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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible to make my car handle better without lowering it? If yes, what would you guys reccommend? I live in NH and the roads can be really bumpy because of frost heaves and the like. Thanks in advance.
 

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another galactic blue jetta! sweet!

you could change you shocks and bushings etc... and sway bars front and rear... you sould be able to tell a good difference with those!
 

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Most kits that improve handling also lower the car. If you're really picky about giving up alittle bit of ride comfort, then I'd say no. BUT, if you're willing to sacrafice alittle bit of ride quality for better handling, then go for it. I have H&R springs on mine and it's great. I wish I had gotten coil overs though....
 

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Check out the Shine System. You can read about it on www.srsvw.com

Dick Shine (owner) has probably designed suspensions for more SCCA winning VW's than any other manufacturer out there. His springs have very high spring rates and he recommends the use of Bilstein with his stuff. His kits will not lower the car any more than 1/2 an inch, many will say though that they don't look lowered at all. His kits are more geared towards people that don't care about the slammed look and only want increased performance. Check them out, they should be able to help you. Plus they are also located in MA, so they are not that far away.

On a side note, I was born in Dover. I miss New England so much.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
Check out the Shine System. You can read about it on www.srsvw.com

Dick Shine (owner) has probably designed suspensions for more SCCA winning VW's than any other manufacturer out there. His springs have very high spring rates and he recommends the use of Bilstein with his stuff. His kits will not lower the car any more than 1/2 an inch, many will say though that they don't look lowered at all. His kits are more geared towards people that don't care about the slammed look and only want increased performance. Check them out, they should be able to help you. Plus they are also located in MA, so they are not that far away.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was thinking about doing a suspension from them if I get a new GTI like I want. I am glad to hear good things about them. Also, if anyone is interested, in addition to the suspension, they also program GIAC chips there. That way you can go right there and save yourself the trouble of sending it in the mail...
 

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The Shine package consists of non-lowering springs/Bilstein HDs/Rear sway. Probably the cheapest/simplest way to improve your handling without sacrificing ride would be to throw a set of HDs on your stock suspension. This way you could always upgrade with other parts later on as you get the skrills.

Besides, the general consensus seems to be that the best handling on a mk4 is at stock ride height. Lowering is for looks only.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:

Besides, the general consensus seems to be that the best handling on a mk4 is at stock ride height. Lowering is for looks only.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wouldn't go THAT far. I think lowering it with coilovers is too much, but I think sport springs (about 1.4" lowering) does help.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
The Shine package consists of non-lowering springs/Bilstein HDs/Rear sway. Probably the cheapest/simplest way to improve your handling without sacrificing ride would be to throw a set of HDs on your stock suspension. This way you could always upgrade with other parts later on as you get the skrills.

Besides, the general consensus seems to be that the best handling on a mk4 is at stock ride height. Lowering is for looks only.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Why would you put Bilstein HD's on your car? I am curious to your logic behind this. It is common for people to overdampen their stock springs in stock classes for autox, but a HD will not provide you with the dampening to do that. A Bilstein Sport would, as well as a Koni Yellow. Also, if lowering your car is for looks only, then why do extremely high end suspension companies such as LEDA and DMS lower the vehicle? Yes, when not provided with a stiff enough sway bar to compensate for lower control arms that are not the optimal angle, lowering can be a problem, but to say that lowering is for looks only is ridiculous. With common suspension companies such as H&R, Neuspeed, etc, and the rates and sway bars that they offer, it is for looks, but not on a serious competition setup such as LEDA or DMS. Ask Mike Potter, the owner of www.parts4vws.com (I know a few of you knwo who that is) what he thinks about this, he is one of the most knowledgable people in the states on the geometry and physics behind a MKIV suspension. Look at the setup he has on his MKIV GTI that was used in the one lap of america competition. No front sway bar, and IIRC, something like custom 800lb front springs and 450lb in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That seems kind of expensive for the item linked above.....but I am not sure. Anyone want to fill me in here?

