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Old 05-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #1  
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Default First improvement to handling?

Hey Guys,

I was curious what you guys think about what is the first upgrade to improve the handling of my A4 1.8T (2002). Currenty I have stock shocks and 16" tires. Would improving the shocks be a better start or going to 17 or 18" tires?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:33 PM   #2  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

One thing to add... Going to put the APR Stage 1 on this summer, but other than that from a HP stand point I will be leaving it alone.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:15 PM   #3  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

i would go with wheels and tires first, then coilovers, then a new set of h-sport or rs4 sway bars if you want.

i did my wheels, tires, and rear sway bar all at the same time. coilovers are next for me when i have the money.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:49 PM   #4  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

^ So do you feel that to get a significant difference I would need to go to 18+ or will 17 provide a good chunk better?

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Old 05-16-2008, 06:44 AM   #5  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

The most cost effective first mod, in my opinion, is sway bars. They cost the least, but change the balance of the car dramatically.

If you're for all out performance, a light weight 17" paired with sticky tires is better than 18". It'd also be less expensive. 17" is on the small side visually though.

Coilovers would be necessarily if you're not interested in fine tuning your ride height. That said, the springs and shocks in coilover kits tends to be better matched than buying springs and shocks separately. You tend to pay more for the extra adjustability though.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:56 AM   #6  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

If you're going on 6 years for your A4 (I think 2002 is still the B5 right?) and have never changed the suspension at all before, then it'll feel soft and squishy like mine does. It's should still be functional, but I think doing a swaybar on a car with shocks/springs that are a bit older won't make as much of a difference.

I'd definitely get new wheels and a good set of rubber first though... quattro cars are all about traction, and good rubber makes a heck of a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djdurance View Post
Hey Guys,

I was curious what you guys think about what is the first upgrade to improve the handling of my A4 1.8T (2002). Currenty I have stock shocks and 16" tires. Would improving the shocks be a better start or going to 17 or 18" tires?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:20 AM   #7  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

No 2002 is B6.
I have a 2004 B6, i did my spring first...eibach and it made a world of difference....then just after that i did the shocks....that definitly helped as well. Next will be my sway bars.
really its your own prefrence. I wanted the stance of the car to sit lower first so thats why i lowered it b4 i did the sway bars....I have the 16 in rims with pilots on there and it handles great! i know it will be 10 times better when i have a light weight set of 19s and sway bars but for the time being im very happy.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:07 PM   #8  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

Bang for the buck: H-sport sways. Coils will make a difference but nowhere as noticeable as the sways. That said, rubber is very important so make sure whatever size wheel you end up with, don't compromise with an all season tire. Light wheels definitely have a positive impact on the ride - I noticed the improvement in handling, accelleration and comfort ...




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Old 05-16-2008, 05:19 PM   #9  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akula-ssh View Post
If you're for all out performance, a light weight 17" paired with sticky tires is better than 18". It'd also be less expensive. 17" is on the small side visually though.
Agreed.

A common misconception is that a larger wheel size will improve handling. When you upgrade your tires/wheels, the new set should have approx. the same rolling circumference as the original set. The reason that people believe a larger wheel size helps is because the reduced aspect ratio improves sidewall rigidity. This will give you better turn in and scrub angles but decreases ride comfort.

Bottom line: A good quality tire on a small wheel will out perform a lower quality tire on a larger wheel. If you can't afford good tires on those bigger wheels, you will see no improvement in handling.
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #10  
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Default Re: First improvement to handling?

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... Bottom line: A good quality tire on a small wheel will out perform a lower quality tire on a larger wheel. If you can't afford good tires on those bigger wheels, you will see no improvement in handling.

No doubt about it. Something else I learned in my process of modding ... alignment can make a huge difference ! After installing coils, my initial alignment was not done to my requested specs and the handling did not improve going from my winter setup (17's) to my summer setup (10 lb lighter 19's). I then had the alignment tweaked and presto! improved handling with far better turn-in ...
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