lowering springs

mike mcgranahan mcgranahanmike at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 24 09:19:14 EST 2002

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
Linus, you seem to have the most experience with this, so maybe you can sha=
re some of your thoughts with me......
My objective is:  a)  I want to keep the stock wheels.  I may one day try t=
o locate the 16" S4 wheels, but that is down the road.
b)  I'm happy with the height over the back wheels, I wouldn't want it any =
higher at all but would be OK if it dropped ever so slightly.
c)  I only want the front of the car to drop a little bit...  My problem is=
 how much is a little?  an inch and a quarter doesn't sound like much but I=
 won't know until the springs are in and the money spent.
d) I want to improve handling without acquiring a harsh ride.

 I'm very particular about how much this will lower my car, especially when=
 I'm trying to lower the front a little more than the rear without making i=
t look like some muscle-car from the 70's.    I don't want the whole vehicl=
e lowered too much making it look like a Japanese car from the 2000s.   may=
be I should consider coilovers? do they allow for micro-adjustments? how ha=
rd are they to install?  any pros/cons?

----- Original Message -----
From: Linus Toy
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2002 11:51 PM
To: mike mcgranahan; ; audi quattro
Subject: Re: lowering springs

At 01:37 PM 2/23/2002 -0500, Brett Dikeman wrote:
>At 7:33 AM -0800 2/23/02, CL Wong wrote:
>>This brings up another memory I recall someone
>>mentioning awhile back.
>>Lowering springs make the rear of our 200s appear to
>>be too low and someone mentioned putting something in
>>the spring area to raise it up a bit.  Does anyone
>>recall what folks use to get that slight rise in the
>Greg Amy originally commented on this, and he corrected it with a set
>of quarter inch upper spring pads I think, from Wolfsport.  When I
>called them, they claimed they had a)no idea what a upper spring pad
>was and b)they'd never carried anything like that.  Greg remembered
>hearing others had similar experiences contacting them in the past.

The best solution I've seen to this problem is either 1) machining
additional grooves in the rear shock (for the circlip supporting the lower
spring perch) to alter the lower spring perch position (vis a vis the shock
body) or 2) putting a spacer between the existing circlip and the lower
spring perch.  I've seen as many as 6 grooves machined into the shock body,
spaced about 1/4" apart each.  Note--if you have an older Bilstein rear
shock, you may already have three grooves machined from the factory.

>Honestly, on a car that's something like 10 feet long, I don't see
>how a quarter inch makes a difference; if anything, I think it helps
>more with keeping the tires from rubbing and allowing you to allow
>for more folks in back+stuff in the trunk without rubbing.

The extra quarter inch you mention will support about 100-150 additional
pounds.  But I don't see this affecting tire rub--with stock tires, even at
full compression, you should have no rubbing.

I think the reason you find this situation is that the aftermarket (Koni,
Bilstein, etc) develop one shock body for multiple car models using the
same physical dimensions--i.e. the 5kq, 5ktq, 100q (both type 44 and 4A),
200q, S4 and V8--all have rear suspension components with the same
dimensions.  but with different spring rates to account for different car
weights and ride targets, the spring has to have a different amount of free
length in order to support the different cars at rest while also not
binding on full compression.  this means different lower perch
positions--with an older, lighter 5000tq, the rear spring will drop about
4=2E5" from free length while a 200q drops about 3.2"

>>--- mike mcgranahan <mcgranahanmike at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>  > If I replace the stock springs with some H&R's or
>>>  Eibachs that are supposed to lower the car only
>>  > 1.25" - 1.5" will I need camber plates?
>Don't think so.  Type44's, from what I have discussed with various
>mechanics and owners, don't need camber plates until you go with a
>suspension setup designed for racing.  I remember hearing Taka did
>some sort of camber plate on his car, not sure why, maybe he can

This seems to be instance-specific--probably depending to a large extent on
overall condition/mileage of the car.  Bernie Benz's comments on his stress
bar (strut towers collapsing inward due to suspension stresses) make it
logical that a high mileage car may have a tougher time getting to spec
camber than a lower mileage car.  Remember, thought, that these cars are
mac-strut front ends, so by nature, will increase camber as you lower the

A couple more thoughts
*  no Eibach kits are in production for these cars.  The Eibach kit for the
type 4A ('92-on 100q/S4) will work, but availability is suspect--check any
you find on a vendors shelves--a special group purchase last year (2 yrs
ago?) for 1529.140 for the 100/S4 (and fit type 44) used different springs
from the original kit (see if the springs are marked 1529.001 and
1529.002--those were the original springs)
*  H&R has a kit specifically for the 200q20v, #29800.  It is spec'd to
lower the car the 1.4 to 1.5 inches; #29921, for the V8 and S4/6 is spec'd
to lower those cars 1.2 to 1.3 inches, but I question these.  I used #29921
with Bilsteins on a 200q20v and dropped
*  from most reports, the target drop of 1.25 to 1.5" seems to be hard to
achieve in reality.
*  think carefully about what you're trying to do and how low you really
want to go.  in addition to increasing camber, lowering the car too much
will increase your bump steer.
*  finally, remember that this is all a system:  springs (and to a lesser
extent, shocks) need to match your tires and wheels.  if your springs are a
lot stiffer but your tires (sidewalls, mostly) are not, you tires will get
a greater work out than before, and you won't get as much out of the
springs as you expect.  this is less of an issue if you use the spec'd
springs (29800) but very noticable if you still have your 15" stock wheels
with the V8 springs (29921).


*  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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