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    Thread: Lets talk aftermarket suspension upgrades

    1. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-17-2008 11:22 PM #1
      I cannot fathom the lack of aftermarket suspension upgrades for the B4 Passat. Heaven forbid it be a wagon.
      So, I get onto http://www.shox.com to see what's out there. I am looking for a set of Koni Sport adjustable shocks. Should be simple, right? Well, I don't see anything. Just a price of 4 totaling $580.
      So I log onto TireRack. Pump in the info... and I am again shocked. Koni Sport adjustable shocks are $626 for 4 ($191ea for front, $122ea for rear).
      So I start looking at a complete adjustable cup kit for an A3 GTI VR6. TireRack has the Koni adjustable kit for $773 while Shox is $749. I know I would need the smaller bolts and nut for the rear shocks, which isn't a big deal.
      But if I'm going to be spending almost $800 just new shocks or a complete cup kit, wouldn't it be a better deal to just go ahead and pay $200-300 more for a completely height/dampening adjustable coilover setup?
      Please tell me what you would do.
      I want the suspension to handle nicely, but finding a B4 Wagon suspension is not easy. If an A3 GTI VR6 suspension is comparable then I'd go ahead with that.
      Scuba Steve
      Certified Audi Technician

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    3. 01-17-2008 11:36 PM #2
      I'd go with a nice set of coilovers suchs KWs, H&Rs, or maybe FK. I probably spent around $600 on Bilstein shocks and H&R springs and while it handles really well, I want to be able to adjust the stance. Especially with a Mk3 kit and a wagon, if you don't like how it sits, then your screwed. If I was buying a suspension over again, I would have gone with a set of coils.

    4. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-17-2008 11:46 PM #3
      So I guess the next question is, what's the weight difference between a A3 GTI VR6 and a B4 Wagon GLX VR6? I figure about 3100 lbs for the wagon, but not sure on the GTI at all.
      Scuba Steve
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    5. 01-18-2008 02:27 AM #4
      Quote, originally posted by Scuba2001 »
      So I guess the next question is, what's the weight difference between a A3 GTI VR6 and a B4 Wagon GLX VR6? I figure about 3100 lbs for the wagon, but not sure on the GTI at all.

      3250lbs for a wagen. 3000lbs for a sedan
      mk3 gti vr is about 2800lbs

    6. Member WAUOla's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 06:18 AM #5
      Quote, originally posted by Scuba2001 »
      I cannot fathom the lack of aftermarket suspension upgrades for the B4 Passat. Heaven forbid it be a wagon.
      Please tell me what you would do.
      I want the suspension to handle nicely

      It's not easy to tell YOU what TO DO as I'm in the belief that everyone has their own preferences to what is good handling, sporty setup, approved stiffness for everyday use and so on...
      I really don't know about you guys, but I really injoy the sence of the soul of these old VAG cars - in better and worse days .
      Even so, they may "gladly" stop running for some time, but brakes, suspension and wheels are NOT the parts I like to skip a few bucks on due to the matter of safety (I'm not the only one driving my VWs).
      Again, we have a rather strick policy in Norway on changes of vehicle. And yes, we are obligated to take a "MOT" check getting the lowering setup stamped in our pinkslips/Typenschein (and you also HAVE to present a wheel-alignment control-paper to make this).
      Wheter Golf or Passat or whatever, to me it seems my co-members at my national VW/Audi club are preferring as follows:
      1. Go rigid drop on budget. Cheap or medium price springs (Lesj÷fors for instance) on OEM dampers.
      2. Cheap coilovers. But not so good quality, have to expect much rapider change of struts. I.e. Supersport or Vmaxx/Gmaxx/Mac Johns (same thing...), latter is said to offer a bit more comfort and is better quality, and is T▄V OK.
      3.1 Go rigid drop, proper. Bilstein or Koni dampers with HR/Vogtland/Eibach springs OR buying a complete.
      3.2 Go rigid drop, proper. Done with matched fastroad setup, actually same as 2.1...
      3.3 Medium coilovers. FK... does not need more introduction.
      4. Proper coilovers. KW, HR, Koni, Bilstein and so on. GOOD build and performance quality. Due bad weather and lots of roadsalting, the better ones are preferred as they are of better materials that doesn't rust as bad (which is PITA on gewinde... ).
      edit: this should be the "matching" priceranges I think.
      Things like these might be easier to source for us over here in Europe of course. So I would be better of giving you an advice if you define your usage (need to slam the car, or just better performing).


