noddaz HalfDork
Feb. 17, 2013 7:18 p.m.

Ok. On my street car I have made a mistake in buying springs. While I haven't raced the car since I added the springs, I do feel like the handling is not what it was.
So now I need to buy springs for my hobby car. My Autocross car. My race car. (I almost like the sound of that.) So back to my question. Where to buy springs that will not lower the car so much that it need more suspension modifications to work properly. Springs with more spring rate than stock. But not so much that it hurts to drive it on the street for fun. Springs that are not progressive rate. Car in question is a 1986 VW GTi 8 valve. Car is mostly stock at this point. I do plan to add a rear sway bar in the future and some good struts.

Anyone?

Maroon92 MegaDork
Feb. 17, 2013 7:22 p.m.

I have H&R springs on my Audi, and I really like them. Stiffer and lower than stock, but not enough that it will rattle your fillings.

Not sure if that helps at all...

jimbbski HalfDork
Feb. 17, 2013 10:38 p.m.

I have a Scriocco road race car and from what I remember the stock rates for a VW would be something less then 200 lbs per inch both front and rear. For a street car you would want to keep it under 300 lbs per inch and with a higher rate in the rear by about 50 lbs per inch. For road racing I am using 450 per inch in the front and 475 in the rear but have a set of 550's for the rear that I'm going to try this year.

Hungary Bill HalfDork
Feb. 17, 2013 10:49 p.m.

I think cutting your stock springs may check all your boxes.

Since spring rate = (Gd^4) / (8ND^3)

where:

G= 11,250,000 (for steel)

d=wire diameter in inches

N= number of "active" coils (coils that compress in bump)

D= mean coil diameter in inches (outside diameter of coil)

If you had 10 "active coils" then cutting one* will give you about an 11% in spring rate. So if your previous spring rate was 200lbs-in, then your new rate would be 222lbs-in. (this checks the "higher spring rate but wont compress spine" box)

Plus if you didn't like the cut springs, you could always choose to buy aftermarket springs then...

*I put an asterisk above because if you want to lop off one coil I think the proper way for going about things is to lop off half, then heat the other half and push it into your driveway to bend it flat to have a suitable mounting surface. (this should check the "lower, but not so low to require new suspension goodies" box)

good luck!

Travis_K UltraDork
Feb. 18, 2013 12:41 a.m.

You can get springs from a VR6 passat and cut them to the height you want if you are looking for something cheap.

doc_speeder Reader
Feb. 18, 2013 1:26 p.m.

Sounds like you should call Shine Racing if they are still around. A few years ago when I was still into VWs they preached a gospel about stiffer/stock height springs as the be-all, end-all of VW suspension tuning. Seems they have more ACTUAL success in road racing though. Autocross is a different chapter, maybe even a different book. The bigger rear sway is perhaps not your best move. Then again, maybe it is. There are a few schools of thought that are all pretty dogmatic about getting the VWs to dodge cones...

fast_eddie_72 UltraDork
Feb. 18, 2013 2:44 p.m.

I get springs from Pit Stop USA.

http://pitstopusa.com/

noddaz HalfDork
Feb. 18, 2013 6:52 p.m.

Some interesting suggestions here. Thank you.

93EXCivic MegaDork
Feb. 19, 2013 8:14 a.m.

On the Scirocco we are running Neuspeed Race springs. They seem fine on the road.

jere Reader
Feb. 19, 2013 8:38 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill:

How do you tell active coils from decorative coils? How do you bend a spring, it's a spring won't it just bend back I am guessing O/A right?

Warren v Reader
Feb. 19, 2013 9:10 a.m.
jere wrote: In reply to Hungary Bill: How do you tell active coils from decorative coils? How do you bend a spring, it's a spring won't it just bend back I am guessing O/A right?

If a coil is touching another coil, it can't move on its own accord. Once the coil separates from a lower coil, it's active. Obviously it will change a little under load, but in the application of car springs, it's not much.

Matt B Dork
Feb. 19, 2013 9:17 a.m.

The problem I see with going with stock-sized after market springs (read: outer diameter & spring perch matched) is that most of the ones that aren't super low or stiff tend to be progressive. Cut stock springs are likely to be progressive as well.

That said, I think the mild aftermarket stuff are great dual-purpose springs. I use them on both the MR2 and Integra at the moment (H&R and Eibach). However if that's not what you're looking for then it might be tough finding linear-only rates at all four corners.

If it's in the budget the best thing for you is Ground Control sleeve kit. That way you pick exactly what height and linear rates you want. You can get them in fairly low spring rates (200lb/in), so if your dampers are fairly healthy you probably wouldn't need to swap them out immediately. You may already be aware, but the kit uses a standard 2.5" O.D. Eibach "Race" spring, so swapping rates out is easy and fairly affordable. If this is your autox/race car the ability to swap rates and set your corner weights should come in handy as the car develops. Or, at least that's my plan for the MR2 (I got a cheap second-hand set waiting in the closet).

noddaz HalfDork
Feb. 19, 2013 3:52 p.m.
Matt B wrote: The problem I see with going with stock-sized after market springs (read: outer diameter & spring perch matched) is that most of the ones that aren't super low or stiff tend to be progressive. Cut stock springs are likely to be progressive as well. That said, I think the mild aftermarket stuff are great dual-purpose springs. I use them on both the MR2 and Integra at the moment (H&R and Eibach). However if that's not what you're looking for then it might be tough finding linear-only rates at all four corners. If it's in the budget the best thing for you is Ground Control sleeve kit. That way you pick exactly what height and linear rates you want. You can get them in fairly low spring rates (200lb/in), so if your dampers are fairly healthy you probably wouldn't need to swap them out immediately. You may already be aware, but the kit uses a standard 2.5" O.D. Eibach "Race" spring, so swapping rates out is easy and fairly affordable. If this is your autox/race car the ability to swap rates and set your corner weights should come in handy as the car develops. Or, at least that's my plan for the MR2 (I got a cheap second-hand set waiting in the closet).

Now that is interesting... Good stuff... Thanks...

Secretariata Reader
Feb. 19, 2013 7:44 p.m.

I think Ground Control has a coupon code on the GRM calendar for this month. Not sure if they have what you are looking for, but it's always worth looking at supporters of our favorite mag.

Hungary Bill HalfDork
Feb. 19, 2013 10:45 p.m.
jere wrote: In reply to Hungary Bill: How do you tell active coils from decorative coils? How do you bend a spring, it's a spring won't it just bend back I am guessing O/A right?

Sorry, I didn't mean "bend in a vice with a hammer" I meant to say: "If you torch one half of a coil off (or whatver) you can heat the remaining half with the torch and push it into your driveway."

Warren's picture shows active vs inactive coils, but "active coils are any that are going to compress in bounce (bound coils don't get counted). It takes some judgement, but if I can see light between the coils I count it as "active".

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