205 GTi standard ride height & lowering springs
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Thread: 205 GTi standard ride height & lowering springs

  1. #1
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    Default 205 GTi standard ride height & lowering springs

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have the measurement on hand (or could measure for me, pref. with photographic evidence) the ride height for the front of a standard 205 GTi?

    Ideally the measurement would be from the center of the wheel arch to the center of the wheel cap / horizontal wheel centerline.

    Background is that my car is a 205 Si with 205 GTi front end, and it is running 'reset' GTi front springs, which I believe are standard springs heated up or chopped, which means the ride height is lower with no increase in spring rate.

    I'm installing Koni sports shocks and now would be an ideal time to upgrade the front springs to something with a slightly higher spring rate, but I want to have a reference for what '30mm lower than standard' (as an example) actually means.

    Examples of springs I'm looking at include:

    Apex - http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pag...sub_category=1

    Eibach - http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pag...sub_category=1

    Cobra - http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pag...sub_category=1

    Avo - http://www.europerformance.co.uk/pag...sub_category=1

    Advertisement


    Spax - http://cgi.ebay.ie/Spax-Lowering-Spr...item2a0d03e29f

    Koni - http://www.dcperformance.co.uk/cheap...1020-6106.html


    Finally, any thoughts on the impact on handling of having slightly stiffer springs at7 the front and standard torsion bars at the rear? If anything this would lead to understeer rather than oversteer right?

    Any help appreciated.
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! DjB8V's Avatar
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    I have lowered/slightly stiffer springs in the front of my 205GTI with adjustable GAZ struts. It feels really nice.

    If you are in Melbourne, you are more than welcome to come round for a look see.



    Chris

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    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Posted this in another section of this forum.
    http://forum.205gtidrivers.com/index...owtopic=120157

    Its a long but interesting read about the geometry and setting up of suspension. If you take the time to visit the sites quoted in the discussion there is some really helpful and simple explanations of how things are effected. Especially when lowering and changing spring/torsion rates.

    Put in short. The 205 is very good standard. Any changes should be throughly thought through. Usually costing a bit to get right.

    Cam
    94 205 Gti Classic #9
    91 205 Si
    87 205 GTi Race Car
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/res...-race-car.html

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    30mm is the absolute max you should go before it really starts to change the cars good character IMHO.
    If buying springs you cant go better than the Eibach ones....they suit the car the best but cost a bit more
    jr20516v

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    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    This page is very tech but an interesting brain strain..... ( for me anyway )

    Cam

    http://forum.205gtidrivers.com/index...=120157&st=100
    94 205 Gti Classic #9
    91 205 Si
    87 205 GTi Race Car
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/res...-race-car.html

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    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    And from personal experience too, I agree with JRs post. Anything more than 30mm and it gets a bit wish wash and unbalanced.

    Ive had Eibachs twice now with koni yellows and they have been great. I did have uprated rear torsion bars to match though....

    Cam
    94 205 Gti Classic #9
    91 205 Si
    87 205 GTi Race Car
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/res...-race-car.html

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree. The best front spring to use with the standard rear torsion bars are the standard ones! Set 30mm lower! Here's how it looks, with the rear lowered (320mm c/c) to match.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 205 GTi standard ride height & lowering springs-minus-30mm.jpg  

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Peter, Would that affect the compressed state of the suspension by not compensating for a reduction in ride height and not upping the spring rate?

    Cam
    94 205 Gti Classic #9
    91 205 Si
    87 205 GTi Race Car
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/res...-race-car.html

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    The spring rate doesn't change, the car just sits lower. Obviously geometry changes (read those excellent articles on the 205 Forum), but otherwise it's the best compromise. People think you need to change the front spring rate. This is totally wrong. The best car I've driven was that red 205 race car I sold to Hans. It had 21mm rear bars, reset standard front springs and revalved red Konis (and a cage). Obviously you can build a better race car with coil overs etc., but it proved how good the original setup was.

    I've driven a friend's standard GTi with just Eibach front springs and it was totally crap. So harsh and unforgiving. My friend asked me to change it back to standard.

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    I'd have to say the biggest mistake I made with my series 3 205 GTI was lowering and stiffening up the suspension. They were good quality parts(Eibach, Koni) set up by a specialist suspension shop that also did a fair bit of competition work. Sure, it turned in a fraction sharper, but in my opinion the ride was poor and unsettled, it had a tendency to bump steer, and it was diabolical on wet, bumpy roads. For a practical road car to live with on a daily basis that can still eat corners, I'd be leaving it standard(with the possible exception of some of the actual suspension bushes?), and just making sure everything was in tip top shape. Just a thought. Cheers,
    Nigel

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    Thanks for the responses guys. To Peter T's point about using the stock springs just set lower, this is what I have already BUT I have no idea how much lower than standard they have been set (hence asking for measurements)

    Frankly the car bottoms out pretty easily and the tyres scrub the fenders even going over moderate undulations (partly due to running 185s) hence my opinion that the spring rate is in need of an upgrade / increase. Don't want to turn it into an understeer bucket though.
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    I'm going to disagree. The best front spring to use with the standard rear torsion bars are the standard ones! Set 30mm lower! Here's how it looks, with the rear lowered (320mm c/c) to match.
    Peter, to be clear, when you speak of 'resetting' the front springs, exactly how is this done? Heat? Chopping off a coil? Both?
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Langers View Post
    Peter, to be clear, when you speak of 'resetting' the front springs, exactly how is this done? Heat? Chopping off a coil? Both?
    The spring rate would increase if the coil was chopped, so no.
    What's wrong with the standard springs as supplied?
    In the eighties every other car manufacturer was going all out trying to equal what Peugeot had achieved with the GTi, how is anyone not a super smart suspension engineer going to do what they couldn't?
    Have a REALLY good look at the GTI driver article.

