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Definitive Coilover Thread

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Since this seems to be getting asked on a daily basis it would be good to have a thread we could point people to and them flame for not searching. Please only comment on coilovers that you have used. Also bare in mind that if you had standard suspension with say 80k on it and then changed to coilovers that you will see an over exaggerated improvement as your stock suspension will be worn anyway. You'd probably notice a different replacing everything with stock stuff, after all having 80k under its belt is quite a lot of mileage! Please can we keep this thread as proper reviews on suspension kits and not somewhere to keep asking "which kit is best". Read the reviews and decide which one suits your needs the best, that is the idea of this thread so people don't have to ask. They can make there own opinions up. If you must ask, please start a new thread so this is kept as tidy as possible.

I'd be interested to read reviews from people with HnR, Wietec, Gmax and AP coilovers as they are generally good brands but not heard anything from Lupo owners about them.

PhilJ / Ta - Technix :- These retail for around £200 and are probably the cheapest coilovers you can buy. If you know what you are getting with this kit they aren't a bad deal but if you are after performance and ride quality this isn't the kit for you. The kit is quite hard and bouncy, in the sense that you hit a bump and the suspension doesn't smooth it out for you, your left to feel what you just ran over. Sometimes you can hit something and it'll tense up the seat belts. The kits does offer a lot of adjustment though, you can get it very low at the front without any problems with the driveshafts catching or anything. The rears don't as low as the fronts, but once you chuck the adjusters away they don't sit to badly. Although I've heard of the shocks popping because of this. But there are other people who have ran them like this and had no problems so I guess its pot luck as to what happens. If you want to get your car low and that is all your interested in then this kit will do the job. It will handle better than the standard suspension but if you run it low and push it very hard the car can skip across the road or it can bottom out the shocks which will also make it skip. £200 isn't a lot of money when it comes to coilovers so you can't expect race car quality stuff for pocket change. Also they are made of a cheaper metal (to keep prices down) but this means they corrode a lot quicker than stainless coilovers which means if you want to adjust them in the future it can be a bit tricky as they might have sized up. This is worth baring in mind if you are intending on adjusting them from time to time. They can be freed off but it take a bit of work to do.

lupocoilies.jpg

Best place to contact Phil if you are interested in one of his kits is here

FK Highsport :- These retail at around £360 (or £450 if you want the silverline versions) and are probably one of the best known brands of coilovers and arguably were one of the most popular until PhilJs setups came along. The kit itself looks like a high quality kit, it offers a good quality ride with a lot of adjustment. Again you will see an improvement on handling but in my opinion they are a bit of soft when it comes to throwing the car about. It will take it and it won't lose grip but it doesn't inspire you to take corners to quickly. You find the limit of them very quickly and you don't want to take it any further as you feel you'll slide over to the passengers seat. Some people prefer this softness as under normal driving it feels more like standard suspension and most of the time you'll be doing normal driving if its your daily car. So in this respect its a very good kit. However, if you like to throw your car about quite a bit you maybe disappointed with the performance side of things. Mine took 4 years of abuse and were still going strong without and problems of popped shock absorbers, I gave them to a mate who is running them on his Lupo and has had them for about a year so there is no doubt that quality wise it is a very good kit. The only problem I had with them is that the casing corroded over time and when you tried to free of the rings it cause them to shatter. This isn't the end of the world as you can buy new rings and you can clean up the coilover threads themselves, it just means you either have to have the car off the road or put other suspension on it. FK offer Silverline version of these coilovers which I think are around £50-80 more expensive but they claim they won't corrode. I've never used them so I couldn't say, but if it works as they say it should I think it would be a worth while investment. After all if the coilovers are going to last 5 years (or more!) then spending a bit extra can't hurt. I think this kit is very well suited to general road use and isn't bad for throwing the car about. If you spend most of your time just driving about and some of the time throwing the car about then this could be the kit for you.

highsport.jpg

Venom Motorsport can be contact here for FK suspension.

