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Discussion Starter #1
coilovers:
Advantages?
Disadvantages?

shocks + springs:
Advantages?
Disadvantages?

I see that coilovers are more adjustable but more expensive while shocks + springs are less expensive but not as adjustable. What are the other differences? (bring it
)
 

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My choice - Koni Adjustable Shocks and Struts w/ H&R Sport springs.

IMO, unless your at a road race or similar track with you car consistently, and worried about cutting off .1 to .3 seconds off your overall lap times you do not need coilovers. A high quality combo of shocks and struts matched well to the spring rates of your springs will give you the same performance. Koni's allow you to adjust rebound, which allows you customize to your springs and driving preferences, H&R Sports probably offer the highest spring rate (other than shine) in a 1.5" drop. I did not want to go to a lower drop than 1.5" as the front control arms would be at a bad angle IMO.

The big disadvantage to CO's are that you should corner weight them every time you adjust them. Does anyone here know of a shop that can properly corner weight a car?

As I said many times on here before, I have a very good friend w/ a 01' Jetta 1.8T that has the H&R Sports, Koni Adjustables, Neuspeed Front upper and lower tie bars, and the Shine rear sway bar and he is now a two year SCCA regional champion in STS with this setup. He was competing against other cars that had coilover setups. What is most important is that the shocks and struts are valved properly for each other.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
My choice - Koni Adjustable Shocks and Struts w/ H&R Sport springs.

A high quality combo of shocks and struts matched well to the spring rates of your springs will give you the same performance.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The way I see it is that most people don't know enough about suspension to match a good set of springs and shocks. Plus, no matter how well you match them, it will never be matched as good as a coilover system. However, for someone who is not going to adjust thier ride height, and isn't going to run autocross...I'd say go with the shock/spring combo. I personally like having the option of ride height adjustability.
 

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Lets beat this dead horse some more

We all know that lowering an mk4 more than 1.7" will have a negative affect on the handling. Why buy coilovers to lower it when they do nothing spring/stuts cant do. Once you have found the right height for the car height adjustment is no longer needed. A set of yellow koni and sport springs or a cup kit will do fine IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 98a4:

We all know that lowering an mk4 more than 1.7" will have a negative affect on the handling. Why buy coilovers to lower it when they do nothing spring/stuts cant do. Once you have found the right height for the car height adjustment is no longer needed.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's what I was thinking but someone was just telling me "coilovers are the way to go" but I couldn't see why they would be better if I didn't want to lower my car past about 1.5" especially since shocks + springs are much cheaper (enough that I could get sway bars with the difference in money and still have cash left over). I also need to save so I can afford wheels and tires + snow tires for later. oy ve.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by samc:
what I suggest is you search through a few forums. Then you'll have hte answer you need:
www.vwforum.com www.club18t.com www.20vturbo.com www.vwvortex.com

here are a few sites, go through them and search, I would expect most sites to have a suspension section. Oh and price is not the only difference between coilovers and shocks/springs.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've done a bit of searching but haven't come up with a direct comparison of the 2 and that's what I'm really interested in. I know price isn't the only difference or else I wouldn't have to ask what those differences were.....

[ October 27, 2003: Message edited by: Tommunist ]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by supertom9903:
The way I see it is that most people don't know enough about suspension to match a good set of springs and shocks. Plus, no matter how well you match them, it will never be matched as good as a coilover system. However, for someone who is not going to adjust thier ride height, and isn't going to run autocross...I'd say go with the shock/spring combo. I personally like having the option of ride height adjustability.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why won't shocks + springs ever be matched as well? Can they not match the spring constant and the dampening constant to make a nice fast return to equilibrium graph? I guess I don't understand why shocks+springs can't do this just as well as coilovers if they are made correctly. Thanks for any info.
 

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I had the H&R cup kit initially, but with all the other suspension mods done to the car, it was a very rough ride. I chose the H&R coils, first to try and eleviate some of the bone jaring, and the group buy price was so good.

