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Who is on Bilstein B8s?

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
I quite like the B8s on my Golf TDI. Have them paired with H&R OE Sport springs. They don't feel noticeably different in regular driving over bad roads. Everybody says the roads where they live are the worst in the country so I won't say that but they're not well maintained. Body roll is much more controlled in turns/on-ramps. Car feels more planted at highway speeds, probably a combination of being slightly lower, slightly stiffer springs and the reduced body roll those things provide. For me the B8s do exactly what I would expect the B6s to do but with lower overall height.
 

MiamiBourne

Go Kart Newbie
Location
New York
I mean I still own them, I'm not getting rid of them anytime soon. I would personally recommend Koni's to most people looking for sharp coilover like handling with lowering springs though. If someone is looking for factory replacement shocks, factory shocks might still handle better with lowering springs, though they might not last as long. Bilsteins would still be my recommendation for a long lasting OEM replacement shock.

Bilstein B8s being just shortened B6s, which are meant to be OEM replacements, isn't exactly living up to the Sport model name. That is lazy IMHO, because I'd expect more than OEM like performance from something called Sport.

Just a thought...since ED Springs seem to work well with the OEM dampers and they don't seem to work great with the B8's (based on some opinions on this thread), how about using the B6 ones since they are designed for OEM. I know the B6 for DCC is the only option (I think) for DCC people and I've seen people happy with B6 and H&R Sports.

Also, not sure how true, I did read that the B6 are designed for OEM up to a 40mm drop...then again I'm not sure how true that is. It was a Facebook post that referenced a dealer with that language.

One more thing I read is that eventually Bilstein will only offer the B6 for non DCC also. Again...can't know for sure how true the last 2 statements but just something I came across on my research.
 

flipflp

Autocross Newbie
Location
PNW
Car(s)
'16 Golf R DSG
Just a thought...since ED Springs seem to work well with the OEM dampers and they don't seem to work great with the B8's (based on some opinions on this thread), how about using the B6 ones since they are designed for OEM. I know the B6 for DCC is the only option (I think) for DCC people and I've seen people happy with B6 and H&R Sports.

Also, not sure how true, I did read that the B6 are designed for OEM up to a 40mm drop...then again I'm not sure how true that is. It was a Facebook post that referenced a dealer with that language.

One more thing I read is that eventually Bilstein will only offer the B6 for non DCC also. Again...can't know for sure how true the last 2 statements but just something I came across on my research.
I think the issue with B8s is that they are shortened, and don't have an increased compression damping to match, so softer and shorter lowering springs (say 1+" lowering) can crash against the front internal bump stops. That lack of compression damping also contributes to the additional body roll that a lot of people (myself included) have noticed. It does make for a compliant ride, just not a very "sporty" feel.

Running a B6 shock with that same lowering spring just means you have less shock travel in general, and I wouldn't go as low as 40mm drop on a stock length shock. 20mm or less would be my suggestion (H&R OE, ProKit, etc.). Still doesn't change the damping rates, if it's true the B6 and B8 are the same.
 

Ravenstyle83

Ready to race!
Location
Northern NJ
Car(s)
2020 VW GTI
For my Mk7.5 GTI, I have the Bilstein B8 paired with the Neuspeed Sport lowering springs. Have about 2.5k on them so far. I initially sent them back to Bilstein because, once installed, the front would bottom out over medium to large dips and pot holes. I thought they were blown but Bilstein tested them to be within spec and sent them back. The car rides firm, but very controlled and handles vastly better than stock. However, I have to really watch for bumps in the road because I hate when they bottom out. I wish the drop of the Neuspeed sports were a little less aggressive and/or the B8 had more bump stiffness. Otherwise I would give them a 10/10, but I can comfortably give them an 8/10 review overall. Neuspeed spring rates are probably the most aggressive, that is why i went with that combo; if i went with a softer spring rate, then the car would bottom out more often. I think Bilstein should suggest only pairing the B8 struts with HR OE Sport springs, in order to maintain sufficient travel for harsh road conditions.
 

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Ravenstyle83

Ready to race!
Location
Northern NJ
Car(s)
2020 VW GTI
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Update since installing B8 Struts with Neuspeed Sport springs and new OEM strut mounts; after 3 months, it settled about a 1/4" all around. The front has a tight 1 finger gap and the rear is just over two fingers. Wish the front wasn't as low and the rear was a little lower. I came from EQT coilovers which were too noisy IMO. I might move to Bilstein EVO S coilovers because I don't like the forward rake and over large pot holes, it's can become crashy.
 

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Revolution09

New member
Location
Canada
After reading through this thread I recently installed B8s with H&R OE Sport springs on my '15 GTI, as I understood that would be the best pairing. It rides great and handles well, except over large dips where I'm getting a crash in the rear. Smaller bumps and cracks in the road are just fine, but manhole covers and potholes are the issue. Had a mechanic check it out and they think it's from the shock fully extending after impact, causing a loud solid thunk sound. Has anybody else had this issue, and what did you do to solve it? I'm thinking of switching to B6's in the rear instead. With the extra inch or so of travel I'm hoping they wouldn't hit full extension as easy.
 
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kep

Go Kart Champion
Location
Boston
Car(s)
Mk7 Golf R, NA Miata
After reading through this thread I recently installed B8s with H&R OE Sport springs on my '15 GTI, as I understood that would be the best pairing. It rides great and handles well, except over large dips where I'm getting a crash in the rear. Smaller bumps and cracks in the road are just fine, but manhole covers and potholes are the issue. Had a mechanic check it out and they think it's from the shock fully extending after impact, causing a loud solid thunk sound. Has anybody else had this issue, and what did you do to solve it? I'm thinking of switching to B6's in the rear instead. With the extra inch or so of travel I'm hoping they wouldn't hit full extension as easy.
The only reason a shock topping out would cause such a noise would be if the damper is blown. This should be apparent based on general ride quality and would be unlikely on newish Bilsteins. Have you checked that all of the shock mounting bolts are properly torqued, including the one on the top of the damper shaft?
 

ZERO815

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Köln Germany
Car(s)
2017 GTI SE DSG
After reading through this thread I recently installed B8s with H&R OE Sport springs on my '15 GTI, as I understood that would be the best pairing. It rides great and handles well, except over large dips where I'm getting a crash in the rear. Smaller bumps and cracks in the road are just fine, but manhole covers and potholes are the issue. Had a mechanic check it out and they think it's from the shock fully extending after impact, causing a loud solid thunk sound. Has anybody else had this issue, and what did you do to solve it? I'm thinking of switching to B6's in the rear instead. With the extra inch or so of travel I'm hoping they wouldn't hit full extension as easy.
Don’t think extending the shocks is your issue here. Just use a jack and check how much travel you have left in rebound. I know some potholes are deep, but that deep?
While my car was on H&R springs I had quite some crashing too. IMO it’s the combination out of progressive spring and earlier jounce bumper contact due to lowering. Cutting the rear jounce bumper from the top helped a lot in my case. Went in steps -1/4 inch first, ended up with -1/2 inch.
With linear Eibach springs and -1/4 inch jounce bumper it got even better. Now I’m 99% crash-free. Only very sharp man hole cover dips leave a little thunk noise.
 

Ezekiel81923

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Royersford, PA
Car(s)
2019 Volkswagen GTI
I'm on B8's and H&R Sport springs.

I think it's a great combo if you daily your car. Looks great, feels great, big bumps / metal plates / man holes suck but they always suck the lower you get. This drop on 235/40's looks great. I do have the Audi insulators in the rear which keep the rear a hair higher than the front but the fender to tire gap looks identical.
 
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