KW V1 :- This kit is probably one of the most expensive out there retailing at around £635. But ask anyone who has used KW coilovers before and they will no doubt tell you to go for them. They have a very good reputation for the quality and comfort of there kits. For me it was a case of I had tried the rest and now I wanted to try the best. I was expecting the coilovers to be quite good but after using them I was very very impressed with them. They will soak up most bumps on the road and leave you feeling comfortable, the kit I had before this was a Ta Technix one and if you hit a pot hole you just tensed up and go ready to bare the brunt of it. With the KWs it seems to soak them up and leaves you looking around wondering where the bump went. At first I just pottered around slowly on the kit and I was very impressed by the ride quality. obviously its not as good as the standard stuff as that is so tall and soft that it will soak up bumps like a sponge. But the KW kit isn't far behind. My old man can't stand my cars cause they are always to bouncy but even he thinks the KW kit is good. Which is saying something! Unlike the FK kit which also offers good normal driving the KW kit comes to life when you throw the car about. It works in mysterious way as it still gives you the ride comfort without being to soft like the FK kit. I'm not sure how it works, I still half believe its witch craft. But it does work and it transforms the feel of the car. It goes from just a normal car to drive about in to something that wants you to push it. It doesn't skip or bounce so you can make the most of the power and tyres that you have. The only down side I can find is the price, but even then thats only if you can't afford it. If you can afford it you'll quickly find out its worth the money they ask. You can tell they have spend money developing the kit. If you can afford it or save up to buy the kit I'd strongly recommend it. The quality of the kit when you look at it is fantastic, it just feels like a well put together piece of kit. It does offer a lot of adjustment to, even when its run low it still soaks up bumps and doesn't skip about which is brilliant. It offers more adjustment than you'd even need. I ran them towards the bottom of the threads with about 2" of thread to go and it was catching on the driveshafts. If you ran it at the bottom of its threads I think the chassis would just sit on the floor. In my opinion this kit offers everything and is the best all round package. If you have to take your granny to the shops it won't shake her bones into powder. If you want to go for a blast down a B road it will make the car feel planted and feel save to chuck about a bit. I've not used it on a track but I'm sure it won't perform badly out there either. Teamed up with some good tyres and good brakes I don't think theres much that you couldn't keep in your view on a twisty road. I say, if you can afford it, buy it!!

variant1.jpg

Venom Motorsport can be contact here for KW suspension.

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KW Variant 1's have been on my car now for about 6 months now and still look as good as new after a

wipe down, even after they've been caked in winter crud. Adjustment is still easy and the ride is superb.

What you get in the box -

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When buying KW's its also worth checking that they are the superior 'inox-line' ones as I'm pretty sure

they did a version without the corrosion resistant plating.

http://www.kamracing.co.uk/ - were by far the cheapest place for them when I got mine using ClubLupo discount.

Edited by Lee_

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Weitec Hicon GT. These cost around £450 and are made by the same people who make KW's, it has been siad a number of times that the dampeners are practically the same as KW's but obviously they are only galvanized not stainless.

I purchased mine at edition for £425. They are a fixed rate dampening and rebound and only height adjustable but the factory set up is very good. Compared to friends fk's they feel much softer and are not crashy or bouncy at all. However this did not affect their cornering performance at all and they were very confidence inspiring and felt very planted at all times ie. nice and flat. With regards to adjustability they offer plenty at the front and not so much at the rear, something typical with lupo's. I never felt the need to take the adjusters out the back as I ran 40 profile tyres on 14's and this represented a large drop in itself. Although the strut bodies are galvanized my coil-overs never seized as the adjuster cup is made of plastic and so never bonds with the strut itself, for this reason even after a year and a half they could still be adjusted by hand. After this time there was some surface corrosion as the galvanized coating does begin to wear off, but in my ownership they never went rusty and certainly had a number of years left in them. Though I did look after them, cleaning and greasing a few times a year.

Highly recommended :shades:

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I've had KW V1's for 2.5 years. Never really looked after them, they've been blasted a few times with a pressure washer but that's about it. After a turn or two with a C spanner they can still be adjusted by hand.

