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View Full Version : Replaced CA's and shocks = A4 4x4?



MrBuddhaDude
10-01-2009, 04:56 PM
I just had a complete control arm kit installed and replaced all 4 shocks with Bilstein Sports. The first thing I noticed was that my car looked like my lifted Pathfinder. My car wasn't lowered before, but it's obvious that my car is sitting taller. Is this normal? [confused]

The rear is not as bad, but the front has some pretty big wheel gap. Looking at it from the side, the front has more wheel gap than the rear. I'm riding on stock sport springs.

My mechanic said it was because my old shocks were blown so the car sat lower. I just wanted to see what all of your experience has been.

NeedingAnAudi
10-01-2009, 05:14 PM
I just had a complete control arm kit installed and replaced all 4 shocks with Bilstein Sports. The first thing I noticed was that my car looked like my lifted Pathfinder. My car wasn't lowered before, but it's obvious that my car is sitting taller. Is this normal? [confused]

The rear is not as bad, but the front has some pretty big wheel gap. Looking at it from the side, the front has more wheel gap than the rear. I'm riding on stock sport springs.

My mechanic said it was because my old shocks were blown so the car sat lower. I just wanted to see what all of your experience has been.

Thats common on any car that gets blown shocks replaced.

99blueb5
10-01-2009, 08:14 PM
yeah pretty normal, seals inside will keep the strut at the up position if there blown/worn

Mike@PureMS
10-01-2009, 08:32 PM
Were the control arm bolts all tightened at ride height? If not, they can be causing the car to sit higher than normal.

Kronic Budz
10-01-2009, 11:43 PM
Were the control arm bolts all tightened at ride height? If not, they can be causing the car to sit higher than normal.

how sure are you on this? And if higher then normal. How much higher would you say? im pretty sure the dumb ass that installed my CA's did them on jack stands...

zrowcool
10-02-2009, 05:25 AM
Were the control arm bolts all tightened at ride height? If not, they can be causing the car to sit higher than normal.

x2, the control arms need to be tightened at ride height. if not when the weight is put on the car, it will twist the bushings causing them to fail really early and also make the car higher.

B5A4Kevin
10-02-2009, 08:49 AM
^^x2. gotta tighten them loaded. either on the ground, or pushed up to ride height with jack or jack stands. the problem with jack stands is you can only lift up the susp on one side so much before it starts lifting the entire car off the rack/lift.


if they arent tightened in the right spot, the bushings will definitely wear out faster. as far as making the car sit higher, its possible but not very likely (at least ive never seen this) as the bushing is the weak link and would/does tear before it lifts up the car. i would bet it was just the blown out shocks.

BlackBirdSR71
10-02-2009, 09:31 AM
Ditto on the control arms. Thye have to be tightened with a load on them.

However, the Bilstein sports are the major issue. They will definitely raise the ride height of the car. This has nothing to do with replacing supposedly "blown" shocks with new shocks.

Bilstein uses a high pressure gas system in their products. The factory shocks use a low pressure gas system, as do many other mfg's such as Koni. It is normal ( but a PITA ) to have to adjust the ride height of a vehicle after installing Bilstein shocks.

I just went through the same issue when I replaced the Sachs sports shocks on the rear of my Audi with Bilstein. ( BTW, the Sachs shocks were relatively new and definitely not blown. Just not enough rebound dampening for my tastes. ). After installation, the back of the car sat about 3/4" higher. Had to cut 1/2 coil off the rear springs as the Bilsteins were already on the lowest setting ( Bilstein sports have adjustable height via machined grooves in the shock body )

I've Road raced and Auto crossed for many years and know this to be an issue with competitors that switch from a low pressure gas shock, such as a Koni, to a high pressure shock like Bilstein. They often have to re-adjust ride heights after switching to Bilstein shocks.

Also, the gas pressure in a Bilstein is so high, that it adds appreciably to spring rate. On an Autocross car that is properly balanced ( Oversteer/understeer ), you may have to drop spring rate on the rear by 25lbs to get the balance back.

Edit: Do check the spring seat on the Bilstein's. If the spring seat retaining cir-clip is not on the lowest setting, you may be able to get some adjustment there.

Mike@PureMS
10-02-2009, 09:57 AM
Ditto on the control arms. Thye have to be tightened with a load on them.

However, the Bilstein sports are the major issue. They will definitely raise the ride height of the car. This has nothing to do with replacing supposedly "blown" shocks with new shocks.


Also a possibility, however since the car doesn't have a 1:1 front suspension motion ratio, the effect that the Bilsteins have with the gas charge isn't quite as pronounced as on some cars, like those with a Macpherson strut.

But it definitely is a possibility, and something to keep in mind.

andyrew
10-02-2009, 12:51 PM
Were the control arm bolts all tightened at ride height? If not, they can be causing the car to sit higher than normal.

BINGO.. You have to tighten the control arm bolts on the ground.