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    Thread: H&R VTF Adjustable Lowering Springs...my review.

    1. Member
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      06-25-2019 09:23 AM #1
      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.





      Questions....ask away.
      Last edited by Veedubgti; 06-25-2019 at 09:42 AM.

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      06-25-2019 11:07 AM #2
      Looks awesome. I’ve been considering these. Excellent write up. Thanks for the info.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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      06-25-2019 12:10 PM #3
      looks like the rear spring is completely bottomed out, doesn't look like a whole lot of dynamic range left.
      '15 Passat SEL (NOS bought April '17 w/ 60 miles on the clock)
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    6. Member
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      06-25-2019 12:22 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog12 View Post
      looks like the rear spring is completely bottomed out, doesn't look like a whole lot of dynamic range left.
      There's 9 windings on the rear coil. 6 are "dead" at full compression.

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      06-25-2019 12:36 PM #5
      so much for that "variable" spring rate, or will it factor in spring expansion and play nicer with the stock dampeners?

      Other than looking pretty and ready for cars and coffee, how's it you know, drive? Any plans to change dampeners?

      These look a lot like those MSS or something that were pretty expensive, did H&R buy them out?

      https://www.excelerateperformance.co...-north-america
      '15 Passat SEL (NOS bought April '17 w/ 60 miles on the clock)
      '17 Alltrack SE

      Bought back: '10 Jetta TDI sedan manual, '12 Passat SE (roof and Nav)

    8. Member
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      06-25-2019 01:02 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog12 View Post
      so much for that "variable" spring rate, or will it factor in spring expansion and play nicer with the stock dampeners?

      Other than looking pretty and ready for cars and coffee, how's it you know, drive? Any plans to change dampeners?

      These look a lot like those MSS or something that were pretty expensive, did H&R buy them out?

      https://www.excelerateperformance.co...-north-america
      I've run stock springs, EMD springs, and Eibach springs all on my Mk7 GSW's that I've owned. These ride the best in my opinion. Firmer than all 3 listed, but definitely not harsh by any means.

      This car isn't an AutoXer, I use it to drive my wife and kids around in. And yes, we sometimes attend Cars & Coffee.

      At this point in time, I have no plans to change dampeners. The car has 4,000 miles on it and the ride is fabulous. I'll hold off until the stock ones give me grief.

      Seeing that Eibach makes the springs for the MSS kits, I don't think H&R is involved.

    9. 06-25-2019 05:17 PM #7
      One day someone will make a coil over setup for a GGW/AT. Until then, you are out of luck.

    10. 06-25-2019 08:49 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Veedubgti View Post
      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.





      Questions....ask away.
      thanks for this write up and your review. car looks great. drop is a little too low for my taste, but still looks sleek.

      mind if I ask where you sourced your front bumper from? and how much?

      Sent from my ASUS_Z012DC using Tapatalk

    11. Member MidnightGSW's Avatar
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      06-25-2019 09:07 PM #9
      From my limited experience with automotive suspension, having 6 "dead" coils in a coil spring means dynamics are tuned more for "show" than driving.
      I am sure you are satisfied with ride quality.
      And maybe roads you drive on are smooth.
      However, not for a second I'd buy their claim that rear coil springs are progressive rate springs where majority of coils being "dead" at full compression.
      In 98-99 Ford with all it's wisdom started using progressive coil springs on Econoline with 7.3DTI engines.
      Drivers appreciated suppleness of the ride. but we started seeing issues in shorter time than we've anticipated.
      Among issues were broken springs, constant misalignment, poor tire wear (to much negative camber), FSB bushing premature wear.
      Ford's TIB front suspension set up is very robust but progressive springs caused undue wear of pivot bushings on both radius arms and beams.
      Since switching to linear coil springs we haven't had a single issue with front suspension, besides few niggles from "princess on a pea" drivers.

      Some chose form over function. Some make it perfect. Some struggle to make it perform half-way decent. To each their own.

      Be safe and keep rubber side down!

      Cheers...
      How hard can it be!

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      06-26-2019 07:23 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Voinz View Post
      thanks for this write up and your review. car looks great. drop is a little too low for my taste, but still looks sleek.

      mind if I ask where you sourced your front bumper from? and how much?

