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Old 01-03-2017, 02:14 PM   #1
mikejsmith1985
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mFactory coilover suspension review

I want to preface my review by saying I'm a complete noob when it comes to suspension. I've got limited understanding of the way that geometry changes/individual component changes will effect the way the car rides. In general I understand that lowering and firming will decrease travel and stiffen the ride. Raising and softening the will cause the car to have more travel and a softer ride.



This review will have several stages to it 1st install, 2nd DD impressions, 3rd Track impressions.



Installation: What started as a seemingly straight forward installation, as I had installed and removed springs on a couple of GTIs now quickly showed me how much I don't know :-)



Overall the installation wasn't bad at all. My understanding of how to set the ride height and the adjustable end links caused me a few headaches, but as I encountered each gotcha a quick PM to mFactory and 30 mins later I was set straight. mFactory has had the best customer service of any vendor I've worked with hands down!



So here is what I did to install starting at the point where all the old suspension components were removed.

1. I realized that adjustability was going to be difficult so I used a 3.5" or 89 mm hole saw to drill out the cups on top of the strut towers, and 3D printed some friction fit trim rings for a more finished look.







2. Set each shock to its shortest setting and bolt everything in except for the sway bar end links.



3. Propery torque all bolts



4. Set the ride height, to do this I knew I wanted to be somewhere around stock height and I knew that you need at least 1" of threads in the shock/strut body to operate safely. If you're reading this now I would recommend measuring and marking this at least on the rear shocks/struts if not all 4. From here I started with the fronts, I threaded the top nut against the spring till it was hand tight and the spring wouldn't move up and down, then threaded the lower nut up to the top so they would act as jamb nuts and measured the gap between the lower ring and the shock/strut body I then adjusted it up 2". I did the same on the other front shock/strut and first made sure that the starting measurement between the bottom jamb nut and the shock/strut body was the same as the first shock/strut so that when I raised it 2" they would be set to the same height. I moved to the rears where there is no jamb nut as the spring doesn't actually ride on it. so I noticed that the rears actually bottom out in the housing when you set them to their minimum height and appear to have less adjustability than the fronts. I spun the nut to .5" below the shock/strut body and began adjustments. I was afraid that 2" would be too far so I only went 1.5" on the rears, I then threaded the lock nut back to the body and used the allen set screw to lock it in place. Next I spun the nut on the perch of the spring till the spring was seated in the LCA rubber pad and the perch was snug against the bare metal body, and locked that nut in place with the allen bolt. I repeated this on the other side.

These Pictures are prior to setting the ride height. So this should be reflective of roughly the lowest settings you could run.



5. Sway bar end links, the rear was untouched on my install. On the front I started on the passenger side and put set the adjustable end link near its max length. I then adjusted it shorter till the sway bar was parallel with the ground and locked the nuts so that it wouldn't adjust any more. I then went to the drivers side and set the length of the end link so that it would slide into both the sway bar and the shock/strut body without any slack or resistance to make sure there is no pre-load on the front sway bar.



6. Re- check torque on everything and set the dampers to your preferred starting point. Mine was at a 4 calling 1 the min and 7 the max.



When I put the wheels on and took the car off jack stands I expected to see that I needed to lower the front. Instead I found that the car seemed to sit quite level. I'm giving it some time to fully settle before I take my measurements and make final adjustments but the car is about stock height. I believe that I had threaded the fronts down beyond what the intended minimum setting is supposed to be and why I ended up raising the front .5" more than the rears and having a level car. Next you need to get an alignment and select the damper settings that you like best.

Here are the only pics I've been able to get since doing the install so you can see the current ride height.






