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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! After some suspension advice/ recommendations please. Not gonna say what's the best/ ultimate? because everyone has their own preferences on this. Been on Lohen's website and have been eyeing up Eibach/ Bilstein's fixed platform B12 kit, but...… I'm not sure a 30mm drop is enough. Next is Bilstein's B14 coilover kit, both are sub £1000 and are non adjustable bump/rebound. The £1000 breaker comes in the form Eibach's pro street S coilover package, again no bump/ rebound adjustment but, not as I'm looking to go down that far, has the adjustment to go -70mm over standard.
So has anyone had any experience of these kits, ride quality etc? Also what are other people running??
This will be going on a daily so obviously I don't want it to ride like a brick - but don't want to pay £££££ for something that's substandard - been there before with coilovers. And pics would be great.
Cheers. Andy
 

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I feel like I've seen the Ohlins ones for sale 2nd hand before around your price bracket, I would like to give them a try for a road car.

Billstein are prob a safeish bet.

Going over 30mm drop you're going to get "harsh" daily ride on most coilovers just due to the geometry of things, because;

A - You're going to shorten and compromise damper stroke
B - You'll still need a reasonable spring rate to stop the shorter damper hitting the bump stop or the front bumper crashing into the ground over every speedbump.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I feel like I've seen the Ohlins ones for sale 2nd hand before around your price bracket, I would like to give them a try for a road car.

Billstein are prob a safeish bet.

Going over 30mm drop you're going to get "harsh" daily ride on most coilovers just due to the geometry of things, because;

A - You're going to shorten and compromise damper stroke
B - You'll still need a reasonable spring rate to stop the shorter damper hitting the bump stop or the front bumper crashing into the ground over every speedbump.
That's partly why I wanted to go for a full 'kit' from X manufacturer in the hope they will have addressed this, because you can guarantee your £400 Ebay coilover manufacturers haven't. I've never had experience with Bilstein before, for that matter you can include BK, KW, and Eibach, although I've heard nothing bad about Eibach springs I've been kinda put off KW because before I moved there a co worker fitted a set to a Lupo Gti for a customer and found them to be awful. In saying that he cannot remember if they were V1, 2 or 3. Back when - I was aways a Koni man, My Escort van had them fitted and my first Golf Gti had their coilovers on and they were epic! Went Ebay cheap with my next Golf and they were shite! Going off price difference I'm very tempted by the B14 kit as they say it'll go down to -50mm, maybe a little much but there is that room so the shock doesn't bottom out. And I can bring the back down to then match the front because as standard it looks like it's arse is up in the air.
 

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I think you'll find the issue regardless, the dampers are by the nature of the car reasonably short anyway, once you lower the car then obviously you're shortening that range even further. I've been through Meister, KW V1's, GAZ and now KW Clubsports. Having experienced all four, if I was to do it again I would be looking to invest a little.

Meister I found the ride to be a bit erratic at times, for want of a better word. They also knocked a bit which other people have also reported.

The KW V1's I liked at first and thought were an improvement over the Meister, however I quickly noticed the softer spring rates, as I was using it on track it wasn't great so I decided to move away, tbh I can't remember them well enough to say whether I would go with them on a road/daily.

GAZ I went with for a number of reasons. The bodies are wider than other brands which I thought might aid damping ability. The spring rates can be custom spec'd. And they can be rebuilt/serviced for cheap. They're also pretty competitive price wise when compared to similar; Meister/BC/Bilstein etc. On the downside, one of the rears caused a really odd and annoying squeaking, which we just could not place and no amount of grease/lube was stopping (It went after I replaced with more KW's). I did get them serviced/rebuilt whilst the car was off the road for a while and the customer service was pretty low end.

KW Clubsports ahhhhh, why didn't I just do this in the first place? Firm but compliant ride. Good spring rates. Well built, nice adjustability. The downside obviously being initial cost, lack of corrosion protection and rebuild/service costs (Which I haven't had to do yet 🤞). Obviously, unless you've got cash weighing you down they're a bit overkill on the road.

