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View Full Version : Want to lower my car and keep the ride as comfortable as possible... help



TROLL
07-17-2007, 09:11 AM
I swear I did a search and although there are a million threads on lowering, its all performance-minded. To put it bluntly, I could care less about performance on the 2000 A4 1.8T Quattro (automatic!) I just bought... its the comfortable daily driver to give me a break from my basically track-built WRX.

Anywho... I currently have the non-sport suspension and stock 15" wheels... and it just cheapens the whole look of the car. I love how soft the ride is (what a change from my WRX), but I want to lower the car and put some nicer wheels on it. I know that lowering will lose some of the comfort, but if I only care about looks and dont care at all about performance, what would you recommend?

I've been leaning toward H&R Sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks... figure that'll still leave me with a fair amount of ground clearance and not get as stiff as some of the other options out there.
How much stiffer is a setup like this compared to stock cushiness?
And how much stiffer are the H&R Race springs, or any other spring in comparision?
Lastly, are there any comfort-oriented coilvoer setups out there or are they all stiffer?

Thanks a lot for your assistance. I know a whole ton about Subarus, but I'm still trying to get my feet wet in Audi-world. Feels kinda funny talking about all looks and comfort and no performance since its the polar opposite of what I've always been, but hey I guess thats how it goes with the daily driver.

Bryan

Das General
07-17-2007, 09:31 AM
A big wig from TST coming to AZ for a simple question???? Jeeez. j/k man I am on TST as well, but I haven't checked up on the forums in the past couple days.

Anyways...I am not 100% familiar with the a4, BUT I have an s4 with the H&R/Bilstein setup. I have also seen in person the H&R springs on the a4. It was very low. IIRC even lower than my setup, which is 24.5" upfront and 25.25" in the back. Some argue that the suspension is stiff, however I think it is rather soft for an aftermartket kit. I have sat on some bilstein pss9 coilovers and those were stiff.

Ride comfort isn't really sacrificed, and driving around the streets of Philly is ok on the butt, but can be a pain due to the ride height. I would try and pick up a slighty used kit and save yourself a couple dollars just incase you decide to go a different route.

Personally, I chose my setup for the looks and slightly better performance, and that is what I got.


btw I'll be back in Philly Saturday, if you want to take a spin in my car and get an idea I'd be happy to meet up.

TROLL
07-17-2007, 09:50 AM
Ha, didn't take long to find someone I knew. Yeah I think I'm gonna go to Water Fest on Sunday if you happen to be going... I expect some discounted stuff there so if its good enough I might just buy new from there, otherwise I'll wait it out and try to find something used.



Not sure how much comfort, height, etc. vary from model to model but based on AWE's site...

B5 A4 (measured based off of non-sport stock height):
H&R Sport lowers 1.25" front and 1.00" rear
H&R Race lowers 1.9" front and 1.5" rear

2.7T S4:
H&R Sport lowers 1.75" front and 1.5" rear

No personal experience, just me reading on the internet... maybe you saw the race springs, which although they look great I think I'd prefer more comfort and ground clearance.
I was going to try to get some 17s, but I really found some 18s that I like and in order to pull them off I know the car will need to be reasonably low to make the whole thing flow.

Das General
07-17-2007, 11:52 AM
Yeah, the lowering numbers are fairly accurate. I would say my setup dropped my car about 1.75, but on the front and back.

I will be at WaterFest on Sunday as well, I am sure we will cross paths.

BTW, what wheels were you interested in?

TROLL
07-17-2007, 11:57 AM
i'd have to assume your car started a good bit lower than mine too since mine is pretty much a monster truck.
if anyone has photos of what a B5 A4 looks like lowered on H+R Sports that'd be great... i'm finding almost all H+R Race photos so its hard to gauge where the car will sit.
the wheels I want are BBS LM reps... all the look with none of the worry that my precious wheels are going to get bent/stolen/curbed...
this is the closest thing i can find to what they'll look like on my car... right wheels, right color, wrong bodystyle...

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb46/masterseung/excursions218.jpg

ACHTUNG
09-21-2007, 12:25 PM
where did you find the LM reps?

jeremy@matrix
09-26-2007, 01:54 PM
I swear I did a search and although there are a million threads on lowering, its all performance-minded. To put it bluntly, I could care less about performance on the 2000 A4 1.8T Quattro (automatic!) I just bought... its the comfortable daily driver to give me a break from my basically track-built WRX.

Anywho... I currently have the non-sport suspension and stock 15" wheels... and it just cheapens the whole look of the car. I love how soft the ride is (what a change from my WRX), but I want to lower the car and put some nicer wheels on it. I know that lowering will lose some of the comfort, but if I only care about looks and dont care at all about performance, what would you recommend?

I've been leaning toward H&R Sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks... figure that'll still leave me with a fair amount of ground clearance and not get as stiff as some of the other options out there.
How much stiffer is a setup like this compared to stock cushiness?
And how much stiffer are the H&R Race springs, or any other spring in comparision?
Lastly, are there any comfort-oriented coilvoer setups out there or are they all stiffer?

Thanks a lot for your assistance. I know a whole ton about Subarus, but I'm still trying to get my feet wet in Audi-world. Feels kinda funny talking about all looks and comfort and no performance since its the polar opposite of what I've always been, but hey I guess thats how it goes with the daily driver.

Bryan


What's your susp budget Bryan?