DD: I'm still evaluating the car but driving with a damper setting of 2 in all 4 corners quickly changed my initial thoughts (all 4 corners set at 4) of OMG I thought these roads were paved to mostly bliss. Keeping in mind I've been running OEM shocks/struts with DG springs, the ride is firmer but not in a harsh way for instance if I happened upon a pot hole with DG springs you could bet we were going to find that bump stop post haste, with the mFactory coilovers it's still apparent you should have chosen your path a bit more wisely, but it feels like the suspension absorbs all of the impact not the strut perches of the car. It's cold and wet here in OH and I'm on summer tires as the car was supposed to be parked all winter :-) so I haven't had an opportunity to push the car much but body roll is greatly improved steering seemed a bit heavier prior to my alignment which I liked, so I may add some camber. Currently my alignment is to OEM spec for as much of an apples to apples comparison. I intend to test both the softest and firmest settings in the next week or so and will also give "3" a try as I occasionally find myself wanting that "racecar" feel when I'm driving nicer roads.
1/25/2017: Update: After testing both the softest and hardest settings I've settled on a "3" setting which is the softer side of the mid point in the adjustment range. for daily driving this is compliant and offers enough rigidness that that I don't ever feel like I'm missing out on the "racecar" feel when I want to drive a bit more aggressively. weather has remained cold and or wet but the few brief opportunities I've had to push the car have felt great. It feels tighter and more planted in the corners (keep in mind my ride height is higher than it was with my DG springs) lane changes at speed are crisp no real body roll to mention. I'm very happy with the setup. No more updates till I get a chance to track the car.




Track: TBD its cold and I won't be able to hit the drag strip or autox events till spring at the earliest.
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Last edited by mikejsmith1985; 01-25-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:42 AM   #2
DaveGLI
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... to hell with the coils...

EXPLAIN YOUR REAR BRAKE SET-UP!!?!?!?!?!?!
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejsmith1985 View Post
Raising and softening the will cause the car to have more travel and a softer ride.
Not 100% true with a adjustable length strut. The spring stays at the same length/preload....you're adjusting the height of the strut to determine the height & theoretically won't affect the ride quality
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:03 AM   #4
mikejsmith1985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snobrdrdan View Post
Not 100% true with a adjustable length strut. The spring stays at the same length/preload....you're adjusting the height of the strut to determine the height & theoretically won't affect the ride quality


Thanks for correcting the misinformation!

- Also edited the 1st post with some additional DD notes.


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Old 01-11-2017, 09:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
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EXPLAIN YOUR REAR BRAKE SET-UP!!?!?!?!?!?!
I'm wondering about the same
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
mikejsmith1985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madbikes View Post
I'm wondering about the same


Check out my build thread


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Keep trying until it starts shooting flames.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:30 PM   #7
Nezoid
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2nd caliper for ebrake? Man, I am moving to Ohio soonish.. woule love to see your car in person.. but still a bit away from the Cleveland area. Keep up the awesome work.
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Old 01-11-2017, 10:02 PM   #8
mikejsmith1985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nezoid View Post
2nd caliper for ebrake? Man, I am moving to Ohio soonish.. woule love to see your car in person.. but still a bit away from the Cleveland area. Keep up the awesome work.


Yes 2nd caliper is e-brake. It locks the wheel strong enough I can't turn it by hand but if I set it and put the car in D it won't hold it while idling. But it looks awesome lol

I'm just outside Cincinnati so Cleveland is a bit of a drive but you're welcome to scope it out any time.


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Old 04-20-2017, 07:30 PM   #9
TALON AE
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Any updates impressions now that the weather has started to turn?


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Old 04-24-2017, 07:23 AM   #10
the1bill
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This is brilliant! I wish I had thought of it!

I'm a bit chicken (actually, a lot chicken) about cutting or drilling into the body, but I'd love to be able to reach the camber adjustment on the top. Any tips on how you did this that might allay my concerns? How did you treat the bare metal at the edge of the hole? How did you keep the hole saw centered?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejsmith1985 View Post
1. I realized that adjustability was going to be difficult so I used a 3.5" or 89 mm hole saw to drill out the cups on top of the strut towers, and 3D printed some friction fit trim rings for a more finished look.



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Old 04-24-2017, 09:10 AM   #11
vwgti2.0t
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So I'm usually not an idiot, but I tried searching and I can't find where/how to buy these things or any other information (I googled a bunch). Can anyone direct me in the right location?

Edit: I must have been drunk. Just found them..

Last edited by vwgti2.0t; 04-24-2017 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:14 AM   #12
the1bill
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They can be found here.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:13 PM   #13
Joveen
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I love that the springs are linear and not progressive. I might get swift springs with this setup

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Old 07-22-2017, 11:29 PM   #14
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I love that the springs are linear and not progressive. I might get swift springs with this setup

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I bought them with the softer springs and some 6k/8K Swifts as well. Have not installed on car yet. Car is down for a complete rebuild/upgraded of engine/turbo, brakes and suspension. Can't wait to take them out to the track and see how they do.
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