      Modified by WAUOla at 5:23 AM 1-18-2008

    7. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 10:06 AM #6
      Well, currently the car sits on unknown springs and stock shocks. At 192k miles, the car is pretty bouncy.
      My syspension history:
      '98 Passat 1.8T w/ KW V1 coils dropped 3", CCP custom adjustable control arms, Neuspeed 28mm adj rear sway, Pure MS Audi A6 front strut brace.
      Provided a nice, stiff suspension for a 3400lb family cruiser. Handled well for being a pig.
      '87 GTI 2.0L 16v w/ Koni adjustable sport kit, poly control arm bushings, poly sway bar bushings, poly rear strut bushings, Autotech rear upper strut brace. Handled well, but sold it shortly after the car was put back together. Liked how it handled out of the box.
      '06 Jetta GLI w/ HPA SHS (rebadged KW V1 coils with lower dampening rates) coilovers dropped 2" or so, H&R adjustable sway bar. Provided a nice coosh ride for the GLI, but far too soft for my liking.
      All in all, I want a suspension that is stiff, but is still daily drivable. I want to do it right the first time, and be done with it.
      By looking at the weights between A3 GTI and B4 Passat, we're not talking about a whole lot of weight. Is 450#'s going to be that big of a difference though? Mainly that weight will be in the back anyway.
      Scuba Steve
      Certified Audi Technician

    8. 01-18-2008 11:37 AM #7
      If you use the Mk3 setup, the fronts will be fine but in the rears it might sit lower than the front. Imagine loading 450 lbs into the back of a GTI. You would probably notice the rear sitting lower than normal so it might end up being like that on a wagon. But there was a B4 sedan with a Mk3 cup kit on it and it looked fine.

    9. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 11:47 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by jjwl89 »
      If you use the Mk3 setup, the fronts will be fine but in the rears it might sit lower than the front. Imagine loading 450 lbs into the back of a GTI.

      I wonder if I could get the Mk3 suspension and just order stiffer rear springs for the rear coils. That will correct the possibility of the rear end sagging in the back at the same height as the fronts.
      Let me think about this for a little bit.
      Scuba Steve
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    10. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 11:56 AM #9
      Some more comparison shopping...
      H&R Street Performance Coilover - 1.75-3" Front, 1.75-2.5" rear
      Passat Wagon - $1,833
      GTI VR6 - $1,131
      I can get H&R Ultra Low coilovers for the GTI, which goes 3.2-5" Front, 3.2-5" Rear for $1,155.
      So the difference in price is considerable between the GTI and Passat. Over $700 worth.
      Scuba Steve
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    11. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 01:33 PM #10
      Well I think I found something that I can live with.
      Mk3 GTI VR6 Koni height and dampening adjustable coilovers for $1093 from Pure Motorsports.
      Scuba Steve
      Certified Audi Technician

    12. 01-18-2008 02:39 PM #11
      who am i to judge i got my weitecs from $750 new

    13. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 02:50 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by vdub123 »
      who am i to judge i got my weitecs from $750 new

