205 gti soft-roader
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 205 gti soft-roader

    I finally got around to refurbishing some 15" Speedlines I bought a while back. Countless hours of finger and back straining sanding that will require years of massage and psychotherapy to put right... but hey at least I saved a couple of hundred dollars. Anyway they came up incredibly well, much better than I was expecting...so of course I put a ding in one of them with the wheel brace.

    I had this idea the speedlines would fill in the acres of empty wheel arch space the pepperpots didn't...until I realised with the lower profile tyre they're the same diameter, perhaps even a tad smaller

    So it appears I have a 205 gti soft roader...one of my friends even asked today if I'd jacked the suspension up...very depressing. After reading many posts on the subject I'd rather not lower the car, but I don't think I can live with the soft roader look.

    The car's only done 128,000k and the rear suspension as far as I can tell is all original and seems in great nick, so I'm assuming the rear height is as per original, it's currently sitting at 345mm centre to centre.

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    I recently put new struts in the front, I went with Quinton Hazell Liptec gas shocks based on a few recommendations, this article http://www.eai.net.au/lipmesa.html ...but mainly because they were only $80 each. They feel good, firm but supple and not crashy, pretty much like the OE ones I had on my old GTI. But the front ride height is now 365mm c/c.

    Anyone have any experience of new gas shocks raising ride height...and if so, did they settle or lose height as they got older?

    Apparently 320mm c/c is a good height to aim for with the rear...but to bring the front down to the same level I'd need to have them reset 45mm lower, which seems a lot, should I go for something like 35mm to allow for 'settling' as they get older?





    Cheers
    Dave

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts 504-504-504's Avatar
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    Wow you certainly did a great job on those wheels Dave.
    Would be hard pressed to get a professional job looking as good.
    What profile tyres are you running?
    My GTi is running 195/55 x 15 but it is lowered all round.
    Be interesting to see how those front struts last, sound like good value.

    Paul

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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts gezza's Avatar
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    It maybe the angles but that looks very high off the ground..!!!

    You could lose 45mm all round easily off that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I finally got around to refurbishing some 15" Speedlines I bought a while back. Countless hours of finger and back straining sanding that will require years of massage and psychotherapy to put right... but hey at least I saved a couple of hundred dollars. Anyway they came up incredibly well, much better than I was expecting...so of course I put a ding in one of them with the wheel brace.

    [...]

    Cheers
    Dave
    What did you do with the wheels?

    Paint them?
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I finally got around to refurbishing some 15" Speedlines I bought a while back. Countless hours of finger and back straining sanding that will require years of massage and psychotherapy to put right... but hey at least I saved a couple of hundred dollars. Anyway they came up incredibly well, much better than I was expecting...so of course I put a ding in one of them with the wheel brace.

    I had this idea the speedlines would fill in the acres of empty wheel arch space the pepperpots didn't...until I realised with the lower profile tyre they're the same diameter, perhaps even a tad smaller

    So it appears I have a 205 gti soft roader...one of my friends even asked today if I'd jacked the suspension up...very depressing. After reading many posts on the subject I'd rather not lower the car, but I don't think I can live with the soft roader look.

    The car's only done 128,000k and the rear suspension as far as I can tell is all original and seems in great nick, so I'm assuming the rear height is as per original, it's currently sitting at 345mm centre to centre.

    I recently put new struts in the front, I went with Quinton Hazell Liptec gas shocks based on a few recommendations, this article http://www.eai.net.au/lipmesa.html ...but mainly because they were only $80 each. They feel good, firm but supple and not crashy, pretty much like the OE ones I had on my old GTI. But the front ride height is now 365mm c/c.

    Anyone have any experience of new gas shocks raising ride height...and if so, did they settle or lose height as they got older?

    Apparently 320mm c/c is a good height to aim for with the rear...but to bring the front down to the same level I'd need to have them reset 45mm lower, which seems a lot, should I go for something like 35mm to allow for 'settling' as they get older?





    Cheers
    Dave
    Doesn't look high at all but on GTis the guard extensions stick out too far. They are not actually needed, my Si rally car has 15 inch wheels and they clear fine.
    Graham

  6. #6
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    Thanks Paul, I'm running 195 50 r15 Kumho ku31's, had a couple of new ones put on the front...I should've cleaned the tyre grease and finger prints off before I took the pic.

