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Suspension Questions

A4X4

New member
The Cup Kits look great on a budget, but I suspect they are more about ride height than performance. I wonder if the OEM shocks/struts have sufficient valving to just go with springs. I'm also wondering if its all a waste of money until you get a fully adjustable coil over kit, then put in the time to dial it in. Seems like the R is already set up right.

Thanks for sharing any thoughts.
 

TimS

Go Kart Newbie
There's more to consider than just the drop when pairing springs to shocks. I tried H&R sport springs with the stock shocks for a while - they're the same drop as the VWRs, but the car bounced all over the place because the stock shocks aren't valved for progressive rate springs. Then I switched to VWRs and they worked well until I replaced the stock shocks with Bilstein B8s, then the ride got stiff and crashy. I took the VWRs off and switched back to stock with B8s; it's better, but they're still mismatched, so I'm switching back to H&R when I can get a dry warm day to do it.

If you're happy with the R's stock setup but want better cornering, I think the best bang for buck is to upgrade the front and rear swaybars and endlinks.
 
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GIACUser

Master Wallet Mechanic
The Cup Kits look great on a budget, but I suspect they are more about ride height than performance. I wonder if the OEM shocks/struts have sufficient valving to just go with springs. I'm also wondering if its all a waste of money until you get a fully adjustable coil over kit, then put in the time to dial it in. Seems like the R is already set up right.

Thanks for sharing any thoughts.
Best to consider your goals, comfort, cornering, track etc. Also best not to use shorter springs on stock shocks. It is best to buy shocks of the proper length for shorter springs to insure you get full travel and of course valving better matched to the aftermarket lowering springs.

You can't have it all in any one suspension but staying away from the extremes you can get a decent ride that passengers won't be complaining about on the regular streets and one that you can take to the occasional track session.

I tried several setups on my MKV over the 12 years or so and the best all around setup was the Bilsteins B8s along with Eibach Sportline springs. These are specifically for the shorter drop springs. I am picky and old so I can't tolerate a stiff track type suspension for everyday use and these were great and with all the other usual mods served me quite well at the track and it is all reasonably priced. Great handling no bottoming out or bump steer issues.

These will work on R as well. Zero rubbing on stock sized rims and tires with ET44 offset


This was the stance after the Eibach drop
 

somerset9

Ready to race!
I actually bought the Bilstein + Eibach combo off of GIACUser a few years back (we met at a Whole Foods parking lot in Pasadena if I recall correctly), and I must say that a better combination is VWR springs with Autotech shocks.

The Bilstein+Eibach will handle great, but sacrificed too much comfort to do so, in my opinion. I'm not very well-versed in suspension technology so I can't say specifcally whether it was the spring rates, the dampening, or any other factor that affects ride quality. The VWR+Autotech combo was fantastic for all but the biggest bumps--those would jolt me out of my seat, but the VWR+Autotech was the only aftermarket setup so far that I preferred over stock suspension setup. The VWR+Autotech seemed to smooth out the most of the road imperfections a lot better than the BIlstein+Eibach setup.

There are some factors that make the comparison between the two setups difficult, including the year of Mazda ownership. However, I was a younger man when I had the 2014 GTI and would have tolerated a much harsher ride than when I had the 2007 GTI.

Also, the mk6 and mk5, even though on the same platform, handled very differently in their stock forms. The mk6 suspension was as if the engineers prioritized comfort over handling (but not overly so) and the other way around on the mk5. Maybe that could be why I found the Bilstein setup harsher, because I was used to the softer ride while the mk5 stock suspension was pretty stiff for a stock setup, so a stiffer aftermarket setup wouldn't have felt as harsh by comparison.

On the flip side, the mk5 felt very neutral whereas the mk6 had tons of understeer.
 

GIACUser

Master Wallet Mechanic
I actually bought the Bilstein + Eibach combo off of GIACUser a few years back (we met at a Whole Foods parking lot in Pasadena if I recall correctly), and I must say that a better combination is VWR springs with Autotech shocks.

The Bilstein+Eibach will handle great, but sacrificed too much comfort to do so, in my opinion. I'm not very well-versed in suspension technology so I can't say specifcally whether it was the spring rates, the dampening, or any other factor that affects ride quality. The VWR+Autotech combo was fantastic for all but the biggest bumps--those would jolt me out of my seat, but the VWR+Autotech was the only aftermarket setup so far that I preferred over stock suspension setup. The VWR+Autotech seemed to smooth out the most of the road imperfections a lot better than the BIlstein+Eibach setup.

There are some factors that make the comparison between the two setups difficult, including the year of Mazda ownership. However, I was a younger man when I had the 2014 GTI and would have tolerated a much harsher ride than when I had the 2007 GTI.

Also, the mk6 and mk5, even though on the same platform, handled very differently in their stock forms. The mk6 suspension was as if the engineers prioritized comfort over handling (but not overly so) and the other way around on the mk5. Maybe that could be why I found the Bilstein setup harsher, because I was used to the softer ride while the mk5 stock suspension was pretty stiff for a stock setup, so a stiffer aftermarket setup wouldn't have felt as harsh by comparison.

On the flip side, the mk5 felt very neutral whereas the mk6 had tons of understeer.
Sounds like a solid choice. Good info.
 

MrFancypants

Autocross Champion
If Bilstein is preferred why not grab a set of B14s? Not much more than B8s + springs and you can corner balance the car. I think H&R Street Performance coilovers are also Bilsteins under the stickers, also very reasonably priced.
 

Joe_Mama

Autocross Champion
Yeah the H&R street perf coils use Bilstein shocks. It is stamped into the metal under the dust boot.
 
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