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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start off by saying I am thoroughly impressed with the coilover setup.

PROS:

- Ride is more compliant in most situations than just lowering springs. Dips, humps, and smooth surfaces are handled very well.

-Pitch and dive under acceleration and braking is GREATLY reduced. The system does an outstanding job of keeping the car level which is the benefit achieved by dialing in the exact same ride height at all four corners.

-Body roll is just about eliminated. The car now corners like a true track star. I also don't hear any "creaking" like I did with just springs during heavy cornering load.

- The drop is perfect because you have control of exactly how you want it to look. I have mine set at 1" for now until the springs settle. In a week or so I will dial in some rake to the front. As is, it still looks more appealing than the more aggressive 1.3" drop that I had.

CONS

-The setup does not like sharp bumps in rapid succession. It becomes a bit unsettled and reverberates through the cabin. It takes alot to do this, but you will feel a nasty patch of road.

-The steering wass always a bit uncommunicative, but it is amplified with the suspension now talking to the driver. The steering feels even more disconnected with this setup.

This is money well spent if you want a more compliant ride, better visual stance, and no later issues with changing shocks due to more aggressive springs.

I do not and will not track my car and these are street coilovers that maintain some civility and greatly improve handling.
I highly recommend this mod....
 

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Any updated images of the new and improved look? thx - C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can snap some pics, but I basically have a 1" drop right now. After they settle, I will dial in some rake and get them exactly right front and rear....
 

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I'd like to see it sometime, I am getting mine in about two weeks and I am thinking about the coilovers too.
 

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Thanks Sizzle... It's great to hear from someone who has moved from the lowered springs to the coilovers. A few of us guys on the H&R springs over here are looking at upgrading to the KW coilovers to eliminate a bit of the 'harshness' of the lowered springs and to improve the handling over the bumpy stuff where the car can be unsettled with the lowered springs... we believe this is due to not having matched shocks.

...any further comments on the comparision between lowering springs and coilovers would be greatly appreciated as you get more miles under your belt.

Ian.
 

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Really useful write-up Sizzle, thanks. Quick question from an automotive layman - is adjusting the set-up a fairly straightforward task? I'm guessng it's just a case of wheel off (yes, I know, you have to jack the car up first....), get a hefty spanner and twist some adjusting nut in one direction of the other. Is it that simple?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd like to see it sometime, I am getting mine in about two weeks and I am thinking about the coilovers too.
No problem at all. I am actually working from home for the rest of the week and I don't have any plans for the weekend. Shoot me a PM and we can set something up....

Thanks Sizzle... It's great to hear from someone who has moved from the lowered springs to the coilovers. A few of us guys on the H&R springs over here are looking at upgrading to the KW coilovers to eliminate a bit of the 'harshness' of the lowered springs and to improve the handling over the bumpy stuff where the car can be unsettled with the lowered springs... we believe this is due to not having matched shocks.

...any further comments on the comparision between lowering springs and coilovers would be greatly appreciated as you get more miles under your belt.

Ian.
It's simply no contest. I know it's soon, but you can clearly tell the coilovers are a system working in concert versus an add on spring. Not knocking springs, but you can tell the difference for sure. No more harshness or bouncines with the coils. Just a very precise ride with excellent feel. The KW coilovers got a good review over on AudiWorld so sounds like you will be happy with them as well..

Really useful write-up Sizzle, thanks. Quick question from an automotive layman - is adjusting the set-up a fairly straightforward task? I'm guessng it's just a case of wheel off (yes, I know, you have to jack the car up first....), get a hefty spanner and twist some adjusting nut in one direction of the other. Is it that simple?
The rears you can leave the wheels on and use the provided tool to make the adjustment. For the front you need to remove the wheels because they are true coilovers.
Remember, because of the new chassis, the rear on these coilovers sets is going to be an adjustable shock and spring set versus a true coilover.
 

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The rears you can leave the wheels on and use the provided tool to make the adjustment. For the front you need to remove the wheels because they are true coilovers.
Remember, because of the new chassis, the rear on these coilovers sets is going to be an adjustable shock and spring set versus a true coilover.
So does anyone do true coil overs for the back too, if they did how much of a difference would there be?
 

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Thanks Sizzle... It's great to hear from someone who has moved from the lowered springs to the coilovers. A few of us guys on the H&R springs over here are looking at upgrading to the KW coilovers to eliminate a bit of the 'harshness' of the lowered springs and to improve the handling over the bumpy stuff where the car can be unsettled with the lowered springs... we believe this is due to not having matched shocks.

...any further comments on the comparision between lowering springs and coilovers would be greatly appreciated as you get more miles under your belt.

Ian.
Another Question for the Prof!

What's the mechanical explanation for why the ride should differ between coilovers and a separates set up ( assuming you can change the shocks to sort out the damping harshness )?

It seems to me that for a given ride height ( of say 1" lower than standard ) the larger diameter springs of the separates arrangement are probably under less stress!

Does this mean that the only advantage of coilovers is the adjustability of the ride height?

Answers please, because the new tip baby is comming soon and she's going to ride low, and I need to know if I am to oreder coilovers or negotiate a set of used H&R's from Ian or EssFive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
So does anyone do true coil overs for the back too, if they did how much of a difference would there be?
I am not 100% sure on this because it's second hand info, but I heard that with this chassis you cannot do true coils in the rear because of ESC and DRC..

Another Question for the Prof!

What's the mechanical explanation for why the ride should differ between coilovers and a separates set up ( assuming you can change the shocks to sort out the damping harshness )?