[ July 23, 2003: Message edited by: Tommunist ]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
Why would you put Bilstein HD's on your car? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

HDs have the same valving as sports but are intended for <1" of lowering -- or stock height such as the thread starter desires.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
No front sway bar, and IIRC, something like custom 800lb front springs and 450lb in the rear. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We're talking about a daily driver here. He wants good handling for his daily driver at stock ride height. I'm sure those front springs to help reduce the effects of screwing up front suspension geometry, but neither Tommunist nor you nor I are gonna run 800lb springs on the car we drive to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
btw, does anyone have any experience with the bilstien HDs (or any other non-lowering suspension upgrades) that they would like to share? I just want to make sure that the money spent is worth it. Thanks again.
 

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What is always a good rule of thumb to go with when lowering a car is when your control arms are in a neutral state, meaning perfectly horizontal with the under body of your car, you are utlizing the optimal travel of your suspension. To much negative or positive and it throws off the predictablility of the handling of the car. Lowering the center of gravity, to a certain point along with alot of other must do's, will always be number one in a start to making your car handle better. It improves every Yaw aspect of the car. Of course a well matched spring/shock combo are necessary also. IMO the best money investment overall for a suspension for a MKIV is a rear sway bar. MKIV, especially a VR6, understeer tremendously. And a rear sway will help to counteract that effect. Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #16
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by evilgti2000:
What is always a good rule of thumb to go with when lowering a car is when your control arms are in a neutral state, meaning perfectly horizontal with the under body of your car, you are utlizing the optimal travel of your suspension. To much negative or positive and it throws off the predictablility of the handling of the car. Lowering the center of gravity, to a certain point along with alot of other must do's, will always be number one in a start to making your car handle better. It improves every Yaw aspect of the car. Of course a well matched spring/shock combo are necessary also. IMO the best money investment overall for a suspension for a MKIV is a rear sway bar. MKIV, especially a VR6, understeer tremendously. And a rear sway will help to counteract that effect. Just my 2 cents
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of the things I notice is the body roll and the way the front corner of the car tends to dive a bit when cornering hard. This is one the main things I would like to eliminate. I do however not wish to kill the nice ride that I have currently. A rear sway bar doesn't sound like a bad idea. Will this help combat any of the problems I mentioned above? Thanks for any insight.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tommunist:
One of the things I notice is the body roll and the way the front corner of the car tends to dive a bit when cornering hard. This is one the main things I would like to eliminate. I do however not wish to kill the nice ride that I have currently. A rear sway bar doesn't sound like a bad idea. Will this help combat any of the problems I mentioned above? Thanks for any insight.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A rear sway bar will not eliminate your front diving in a corner. What it will help is to try and distribute the cars weight better. If you are making a right hand turn your naturally shifts to the left. By stiffening the rear your helping the front by taking more weight transfer load to the rear because the rear is now stiffer in terms of body roll. This will allow the rear to push a corner a little easier commonly known as oversteer. With a VR6 your weight is to far in front of the front wheels. The best way to counteract this is stiffening the body in the rear and a bigger spring rate in the front not allowing the front suspension to be overwhelmed by that unbalanced heavy weight. Sorry if that comes out wrong but that is the best way I know how to explain it
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by evilgti2000:
A rear sway bar will not eliminate your front diving in a corner. What it will help is to try and distribute the cars weight better. If you are making a right hand turn your naturally shifts to the left. By stiffening the rear your helping the front by taking more weight transfer load to the rear because the rear is now stiffer in terms of body roll. This will allow the rear to push a corner a little easier commonly known as oversteer. With a VR6 your weight is to far in front of the front wheels. The best way to counteract this is stiffening the body in the rear and a bigger spring rate in the front not allowing the front suspension to be overwhelmed by that unbalanced heavy weight. Sorry if that comes out wrong but that is the best way I know how to explain it
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What is better, oversteer or understeer?
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tommunist:
What is better, oversteer or understeer?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

In the situation he described, oversteer is a good thing. All he is saying is that the bar will help you become more of a solid piece and that will help you take turns more smoothly, faster, etc..
 
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