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Suspension Upgrade on Audi 80
I upgraded my suspension about three months ago with Eibach progressive
rate springs and Bilstein sports at all four corners. The wheels are the
stock 5.5x14" steels with Yokohama A509's. I waited a few months
before writing about it in order to overcome any initial reactions.
Overall, I am only moderately satisfied with the results. The handling
is improved as expected. I can corner at the limit of the tires' ability
with far less body roll. There was no adverse change to the steering.
Understeer/oversteer has not changed any (although I haven't tried a four
wheel drift yet). Handling is surprisingly neutral for a FWD. They've come
a long way from the VW designs (slam intended). The car still leans a
moderate amount, but not in the
tippy-toe feel of the stock suspension. One thing I have now noticed is
the need for better bolstering on the stock seats. I am sliding more
because the car is pulling harder at turns. But still not badly enough
to warrant a Recaro conversion.
My complaint is that the ride is much harsher than in the past. It now
has a boy-racer feel to it that I graduated from years ago. Going over
bumps is not a pleasant endeavor. Where once it had a dampened feel
(like the tires and suspension were soaking all harshness away) with a
soft "thunk" sound, it is now a direct-blow "bang" on even minor imperfections.
Where once the ride was fairly plush, it is a lot closer to a BMW 325i`s ride.
Part of my dissapointment comes from enjoying the stock suspension's ability
to deliver significant comfort as well as excellent cornering. Body
roll didn't bother me as the car communicates its ability very well. I've
passed a lot of sporty cars on turns (BMW CCA driving schooling helps just
a little :-)). Another issue is that I had installed progressive springs
and street Bilsteins on a Rabbit once, with improvements in both ride and
handling! It seems like my choice now is to either replace the Bilsteins
with Boge or Sachs dampers, or keep the Bilsteins and replace the stock
Any comments are welcome.