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Discussion Starter #1
Was the handling change dramatic? What was the change in ride quality (i.e. 20% more, 50% more, off the chart stiff, etc...)?

My current struts are still fine, but in my never ending quest to improve handling without spending a boat load of cash (i.e. $600 for a set of Koni yellows - fronts only! Another $300 to do rears!), it seems to me additional roll stiffness is needed in the front to try and keep the car in the ideal camber range (I really need to improve my skills as a driver, as I know I'm carrying to much speed in to corners - at the autocross - , etc...).

I don't know how much struts alone will help, mostly because it's the nut behind the wheel that needs adjusted, but I'm looking to get some incremental improvement for cheap.

I thought about the handling pack struts (Rock Auto, the all 4 for $250 or so - shipped even!), but the ST units might be a better way (I'd have to look up the cost on those...).

Also, according to an Edmunds.com article, the control arm is the same for all cars, but the ST units apparently have a stiffer bushing in the rear. That would add some better feel for sure.

Ah, the joy of cars!
 

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I replaced mine about a year ago. I got ST struts and handling package rears from Tousley Ford. I think the struts were 45.00 apiece. They feel much better but I know have Eibach sportline springs and I am going to go to Bilsteins
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So you did the ST struts on stock springs initially and then went to Eibachs?
Was the feel even better with the Eibachs, like night and day out only marginal improvement with the new springs?

I've been on Vogtlands coming up on a couple years now. Stock struts are still fine, so I'm throwing good money away if the improvement of ST struts isn't a significant boost with the lowering springs.
 

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how much of a drop do you have with the Vogtlands. I have Steeda on now which give less then one inch drop. The sporotline have about 1.5 inch drop and you need shocks that will work with the shorter springs.
 

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OG320i - I'm a little lost on how you figure struts will affect roll stiffness....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OG320i - I'm a little lost on how you figure struts will affect roll stiffness....
Without thinking about the theories, experientially speaking, having driven a car with adjustable struts, once on "full soft" another on "full hard" (for lack of a better term), the full out adjustment was a) rattle your kidney's loose stiffness and b) in a given corner (glass smooth and beautiful to drive around), if not "flatter" certainly felt that way.

The stiffness was most certainly due to rebound damping, and probably something akin to a "higher frequency" which perhaps makes it "feel" stiffer.

Regardless of roll stiffness, increased communication will help the nut behind the wheel determine what's happening and, hopefully, lead to faster times and cleaner ingress/egress from tight cone configurations.

Using ST control arms with the more stiffly bushed end would have the same function.

The sooner the front wheels communicate what they'll be doing, the better chance I have of recognizing it and, hopefully, adjusting my driving style. I'm just not experienced enough in driving a car "in anger" with 60% or more of the cars weight over the front end, and i need all the help I can get!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
how much of a drop do you have with the Vogtlands. I have Steeda on now which give less then one inch drop. The sporotline have about 1.5 inch drop and you need shocks that will work with the shorter springs.
They spec 1.4", and that's about what mine dropped. I did remove my front spring pad in an attempt to get a little more rake, not sure how much it really achieved with that.

For what it's worth, I've heard it both ways on the Sportlines (that you do or do not need struts to go with it). I would think your ST struts should work with Eibachs, but I'm no engineer, either. YMMV.

I thought after 48k miles mine might be going (half or a little more of that mileage on the Vogtlands...), but the last speed bump I went over today (or maybe it was yesterday) seems to indicate they're as fine as ever. Bounce down, bounce back up - done. No uncontrolled or excessive bounce or floaty feeling after that (and weak struts will usually "float" a bit). Lends credence to what the Vogtland people told me, in that their springs are designed to work with stock struts. Well, that and the e30 I have them on, about 4 years on now, installed with new stock replacement struts (Kyb's) when I put the springs on that car, and there's about 25 or 30k on those (my daughter daily's that one now). Just drove that the other day, too, and it's fine as well.

I should reference that my primary reason for choosing Vogtland is that it's usually a pretty good drop and the ride quality is not far from stock, so no bounciness going down the road, they don't rattle your fillings loose, etc... I'm a huge Vogtland homer, love the product. I want their coilovers next...

For reference, Focus on Vogtlands:



The e30 on Vogtlands:

 

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It's cool Bud, I wasn't questioning that they could be of assistance, just tryin' to get the thinking going on just how they would help.

A set better matched to the springs will help smooth the transitions (rolling into a turn) and they DO increase the "stiffness" by slowing down the roll a bit. Helps you set up for a turn more smoothly as a result. Won't change the degree of roll for a particular corner/speed, that's controlled by the springs/bars.

To put it in more familiar terms, you can roll it onto the stops more smoothly when it doesn't roll quite as fast & is more controlled.


More stiffly bushed arms would help as well, lessens the slop.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nah, it's all good. Wasn't trying to come off as defensive or anything; the question helped me to frame what I know (about enough to be dangerous is all!) with what my expectations are.

By definition "better" (stiffer?) dampers increase handling, or there wouldn't be large buildings with the names of damper manufacturers on the sides!

But understanding what they'll do and what they won't is what will help the driver. Hope all is well with you. Cheers.
 
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