[200q20v] Re: Suspension Upgrades-coil overs

Linus Toy linust at mindspring.com
Tue Aug 15 02:00:48 EDT 2000

Since this started off as a question on upgrading a 200q20v (my car), I 
thought I'd toss a few thoughts in here...

1.  Springs & Shocks:  stay away from any of the c/o kits available 
today.  The type 44/4A (5k/100/200/S4) is simply too heavy up front for any 
currently designed c/o system.  Not to say it can't be done--Audi did it 
with the Trans-Am 200 front suspension.  c/o have other issues, as well, 
discussed by many on list before--not sure if list archives are available 
for this...perhaps someone has the thread in their personal archives (I 
would, but for an O/S corruption a couple months ago).

Aftermarket.  Eibach no longer makes a kit for these cars (1529.140), and 
the recent GP on this set seems to show different springs in the box.  This 
spring was originally spec'd for the type 4A 100q ('92-'95 100q w/2.8v6 in 
the US).  H&R makes at least two springs that will work, 29800 and 
29921.  29800 is spec'd for the 200q20v (only spring vendor I've ever seen 
that recognized this model) while 29921 is spec'd for the V8.  Both 
work.  V8 springs are about substantially stiffer in front while rears are 
almost the same:
     29800:  220#/inch front, 310#/inch rear
     29921:  300#/inch front, 330#/inch rear
(data are from H&R, "working" rates at installed height--these are 
progressive springs)
I installed 29921 on my car with Bilstein HD (stock height)--my 
goal--achieved, BTW--was no more than 3/4" lower ride height--a Mac strut 
suspension does not do well with a lot of lowering.

My opinion:  the issue is not the spring rates, but rather the shocks.  I 
chose Bilsteins because I didn't want to risk messing up the 
adjustment--trust me--I could easily do it.  But...I think the fronts have 
too much (stiff) bounce valving and the rears not enough rebound 
valving--very sharp inputs can be harsh, but the car is too floaty on 
low-frequency pavement undulations.  I'm just not sure what to ask for if I 
were to send them in for revalving.  And it's a PITA to pull the fronts 
(one advantage to coil-overs)

One more thing--do this modification last--stiffer springs/shocks will 
overpower the stock 15" wheels/tires, and you won't get all the benefit out 
of them.

2.  Brakes.  I think I saw reference to UFOs in here--for street use, if 
you've got them, keep them--you have good (near great?) brakes with a small 
penalty in unsprung weight.  Your simplest upgrade here is pads (same pad 
as many BMW 5-series cars from the late 80s/early 90s.)

If you have UFOs, your upgrades to Porsche brakes is limited to Movit or 
If you have G60s (S4 brakes), you can also use the RevSport and 2Bennett 
and a few other kits.
Lotsa bytes spilled here too...besides list archives, check a few web-sites 
for this (Movit, BIRA, s-car)

If you're going to spend this money, do this first, and in conjunction with 

3.  Wheels.  Your biggest bang/buck in terms of enhancing your handling, 
but IMHO, should be second to brakes.  As you noted, make sure what you get 
will fit over your brake upgrade/plans. Most 17" will fit over just about 
any kit out there, while a few 16" will fit over a few of the kits.  I 
don't know of anyone with 18" wheels on these cars, but having tracked my 
car with 15" 16" and 17" wheels/tires, bigger is mostly better, especially 
since I have the springs/shocks noted above :)

My 2 pennies
*  Linus Toy                      Insanity is doing the same thing   *
*  Mercer Island, WA              you've always done and expecting   *
*  linust at mindspring.com          different results                  *
*                                      - Roger Milliken              *

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