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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my mind set on some FSD dampers either with standard springs or some -30mm Eibachs.  But I was told by someone who knows his stuff that FSD is a gimmick.  Apparently Monroe have been doing it for years and Bilstein too with digressive valving.  He suggested that for the same sort of money I would be much better off going for the Bilstein B12 kit which comes with superior monotube dampers.  Any opinions?
 

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Hi, can't really comment on other setups as I've not tried anything on the Golf except stock VW sport suspension and the FSD + eibach pro-kit springs. However the FSDs are very good for what they are combined with the eibach springs and are definitely an improvement over the standard setup on my GTI. There is definitely a marked improvement in terms of how the car handles itself over potholes and other imperfections on the road, you do feel the road more but IMO it gives you more confidence when driving. Cornering is also improved, but not to the extent that you get no body-roll, which is still there, albeit largely reduced and tolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that.  I've no doubt FSD would be a vast improvement over the standard dampers but do wonder if they're as miraculous as Koni claims and also if the competition e.g. Bilstein offers more for the money.  I'll have to try it before I make my mind up either way...
 

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Hi Green,

I've tried both the Koni Fsd/Eibach Pro-kit and Bilstein B12 kit on my car.There is no doubt that Bilstein is far better in terms of quality, it will last the life of the car and some. Bilstein also gives more consistant performance day to day due to the monotube design. They also give better steering if you use the monotube front dampers as in the B12 kit and overall will give better handling/feel than the FSD. The downside is they give a poorer ride quality than the FSD. It does depend however on what wheel/tyre combo you are running. I was using 17" wheels with 225/45/17 tyres when I swapped from Bilstein to Koni FSD. The Koni's are good though, and are a huge improvement over the OE stuff. The ride quality is really good and the handling is probably more than satisfactory for a daily driver. You have to be careful though if you use them with lowering springs - don't go any lower than 30mm(Eibach Pro-Kit) max or they won't work, also use the sports bumpstops(anniversary stuff).

Before I swapped I had the regular TDi 15"(195/65/15 tyre) wheels with the Bilstein B12,Eibach anti-rollbars and H2Sport(from Canada) front hub carriers, the handling/steering was great, an absolute hoot to drive, but the tyres let it down - too much sidewall flex etc. I now reckon that the best liveable setup for daily use on the crap roads were I live would be the Bilstein B12/Eibach rollbars/H2sport carriers and 16" wheels with 205/55/16 tyres. However due to the influence of the internet ie forums like this I am now looking at putting Audi TT lower front wishbones, TT front anti-rollbar, Neuspeed 25mm rear adjustable anti-rollbar R32/4motion front Bilstein struts and upper/lower TT/S3 braces on my car to get the best handling/riding car I can.

You just have to decide what you want your car to do and of course how much you want to spend!.

If you want any more info on my experiences then just ask.

Goodluck from Dubster67.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Dubster that's VERY helpful. How does the ride quality of B12 compare with OE? I've 16" wheels with 205/55/16 tyres and don't intend to go bigger.

Henry
 

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Hi Henry,

the ride quality of the B12 with the 195/65/15 tyres I had was really good. Totally acceptable over even really broken up tarmac/potholes. However you don't get the horrible floating/out of control feeling. It feels really tight and sporty, and it feels the same everyday because the Bilsteins as you know are high pressure gas monotubes. As I said I also had Eibach anti-roll bars and I think that that helped alot as well as they effectively brace the rear axle from side loads and so help the front axle. I fitted the B12 kit and bars at the same time so don't know how much the B12 will reduce body roll on their own. The B12/Eibach bars allows you to push the car with out feeling like you're going to crash. It feels as if the car has alot more to give and feels like it really should have done from the start. Huge understeer banished, fun begins.

I have heard that fitting bigger anti-rollbars can make the ride a bit choppy hence my looking at fitting the Audi TT front bar(20mm) to go with my 17" wheels to get better ride quality, and so I can fit bigger brakes later.

One thing you should do is to space the wheels out with H&R hubcentric spacers(10mm would be good if you have ET42 wheels at the mo) as this helps to reduce bodyroll and gives you more grip since you have a wider track,looks better too. You could also go for just a rear anti-rollbar like the Whiteline one(22mm).

