Author Topic: TUNING Lowering .. Options, Fitting and helpfull info  (Read 21384 times)

Offline boneybradley

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Well here's a guide to help you decide on lowering your mk3

standard height is like this!



What options are avalible...........

UPRATED LOWERING SPRINGS ON ORIGINAL DAMPERS

PROS: This is very cheap you will get lowered look, and can mildly improve handerling

NEGS:  handling can be destroyed, as there designed for matched dampers so lenth of dampers is greater on normal dampers dif rates etc characteristics, can give bouncy poorly absorbed bumps etc

always buy progressively wound springs for smoother ride and cope with big bumps and extreme cornering, only use drop between 20-40 mm on standerd dampers or handerling wil be rubbish any lower, personaly i think its a false economy to buy just springs

UPRATED SPRINGS AND DAMPERS KITS

FOR: You get a massive handling improvement, due to it being well developed, some shocks even have adjustable damping to adjust to your preferance, The ride will be more controlled and a lot less bouncy than not modded suspention or just uprated springs,

NEGS: there is always a compromise in life and its no different here due to the incresaed damping spring rates the ride may be quite harsh, as it is well developed and controls handling well, id recommend this option on a budjet but want good handling, coilover are always best but should be for the price

A FULL KIT  IS A GENUNIE UPGRADE, WITH A WELL SORTED CONVERSION YOU WILL GET REQUIRED DROP AND STILL RETAIN PREDICTABLE HANDLING CHARACTERISTICS, DEFINATLY A MUST IF YOU LIKE TO PUSH HARD ON THE ROAD, WITH A MATCHED SET OF SPRINGS DAMPERS IS ASSURED TO IMPROVE HANDLING AND RIDE QUALITY SHOULD BE SMOOTH YET TAUT, BUT HARD ALSO.

heres mine on a 40mm drop...



COILOVERS

PROS: ride height can be changed usully between 20-100 mm more expensive ones even more damping can be set to prevent bump scrub and can be set up for amazing handling, or slammed for shows. Remember mk2 coilovers will direct fit with the mk3.

NEGS: the are very expensive up to £2000 most start at £400-600 and hard to set up too, ride is seriously hard. Some of the cheaper options now avalible start from £180 and seem to be a popular choice.

COILOVER ARE THE BEST AND THE CHOICE IF YOUR NOT PREPARED TO COMPREMISE, IT COSTS A LOT BUT YOUR GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR, IT OFFER ONE FEATURE OTHERs DONT TRUE ADJUSTABLE RIDE HEIGHT AND DAMPING ADJUSTMENT, CAN MAKE FINE TWEAKS, EASY SCOPE TO FIT BIG RIMS, THEY ARE BASICLY AND IMPROVED SPRING AND DAMPER KIT WITH HUGE ADJUSTABILITY.
For the cheaper brands most of the coilovers will be very similar (hottuning coilovers are identical to other brands but painted different colours) with fixed damping and steel build........ if you go for the better ranges you'll get more adjustment (to soften or stifffen the ride for example) and they will be built from better material (stainless etc which should mean they will not seize on the height adjusters..although some waxoyl, grease etc on cheaper ones will be fine)

Here's mine lowered 75mm front, 65mm back fitted using hottuning coilover's...



EXTRA LOWERING ON FRONT WITH SHOCKERS (NOT COILIES)

You can buy lowering spring caps for the front shockers that lower the front by 10-15mm. A good compromise if your unhappy after a 40mm lowering on the front. Just make sure you buy the correct diameter ones as only a few places sell them for 95 models onward

USEFULL INFO....  This is some info I have found handy over the years when lowering and hopefully will be handy for you too?

The main thing is to ensure you have the correct springs as pre 95 ish models had 80mm pigtail front springs and post 95 had 65mm pigtail front springs (and there's being a few on here who have fitted the wrong type causing a few problems and extra expence)
The front shockers are also different on the year change too but the rear springs and shocks are the same for all mk3's but coilover kits will fit all model's..and the mk2.

It is allways worth changing the front shock absober mounts when replacing shockers as these wear and the bearings fail (and they only cost about £20 the pair). Rear top mounts cost £2-3 each and are worth replacing as the rubber softens with age.

