’ve read.

I (for one) am interested to hear your feedback on:

The BFI Stage 1 mounts
The SuperPro camber-adj. strut mounts

🍺 😎
 

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manu97

Autocross Champion
Location
Chicago
Car(s)
MK7 R
Maybe too late to help you, but if you’re paying someone labor to replace the rear bushings on your front LCAs, you’d likely do better to just buy one of the pre assembled stamped steel arms from Whiteline or a comparable company.

The labor savings alone (1-1.5hrs) would cover the cost of the complete arms, and your front LCA bushings would be fresh as well.

I did precisely this on mine.

Finishing up the install tonight. Will do a full write up after road testing, alignment, etc.

Everything else you listed looks solid.

The B16s are pricey, but are a top quality product from everything I’ve read.

I (for one) am interested to hear your feedback on:

The BFI Stage 1 mounts
The SuperPro camber-adj. strut mounts

🍺 😎

I can chime in with the BFI mounts. Adds NVH at a stop, and in reverse. Don’t hate it though.
 

geokilla

Go Kart Champion
Location
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI DSG
Maybe too late to help you, but if you’re paying someone labor to replace the rear bushings on your front LCAs, you’d likely do better to just buy one of the pre assembled stamped steel arms from Whiteline or a comparable company.

The labor savings alone (1-1.5hrs) would cover the cost of the complete arms, and your front LCA bushings would be fresh as well.

I did precisely this on mine.

Finishing up the install tonight. Will do a full write up after road testing, alignment, etc.

Everything else you listed looks solid.

The B16s are pricey, but are a top quality product from everything I’ve read.

I (for one) am interested to hear your feedback on:

The BFI Stage 1 mounts
The SuperPro camber-adj. strut mounts

🍺 😎
Thanks for the info! I didn't know I was missing the other bushings until you posted. Might return the bushings and stick with OEM control arms or upgrade to their complete control arm kit. Or complete bushing kit if my mechanic agrees to press them, though I hear it's not ideal.

Good luck with your adventure! I won't be installing mine till at least mid March or April, along with some aero parts from golfdave's thread. My final upgrades. I'm going broke lol o_O
 

GoatAutomotive

Autocross Champion
Location
Georgetown, TX
Car(s)
2017 VW GTI SE, DSG
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