Cheers from Dubster67.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cheers Dubs. I got a Whiteline adjustable 22mm rear ARB fitted last week which has already transformed the handling by drastically reducing understeer and roll. That's given me the itch to get even more out of the car and make use of that lovey V5 power which was only previously useable in a straight line.

I've got the B12 kit sitting in my shopping basket at Balance Motorsport now! They're doing an extra 5% off this weekend so that's ?462.13 inc free delivery which seems like a decent price.
 

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Hi Henry,

Forgot to say, if your front suspension wishbone rear bushes are shot then go for Audi TT/R32 ones as they are solid rubber type and make a good improvement to steering, replace your topmounts as well when you do your B12 kit.(just tell me to shut up if I'm teaching you to suck eggs). Sounds like a good price for the kit. Just make sure you get the right one as it looks to me like Balance are offering either twin tube or monotube front strut B12 kits. I think the numbers you would need are SE5-8195(monotube) or SE5-8187(twintube). Don't take my word for it though, you can check at www.bilstein.de and go to their online catalogue.

Apparently the twintube gives better ride quality(told so by Bilstein themselves) but the mono is better for handling as it reacts quicker.

Cheers from Dubster67.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do you know the part numbers for the bushes and top mounts? You're right, Julian at Balance confirmed with Bilstein that 8195 is the monotube and that's what he recommends for my V5. If I'm spending B12 money then monotube seems to make more sense, the other cheaper option is B4 + Eibachs which may be slightly more comfortable but won't handle as well.
 

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Audi TT/Golf R32 Wishbone rear bush : 8N0407181B - uprated solid rubber mounting improves steering no extra harshness

Mk4 Golf Topmounts : 1J0412331C - regular topmounts- compare new to old and you'll probably see that the old one's look compressed, hence the front of the car will be lower than it should be. These things don't last long apparently before they compress, you used to be able to get uprated VW motorsport items but I don't think they are available anymore. The only other option is solid topmounts - no use for road use.

Cheers from Dubster 67
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's great I'll definitely get the top mounts and may be the TT/R32 wishbone rear bush depending on how much they are.  Do the bearings need to be changed with the top mounts?  What about the other bushes?  My V5 is coming up to 4.5 years old with 28k on the clock.
 

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I think with that low mileage everything should still be ok. But, as they say, never assume as you'll make an ASS out of U and ME. Just check everthing when you do the suspension, like bushes for splits and cracks, balljoints for excessive play etc. I would do the topmount bearing while you've got the strut apart. I did all the work myself on my car and bought new topmounts,bearings,springplates and retaining nuts so that I could preassemble the new strut complete and then just haul the old one out and slam the new one in. That route of course costs more, I just thought it was worth it to save some time.

I would do the rear wishbone bushes at the same time as the standard ones really are crap, look at the picture below(TT/R32 on the left,standard on the right), the differences are quite obvious. The TT/R32 bushes are about ?16 each. I've heard stories of the standard ones failing even at 20K. Just take a close look at them while your head's under there,any cracks/splits will be obvious on these ones. You of course realise that to do the rear bush the wishbones have to come out and that is a bit of a pig, as is pressing/cutting out the old bushes then pressing in the new ones. If you don't have the tools/skill don't do it, unless you know a man who can. The wishbone front bushes are really reliable so shouldn't need changing, but again, check them.



Remember as well that once you've got your suspension changed to take the car to someone who has the proper computerised( eg beissbarth) alignment equipment, not just the usual crap laser stuff that most places have. It really makes a world of difference and it can also identify if there are any problems with your suspension/car.

Hope this all helps, but just be cautious as not everyones car is the same due to age/mileage/driving style so just use your head and check everything.

I hope you are successful and please keep me posted when you get it done as I am interested to hear how the B12/16" tyre combo works as regards the handling/comfort compromise.

Cheers from Dubster67
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I won't be doing it myself but will make sure the fitter checks everything. ?Do?you?mean?the?front wishbone?has?to?come?out?to?fit?the?TT/R32?rear?bush? ?Or were you referring to the rear axle bushes?

One concern I've about the B12 kit is that my V5 is a Tiptronic with a heavier front end than the manual for which the kit is tuned, so the front is going to sit slightly lower though by how much nobody knows for sure.??Bilstein/H&R?says?the?kit?is?fine?for?both?manual?and?auto.??With?the?B4/Eibach?combo?I?can?have?exactly?the?right?front springs?for?my?car.??I?still?haven't?made?up?my?mind?yet.
 