It's also worth getting the tracking sorted after fitting (allthough its worth waiting a week or two to let the suspension bed in first...) and on coilovers make sure the height is set as close as possible to how you will leave it as should you lower/higher the coilies this will knock your tracking out again!!

On the mk3 it is possible to adjust the camber making the handling better (especially good for lowered car's). Not many trye places can alter this and from experience the prices can alter vastly due to this..

Oh yes and expect a few close scrapes on speedhumps etc... mine does with the lower vr6 spoiler and a 40mm drop (and it's still not low enough!!)

FITTING.....     

Was not sure on doing this but as more and more people are buying coilovers, thought it would be a good idea to take 10mins and give you all a guide to fitting them following fitting hotuning ones to my 1996 8V.

1) Wind spring plates down to bottom and copperslip all threads, on the rear tighten nut and wind spring plate back up to about halfway as a starting point, on the front best to use new top mounts, fit as below and again wind up to about halfway.

2) Slacken all wheel nuts as required, undo front top mounting nuts do not remove at the moment, you could get a air gun or adapt as we did with a allen key and a plug spanner, jack front of car and remove wheels, slacken and remove both lower camber bolts, mine were seized and had to be heated to remove, remove to nuts and lift out old struts, fit new top rubber and struts, fit top plates and tighten top nuts finger tight for the moment, fit bottom bolts and torque to spec, refit wheels and lower car now tighten top nuts to spec.

3) Remove parcel shelf supports to get access to top nuts, undo as required but do not remove fully at this stage, now this gets interesting, jack and support car in such a way that the rear axle can be lowered down a little bit, undo both lower shock bolts but make sure axle is supported on the jacks, now remove top nuts and lower axle beam down enough to remove shocks after removing lower bolts, fit new shocks and top nuts finger tight at this stage,  I fitted new top mounts but you can reuse them if you wish, now jack rear axle back up and line up lower shock bolts (might be best to get a friend at this point) fit and tighten lower bolts, refit wheels and lower to ground, tighten top bolts to spec and refit shelf supports if removed, torque all wheel bolts to spec.

4) Take the car for a spin around the block to settle the shocks down, now see where the car sits and adjust to suit.

5) After a week or so and when you are happy take the car for a full camber / tracking check.

All in all it took me and dad 4 1/2 hours to fit the shocks but about another 3hrs of setting them up to the correct height.

Hope this guide helps and if you need any further help feel free to pm me.

I have also added a few links as these are very handy guides and would need a new thread all of their own...
coilovers http://www.ottawa-vdubbing.com/info/techtips/coilover/index.htm
front suspension http://www.vaglinks.com/Docs/VW/MKIII/VW_MKIII_Total_Front_Suspension_Rebuild.pdf
rear suspension http://www.vaglinks.com/Docs/VW/MKIII/VW_MKII-III_RearShockAndSpringReplacement.pdf

and poly bush fitting should you want to firm the suspension some more??  http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty/dreed/Campingart/jettatech/polybushings/index.htm
oh and the rear axle bushes for good luck (another mk3 weak point!!) http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3242686
« Last Edit: 07 February 2012, 20:28 by boneybradley »
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Offline boneybradley

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Re: Lowering guide mk3.. options,fitting and helpfull advice
« Reply #1 on: 03 January 2009, 16:36 »
I have updated this thread......and here's some comparison pictures
std height

-40mm shock and springs

and -75mm/65mm coilover's
« Last Edit: 18 October 2009, 16:17 by boneybradley »
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Offline boneybradley

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Re: INFO Lowering .. Options, Fitting and helpfull info
« Reply #2 on: 18 October 2009, 16:24 »
links updated and pictures redone  :wink:
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Offline nhop10

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Re: TUNING Lowering .. Options, Fitting and helpfull info
« Reply #3 on: 29 August 2012, 19:03 »
good information cheers, where would be the best place to buy the front lowering spring caps from (10-15mm ones)? as you said they would/could be hard to get the correct ones. thanks


Mk1 Golf 1.1, 6n Polo 16v, and now an 8v mk3 GTi

Offline boneybradley

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Re: TUNING Lowering .. Options, Fitting and helpfull info
« Reply #4 on: 29 August 2012, 19:16 »
good information cheers, where would be the best place to buy the front lowering spring caps from (10-15mm ones)? as you said they would/could be hard to get the correct ones. thanks

venom motorsport seems a good place
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