Perhaps if I was building a daily I would look at the 2nd hand Ohlins as above, or probably now KW V2's or ST XTA's. I know people complain about putting £1k worth of suspension on a £2k car but honestly you'll save yourself a lot of frustration, hassle & money in the long run. Buy cheap buy twice. Or four times in my case :LOL:
 

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Bugger
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Perhaps if I was building a daily I would look at the 2nd hand Ohlins as above, or probably now KW V2's or ST XTA's. I know people complain about putting £1k worth of suspension on a £2k car but honestly you'll save yourself a lot of frustration, hassle & money in the long run. Buy cheap buy twice. Or four times in my case :LOL:
KW V2's are out and out the best suspension for a road going MINI. I haven't sold parts for about 10 years now and I still have customers running the V2's I sold back in 2008!

For me I agree its a 2k now car but when I got mine it was a 16k car. The same principle applies KW designed them for cars that were 20k+ at the time, they are nothing short of amazing.
 

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I’ve just had a set of bilstein B14s fitted to my cooper S, not driven it yet as it’s still at carsorbikes house after he fitted them for me, I got them used off eBay for £250 and apart from one solid adjusting ring Sean says they seem alright

quite simply I couldn’t afford to buy them new, for what I paid for them if they are not what I want then they can come back off

I’ll report back once I get the car back, I’ve not even seen how it looks yet

at the same time those springs were up jn eBay there was a set of KW V1s for £500 with adjustable top mounts and bottom control arms fitted but I couldn’t afford them, shame as I’d have had those over the bilsteins given all the extra bits included
 

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I think you'll find the issue regardless, the dampers are by the nature of the car reasonably short anyway, once you lower the car then obviously you're shortening that range even further. I've been through Meister, KW V1's, GAZ and now KW Clubsports. Having experienced all four, if I was to do it again I would be looking to invest a little.

Meister I found the ride to be a bit erratic at times, for want of a better word. They also knocked a bit which other people have also reported.

The KW V1's I liked at first and thought were an improvement over the Meister, however I quickly noticed the softer spring rates, as I was using it on track it wasn't great so I decided to move away, tbh I can't remember them well enough to say whether I would go with them on a road/daily.

GAZ I went with for a number of reasons. The bodies are wider than other brands which I thought might aid damping ability. The spring rates can be custom spec'd. And they can be rebuilt/serviced for cheap. They're also pretty competitive price wise when compared to similar; Meister/BC/Bilstein etc. On the downside, one of the rears caused a really odd and annoying squeaking, which we just could not place and no amount of grease/lube was stopping (It went after I replaced with more KW's). I did get them serviced/rebuilt whilst the car was off the road for a while and the customer service was pretty low end.

KW Clubsports ahhhhh, why didn't I just do this in the first place? Firm but compliant ride. Good spring rates. Well built, nice adjustability. The downside obviously being initial cost, lack of corrosion protection and rebuild/service costs (Which I haven't had to do yet 🤞). Obviously, unless you've got cash weighing you down they're a bit overkill on the road.

Perhaps if I was building a daily I would look at the 2nd hand Ohlins as above, or probably now KW V2's or ST XTA's. I know people complain about putting £1k worth of suspension on a £2k car but honestly you'll save yourself a lot of frustration, hassle & money in the long run. Buy cheap buy twice. Or four times in my case :LOL:
Christ Luke you've been through a few sets!

Agree with you on the Meister's and the KW V1s.

Meister's knocked quite a bit but were brilliant out on track. Loved them out there but on the road they were not particularly comfortable

V1s were really comfortable on the road and were in great condition even though I was 3rd/4th owner of them. I sold them on too and didn't hear any complaints. But too soft on the track and I often bottomed out

APs are pretty comfortable on the road too and were the cheapest I've used. Good amount of drop. Not used them on the track but definitely think they'll be way too soft. No knocking or anything
 

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I had Meister CRD and loved them.
Paired with a thicker rear arb, drop links and RcaS it was a weapon.
I’d order them again tbh as I like a hard ride.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Adam I was thinking the same..... Luke you've been through a lot of suspension. So Luke you would say that the KW stuff would need, say, a monthly rub down with Wd-40 or such like to keep them tip top? I like the Ohlins idea of having the rear adjusting knob on the bottom of the shock because, although not the hardest job in the world, I can imagine removing, adjusting then refitting of Bilstien, KW etc could get tedious.
Lord did you advise your customers a starting point with adjustment or just let them play?
Jim let me know what the B14's are like please.... with this virus lockdown I doubt I'll get any suspension package anyway. No matter as I've got a few other bits and bobs to be going on with.
Not that it overly matters as it's a road car and because I have epilepsy It's doubtful if they'd allow me to walk on track let alone drive it, but how much difference/ effect does, say, a whiteline rear ARB have?
 

