So long story short...
I purchased a set of Eibach Pro Kit springs for my 2018 GSW 4Motion and was not satisfied with the results. At first, I felt the rear was lower than the front, so I addressed this with the Audi TT spring pads. It leveled it out OK, but the overall ride height was still too high, in my opinion. My last Sportwagen was on EMD springs which were perfect in my opinion, but rusted to bits after 2 winters and only 20,000 miles on them (horrible finishing process). When I reported the issue to EMD, they didn't offer me replacements, so I vowed to never buy another product of theirs again, so those were out.
Recently I caught wind of a solution that I wasn't aware of...the H&R VTF Adjustable Lowering Springs. I read about this year's VW show circuit cars, specifically the Alltrack Combi Concept https://www.autoblog.com/2019/05/19/...-concept-cars/ which is on a set of these springs. I thought the ride height looked amazing and the ability to infinitely fine tune them, without the use of bandaids like the Audi TT spring pads really seemed appealing.
The problem for me was the lack of product reviews on these or even product information in general. All I could find were a bunch of varying stock photos provided by H&R http://www.hrsprings.com/pr/detail/h...kswagen-golf-r and only one person across the entire world wide web with a Golf R that actually has these installed on their car. He provided me with some basic information, but he was not the installer, not really a wrench turner, and didn't know a whole lot, aside from how they looked.
My concerns were the usual....noises, rubbing, etc. But also the basic mechanics of the install....how to adjust them, if it was the same procedure as coilovers, what special tools were needed, if they were included, etc. With some encouragement from maxcro (who was also in the same predicament and decided to roll the dice days before me) I decided to order a set and try them out. I found them online at Achtuning for an excellent price https://www.achtuning.com/h-r-23017-...nd-volkswagen/ and impatiently waited for the box to arrive so I could see what the contents were.
The first thing I looked at when I opened the box was the installation manual, to see what sort of witchcraft was needed to adjust these things after install. The guy with the Golf R that had these initially told me that his installer had to "use a spring compressor to make on car adjustments to the adjustable perches, so I was concerned that this would be a major pain in the ass. I found out first hand that this was not accurate, but more on that later. If you are like me and enjoy reading the manuals BEFORE you buy a product, while doing research, here is the included install manual....
As you can see, having access to this manual clears up a lot of questions, but there were others. While my order was in transit, I emailed Achtuning to ask what the adjustment procedure was and if they had to be removed from the car to make adjustments, as I had heard somewhere online. Achtuning's response was "the fronts can be adjusted on the car, but the rears have to come out to make adjustments". I was not thrilled to hear this to say the least, but later found this information to be completely backwards and false. It later became obvious that Achtuning had no actual seat time with these things.
So here's my hands on information with the install...
I removed the front Eibachs and installed the VTFs according to the above manual. I set the "adjustment range" (dimension X) to 37mm, which was just a guess. I also applied a thin coat of anti-seize to the threads, which wasn't mentioned in H&R's instructions (so perhaps not required) for my own piece of mind. The fronts were installed, but if you notice in the following pics, there is no way in hell you can make adjustments of the fronts while on the car, like Achtuning said you could. The adjustable spring perch is tucked so high up in the strut tower that you can barely get a hand in there, let alone some sort of tool, whatever that may be.
Luckily my 37mm guess was dead on! But for those who aren't so lucky, here's what you have to do to adjust them. First off, you need to raise the entire front end, disconnect the upper sway bar link, and remove the three 13mm bolts on top of the strut tower, and lower the control arm and strut assembly. This provides you with enough room to barely get in there to loosen the grub screws and turn your adjustable perches the desired amount. Once you measure and set the required dimension, don't forget to tighten the two little grub screws (I believe it is a 2.5mm allen). To make adjustments, you can use a 5mm allen wrench to stick in the adjustment holes and turn. Now raise the control arm and strut assembly back into place and reconnect the upper sway bar link. Cross your fingers that your math and measurement procedure is correct.
Now we move on to the rears...
The rears are pretty straight forward, with the exception of the fact that there is no longer an upper spring pad required. You just place the H&R adjustable perch directly on the body of the car. I preset the "adjustment range" (dimension X) to 44mm, which was another guess. Again, a light coat of anti-seize on the threads. And the rears are on...
To my dismay, the rear guess was not as lucky as the front one was. After settling, the rears were 1/4" higher than the fronts, so I had to get back in there and make the dreaded adjustments. Prior to digging in, I called H&R themselves and asked them if there was supposed to be a coilover wrench included in the kit and they replied "No, the procedure is to remove the rears, adjust them by hand, and reinstall". I was crushed, but suspicious. Thankfully, my buddy had an H&R coilover wrench in his toolbox that was the correct size to fit the rear adjusters. So to adjust the rears, jack up the corner, get the appropriate wrench and dial them in. NOTHING has to come off of the car in the rear! I dialed mine down another 4mm and things leveled out with the fronts. This is the wrench that SHOULD be included in the H&R kit.
So there you have it. If you go with this kit, this is what you are up against. If you like my results and have a Golf Sportwagen 4Motion, set your front (dimension X) to 37mm and your rear (dimension X) to 40mm. You will fall in the ballpark of 13" from the centerline of the wheel to the edge of the fender (Dimension D1 below).
My settings will probably vary if you are installing on a Golf R, which is the same kit as this one.
Here is my car with its new VTF suspension package.