    I painted them with VHT wheel paint...this is the third set of wheels I've done over the years using the VHT paint and these ones came up the best. VHT make a quality product and if you prep well, follow the instructions on the can to a T and paint on a warm, windless day the results are fantastic. Only downside is the paint isn't as hard as the original or I guess powdercoating, hence a glancing blow with the wheel brace, that probably wouldn't have left a mark on the original finish, left a little dent in the new paint.

    I have to take the front apart again to sort out some gearstick wobble and replace a new driveshaft seal that's leaking hmmm, maybe the two are related... anyway, since I'm doing that I thought it's a good time to get the ride height right, but I don't want to lower 45mm all round then have the car settle a further 10...is this likely/possible?

    Dave

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    The cars do sit high as standard but not quite that high. Depends how much it bugs you I suppose as to whether to drop it front and rear as there is a bit of work in resetting heights. What was wrong with your standard struts ?

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    1000+ Posts 504-504-504's Avatar
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    Dave, I haven't had experience with new struts so can't give you any advice on settling.
    Not sure how much my car is lowered but attached are some pics of whees and wheelwell.
    Also running 195/50 x 15
    Paul.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 205 gti soft-roader-jse_p1040974.jpg   205 gti soft-roader-jse_p1040975.jpg  

  9. #9
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    I think at some stage a previous owner had snaffled the OE front struts, in there place they'd put in some mismatched aftermarket struts, one of which was very tired...which made for some interesting handling characteristics. The rest of the front end was in great nick.

    I'm almost certain the rear of the car hasn't been touched, it still has the OE rear shocks and everything looks untouched, nut/bolt heads all perfectly square, and there's no mention in the receipts of any work to the rear. If that's the case the rear ride height should be the original standard height...so I'm wondering, can the front ride height affect the back... if the new front struts have pushed the front up a bit, could they be affecting the back as well?

    I guess it comes down to personal taste...as Graham said, it doesn't look high to him...for me, although I would rather not lower it, I don't think I can live with it like this.

    Cheers
    Dave

  10. #10
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    Paul, your 205's ride height looks just about perfect...jealous

  11. #11
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    have a look at the front control arms a car lowered 30-35mm will have the arms sitting nearly horizontal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ch View Post
    The cars do sit high as standard but not quite that high. Depends how much it bugs you I suppose as to whether to drop it front and rear as there is a bit of work in resetting heights. What was wrong with your standard struts ?
    After having a look at mine I have changed my mind, yes, yours does seem a bit high.
    Did you let the car settle before doing up the nuts on the lower control arms?
    It could be raise due to tension the bushes, which will fail quickly if that is the case.
    Gas shocks will add height. This was particularly bad in 504s, which have soft suspension.
    Graham

  13. #13
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    Graham, yes when I did all the work on the front end, brakes and driveshafts about 6mths ago I left the lower control arms loose, lowered the car onto it's wheels, bounced the front up and down, let it settle then did the arms up. I loosened them again yesterday, bounced up and down on the front, let it settle then tightened...no difference.

    The arms appear to currently have about a -4 degree angle.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    Graham, yes when I did all the work on the front end, brakes and driveshafts about 6mths ago I left the lower control arms loose, lowered the car onto it's wheels, bounced the front up and down, let it settle then did the arms up. I loosened them again yesterday, bounced up and down on the front, let it settle then tightened...no difference.

    The arms appear to currently have about a -4 degree angle.

    You need to push the car back and forwards or drive it, the wheels move sideways slightly as they go up and down due to the McPherson Strut suspension design. which they can't do due to friction if you simply lower it.

    Graham

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    Just had a look at my S3 GTI and thought I would give you some measurements of my standard setup albeit with original size 185/55 tyres and a photo of the front.

    Height from ground to centre bottom edge of front arch - 625 mm

    Height from ground to centre bottom edge of rear arch - 615 mm

    205 gti soft-roader-imageuploadedbytapatalk1338180684.541834.jpg

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts 504-504-504's Avatar
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    Default lowered 205 GTi

    Quote Originally Posted by djvu205 View Post
    have a look at the front control arms a car lowered 30-35mm will have the arms sitting nearly horizontal.
    Thanks djvu205.
    looks like thats where mine sits.