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It's only the Clubsports that don't have the coating I believe as they are intended for track/race cars. The ST XTA's are effectively V2's repackaged slightly cheaper I think, someone else will clarify. And no, I don't look after them that much, but neither do I drive the car daily. The way I looked at it was, if you're into looking after your cars and give it a good wax and polish at least every 3 months, have the wheels off to clean etc, then all you need to do is give the suspension a going over with the hose and a brush/soapy water. Like I said, I haven't put a lot of miles on them, but they're over 12 months old and looking fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's only the Clubsports that don't have the coating I believe as they are intended for track/race cars. The ST XTA's are effectively V2's repackaged slightly cheaper I think, someone else will clarify. And no, I don't look after them that much, but neither do I drive the car daily. The way I looked at it was, if you're into looking after your cars and give it a good wax and polish at least every 3 months, have the wheels off to clean etc, then all you need to do is give the suspension a going over with the hose and a brush/soapy water. Like I said, I haven't put a lot of miles on them, but they're over 12 months old and looking fine.
Just been back on Lohen's website and it definitely appears to be like KW's economy range, near on same price as a set of V2's but with adjustable top mounts.
Yeh that was me.... clean freak! But with the van and first Golf it was weekly! Would do a 6 day week then spend Sunday washing, polishing, hoovering etc, hate to think how much autoglym I used!
 

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Bugger
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It's only the Clubsports that don't have the coating I believe as they are intended for track/race cars. The ST XTA's are effectively V2's repackaged slightly cheaper I think, someone else will clarify. And no, I don't look after them that much, but neither do I drive the car daily. The way I looked at it was, if you're into looking after your cars and give it a good wax and polish at least every 3 months, have the wheels off to clean etc, then all you need to do is give the suspension a going over with the hose and a brush/soapy water. Like I said, I haven't put a lot of miles on them, but they're over 12 months old and looking fine.
If you want the ultimate road set up, KW will build the V3's with straight springs and the top mounts. that way you get warranty, 80% clubsport and inox damper protection.

They will do the same with V2's as well and you can spec the spring rates.

For what its worth I've taken V2's off a car that had never been washed, had done three scottish winters and the dampers just wiped clean, now a bit of corrosion on them at all. Its worth noting that the springs will rust out as they are powder coated.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wouldn't know where to begin with spring rates to be honest. I get that a 7lb/mm is a harder spring than a 6lb/mm (or however they're measured) But I think I'd rather have a bit of fit and forgetabillity or else I'd be permanently at work! And I know my boss is a nice guy but I don't wanna take the piss, just in case there is that time I need him to say yes and he doesn't.
And you've touched on something else to, The Eibach springs in their kit will most likely be coated with their usual coating, almost OEM if you like, where as your powder coated springs after a while the coating will crack and will start to corrode the spring.
 

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The Eibach ones are powder coated too I'd have thought.

You just want spring rates that are as close to even front & back as possible. Off the shelf they fit them with soft springs at the rear to induce understeer and stop people spinning off the road into a hedge and complaining that it was the coilovers.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I’ve just had a set of bilstein B14s fitted to my cooper S, not driven it yet as it’s still at carsorbikes house after he fitted them for me, I got them used off eBay for £250 and apart from one solid adjusting ring Sean says they seem alright

quite simply I couldn’t afford to buy them new, for what I paid for them if they are not what I want then they can come back off

I’ll report back once I get the car back, I’ve not even seen how it looks yet

at the same time those springs were up jn eBay there was a set of KW V1s for £500 with adjustable top mounts and bottom control arms fitted but I couldn’t afford them, shame as I’d have had those over the bilsteins given all the extra bits included
You managed to pick your motor up from Sean yet? If so what do you think, any good?
 

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Not picked it up yet, sean has taken it for a spin though, he can no doubt give you a run down of it, it’s running on crappy winter tyres though at the moment

looks good though......

 

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Discussion Starter #20
That looks nice that, and the height, not to much drop. Tbh I'm surprised Sean hasn't commented on this post yet. Given his engine knowledge (from what I've seen) I'd like to have his input.
 
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