      Sent from my ASUS_Z012DC using Tapatalk
      There is no need to quote 5 pages worth of pics
      '15 Passat SEL (NOS bought April '17 w/ 60 miles on the clock)
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      06-26-2019 08:11 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Voinz View Post
      thanks for this write up and your review. car looks great. drop is a little too low for my taste, but still looks sleek.

      mind if I ask where you sourced your front bumper from? and how much?

      Sent from my ASUS_Z012DC using Tapatalk
      I got the front bumper cover from the dealership at employee pricing. The parts alone were around $850ish. Keep in mind, the bumper cover comes unpainted.

    14. Member scirockalot8v's Avatar
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      06-26-2019 09:16 AM #12
      You left the upper rear spring pads in.
      I saw this kit and it reminded me of those ground control kits that were around years ago. I basically did half this kit. Eibach springs all around with an old set of rear spring perches from a coilover set. I dont need to adjust the fronts.
      Goofy they expect you to pull the perches to adjust them. Sometimes they are a pain and not easily reachable even with a wrench.

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      Last edited by scirockalot8v; 06-26-2019 at 09:22 AM.

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      06-26-2019 09:22 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by scirockalot8v View Post
      You left the upper rear spring pads in.
      I did not. The top of the adjusters are rubber, that's what you are seeing. The stock upper rear spring pads are not used with these.

    16. 06-26-2019 10:58 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightGSW View Post
      From my limited experience with automotive suspension, having 6 "dead" coils in a coil spring means dynamics are tuned more for "show" than driving.
      Actually, it's dangerous and will result in an accident. Plus its going to inevitably crack the chassis or the control arm. The problem is that the spring is just about two inches away from having a spring rate of infinity (or close to it). It'll even be worse when you have a combination of passengers and a full tank of gas. Please, do something about the rear springs because having a cool looking car is not worth getting hurt over. In addition to that, it's going to break a lower coil as the last two are doing 90% of the work.

      This is common on e36 and e46 BMW's for the rear. They are even shorter and when you lower them, the rear spring is almost blocking (running out of travel). That's why the proper way to lower them it to make it a true coil over and put a long spring around the shock. Then you need to reinforce the shock tower.
      Last edited by jjvincent; 06-26-2019 at 11:00 AM.

    17. Member scirockalot8v's Avatar
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      06-26-2019 11:18 AM #15
      I see it now. Guessing they are just bonded to the perches?

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      06-26-2019 11:25 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightGSW View Post
      From my limited experience with automotive suspension, having 6 "dead" coils in a coil spring means dynamics are tuned more for "show" than driving.
      Quote Originally Posted by jjvincent View Post
      Actually, it's dangerous and will result in an accident. Plus its going to inevitably crack the chassis or the control arm. The problem is that the spring is just about two inches away from having a spring rate of infinity (or close to it). It'll even be worse when you have a combination of passengers and a full tank of gas. Please, do something about the rear springs because having a cool looking car is not worth getting hurt over. In addition to that, it's going to break a lower coil as the last two are doing 90% of the work.
      I truly appreciate you guys' concern, but I have faith in H&R and their reputation over their many years in this game than to fear that I'm driving on an un-engineered product, which is destined to fail. Perhaps I'm wrong, naive, or something else....time will tell, I suppose.

      edit: Typical rear H&R Lowering Springs for our cars have 10 coils, 6 dead. The VTF rear springs have 9 coils, 6 dead to make room for the adjustable spring perch, I'm assuming.
      Last edited by Veedubgti; 06-26-2019 at 12:21 PM.

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      06-26-2019 11:26 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by scirockalot8v View Post
      I see it now. Guessing they are just bonded to the perches?
      Exactly.