I'm gonna have to go against the grain though and say I haven't found them as comfortable as others have made out, although they are a lot more comfy than Lupos I've been in with the Philj's.

I have given my car absolute hell through the twisties and they've been nothing short of amazing handling wise, even though they're down low.

If I was to do another car 'properly' I wouldn't hesitate to buy KW's again. If I just wanted to get it low cheaply and wasn't bothered about the handling, I'd go for PhilJ's, as I have done on my Audi A6.

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Supersport coilovers -

I had these firstly on my arosa 1.0 and they weren't very suited as the dampers are based on the GTi. The kit did seem pretty well put together, but they did tarnish pretty quickly and would have 95% seized up if i hadnt taken them off and smothered them in grease.

Then, swapped them over to my GTi. Handling was pretty good, predictable, but ride quality was really crashy and you could feel every bump in the road. In the end i couldnt take it any more as it was like riding in a horse and kart, so sold them to a mate who wanted a cheap setup. A few weeks later one of the fronts decided to leak - so IMO one to avoid as they aren't all that cheap aswell (about £400 when i had them first)

FK Silverlines -

Dropped about 30mm more than Supersport kit on these, and what a difference. Felt like a different car, ride was 100x better and handled miles better at the same time. Can easily achieve ride heights plenty low enough with these, and they also wore brilliantly through the nice welsh winter up and down the motorway - still looked new and the dirt just wiped off with a wheel brush. Cost me £425 when i bought them, would definitely buy them again (and probably will) for my ibiza.

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Supersport coilovers -

I had these firstly on my arosa 1.0 and they weren't very suited as the dampers are based on the GTi. The kit did seem pretty well put together, but they did tarnish pretty quickly and would have 95% seized up if i hadnt taken them off and smothered them in grease.

Then, swapped them over to my GTi. Handling was pretty good, predictable, but ride quality was really crashy and you could feel every bump in the road. In the end i couldnt take it any more as it was like riding in a horse and kart, so sold them to a mate who wanted a cheap setup. A few weeks later one of the fronts decided to leak - so IMO one to avoid as they aren't all that cheap aswell (about £400 when i had them first)

FK Silverlines -

Dropped about 30mm more than Supersport kit on these, and what a difference. Felt like a different car, ride was 100x better and handled miles better at the same time. Can easily achieve ride heights plenty low enough with these, and they also wore brilliantly through the nice welsh winter up and down the motorway - still looked new and the dirt just wiped off with a wheel brush. Cost me £425 when i bought them, would definitely buy them again (and probably will) for my ibiza.

Seconded ;)

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I've run FK Highsports on two of my Gti's now, and cant really say a bad thing about them. The first ones i had covered 40,000 miles with no problems and sold them on still in good working order. The highsports coilovers is are zink plated to help prevent corrosion, but you might want to give them a good clean'n grease once or twice ayear just to keep them tip top :) The damping is uprated by 30% over standard offering a firm yet acceptable ride quality with much improved handling. I would personaly give them agood 7out of10 overall, but would probably go for KW's or H&R's in the future.

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great thread - lee just wondering how you got club lupo discount on ur KW's?

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Highsports, better quality than philj good ride but not Excellent. Handled well!

Philj's, now i find the ride on these VERY similar to highsports and tbh dont really see the twice as much price tag of the highsports worth it, however its just a daily ride..no track car so the handling on phils may not be "as" good. The philj's would be my choice over highsports going on price and what you get for the money. ( although 20mm extra on the rear would be nice )

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I went from Highsports to PhilJ's and I noticed a huge different in the ride quality tbh! It may not seem like much if you go from one to the other after a long period of time (I assume you are still referring to the hightsports that were on my car). But when you go directly from one to the other its a noticeable difference!

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AP Coilovers:

Fitted these to my ibiza this week and havent got a bad word to say about them. Great quality, damping seems spot on and smoother than standard at times whilst still being stiffer and car handles 100x better. A big claim but possibly better than my silverlines on the lupo? Albeit not stainless, the only drawback.

