The more significant changes in the ride feel came from the springs, specifically, reduced small bump compliance (you feel the small stuff more), reduced body roll, and reduced bump steer). What the springs didn't change, but the wheels did somewhat, was how the car felt going over larger bumps. After I put the new wheels on, it did feel more like rolling through the larger bumps, as opposed to bouncing over them. Like I said, I will post more detailed impressions later.
All of the part numbers were correct, but as I noted earlier, they did not need to use all of the hardware that I got. I can post a revised list of exactly what you do and don't need to change tonight, so that you're not paying for stuff you don't need.[/QUOTE]
Many thanks, can't wait to replicate your results.
PS: We can order the front's by the looks of it from our local dealers, but the rear's we can't. There are variations in the tag.
Here's a quote from a friend that works at VW (Thx brother!)
can someone chime in with the different part numbers?fronts are 97.60+tax each
rears, there are three different options with the part number ending in HT, HS and JQ.
HT is the one you gave me but we can not order that one.
I can order the HS ones from Germany and those are 88.00+tax each.
PS: I also emailed BKS, and if the price is right, I can try to organize a group buy for it
Also, Tlud can you post up an updated list of hardware necessary for this. Much appreciated
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Below is a revised list of part numbers for the related hardware. The crossed out parts are not necessary. A couple of the other parts may or may not be needed, depending on how the install is done, but I would recommend at least having the other parts on hand:
Many thanks again for this information goes to a forum member who wished to donate his knowledge and experience anonymously.
So, after 2 months, I would like to pull everything together in one post based on what I've learned and experienced with the Euro-spec springs (technically, these are ROW-spec springs, but I'll keep it consistent with my earlier posts). Thanks to all of you for your patience.
WHAT YOU NEED
First, you need to order the springs. As of right now, I believe the only source for these springs is through OEMPlus (linky). At $600, this is not an inexpensive solution, especially since spring sets usually run only $250 or so. These are available for less through VW, but as of right now, it does not appear that these can be ordered through US dealers currently.
I just received confirmation regarding the correct part numbers for the 2-door and 4-door 6MT versions of the Golf R, which are as follows:
Part #: 1K0 411115JG
Paint marks: 1 - yellow, 1 - white, 1 - orange
Front axle weight class: 791-840kg
Part #: 1K0 511115HS
Paint marks: 1 - blue, 1 - pink, 2 - brown
Rear axle weight class: 645-685kg
Part #: 1K0 411105JP
Paint marks: 1 - yellow, 2 - brown
Front axle weight class: 746-790kg
Part #: 1K0 511115HT
Paint marks: 1 - blue, 1 - pink, 1 - brown
Rear axle weight class: 605-644kg
Although the nuts, bolts and washers on the stock set-up will fit just fine with the new springs, it is important to replace some of that hardware when changing out the springs because modern VAG cars use torque-to-yield hardware that stretches when the assigned value has been met.
The following chart identifies all hardware associated with the springs. Those items crossed out do not need to be replaced. A couple of the other parts may not be needed, depending on how the install is done, but I would recommend having all of the other parts on hand.
EDIT: Thanks to Vortex member, Spinozaman for pointing out that it is not the lower shock eyelet bolt that you need to remove to get access to the springs in the rear. For the rear, you don't need to mess with the shock at all. Simply remove the bolt connecting the LCA to the wheel bearing housing. You can then lower the LCA and remove the spring. Because it is a stretch bolt, this bolt will need to be replaced. The part number for that bolt is N106-286-01, which is a M12x1, 50x75 bolt. You will need two of them. The torque specs for that bolt is 90 Nm plus 90 degrees (quarter turn).
Summary: You do not need N910-662-01 below. Instead, use N106-286-01 (quantity = 2). The torque value = 90 Nm + 90 degrees.
This hardware should run you no more than $40 at your local VW parts department.
Driving impressions, whether it's evaluating an entire car or merely a single component, are extremely subjective. I think it's really important to have some background context when reading someone else's impressions. To that end, before I share my driving impressions, here's a little background on me and what I was looking for.
As many of you are already aware, I was very resistant to the idea of changing my suspension at all. I have had experience with both aftermarket spring sets and coilovers on my previous cars. In all cases, I enjoyed the aesthetics of the lowered car, and in the case of the coilovers, I appreciated some perceived improvement in handling, but in all cases, I sacrificed daily driving ride quality. The R strikes a really incredible balance right out of the box between performance and ride quality, and as much as the R looks like a Tiguan in terms of ride height, I really did not want to upset that balance.
