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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:55   #31
IndigoBlueWagon
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I think this was in the 'what is handling' thread, but it's true that what makes the car go faster can also make it more difficult (and scarier) to drive.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 08:39   #32
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Point taken Peter.


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Old February 23rd, 2007, 10:07   #33
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so if you know how to drive a car like that is it better than stock?
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 13:22   #34
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Give me a definition of "better"?


It is really always and always a compromise - all you are doing is modifying parameters, gaining in some aspects and losing in others. Imagine you have a slider bar with white on one side and black on the other side - all you are doing is sliding in the gray area - you stop when you think it is the right compromise for you. The important part is to acknowledge the compromise and be very aware about the pros and cons for that specific setup you choose. The issue with the internet boards is that the users tend to talk and expose only the pros, ignoring the cons like they do not exist. It is human behavior, it is natural to act like that, but we have to try to be less biased and more objective.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 15:12   #35
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What Peter said. Removing the front stabilizer bar puts the car too much into the danger zone for my driving skills and circumstances, even though it might make the car faster on the track. We all have our limits.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 22:23   #36
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Peter, First of all your methodology and striving for a more scientific approach is appreciated. This whole topic seems to have some divergence when it comes to qualitative vs. quantitative reasoning. Most of us are dealing with qualitative assumptions based on feel and response of the vehicle under less than critical circumstances.

Bottom line question... Descibe an ideal 'sporty oem ++' for our mkIV's in terms of mods outside of oem parts. The goal would be to achieve a qualitatively crisper response from the wheel (supposed handling), not much sacrifice in ride comfort, while not setting the car up to kill us.

How would you spec out a 'sport package' if you were vw using off the shelf after market parts? Give us your version of a Pyce edition sport package.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 23:43   #37
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This is exactly the issue - no one can give an accurate answer to your question because it is all about personal feel, personl choice, personal preference. It is impossible to talk accurately about comfort, crispiness, feel, etc. As said above, it is all in the gray area and everyone has a spot in it, but our spots are all in different part of the slider....

Another big issue is that in general, a stiff car is perceived to be better in "handling" and everything associated with it. The point I have been trying to make is that your car does not have to ride like cement truck as to handle well, and actually that stiff cars are not the best way to approach the every day driving on the street. I just want to keep making those points to whoever decides to read, that the stock car is very, very capable and therefore there is really no need to change the suspension as to make the car "more capable", because it is not going to be more capable. What will happen is that (a stiff car) will inspire more confidence in an inexperienced driver, but that car in critical circumstances will be much more difficult and unpredictable and so it is not really win-win as everyone tries to make it look.

Then you would say you want to change so you can make the "feel right" and I understand that. But that is exactly the personal touch where we are all different, and on top of that we all drive on different type of roads. I live in the Bay Area and would never even think about getting something stiffer than stock, as the roads are already stupid bad even for the stock car. But if you live in a place with nice roads, by al means, go ahead and get something that will keep the car flatter and will give you nice feel. It is really very personal and no one but you can decide. Try as many things as you can, as only can decide where to stop. There is no other way, really! This is not like getting a chip. That thing makes 20 HP and is equally good in everyone's car and an easy comparison could be made to which one gives more, bla bla ...... suspension stuff is not like that. You can not really measure how much worse one setup is from another. You can try to compare few parameters, but still it is never the full story and one man's happiness is the other man's nightmare.