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tommunist:
Why won't shocks + springs ever be matched as well? Can they not match the spring constant and the dampening constant to make a nice fast return to equilibrium graph? I guess I don't understand why shocks+springs can't do this just as well as coilovers if they are made correctly. Thanks for any info.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

For spring rates that are typically used for daily driver cars, shocks and springs can be matched just as well as any coilover system, I can guarantee that. IMHO, people get so wrapped up in the bling bling part of being able to say they have coilovers on their car, when in all reality they don't really know what the advantages of having them are. The only thing a coilover system will do for you is give you ride height adjustability, and more custom valving options, plus custom springs with high rates are more readily available if one chooses to go to a VERY high spring rate typically above 400-500 lbs. I can guarantee that no one on this forum has the need for 400-500+ lb springs as it would be pretty much unbearable on public roads. Most of the springs you buy now including H&R, Neuspeed, Shine, Autotech, etc. whether they are coilovers or shock/springs setups do not have rates above 250-275 and the valving you would need for these applications can easily be obtained from an adjustable shock such as Koni. The only readily available suspension I know of that you can get high spring rates out of the box it the Bilstein PSS9 adjustable c/o system, which has 450lb springs from the factory, which is still IMHO too high of a spring rate for 99% of daily drivers. You can buy shocks and struts that allow you to adjust shock and rebound, which 90% of the coilovers out there will not do. I would be willing to bet that 99.9999999% of drivers out there and on this forum (myself included) are not good enough of a driver and do not spend enough time in sanctioned road racing or autox events to get any benefit from a coilover system whatsoever. That is why I chose to go Koni and H&R and save myself a few bucks. I do like Bilstein, but I do find the adjustability of the Koni helpful, I always adjust it when at the drag strip to help eliminate wheel hop and it helps me get lower 60' times and better ET's.

[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: Big Dong ]
 

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Discussion Starter #12
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
For spring rates that are typically used for daily driver cars, shocks and springs can be matched just as well as any coilover system, I can guarantee that. IMHO, people get so wrapped up in the bling bling part of being able to say they have coilovers on their car, when in all reality they don't really know what the advantages of having them are. The only thing a coilover system will do for you is give you ride height adjustability, and more custom valving options, plus custom springs with high rates are more readily available if one chooses to go to a VERY high spring rate typically above 400-500 lbs. I can guarantee that no one on this forum has the need for 400-500+ lb springs as it would be pretty much unbearable on public roads. Most of the springs you buy now including H&R, Neuspeed, Shine, Autotech, etc. whether they are coilovers or shock/springs setups do not have rates above 250-275 and the valving you would need for these applications can easily be obtained from an adjustable shock such as Koni. The only readily available suspension I know of that you can get high spring rates out of the box it the Bilstein PSS9 adjustable c/o system, which has 450lb springs from the factory, which is still IMHO too high of a spring rate for 99% of daily drivers. You can buy shocks and struts that allow you to adjust shock and rebound, which 90% of the coilovers out there will not do. I would be willing to bet that 99.9999999% of drivers out there and on this forum (myself included) are not good enough of a driver and do not spend enough time in sanctioned road racing or autox events to get any benefit from a coilover system whatsoever. That is why I chose to go Koni and H&R and save myself a few bucks. I do like Bilstein, but I do find the adjustability of the Koni helpful, I always adjust it when at the drag strip to help eliminate wheel hop and it helps me get lower 60' times and better ET's.

[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: Big Dong ]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So what you are saying is with the adjustability of the koni shocks it seems that if someone who knows what they are doing is setting up your suspension the springs and shocks should match just as well as a coilover system. This seems to be in slight disagreement with others but your reasoning makes sense and is what I was thinking as well.....
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tommunist:
So what you are saying is with the adjustability of the koni shocks it seems that if someone who knows what they are doing is setting up your suspension the springs and shocks should match just as well as a coilover system. This seems to be in slight disagreement with others but your reasoning makes sense and is what I was thinking as well.....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. Just look at this guys setup. http://www.parts4vws.com/registry/registry_detail.asp?MemberCarID=1660
He is 2002 & 2003 SCCA BRR STS champion with this exact setup. I trust this guys opinions on MKIV suspension setups just as much as Mike Potter from parts4vws, and Dick Shine from Shine Racing Service. This guy has been tuning vw/porsche suspensions and racing in sanctioned events since most of the members on this forum were in diapers.
 

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its true coilovers aren't the best you can get. It all depends what you need. a nice set of springs and koni yellow shocks will do wonders for you.

And I admit I ponyed up and bought my coils for the "bling" factor, well partically. A great $$ was the other factor.
 
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