    20. Member Z06jerry's Avatar
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      06-26-2019 11:26 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by jjvincent View Post
      Actually, it's dangerous and will result in an accident. Plus its going to inevitably crack the chassis or the control arm. The problem is that the spring is just about two inches away from having a spring rate of infinity (or close to it). It'll even be worse when you have a combination of passengers and a full tank of gas. Please, do something about the rear springs because having a cool looking car is not worth getting hurt over. In addition to that, it's going to break a lower coil as the last two are doing 90% of the work.
      Yup ... totally agree.
      '18 Alltrack Mk7.5 Tungsten/Shetland LP & DAP

    21. 06-26-2019 03:41 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Veedubgti View Post
      I truly appreciate you guys' concern, but I have faith in H&R and their reputation over their many years in this game than to fear that I'm driving on an un-engineered product, which is destined to fail. Perhaps I'm wrong, naive, or something else....time will tell, I suppose.

      edit: Typical rear H&R Lowering Springs for our cars have 10 coils, 6 dead. The VTF rear springs have 9 coils, 6 dead to make room for the adjustable spring perch, I'm assuming.
      If I bought that product, I'd be sending it back. Contrary to popular belief, H&R (which I have spent lots of money with them for race springs) and Eibach (same story) do screw up and make products that are not done correctly. It's up to you, but for me, no way. The thing is, I know exactly what the problem is and the solution, but unless H&R is ready to pay me, then they can let their engineers figure it out.

    22. Member MidnightGSW's Avatar
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      06-26-2019 05:50 PM #20
      I've had lowering springs in the past. They were Tein "street" rear had progressive rate and none of coil touched each other fully laden, although progressive portion of soil spring had thick insulation in case they did.
      All adjustments were done via sleeve, much like any other c/o set up.
      I ended up using rear coils, after I sold front c/o to someone, in a different vehicle with very good results. I wanted to increase spring rate and Tein provided almost 50% more spring rate that what I had in that car.
      I suspect up travel(compression) in this set up is limited by factory bump stops so I reckon it not as detrimental as it seems. Had it been used in conjunction with shorter shocks, then I'd be concerned.

      Cheers...
      How hard can it be!

    23. 06-26-2019 08:54 PM #21
      my vwr springs. pretty close

      hirro

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      06-27-2019 08:24 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Veedubgti View Post
      I truly appreciate you guys' concern, but I have faith in H&R and their reputation over their many years in this game than to fear that I'm driving on an un-engineered product, which is destined to fail. Perhaps I'm wrong, naive, or something else....time will tell, I suppose.

      edit: Typical rear H&R Lowering Springs for our cars have 10 coils, 6 dead. The VTF rear springs have 9 coils, 6 dead to make room for the adjustable spring perch, I'm assuming.
      I love H&R they do seem to make great products but that doesn't mean parts slingers this side of the pond won't steer you wrong just to make a buck. IMO you installed Golf hatchback parts on a wagon. That right there should have sent up read flags, just because it fits doesn't mean it's proper.

      There's a reason Golf R Variant springs are different than Golf R springs.
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      06-27-2019 08:26 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by tp.wannabe.s3 View Post
      my vwr springs. pretty close
      Hatchback or GSW?
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      2018 VW GSW S 4motion, 1991 VW GTI 1.8t, 2012 Mazda 5 Sport
      06-27-2019 08:45 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog12 View Post
      I love H&R they do seem to make great products but that doesn't mean parts slingers this side of the pond won't steer you wrong just to make a buck. IMO you installed Golf hatchback parts on a wagon. That right there should have sent up read flags, just because it fits doesn't mean it's proper.

      There's a reason Golf R Variant springs are different than Golf R springs.
      Golf hatchback parts on a wagon? H&R lists the vehicles that the kit is designed for on the first page of the manual I posted, upper right hand corner. I don't think I fell victim to some dirtbag working at Achtuning bamboozling me into parts that aren't designed for my application.



      Quote Originally Posted by Dieseldog12 View Post
      Hatchback or GSW?
      The Y-pipe exhaust makes me think GSW 4Motion or Alltrack. No vented rear rotors = not a Golf R.
      Last edited by Veedubgti; 06-27-2019 at 08:57 AM.

    27. 06-27-2019 09:02 PM #25
      Do not use the top of wheel wells to measure heights. They can be off a great deal.
      Use the frame to the ground in the rear and also in the front. Side to side to measure.
      Most cars have a rake a little lower front than rear. Find OEM specs and keep that ratio. Check tire pressure. Drive for a week and check heights. Typically they will settle. Readjust.
      Put your weight if salt bage in drivers seat and have aligned.

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