Bilstein question - and what springs if I don't want lift?

2000alhVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Location
Silver Spring, MD
TDI
2000 Golf
Planning out my suspension overhaul in conjunction with my 5 speed swap. Struts, springs, bushings, ball joints, tie rods, etc.

I'm having trouble figuring out what coil springs I want. The Moog 81134 springs keep popping up everywhere... Rockauto, IDparts, here on the forum, etc. And it's obvious because they are a firmer spring rate while also being $40 for the set.
but...what if I don't want lift? This is the only non-truck forum I've ever come across where people actively seek out options to lift their vehicle. Quite odd if I may be honest.

Don't get me wrong - I am not a "low life" type of guy. I abhor 'slammed' cars and the whole stance scene. But I also find this much fender gap very unattractive... The front is..."swallow-able" for me, but the rear is truly awful IMO.

Borrowed from Beef on a Budget thread - http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=313121

What can I do here? I understand I do have options such as Eibach lowering springs or whatever, but $300 for springs is a tad rich.
I'm looking for something in similar height with better spring rate. I would also be okay with a slight drop. I tried to "hack" OE GTI springs or such, but all that shows up is the Moog 81134s in Rockauto.
Also, I got the Bilsteins listed on Rockauto for the "sport suspension" part# 22045751
Part #22045744 for "standard suspension"

Everywhere I look says they are identical, including Bilstein's product description, but when looking at the Bilstein specs catalog, the heights are shown to be different.
Check it out:

Sorry for poor resolution, I tried to zoom in here:

Alternatively, you can Google "22045744 vs 22045751" and click on the 3rd link "Product Sheet" from Bilstein. I can't link because it's an Excel file.

5744 has a height of 6.8", and 5751 has a height of 6.1"

Due to price, I'm likely just to go ahead and do the Moogs, but with my limited knowledge of suspension components, I would assume it's a bad idea to use a shorter strut with a longer spring, no?
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I've tried lots of springs on MKIVs over the years and have finally concluded that the stock springs are pretty damn good. I think the car in the photo looks a little odd, too.

My recommendation would be stick with the stock springs (unless they're broken) and use a damper that doesn't have any or much gas pressurization so the damper doesn't add to the spring rate. Koni Reds or stock dampers are good for that. If you want to improve handling, add a rear sway bar.

Keep in mind that a lot of aftermarket makers generalize the MKIV spring selection. That works out OK if you have a Jetta Sedan, as that's the most common MKIV and therefore the default. But selecting generic springs for your Golf won't work out so well: you may end up with a taller car than you want. Suplex has model specific springs, which is part of what we like about them.
 

2000alhVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Location
Silver Spring, MD
TDI
2000 Golf
I've tried lots of springs on MKIVs over the years and have finally concluded that the stock springs are pretty damn good. I think the car in the photo looks a little odd, too.

My recommendation would be stick with the stock springs (unless they're broken) and use a damper that doesn't have any or much gas pressurization so the damper doesn't add to the spring rate. Koni Reds or stock dampers are good for that. If you want to improve handling, add a rear sway bar.

Keep in mind that a lot of aftermarket makers generalize the MKIV spring selection. That works out OK if you have a Jetta Sedan, as that's the most common MKIV and therefore the default. But selecting generic springs for your Golf won't work out so well: you may end up with a taller car than you want. Suplex has model specific springs, which is part of what we like about them.
Gotcha. Thanks for the reply. As you said, yes, I always have the option just to re-use the springs I've already got on there! I have no idea which they are - the paint dots or what not.

How do you feel about the sagging factor on 19 year old springs?
Nothing broken as far as I can see.
 

eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
VW's are especially prone to losing oil pans, this is why we generally want a lift.
I lost an oil pan to a water shut off valve riser after a rain, insurance totalled that sedan because of it.
I like my wagon lifted 2 inches so it doesn't end up the same way.

I wouldn't use Moog if they paid me. Look at metalmanparts, IDparts, cascadegerman, and fixmyvw.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I've heard of people having issues with springs sagging on earlier MKIV cars, but haven't experienced it. I currently have a '99.5 Golf with, as far as I know, original springs. A few years ago I had a 2-door '99.5 that for sure had original springs. No sagging. And my son owned an '00 2-door Golf, also with original springs. It was fine. Maybe I've been lucky, but I think the springs may be more robust than some say.

Regarding lifting the car, my son's '02 Golf is lifted (see below) with a Metalnerd kit.

Although it's not for everyone, it suits him well because he lives where it snows a lot and drives on dirt and fire roads frequently (he likes to hike). So he needs it. And surprisingly, lifted MKIV cars drive really well.

I've driven MKIV cars well over a half million miles and never damaged an oil pan or belly pan. I believe that, by and large, if your car is at stock height, you maintain the suspension, and you're careful, you'll never have a problem. But accidents do happen.
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
I can only offer encouragement from my own experience, but wrong MkIV to take literally.

Our '03 Jetta wagon came with the usual absolute garbage shocks and struts and mushy North American spec springs. Struts gone around 40,000 kms, so wanted to go the the Euro sport version of suspension offered by VW, but without losing any front ride height (and screwing up geometry). The VW dealer installed option was a Bilstein Sport and Eibach combination that lowered both ends, so instead I ordered VR6 kit that gave the TDI almost identical front ride height, better (as in stiffer) front spring rate and lower to level rear ride height. Yes, they were relatively expensive, but in the subsequent 320,000 kms I have no need to consider the Bilstein lifetime warranty.

There are ways to get what you want, just don't know what it is for Golf.

BTW: both the MkIV and our V70 can not go down our farm road without hitting bottom, and the cost of doing a good road is a hell of a lot more than a bit of lift or whatever on a car!
 
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eddieleephd

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 27, 2012
Location
Asheville, NC
TDI
2002 jetta Wagon
Bilstein is a good product especially at the price! Koni costs and lesser products just aren't worth it.

Moog was bought out and has gone down hill. Search the search in 101, tdiclub myturbodiesel, or vwvortex has a write up on which is which VW spring and IDparts had a good comparison for ride height differences

Sent from my Armor_2 using Tapatalk
 

ijnhy65

New member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Location
Kansas
TDI
mk4 jetta
MK4 suspension options

I run Koni sports up front turned 1 full turn firm, Koni FSD's (now Koni special active) in the back with Eiback pro kit springs all the way around. It does drop the car a bit, but I have not bottomed out or scraped with this setup like a routinely did with the stock taller setup. Also the ride and handling with this really pretty good. I am assuming this would work well on the Golf as well.



2004 Jetta TDI
 
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