One thing, however, could be said (so you get some sort of an answer) is that the OE dampers sooner or later dissapoint the more hard core members, so a replace is needed. There are many ways you could go, but IF your goal is to stay as close as possible to OE performance, then a set of Koni Red (for A4 TDI) are pretty much the only damper that could get as close as acceptable, and so that is something you can take my word for. This, if set on full soft all around. And nothing beats a set of summer tires, possibly on small light rim. An A4 TDI set like that is already more than impressive for a small frugal compact family sedan. Those are the things ultimately that worked for me the best in the logn run. The rest was pretty much pure waste of time and money.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 00:12   #38
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hmm. Yeah I have a set of 10lb 15" wheels on the list. Up here in Portland it rains a lot in the winter. Are summer tires ok in the wet but just not ice... or are they strictly for dry conditions? It rarely snows here or ices. Maybe 2-8 days per year. As far as dampers go... you dont like the Fsd's? Is it the low velocity harshness? My problem with stock dampers is just that wallowing effect if you lean on the car. I dont like my car to wobble back and forth. Will the reds help eliminate that? I'm going to put either reds or fsd's, was leaning towards fsd just because I had them before. You dislike them?
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Old February 25th, 2007, 06:25   #39
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I agree with Peter, mostly. My son's 2000 Golf has OEM GTI springs and dampers with 15" wheels and Kumho ASXs, and it's a joy to drive. It rides well, is very responsive, and he's unlikely to get into trouble with it.

My wagon feels firmer, but never harsh. I really like the stock springs with the FSDs, which, for me at least, are a great comnpromise between ride and handling. And I think my efforts to firm up the front suspension mounting points has helped a lot to maintain geometry, and therefore grip, as I drive harder.

Dick Shine says to improve handling (a) buy the best tires you can afford, and (b) get good shocks. That's enough for most everyone, except for those of us who like to tinker.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 20:47   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter pyce
One thing, however, could be said (so you get some sort of an answer) is that the OE dampers sooner or later dissapoint the more hard core members, so a replace is needed.
I don't think of myself as hard core, but I do agree the stock dampers approach "dangerous" at Bay Area freeway speeds, over some of the undulating freeway pavement that we have. The stretch of 280 a mile or two south of 92 comes to mind... I don't know if its earthquake damage to the road or what, but there are long-period undulations (order of 1-2 second period) that really float the stock dampers to the limits of suspension travel... in a scary way (at 80 mph with a 20 kt crosswind).

I'm not eager for a firmer ride but I just don't think its safe to go on driving a car that floats uncontrollably in heavy freeway traffic.

Koni makes a big case for their FSD shock being very digressive (a good thing in my mind)... do the Reds share at least some of that trait?

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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:24   #41
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Koni makes a big case of their FSD and things look great on paper, but they are not setting them well enough for "one-fits-all" cases. The FSD is very interesting discussion, but it is also very long as many aspects have to be covered for the principle to be understood. I have really no time right now, but perhaps later on will put few things together so we can have a discussion. It had been almost two years we had no tech talk about the FSD, so perhaps is time to go over one more time.


EddyKilowatt - I see you are local, perhaps we can meet one of these days and I can let you try few things so you make better choice. Have plenty of dampers you can borrow and try on your own car, etc. Up to you. Perhaps one of these days we can do some tech GTG in the Bay Area and go for a ride with the "Junior" in Stanford, etc. Let's see ....
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Old March 1st, 2007, 08:57   #42
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Peter, if you do get time to put down some info on the FSD's it would be much appreciated! I have been thinking about what to get for my Golf, and right now (mostly after driving IBW's car) I'm leaning to the FSD's. But I'd love to know what I'm really getting into.

Thanks for all your great advice on this subject!
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:40   #43
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hey solon, if you want to get an idea of how the golf 4-dr handles with them, give me a call. youre more than welcome to take her for a test drive.

on that note, ive been reading and patiently waiting for my opportunity to post in here, and i have to say, the FSDs make my car ride like a frickin cadillac compared to the eibach kit that was in there from PO! does have a bit more sway than i would like, a Shine bar should fix that though.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 12:48   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J double R
on that note, ive been reading and patiently waiting for my opportunity to post in here, and i have to say, the FSDs make my car ride like a frickin cadillac compared to the eibach kit that was in there from PO!
told ya they would. glad you're finally enjoying your ride
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Old March 1st, 2007, 18:41   #45
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Jon,

I was wondering which dampers you ended up with. Yeah, I'll take you up on that at some point! I've been in IBWs, but I would very much like to try them out in something closer to my car. Which, being a black 4 door golf, yours is about as close as I can get .
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