TROLL
09-26-2007, 02:10 PM
i figure this is probably an informative thread for others so its good that its here but as it turns out i decided to leave the audi totally stock... just stick with the comfy stock suspension and beat looking wheels... haha.
i'll just focus on my toy car to have fun with and look good in.
thanks for all the info though.... this is definitely where i come to get info on my car. ok now i'm off to the garage to fix a 2nd window regulator (in the 3 months i've owned the car...)

TROLL
11-07-2007, 12:52 PM
and i'm back... the Subaru is 'done' for the winter at least so in my boredom I'm coming back to the original suspension and wheel plan for the audi.

Jeremy, to answer your question... I'm honestly trying to keep things as cheap as possible while doing them correctly. This car is definitely secondary and the goal is for it to not be a large extra expense or something that I'll worry too much about parking in the city, etc.

I really wish I could just put lowering springs on the stock shocks, but from everything I read thats a bad idea. Its said to be a bad idea in the Impreza world too, but a ton of guys do it with no real issues for many many miles. Same situation or is it really more extreme with the B5 A4?
Or what about getting ahold of the stock sport suspension and combining them with lowering springs? Or even just putting the stock sport suspension on as a slightly lower inexpensive suspension alternative?

I just know the car would look horrible if I put 18s on it with the current suspension and I refuse to do that. $1200 for wheels/tires is A-OK with me, but another $800 in suspension just to pull it off is whats killing me here! Where's the cheap used stuff?? I'll go back to looking for it now, thanks for the help so far...

jeremy@matrix
11-07-2007, 01:38 PM
and i'm back... the Subaru is 'done' for the winter at least so in my boredom I'm coming back to the original suspension and wheel plan for the audi.

Jeremy, to answer your question... I'm honestly trying to keep things as cheap as possible while doing them correctly. This car is definitely secondary and the goal is for it to not be a large extra expense or something that I'll worry too much about parking in the city, etc.

I really wish I could just put lowering springs on the stock shocks, but from everything I read thats a bad idea. Its said to be a bad idea in the Impreza world too, but a ton of guys do it with no real issues for many many miles. Same situation or is it really more extreme with the B5 A4?
Or what about getting ahold of the stock sport suspension and combining them with lowering springs? Or even just putting the stock sport suspension on as a slightly lower inexpensive suspension alternative?

I just know the car would look horrible if I put 18s on it with the current suspension and I refuse to do that. $1200 for wheels/tires is A-OK with me, but another $800 in suspension just to pull it off is whats killing me here! Where's the cheap used stuff?? I'll go back to looking for it now, thanks for the help so far...

Lowering springs on OEM dampers (tall dampers engineered for tall springs) will mean the OEM dampers will fatigue/fail sooner.

TROLL
11-07-2007, 02:20 PM
thanks, i understand that the struts are not designed to work with a lowering spring and that it will effect the life of them.
i just know from the subaru world that all of the 'internet talk' highly shuns using lowering springs with stock struts and people repeat over and over how your struts will fail right away as a result, and the world will end, and you'll stub your big toe too. in reality, there are guys going 40k-60k miles with lowering springs and stock struts and although the performance isnt there, the struts hold up for a decent amount of time.
i hear the same kind of 'you cant do lowering springs on stock struts or they'll blow out right away' talk here, just wondering if thats really the case or if its 'internet talk' and the reality is that i'd be able to get by for a year or two, or more.

if i come across a spring/strut setup thats used and/or affordable then sure i'll do both but i'm just wondering what the inexpensive options are to lower the car if performance isn't really a priority.

jeremy@matrix
11-07-2007, 02:50 PM
thanks, i understand that the struts are not designed to work with a lowering spring and that it will effect the life of them.
i just know from the subaru world that all of the 'internet talk' highly shuns using lowering springs with stock struts and people repeat over and over how your struts will fail right away as a result, and the world will end, and you'll stub your big toe too. in reality, there are guys going 40k-60k miles with lowering springs and stock struts and although the performance isnt there, the struts hold up for a decent amount of time.
i hear the same kind of 'you cant do lowering springs on stock struts or they'll blow out right away' talk here, just wondering if thats really the case or if its 'internet talk' and the reality is that i'd be able to get by for a year or two, or more.

if i come across a spring/strut setup thats used and/or affordable then sure i'll do both but i'm just wondering what the inexpensive options are to lower the car if performance isn't really a priority.

No, the OEM dampers won't blow next month probably....it's just reduced life over the long haul.

The question I think you should answer is;

"Do I want to save some money now and install just springs on OEM dampers, only to have to pay labor (or do it myself) to swap out OEM dampers for other units when the OEM dampers fail...or should I just suck it up now, do it once and install aftermarket dampers and springs and call it good?"
My $0.02.

TROLL
11-07-2007, 02:56 PM
agreed, that is the exact question in my mind. i'm not one to cut corners, but i just cant justify having my 'cheap daily driver' start eating up a good chunk of change (that could be better spent on a big turbo for my subaru, haha).

i appreciate the info though... what would you recommend i do to lower the car properly but not make the ride overly harsh?

jeremy@matrix
11-07-2007, 03:08 PM
agreed, that is the exact question in my mind. i'm not one to cut corners, but i just cant justify having my 'cheap daily driver' start eating up a good chunk of change (that could be better spent on a big turbo for my subaru, haha).

i appreciate the info though... what would you recommend i do to lower the car properly but not make the ride overly harsh?

Either a Koni Sport/Eibach setup or Bilstein Sport/H&R.