    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    The spring rate would increase if the coil was chopped, so no.
    What's wrong with the standard springs as supplied?
    In the eighties every other car manufacturer was going all out trying to equal what Peugeot had achieved with the GTi, how is anyone not a super smart suspension engineer going to do what they couldn't?
    Have a REALLY good look at the GTI driver article.

    Graham
    not disagreeing, just curious as you kinda didnt answer langers question

    what physical alteration are you mentioning? lowering the bottom spring mount? thats the only thing i can think of that wouldn't change the spring rate.

    if you compress the spring you change the spring rate (well not the overall, but during compression it will be different.)

    if you lower the bottom mount (if possible) then you are hoping that the car hits bumps within x% of its spring rate so that wouldnt work.

    as far as i can work out there can't be any way of lowering a car without changing the spring rates if you want to stop the tyres bottoming out against the arches.

    EDIT: with cars do you just refer to the overall ratio of uncompressed to compressed when you talk of spring rate? rather than the progressive curve?
    Last edited by spar; 4th January 2011 at 02:10 AM.

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Resetting the spring is done by heating, then reducing the "free length" measurement of the spring by 30mm. No cutting, etc. The spring is then re-heat treated to retain original hardness. So there is no change in spring rate. The spring rate can only be altered by changing:

    - diameter of wire
    - major diameter of spring
    - no. of active coils

    If the spring had a spring rate of 20N/mm before it will still be the same after. ie A load of 20N will compress the spring 1mm.

    Langers, you said you already have reset springs? If so, what's their history? Do you know who did them?

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    Technically that really should be:

    "The spring rate can only be altered by changing:

    - diameter of wire
    - major diameter of spring
    - no. of active coils per a given height"

    This is why sagged coil springs are softer than original while sagged torsion bars are not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    Resetting the spring is done by heating, then reducing the "free length" measurement of the spring by 30mm. No cutting, etc. The spring is then re-heat treated to retain original hardness. So there is no change in spring rate. The spring rate can only be altered by changing:

    - diameter of wire
    - major diameter of spring
    - no. of active coils

    If the spring had a spring rate of 20N/mm before it will still be the same after. ie A load of 20N will compress the spring 1mm.

    Langers, you said you already have reset springs? If so, what's their history? Do you know who did them?
    Hi Peter, thanks for that. Not sure who did the spring resetting, but it's Anthony Musson's (Moosey on this site) old Si that Adrian W worked on (at least the box and engine) if that helps?
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

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    They are reset standard 205 gti springs.

    Why don't you just put the correct size tyres on the car, ie the same as what was on it, and stop messing with it. It handled really well before. just look at Anthonys lap times.
    Adrian Wuillemin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Wuillemi View Post
    They are reset standard 205 gti springs.

    Why don't you just put the correct size tyres on the car, ie the same as what was on it, and stop messing with it. It handled really well before. just look at Anthonys lap times.
    Hi Adrian,

    That's a nice idea in theory, and it was my starting point as well, but unfortunately you can't actually get sticky rubber (whether R compound or near R compound) in 175s anymore. I tried every specialist tyre stockist in Sydney and 2 in QLD but no luck.

    Even the 185s I had to order from the US - people just don't have cars with 14" wheels anymore!

    For the record for anyone in the same situation as me (with 14" wheels), these are the choices available in 175s:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSe...&x=-423&y=-443

    and a much better choice in 185s:

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSe...4&x=-517&y=-84

    I ended up with the Dunlop Star Specs.
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

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    Quote Originally Posted by davemcbean View Post
    Technically that really should be:

    "The spring rate can only be altered by changing:

    - diameter of wire
    - major diameter of spring
    - no. of active coils per a given height"

    This is why sagged coil springs are softer than original while sagged torsion bars are not.
    I've never seen height/length in any formula for spring rate.

    http://www.engineersedge.com/spring_tension_calc_k.htm

    '92 205 Mi16
    '90 Mi16x4

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    1000+ Posts pgti6's Avatar
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    thanks peter

    springs are progressive in the force required to compress them, so when you reset them does it evenly change the rates over the spring movement? or does it remove the soft initial part?

    or can this be altered by where you heat and how you reset them?

    mine has magic reset springs afaik and it feels like the initial softness has gone, which i'm fine with cause car seats are infnitely softer than a motorbike and i like the way it feels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    I've never seen height/length in any formula for spring rate.

    http://www.engineersedge.com/spring_tension_calc_k.htm
    I can see that if the colis were flatter there would be more leverage on them, giving a softer spring rate the question would this be significant?
    Graham

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgti6 View Post
    Yup. Bear in mind though that those are proper R compounds, which means they won't handle heat cycles associated with day to day driving very well. The Star Specs I ended up with are designed to handle the heat cycles, provide loads of grip and not fall apart on the track.
    1992 205 Si
    Current: shortened diff (4.4), short shifter, group N top mounts, rebuilt engine and box, solid engine mounts, 1.75" exhaust, strut brace, OMP wheel, GTI suspension & subframe front and rear, lowered 30mm front and rear, solid rear bush, Koni yellows, 306 XT front discs and calipers, ADR compliant braided brake lines, 14" rallye wheels, Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec tyres, immobiliser

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    so rather than buy another set of rims and put r specs on one and street tyres on the other you stuff around with a proven setup before you even get it on the track and see how it handles.

    What you spend on springs would be far more than another set of steel rims.

    I can't follow your logic.........
    Adrian Wuillemin

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