Author Topic: Bilstein shocks - new springs?  (Read 460 times)

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Offline wim_vg

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Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« on: October 28, 2018, 23:22:51 PM »
Hi all,

I recently have fitted new front shocks because the old ones finally gave in. Think it was still the OE ones after 200tkm??

Anyway fitted myself new Bilstein shocks since I read good things about them and OK value for money.

My ride became however a lot stiffer/harder... should I be getting new springs as well, or is it just how these Bilsteins are?

Cheers

Offline electric geen

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 20:44:55 PM »
The Calibra is a "sports coupe" so should come with a sports suspension from the manufacturer, if you then get a "sports" suspension for a "sports coupe" - I would guess it would be stiffer than the original equipment (oem). Tricky question - you would have to read all the blurb from bilstein on that particular shock absorber to find out if it replicates or "enhances" i.e. more stiff than oem. The bright side of this is you definitely won't have any front end floating in excess of 100mph! the downside being you will know the depth of every pothole for miles around.

I have only changed one time a complete suspension with springs and shocks in a kit from Spax for a Rover SD1 but that was adjustable on bump (the stiffness of the ride) , rebound was fixed (how quickly it dropped the wheel into a pothole). Apparently Gaz shocks are "the" shocks for Calibra's but are adjustable for both bump and rebound but with only one dial (not separate controls) The expensive Spax kit (there are two - budget and proper) has one adjustment for bump only.

After that your into chopping the front suspension legs, welding adjustable coil spring seats to them and Gaz fully adjustable shocks with separate rebound and bump controls (coil overs), the rear is easier and cheaper - and most importantly - a F1 budget.

Offline wim_vg

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 23:27:17 PM »
Cheers for that. I don't mind the overly direct handling it has, with the downside that Belgiums roads are in terrible conditions (lots of potholes that make them look like crater landscapes from a faraway planet).

Are there any known 'softer' shocks though? As I am not doing a lot of highways (which are usually better roads), I'm thinking my Calibra will like me for fitting them...

Offline TURBOHEAD

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 12:59:23 PM »
Hi guys

The above comments are spot on.....the Calibra was designed with a "Sports Suspension " which is a firmer ride than normal shocks.

That is the trade off sadly. Some roads today are atrocious to say the least. The problem you are now experiencing is due to new shocks.

You had got used to the softer ride from your old shocks.......but now it's all changed.....in the sports world driver comfort is secondary to your car gripping the road like a train on rails.......the difference between getting round a fast bend safely.......or kissing a large tree full on.

New springs will also stiffen up the ride but will help against body roll and traction stability. If our roads were as good as Racing tracks we would all be happy bunnies.....American air glide suspension is amazing for comfort but just watch an American car in a high speed chase.....

Every time you hear that screech of tyres.......the car is parting company with the road so.........it's not clear if you need a Drivers Licence......

or a Pilots Licence........Adjustabl e suspension is a good compromise well suited to smooth and potholed roads.......perhaps the best idea would be

a "Hover Car" ......no road contact at all................now that's a dream.

Offline wim_vg

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 22:41:34 PM »
Cheers, I do get it comes with being new.

When I changed the springs, I couldn't almost manage to push down the front of the car though... before at least I could push it down some and watch the rebound. Now it is almost zero - at least by hand.

Isn't this to stiff though that it would 'hurt' the car?
Not sure if somewhat softer springs should be better...

Offline TURBOHEAD

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2018, 15:18:39 PM »
Stiff springs will not damage your car

The rebound you noticed before were due to ageing suspension struts and springs.  As I advised Sports suspension is designed to be firmer.

Providing you installed them correctly you have nothing to worry about.  :)

For softer springs you would need to ask advice from garages.........Maybe  They would find compatible non sport set ups. Of course as Electric Geen said adjustable shocks are preferable but come at a higher cost but well worth it.

When suspension is checked in U.K. The 4 corners of the car are pushed down to check for excessive rebound and as you know they are always visually checked for fluid leaks.

See what garages can advise.......they should be able to help.

Good luck.

Offline wim_vg

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 20:32:06 PM »
Thanks, will do!

Actually on my other Calibra (X20XEV), the rebound is more, but springs are still the original ones... so must figure.

I will see if I can place the original springs again... see how it feels... then decide which ones I keep :)

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 01:18:47 AM »
Yes try it m8 :)

I think as long as the springs are not physically cracked or broken you should be Ok.

Btw....do you have an annual vehicle test similar to our MOT in U.K........and is it true that certain modifications are an offence in Belgium.??

Lastly....I was surprised to hear that Belgium roads have Pot Hole problems as well.  ::)

Offline wim_vg

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 15:14:27 PM »
Thanks for that!

Yes, well in Belgium there is an obligatory annual technical checkup of the car. Suspension check is one of them. My Calibra actually passed with new springs and shocks without any issues. I was told though they mostly look at similarity between the two sides.

You are correct: the number of modifications you can actually do are pretty limited. For example there is a limitation on the width of wheels vs width of car, and a calculator to check if/how custom wheels are allowed. Many people just change their wheels for one day to pass the checkup... so much of it is a bit of hypocrisy though. There are plenty of other rules, probably also in UK?

About the state of Belgium roads... I was actually thinking of making a clip that shows the state of some roads I do every day. It is atrocious. Then to think you are paying the government a nice sum of money just to be able to drive your car on them LOL :)

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2018, 12:16:36 PM »
That would be strangely interesting Lol

If you look on the internet they sell a car sticker which reads :-.... " I Am Not Drunk.......I'm just avoiding potholes" ;D

Offline wim_vg

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Re: Bilstein shocks - new springs?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2018, 17:59:05 PM »
Hah that's a good one! Need to find one in Dutch then :)