I posted a couple of pics earlier, but wanted to do a more
detailed write up of my suspension install.
I really like my GLI, but the ride height was really annoying me,
looked like some sort of 4x4. I really like the ride in the GLI,
firm but not harsh, so was looking for lowering rather than that
'on rails' feeling of some aftermarket suspensions.
I talked with Mike at B+G Suspensionshttp://www.b-gsuspension.com/home.shtml
and it seems that they are offering just what I was looking for. A
'sport' spring offering around 1.3" to 1.5" of lowering without a significantly
stiffer spring (mike estimated around 25%). B+G have been doing springs
and coilover for years, and after asking around at a local euro meet,
I received uniformly positive reviews, this counts for alot to me, especially
from people who where actually running B+G products on their cars.
This is the obligatory before shot
I had coilovers on my previous car (R32) and that proved to me that I
am not the type of person to play around with ride height etc, so I
figured I would go the cheaper springs only route on the GLI.
The install guides listed in the FAQ here are very useful references.
Having installed an uninstalled mkiv suspensions, I was hoping that there
would be away around removing the drivers side axle, but I was wrong.
Before I started the install I was planning on running around to find
the 14mm triple square needed to remove the bolt from the knuckes. I chanced
upon a Snap-On truck about 1/3 mile from my house, stopped and asked and
scored a great little VW kit for around $70-80.
This ! contains spreader and M14 + other goodies.
The fronts of a MkV are definitely more involved than the mkiv, having
to remove the axle is the most significant difference.
We figured the backs would be easy so we started with the fronts,
passenger first, then driver. Its relatively simple job, but a little
time consuming, a little easier with two people, and air tools are
definitely a plus, although not required.
Did not need to remove axle on passenger side, but it took some wriggling
to clear the knuckle, even with the ball joint disconnected from the arm.
Looking out, passenger front, 3 ball joint nuts
Stock front suspenison (passenger side)
Front spring comparrison
B+G spring installed on front
The drivers side ended up being a bit quicker, even with the time to tap
out the axle. Probably as a result of having learned from the passenger side.
Be careful with the axle out, the hub/disc assembly is heavy and will fall
and possibly damage some of the electrical sensors (ABS/brake pad wear etc)
if not handled carfully. Finger can easily be squashed here.
NOTE : remove the lower bolts for both the HID levellers before you
start the strut(front) or spring removal (rear), If you leave them connected
you stand a good chance of damaging them.
The rears are a piece of cake. We used a jack to compress the arm/spring to
prefvent the inevitable 'explosion' that occurs if the lower bolt is
removed while the spring is under tension. Similarly used the jack to compress
the new spring and reinstall the lower bolt.
Rear spring comparrison
B+G spring installed on rear
I would estimate that the fronts took about 3 hours total, and the rears took
about 30mins total.
This is the sort of job I don't really enjoy, but its nice when its done
So the results....
I am really happy with the look, I need to recheck, but I think it dropped
35mm front, and 45mm rear. The car still has a little rake, back to front,
but its reduced slightly and the whole car has a more aggressive look.
Its by no means slammed, I can get 2 fingers between tire and fender, front and back.
My wife drove it to the store when I got back, and her response was a slighly
hesitant "I can't notice any difference". Perfect ! Honestly I think I can
notice that the suspension is slighly taughter (as expected) but
by no means harsh.
I'll save a more detailed "impressions" till later, but after the first few miles
I am very happy with the outcome.
B+G are going to offer GLI/GTI springs (at least, maybe more) so give them a
call as I think they are in the process of adding them to their product list.
P.S Mike has a MkIII with a ton of work in it. Very impressive, but thats another