      Are they height and dampening adjustable though?
      I am just shy about Weitecs because all of the car's I've rode in have been bouncy.
      Scuba Steve
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    14. Member dacolino's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 04:26 PM #13
      I have KW Variant 1's in my B4 wagon. Was going to go with weitecs but everyone I talked to said go KW over Weitecs cause the price difference was like $100 more. I have my wagon set pretty low right now and it handles very well and rides pretty good. If I were you I would stick with a Passat specific aplication esp being its a wagon. Another thing for you to consider about this is yea a wagon is 450 pounds heavier than a A3 VR GTi but on top of that a passat gas tank is like what 4 gallons bigger, and being a wagon dont you plan on loading it up sometimes? So that 450 just became 800...now your putting a real big load on the rear shocks and springs. I recommend KW V1's can be had for about $1200 shipped, came highly recommended to me even though they are not dampening adjustable they seem to handle horrible north jersey roads well.
      2015 Ford Fiesta ST, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2001 S10, 1993 VW Cabriolet, 1985 Mustang GT, 1983 Rabbit GTI

    15. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 04:51 PM #14
      I'll certainly look at the KW V1's then.
      Is there any vendor you'd recommend for them though?
      Scuba Steve
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    16. Member dacolino's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 05:25 PM #15
      Well I got them through a friend of mine Danielle at Rabbitparts but I noticed this thread maybe you should try to contact these guys. https://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3513542 Chances are wherever you order from they will be coming straight from Germany. These coils ride well...A little bouncy only on very extreme bumps around highway speeds but im told all coilovers are bouncy when setting the ride height low, Other than that they are rock solid and the car really does handle well and dosent feel like a boring wagon anymore. I think they were worth the money and have yet to feel any ill effects from them like bumpsteer etc.
      2015 Ford Fiesta ST, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2001 S10, 1993 VW Cabriolet, 1985 Mustang GT, 1983 Rabbit GTI

    17. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-18-2008 06:05 PM #16
      I actually just got off of the phone with Speedware. He didn't have anything listed in his book and was going to call his supplier and then call me back.
      I did however find a supplier in the UK for Koni Passat coilovers. Their part number is: 1150-5021 and listed at 710.43 pounds. When I called Shox.com, I talked to a guy and tried to give him the Koni part number. Said it's not available at all...
      So, still talking to Shox guy, Bob... I asked what coils does he have for the wagon. He said the only thing he shows is an H&R Street performance setup, which they sell for $2200. I was like "nope, not worth it" and he said "at $2200 youre talking about Porsche coilovers there."
      I did just get a call back from Bob at Shox, and the V1's are $1185 while the V2's are $1508.
      So, I found a phone number for Koni USA, and Im going to try calling them on Monday if they aren't closed for the holiday to see if they can get adjustable coilovers for the Passat.
      More details once I find out more.
      Scuba Steve
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    18. Member dacolino's Avatar
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      01-19-2008 01:15 PM #17
      See about the Konis, but I have heard from some people that Konis dont go too low if thats what your looking for. I would just go with V1's if I were you...most people I talk to consider them on a superior level like H&R's. The other thing that made me go for them is the fact that the threaded shock bodies are stainless steel [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] Let us know what you go with, would love to hear about different suspension companies on these cars [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      2015 Ford Fiesta ST, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2001 S10, 1993 VW Cabriolet, 1985 Mustang GT, 1983 Rabbit GTI

    19. 01-19-2008 08:57 PM #18
      not for nothing but I really like my VMAXX coiolovers for a MKIII on my Passat VR6.. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    20. 01-19-2008 10:33 PM #19
      I'm very interested in where this whole conversation is going. I have had for about a year and a half now Koni yellows with Eibach springs and it rides and handles great. It's lowered and looks good but the back sits just a bit too high for me. Maybe it's because I have a sedan, I don't know. I just picked up a set of MK3 Koni coilovers to replace the Koni/Eibach setup and this looks like a lot of really usefull informaition. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    21. 01-19-2008 11:57 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by Scuba2001 »
      Are they height and dampening adjustable though?
      I am just shy about Weitecs because all of the car's I've rode in have been bouncy.

      if u dont want bouncy dont buy coils. i like a stiff ride. and weitecs are nice and stiff. nothing like going around a corner at 40mph doing a 3 wheel corner lol