When I say that I thought that the R's suspension balance out of the box was incredible, that is not to say that it's perfect. I felt that the R in stock form had a little more body roll than I would have liked and could be a little "floaty" at times on undulating pavement, but I understood that these were to be expected with a slightly softer ride. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and suspension setups are inherently an exercise in compromise. There were also a couple of other weaknesses in the stock setup (namely, bump steer and initial turn-in understeer), which I will discuss in more detail in my driving impressions.
The only reason that I was willing to try the Euro-spec springs at all is that every other suspension component on the US-spec R is identical to the Euro-spec R except for the springs. Thus, these springs, unlike typical aftermarket solutions, are designed specifically for this car. Or I should say, this car was designed specifically with these springs in mind. Accordingly, I felt like switching to these springs should not dramatically change the stock ride/handling characteristics. As I'll describe, I was right and I was wrong.
I have now had the Euro-spec springs on my car for about a week now. I wanted to get a good feel for them before posting my impressions on how they ride and perform. I have driven with them on both the stock wheels/tires (18x7.5" Talladegas on 225/40/18 Dunlops - total weight 48 pounds) and on my new wheels and tires, which are 19x8.5" ET47 HRE P43S's with 235/35/19 Continental ContiSportContact 5Ps (total weight of 40 pounds). Most of my driving time has been on the new wheel/tire setup, but I got enough time in on the stock setup in different driving conditions to know what changes are from the springs and what changes are from the new wheels and tires.
As one would expect with slightly stiffer springs, the ride is slightly stiffer as well. Previously, I felt much more isolated from the road. With the Euro-spec springs, I feel small bumps and imperfections in the pavement more than before. The change, however, is fairly subtle and not intrusive. The ride does not become harsh or jouncy. The best way I can describe it is to say that I now have more feel for the road.
One might expect that with this increased road feel, large bumps would feel much harsher, but that is not the case. In fact, large bump compliance feels the same as stock. This makes sense because these springs only slightly lower the car, which means that they also only slightly reduce overall suspension travel. I have driven this car over all the bad roads I normally drive on, and the suspension bottoms out exactly where it did before. It does not bottom out in any new places. Another thing I noticed is how the car reacts after hitting a large bump. With the Euro-spec springs, the suspension recovers much more quickly and with less pitching. Thus, the R now feels more composed overall when going over a large bump.
As I noted earlier, the R exhibits a lot of body roll during cornering. As I know TechEd has pointed out, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s merely a matter of compromise. With increased suspension compliance comes increased body roll. The question is what balance you want to strike. While I really liked the balance that the stock suspension struck with the US-spec springs, I would have preferred a very slightly stiffer, more planted ride with less body roll. The Euro-spec springs delivered exactly what I was looking for. The R corners much flatter now and, as I just described, without an overly harsh ride during normal driving. The car is also noticeably more responsive to steering input during rapid direction changes.
On a related note, one thing I disliked about the R’s handling is that on tighter curves the R exhibits strong turn-in understeer before you can feel the AWD system go to work and distribute power to create a controlled oversteer situation. (As an aside, I learned that good trail braking technique is critical with the stock suspension setup.) The Euro-spec springs definitely help with this turn-in understeer. This is likely due, at least in large part, to the fact that the Euro-spec springs increase stiffness in the rear moreso than they do in the front. Now the car feels much more neutral on initial turn-in, which allows you to get off the brakes and onto the throttle much sooner.
As others have noted, the R is definitely subject to bump steer. Interestingly, TechEd noted that he experienced bump steer on the Euro R and speculated that the slightly higher static height of the US-spec R would lessen that issue. I found, however, that the Euro-spec springs actually improve this issue. Because the different springs are not changing the suspension geometry (i.e., the arcs of suspension travel), this improvement is almost certainly due to the stiffer springs preventing the suspension from traveling as much when going over bumps. In other words, the Euro-spec springs mask the symptom, rather than correct the problem, but it’s a nice side-benefit all the same.
One concern I had with switching to the stiffer Euro-spec springs was that they would result in an underdamped suspension, resulting in a jouncy or floaty ride. That is not a problem. In fact, these springs seem better matched to the stock dampers than the US-spec springs.
In sum, I am really glad I made the switch. In fact, I would make the switch even if these springs didn’t lower the car at all. In my opinion, they improve an already great balance of ride quality and performance with a slight shift toward the latter.
