[A4] Strut vs. Cartridge Replacement Options

Robert gt40mkii at gmail.com
Tue Jan 2 23:15:37 EST 2007

At 08:52 PM 1/2/2007, you wrote:
>The local tire store told me that strut cartridges are only available for B5
>cars with sport suspensions.  And, since I don't have the sport suspension,
>I have to replace the complete strut assemblies.  Does that sound right?

It sounds possible.  Is it because the cartridges physically won't 
fit, or because the dampening rates are different.  If its because of 
different dampening rates, you may be able to install the cartridges 
and move up to a stiffer spring.

>Finally, might I risk damaging standard struts if I installed OEM sport
>springs on them, by bottoming-out the struts?

Probably not.  Most OEM dampers are designed with bump-stops to keep 
the dampers from bottoming out.

And of you installed sport springs, they'd be LESS likely to bottom 
out, not more.

Keep in mind though, that springs and dampers should be matched to 
each other.  A stiffer spring requires more damping -- one reason why 
lots of after market suspension setup ride so badly.  they move to a 
shorter spring to lower the car, often by removing coils from the 
factory spring.  This increases the spring rate beyond what the car's 
dampers are designed for and the car bounces around like a Model 
T.  Keep the dampers and springs matched and you end up with a nice ride. 

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