It seems to me that for a given ride height ( of say 1" lower than standard ) the larger diameter springs of the separates arrangement are probably under less stress!

Does this mean that the only advantage of coilovers is the adjustability of the ride height?

Answers please, because the new tip baby is comming soon and she's going to ride low, and I need to know if I am to oreder coilovers or negotiate a set of used H&R's from Ian or EssFive?
Not the Professor, but I can tell you that there are way more advantages to coilovers over just springs.

First, there is MORE stress on springs and stock shocks because the compression rates are not working in concert. The conventional wisdom is that the stock shocks will have to be replaced at 20k miles or so because of this.

Second, the ride on the coilovers is more compliant depending on what you get. Mine are street coilovers. The dampening cannot be adjusted but are automatically set to their softest setting. I will never track so didn't need an adjustable dampener. If you did get track coils, you can adjust them to softer and still get a very compliant ride.

Third, it's a system. getting all four corners adjusted at the exact ride heights does wonders for body roll and lean. Everything has been tested against all sorts of scenarios and is tuned to get the best results.
Springs can and do settle ate different rates giving you inexact ride heights on all four corners. Imagine a chair off by millimeters on all four corners. You can sit on it fine, but it will not be as comfortable or stable as one with exacting measurements.

I highly recommend this mod, and I am as critical as they come when it comes to my purchases.

Professor, your thoughts???
 

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OK... since you asked

1) NO the rears can never be true coilovers. This is because the spring and shocks are seperate items (not coaxial). Coilovers by definition are single units of springs and shocks co-axially.

2) The difference is that the amount of damping for the stock shocks is designed for a specific spring rating (force vs compression). When you use lowered springs, the spring is higher rated (i.e. stifer - requiring greater force to move the same distance) in order to give the suspension a smaller movement (travel) and prevent the car constantly hitting the bump-stops. 1" lowering = 1" less suspension travel... So with a stiffer spring, the damping should ideally be altered to suit and be able to damp the stiffer spring. If this isn't done. there is a compromise where the shock absorber doesn't damp the movement enough, so after compression follows a small lift or 'bounce' instead of returning back to the nominal height immediately.

3) Top of the range coilovers match the integral spring ratings precisely and allow the spring position to be adjusted or in some cases pre-compressed which alters the ride height and can change the effective stiffness of the spring at the rest position... in addition I'm told they compensate the damping based on the ride-height setting... not sure how this is done, but it's a relatively simple thing to do with a mechanical system... so as you lower the car, the damping is increased to match the new suspension travel and effective stiffness and thus maintaining the perfect set-up regardless of the chosen ride-height.

...Further to this, the top of the range shocks or coilovers can have manually adjustable damping ratings for 'bound' (compression) and rebound (extension) allowing the car to behave as the driver desires... and allows adjustment to suit after-market anti-roll bars (sway bars). I had adjustable Koni shocks on my track/road Alfasud and it was set up with hard bound on the rear and soft rebound on the front to stop the rear dipping with fast and hard changes of direction (which lifts the opposite front corner) which is undesirable in a FWD car and allows the front wheels to 'drop' easily into ruts and undulations in the road, giving great traction at all times on all road surfaces. Believe me, that car handled better than S5. I have yet to find a car that can travel down my local roads at the speeds that Alfa did so effortlessly!

Clear as mud? :)
 

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I am not 100% sure on this because it's second hand info, but I heard that with this chassis you cannot do true coils in the rear because of ESC and DRC..
I've had a very long day and my brain is tired. Can you please spell out your acronymns so that others will know WTF you're referring to?
LOL :D (See, I can use acronymns too.) I deduced that ESC is probably "Electronic Stability Control". But, I haven't been able to figure out what DRC refers to. :confused:

Thx (That means "Thanks".) :p
 

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OK... here's some piccies to help 'visualise' what's being discussed:

Coilovers have adjustable spring seats and in some cases body lengths too, in order to set the ride height (and corner weight in some):



when installed, look like this (not an Audi in this photo)



On the A5 of S5, however the rear suspension is not a single co-axial strut, but seperate springs and shocks. See the picture here from my S5 when the work was done at APS (picture from Audi driver magazine):



This necessitates a kit that has a height adjustable spring and a seperate damper (shock). Like this: (not a KW product in this picture)



Hope this helps! :)
 

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Thanks for the info guys. So, Ian are you, me and EssFive to have another day at APS getting coilovers fitted? ( Get ready Eddy for another group discount day!)
 

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Sizzle on a subjective basis only, can you give a percentage difference of how much better the cars ride and handling is now over the stock set-up.
Keep in mind that he had been driving around with the more aggressive 1.3" H&R springs for quite some time, so his memory may no longer have a good reference regarding the stock ride. Just something to consider.
 

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Keep in mind that he had been driving around with the more aggressive 1.3" H&R springs for quite some time, so his memory may no longer have a good reference regarding the stock ride. Just something to consider.
Or his brain may be so shaken as a result of the 1.3" springs, that he's lost all mental capacity. :eek: Only joking:D :D
 

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my biggest concern about getting coilovers on my s5 is what happens if you get a defective or blown out coilover?

i had HKS Hypermax coilovers on my IS350 and the ride was fantastic, but when my rear shock was leaking and clearly defective after only about 12,000 miles... they had to be shipped to japan to have them rebuilt...

so what would happen in this case with the H&Rs.. will they just send you a new shock or have to rebuild it.. and where are they based out of, and about how long could it take... because it took almost 3 months to send out the shock and have it rebuilt then shipped back from japan... i would up just putting my stock suspension back on and selling the rebuilt coilovers
 
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