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Opinions Needed - Suspension Refresh

Brigand

Newbie
Location
WA
Hey All, I have a 2006 GTI that I'm looking to refresh the suspension. It's a daily driver and does not see auto-x or track use. It's currently equipped with a H&R Touring Cup Kit which I believe pairs H&R Sport Springs with some Bilstein Touring struts/shocks from the look of it. I was never really thrilled with the dampening characteristics of this kit but had no choice but to live with them for the last 6 years. I am now thinking of replacing the struts/shocks with Bilstein B8 Sports (I always had my heart set on these but could never really afford them).

After pricing these out, I realized that I'm getting close to some of the lower priced coilover kits. I see that Bilstein makes a B14 Coilover Suspension Kit. After reading some reviews though, it looks like you don't get much adjustment from these and it's very easy to lower these to the point where you are riding on the bumpstops - as in, don't think about trying to lower these to the lower part of the adjustment range.

Is anyone running this kit and is willing to share their opinions? Adjustability isn't a priority for me, but I figured why not since I'm already considering investing nearly $800.00 for struts/shocks alone. Am I better off getting the Bilstein Sports and pairing them with my 6 year old H&R Sport Springs? Would a more moderately priced strut/shock suit me just fine? I don't mind the firm suspension feel but don't want to get thrown out of my seat from every imperfection in the road. Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading.
 

snobrdrdan

former GTI owner
I'd pair your H&R springs, assuming you're happy with the height/ride, with (adjustable) Koni Sports instead. The Bilsteins are a stiffer damper, in comparison, and non adjustable.
 

Brigand

Newbie
Location
WA
Thanks for the reply snobrdrdan. After thinking on it a bit more, I think I’m better off getting good struts/shocks instead of an entry level coilover setup.

I’ll take a look at the KONI Sports. I probably won’t tinker with them much after initial installation, but having the ability to adjust damping force sounds appealing the more I think about it.
 

snobrdrdan

former GTI owner
Yeah the Konis will just need to be adjusted to your desire and then you probably won't touch them again, in all honesty. BUT you can at least adjust/set them how you want them.
And over their life, when they start to get "tired", you just adjust them stiffer to bring back their handling.
 

GIACUser

Master Wallet Mechanic
Location
SoCal
I ran the B8 Bilsteins for the MK6 (MK5 ver is quite stiff) along with Eibach Sportlines. Fantastic handling when paired with a set of Eibach sways. VERY comfortable on street and great on track. I am old and picky so I don't like suspension mods that depart too much from the stock comfort level.

This is what I ordered and paid for them back in 2013.



Pics of how car looked and cornered.


 
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707Stang

I'm Hella From Nor*Cal
Location
Nor*Cal
I run Koni Special Actives. I can’t complain with them. I daily my car and aside from spirited canyon drives it has never seen the track. Stock springs and I have a bigger H&R rear sway bar.
 

Brigand

Newbie
Location
WA
Thanks for all of the responses guys. I've been on these forums since 2006 and it's wild seeing some of the same names from way back then! I ended up going with the Bilstein Sports and got them installed today with new bumpstops and this Urotuning's in house brand of upper shock mount - Velt Sport. The rear end feels fantastic and it's made the entire car more stable. It's a bit more firm but the car seems to react and settle from road imperfections much better than ever before.

I also need to make less steering corrections when traveling in a straight line which I thought was odd. The entire rear end use to have a "jiggle" to it, especially when hitting bumps mid-turn. That's been eliminated.

Anyways, this is all stuff you probably know. One other thing though, do you think I'll need a rear end alignment? I followed the usual procedure and removed the lower control arm bolt, lower and upper shock mount bolts. Get an alignment just to be safe or should it be good?

I do plan on replacing the front struts eventually just so it's all the same brand suspension equipment in the near future. That will definitely require an alignment of course. Maybe wait until that work is done then go get a four wheel alignment done? --Thanks again.
 

Brigand

Newbie
Location
WA
You should get the rear aligned

IMO though....get the fronts done, but I wouldn't wait too long, so that you only have to do & pay for one (4 wheel) alignment

The more I thought about it the more it made sense to do just what you said.

I'm going to replace all the usual components up front and just get it done. I've been dealing with squeaking 034 strut mounts for a while now too so it'll be a relief to get those out of there. I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to go a bit further and inspect and replace is necessary the tie rods/ends. Ball joints were done not too long ago (maybe around 10K miles) and the front LCA rear bushings were also replaced.

I must be babying the car or something though. Maybe the streets I drive are in good condition relatively speaking. The ball joints did not need to be replaced and the rear position bushing on the front LCAs showed minimal wear. That's on a 2006 MKV GTI with over 130K on it. It's also been street parked its entire life.
 
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