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The TT/R32 bushes have nothing to do with the rear axle. They go in the front suspension lower arm/wishbone - the rear most bush. Look at this :

http://uk-mkivs.net/forums/thread/780532.aspx

You may be right about the B12 kit not being totally suitable for your car. If you compare the TUV reports for the B12 kit and the Eibach Pro-kit springs it seems that Eibach have put a bit more R&D in and come up with a more suitable spring for your car. So you might be best going with the Pro-kit. For dampers why don't you think about Eibach's Pro-damper?. Bet they will be better than the B4's.

Cheers from Dubster67
 

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Hi Henry,

the ride quality of the B12 with the 195/65/15 tyres I had was really good. Totally acceptable over even really broken up tarmac/potholes. However you don't get the horrible floating/out of control feeling. It feels really tight and sporty, and it feels the same everyday because the Bilsteins as you know are high pressure gas monotubes. As I said I also had Eibach anti-roll bars and I think that that helped alot as well as they effectively brace the rear axle from side loads and so help the front axle. I fitted the B12 kit and bars at the same time so don't know how much the B12 will reduce body roll on their own. The B12/Eibach bars allows you to push the car with out feeling like you're going to crash. It feels as if the car has alot more to give and feels like it really should have done from the start. Huge understeer banished, fun begins.

I have heard that fitting bigger anti-rollbars can make the ride a bit choppy hence my looking at fitting the Audi TT front bar(20mm) to go with my 17" wheels to get better ride quality, and so I can fit bigger brakes later.

One thing you should do is to space the wheels out with H&R hubcentric spacers(10mm would be good if you have ET42 wheels at the mo) as this helps to reduce bodyroll and gives you more grip since you have a wider track,looks better too. You could also go for just a rear anti-rollbar like the Whiteline one(22mm).

Cheers from Dubster67.
hey dubster nice spec you are considering there. However, if I were you I'd go for the 28mil neuspeed rear bar as minimum and possibly the massive 32 mil race bar!

You can still adjust it back if you like but when we did the GB on here for them, a lot of peeps with the 25mil bar wished they'd gone bigger!!

I am going for Billies on the S3, having been aKoni man for years. The Konis are good and work well, but I have had fornt s replaced (warranty) in the last 2 years, and concerned they leaked so quick!
 

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Hi smch, this is what my spec is at the mo : Koni Fsd with Eibach Pro-kit springs, Eibach anti-roll bars, TT/R32 wishbone bushes, H2Sport SportSpindles(specially produced hub carrier that corrects the Mk4 Golf front suspension for bumpsteer and camber issues when it is lowered-really do work), 17" OZ Superleggeras with 225/45/17 Dunlop Sp9090's. I did have a Bilstein B12 kit on but on the roads in my area i felt it was abit harsh with the 17's, so I switched to the Koni's. Still not happy though and after doing a bit of research am sourcing the parts to do a TT/S3/R32 style front end with the ARB connected to the strut, as apparently this is far more effective a setup than the Mk4 style(on the wishbone) which means that I can use a smaller front bar and so get better ride quality, and hopefully be able to put the Billies back on with the 17's. I hope!. I have thought about the Neuspeed stuff but I like the way the Eibach rear bar feels since it bolts directly to the axle. I am going to try the front stuff first anyway, before throwing any money elsewhere.

You've got an S3, i guess with at least 17's on it, so what is the ride like?.

Cheers from Dubster67.
 

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actually the R32/S3/tt/cupra full rubber rear control arm bushes do make the car stiffer compared to stock.. a lot stiffer actually. there's worlds of improvement in terms of handling though too, so i'm keeping them

i've heard they're still a good compromise between comfort and handling compared to the powerflex which are flat out stiff, so i really wonder how harsh the powerflex must be. but i dont wanna try ;)
 

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actually the R32/S3/tt/cupra full rubber rear control arm bushes do make the car stiffer compared to stock.. a lot stiffer actually. there's worlds of improvement in terms of handling though too, so i'm keeping them

i've heard they're still a good compromise between comfort and handling compared to the powerflex which are flat out stiff, so i really wonder how harsh the powerflex must be. but i dont wanna try ;)
Just 4 years too late...[:D]
 
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