    22. Member thecreeper's Avatar
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      01-20-2008 10:31 AM #21

      Quote, originally posted by vdub123 »
      if u dont want bouncy dont buy coils. i like a stiff ride. and weitecs are nice and stiff. nothing like going around a corner at 40mph doing a 3 wheel corner lol

      Coilovers aren't all necessarily "bouncy." Cheap ones are. H&R (and Bilstein PSS9) are high quality, and won't be perceived as bouncy. It's all about matching the spring rate with the shock's rebound and compression characteristics.
      You can get the same and sometimes better ride quality with a shock/spring setup, but you won't have the adjustability of coilovers. You'll need to get an alignment every time you change height anyway - so that needs to get factored into the cost.

    23. Senior Member Big Dac With Fries's Avatar
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      01-20-2008 10:54 AM #22
      On my Mk2 project, I went with Koni Coilovers. I've ridden in 2 Mk3 VR6s that are pretty low, and I was surprised at how comfortable (low bitching factor!) the ride was (with Koni Coilovers).
      On my MK3 daily, I have Eibach Sportlines and Koni Reds - for a setup with almost 400 000kms on them, they ride pretty damn smooth (no bouncing whatsoever).
      "I was thinking about what a friend had said, I was hoping it was a lie."

    24. 01-21-2008 03:28 PM #23
      I've been running with FK AKz(A3 VR), for about a year. The roads in my area are not the best and as a daily driver, they have held up very well. They aren't H&Rs or Bilseins, but for my budget, they are great. I picked them up from NGP, for $580.

    25. Member Scuba2001's Avatar
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      01-21-2008 10:32 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by dacolino »
      Let us know what you go with, would love to hear about different suspension companies on these cars [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      Most certainly will.
      I've owned, and rode in a few cars with KW suspensions, and I've never once been disappointed. Well worth the money. But I can't see dumping money on coilovers that cost 50% of what my car is worth.
      Quote, originally posted by FastTurbo 2.0 »
      not for nothing but I really like my VMAXX coiolovers for a MKIII on my Passat VR6.. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

      Sorry... But I am a firm believer of "you get what you pay for" and yes, the VMAXX coilovers are cheap... But since they are a fairly new product line, I'd rather not risk my money on an unknown, inferior product IMO.
      Quote, originally posted by souly4him »
      I'm very interested in where this whole conversation is going.

      Good luck on your suspension also. I will certainly keep this thread updates on my findings and final choices when the time comes.
      Everyone that I have talked to that have Koni adjustable shocks on their cars have said great things. From B5 Passats, Mk4 GTI VR6, my Mk2 GTI 16v, and several others. No bad things about Koni's. Just a matter of finding a specific setup for the B4 Passat sedans and wagons.
      Quote, originally posted by vdub123 »
      if u dont want bouncy dont buy coils. i like a stiff ride. and weitecs are nice and stiff.

      Like its been said above... You can have a nice, solid, stiff ride without the car being bouncy. Ive rode in atleast two cars with Weitec suspension, and both were bouncy. It was bouncy enough to shake money-makers without being shaken. Weitec reminds me of FK - Cheap alternative who sells lower quality items. And KW, Koni, H&R, and others offer a lifetime warranty on their products. Not sure about FK's and Weitec's suspension quality, but I'd rather put my money on something that is more durable.
      So far, I have found alot of information on the different suspensions that are available for this car. I'll keep searching this week. I will put another call into Koni USA and see if there is a specific setup for the B4 Passats that could possibly be sourced from Europe or something.
      More details as they arise.
      Steve
      Scuba Steve
      Certified Audi Technician

    26. 01-21-2008 11:14 PM #25
      my car is on brand new kyb gas struts+shocks, 2" drop sport tech springs, nuespeed 28mm adjustable rear sway bar (in the middle setting) and a nuespeed front strut brace, my passat rides and drives amazingly. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

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