I was really hoping to be able to have one of the handful of local custom spring manufacturers measure the spring rates of the US and Euro-spec springs, but all of them either told me they couldn't do it for me (since I wasn't interested in placing an order for springs) or they did not return my calls and emails. I could have mailed them off to have them measured elsewhere, but due to time constraints, that wasn't really feasible.
I can confirm, however, that both the stock and Euro-spec springs are linear, and that the Euro R springs definitely have higher spring rates (are stiffer). Using a torque wrench and spring compressor, the Euro R front springs required about 5% more torque to compress than the stock springs and the rear Euro R springs required about 8% more torque to compress.
I also wanted to compare the total suspension travel with both setups using a zip tie around the shock, but the stock shocks have a dust jacket that I couldn't easily pull up.
Below are pictures of the Euro and US-spec R springs:
US-spec R springs:
Euro-spec R springs:
Below are pictures of the suspension geometry before and after installation of the Euro-spec R springs. As you can see, the angle of the front control arm angle doesn’t change noticeably.
The stock fender height on my car was approximately 26 ¼” in front and 26 7/16” in rear. Immediately after the car came off the lift with the Euro-spec springs, the fender height with stock wheels and tires was 26 1/8” in front and 26 3/16” in rear. In other words, the Euro-spec springs initially lowered the R by 1/8” in front and ¼” in rear. Wheel well gap closed from 2 1/8” to 2” in front and from 2 ¼” to 2” in rear.
Measured exactly 1 week later, the springs settled an additional 3/16” in front and 1/16” in rear. Thus, the current fender height with stock wheels/tires would now be 25 15/16” in front and 26 1/8” in rear and the wheel well gap would now be 1 13/16” in front and 1 15/16” in rear. Thus, without anymore settling, the wheel well gap closed by a total of 5/16” (0.31”) in front and rear.
For those interested in duplicating my setup with 235/35 tires on 19” wheels, my current fender height is 26 1/4” in front and 26 3/8” in rear. The fender gap is now 1 7/16” in front and 1 3/8” in rear.” Thus, the total ride height is approximately the same as stock, but the wheel well gap has closed by a total of 11/16” (0.69”) in front and 13/16” (0.81”) in rear. Also, it’s very subtle, but the car has a slightly more flat stance as opposed to the more raked stance that it had stock, which I also like. In addition, the wheel gap is almost identical between front and back, which gives it a nice, uniform look.
As I posited when I first started this thread, this visual difference is extremely subtle, especially when retaining the stock wheels. In fact, with the naked eye, I really didn’t notice any difference in the appearance before and after. As I suspected, in conjunction with 19” wheels and 235/35 tires, the change is much more noticeable, but it’s still not the perfect aesthetic stance that most people are looking for. If achieving that perfectly filled wheel well is your goal, these are not the right springs for you. If, on the other hand, you’re looking first and foremost to improve the already great stock ride/performance balance and the slight drop is just gravy, then these springs are for you (if you can stomach the steep price tag).
BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES
US-spec springs with stock wheels/tires
Euro-spec springs with stock wheels/tires
(My micro SD car was corruped and all pics I took after these, including full side shots, were lost)
Euro-spec springs with 19” wheels and 235/35 tires
(Also lost shots of new wheels immediately after install; the following were taken this evening, one week after install)
Last edited by TLud; 05-29-2013 at 05:30 PM.
Sorry for the delay in getting the pics up. I brought my micro SD card with me to work to upload them here, but it looks like it's corrupted. Fortunately, I already copied most of the pics over to my home computer (except for the ones I took this weekend), so I'll upload them tonight.
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Great write up and much to consider.
From my limited time, 800 miles, with the car FWIW, I think your general assessment of the stock suspension is spot on. Roll and bum steer are indeed noticeably present, initial turn in is definitely the weakest aspect of its character. Its great to hear that a lot of this, if not solved, is lessened by something simple. I've pretty much mentally committed to a Haldex upgrade at some point, but perhaps this might refine things to a point were I'm happy enough to pass on it. Thanks
Currently: 2015 GLA45 AMG, 2015 A3 TDI, 2011 F150 SCrew 5.0, 2000 911 C2 Brumos 'B59', 1970/73 911 RSR
Past VWs: 2012 Golf R CW 2DR, 2010 GTI, 1984 Sirocco Wolfsburg Edition, 1979 Dasher, 1971 Super Beetle, 1969 Beetle