    Dave the underside of your car is a lot cleaner than mine.
    By the looks of it the outer boot might need a bit of a look at too on mine.
    Paul
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 205 gti soft-roader-jse_p1040987a.jpg  

  17. #17
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    Thanks Andrew for the measurements...a great guide because I know your car is one of the nicest, if not the nicest, original 205's in Oz.

    You don't happen to know the outer diameter of your 185 55 tyres do you? I had a look online and a few resources say it should be 585mm, but then they say 195 50's are 577mm but when I measure mine I'm only getting 563mm....

    The same ground to middle under side of wheel arch on mine are:

    Front: 642mm
    Rear: 622mm

    Quite a way off yours.

    When I get a spare 5 mins I'll have a go at loosening the control arms again and driving it around the block, but I think it's optimistic that this will lower it 20mm.

    If it is the gas shocks causing the raising, is it wise to reset the springs compensating for this raising?

    Thanks guys really appreciate your input.

    Dave

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts djvu205's Avatar
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    google "wheel and tire bible" it has a tire calculator which is handy and heaps of other info

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts djvu205's Avatar
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    what the hell heres the link

    http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible_pg4.html

    check out this link also if you decided to reset springs

    http://autospeed.com.au/cms/title_Re...6/article.html
    Last edited by djvu205; 28th May 2012 at 08:08 PM.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Andrew Ch's Avatar
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    If I get a minute tomorrow morning I will lift car and measure actual diameter of my tyre so you can do your sums.

  21. #21
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    Default ???

    As Graham says: "Did you let the car settle before doing up the nuts on the lower control arms?
    It could be raise due to tension the bushes, which will fail quickly if that is the case."


    ie Slacken off the nuts on the lower control arms with all the wheels on the ground (no jacks) then bounce the car up and down on each corner a few times and then with the car still supported only on its wheels, nip the nuts up. It is worth a try!!
    Present fleet:-
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    Peugeot 73' 504 Ti from new
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    Previous fleet:-
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    "Be reasonable do it my way!"


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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGRR View Post
    As Graham says: "Did you let the car settle before doing up the nuts on the lower control arms?
    It could be raise due to tension the bushes, which will fail quickly if that is the case."


    ie Slacken off the nuts on the lower control arms with all the wheels on the ground (no jacks) then bounce the car up and down on each corner a few times and then with the car still supported only on its wheels, nip the nuts up. It is worth a try!!
    Yes, but as I said you need to push the car back and forwards or better still drive round the block to get it to settle properly.
    Graham

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts BIGRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    Yes, but as I said you need to push the car back and forwards or better still drive round the block to get it to settle properly.
    Graham

    Graham,

    just got hearing aids, I will put in order for glasses today .
    Present fleet:-
    Peugeot 93' 205 Gti 16v
    Peugeot 73' 504 Ti from new
    Peugeot 08' 407 Hdi Coupe from new

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    Peugeot 92' 205 Gti
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    Renault 69' 10
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    "Be reasonable do it my way!"


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGRR View Post
    As Graham says: "Did you let the car settle before doing up the nuts
    It could be raise due to tension"

    G'day,
    sorry, wrong forum...
    regards,
    Les W.


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  25. #25
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    Just loosened the control arm bushes, been round the block, over some bumpy bits, reversed and braked hard. Tightened back up and still getting 642mm ground to centre wheel arch on the front.

    On the back, and I'm not sure if this is just with drum rear cars (I did notice it with my other drum rear gti) but if the handbrake goes on whilst your foot's still on the brake, the back of the car squats, and with this squat I'm getting 615mm, same as yours Andrew.

    I took the previous photos and measurements with the handbrake off, the photos below are with handbrake on and at a better angle.

    Andrew is it possible you could take a measurement of the diameter of a front tyre with the wheel left on, and then one of the gap from the top edge of the tyre to the centre underside edge of the wheel arch? This gap on yours doesn't look all that different to mine, so I'm wondering how much the height difference is to do with the tyre sizes and tyre wear.

    I'm running brand new Kumho's on the front, and I would guess there could be 10mm difference in the tyre diameter between new and worn...not suggesting yours are worn just that if I'd left my worn tyres on, the car might've sat 10mm lower....optimistic?

    Cheers
    Dave



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