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One of the best things about AP Coilovers is that they are actually designed and tested ON VEHICLE! They are however despite AP Being a German company Assembled in and Distributed from Germany.

There are only 4 coilover manufacturers who actually do this! (AP - KW - Billstein and H&R) The rest of them all just do Calculations and work out damping rates by Percentages ontop of the original.

http://www.awesomegti.com/ap-coilovers-lupo'>Click here for AP Coilovers

Edited by nfbr

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I would definitely recommend KW coilovers!

If you are going to be using the car on the road and don't want to spend an incredible amount I would recommend KW Variant 1's.

I wouldn't recommend KW Variant 2's because they are pointless.

If you are going to be using the car on the track, or want the best whats out there, then I'd recommend the KW Variant 3's.

Variant 1's are Ride height adjustable only, The Damping/Rebound and Spring rates on these are basically what KW's "Test pilot" finds to be the best "Fast road setting" using the variant 3's.

Variant 2's are Damping and Ride height adjustable only. Again the Rebound and Spring rates are the same as the KW V1's. Unfortunately the additional adjustment on the Variant 2's is extra money for a pointless thing. Its designed to fill a gap in the market for people who want to play with a knob... After all whats the point in Adjusting damping if you cannot adjust the rebound to match. Even KW automotive (UK) admit the KW Variant 2's are pretty pointless and are only produced because it would be ignorant for them not to.

Variant 3's are Damping, Rebound and Ride height adjustable. One of the cool things about KW Variant 3's is that you can ring KW in Germany, tell them what track you are going to be going on, what car you have and they will tell you exactly what settings to put the damping and rebound on for that specific track!

Another amazing thing about the KW Variant 3's is that they have Intelligent damping reservoirs, allowing them to be soft on the long straight roads, but stiffen up as soon as you chuck the car into a bend! Absolutely fantastic technology!

Hope this input helps you guys :)

I'll be back soon with some words about other coilovers (Eibach, Weitec, Koni, AP)

Edited by AwesomeAl

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Im thinking about getting AP coilovers over the ta-technix ones based on how people seem to think they handle alot better so i guess its worth the extra £150. Do they go as low as the ta-technix?

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I'm finally thinking of taking the plunge, not strictly for the lowering (although I'd like a very slight reduction in ride height), but for the handling mainly. Been thinking about this since I got the car five years ago and now seems like as good as time as any.

Still no idea what to get though. Swinging towards the KW V1's, mainly because people say such good things. The AP ones have a price advantage though. About how much labour is required? No idea if the place I usually take my car to be service would do them, so I guess I'd have to take recommendations for places in the Midlands.

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Probably around 2 hours to fit them, maybe upto another hour to do the geometry. Best off fitting them yourself or getting someone to do it for beer money, and them it to a professional to get the geometry sorted.

If you can stretch to it the KW's seam highly regarded on the forum and last well in the corrosion tests, so you can fit them and forget. :)

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Try Midlands VW for fitting, they've always been reasonable for servicing and stuff. :)

I've been running KW's since last summer, had a poke around under the arch the other day and they still wipe clean

and look fine even after daily abuse through this salty winter.

I wouldn't hesistate to buy them again, H&R now do a stainless coilover now which might be worth a look. (Bluloop had some IIRC)

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I've been thinking about giving Midland VW a try, mainly to give me something different to write about for my longtermer updates every month.

Might give them a ring to quote on the cambelt too, would be handy to get it all done in one go.

Am I right in thinking that I can opt for a slight, and I mean slight, lowering on something like the KW's and still get handling benefits? I admit I'm not exactly clued up with this sort of thing.

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In reply to the "Where do i get coilovers fitted" its pretty easy to do yourself i did mine in 2-3 hours on my own just had the step by step guide someone put on here to hand for reference. Though i like a challenge i'm no mechanic. But if you dont want to get your hands dirty i should think any decent vw specialist would do it for around £100 to £150 at a guess.

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