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Front Shock/Spring Upgrade Qs (God help me)

Posted by Earendil 
With all the talk in my other thread on front end maintenance, I'm actually starting to consider shocks/springs.

But first, a little history on my car:
One owner until 2004.
They sold it to a car that wanted to turn it into a drift car. He apparently started to do the upgrade work, such as new shocks (but not springs), before he got a raise, bought a Porsche, and sold the car to the next owner in 2006.
The next owner bought it because he had never worked on a European car before, and wanted a little experience. He ran into financial trouble before he ever touched the car, realized he had too many projects, and sold the car to me in 2006 with a bunch of spare parts.

When I bought the car and got the history, I didn't care if the new shocks story was true, because it passed a quick corner push spring-shock test, and I cared more about the state of the engine.
Now after some maintenance, I can say that the springs are old, but the shocks can have a rag taken to them and (to my surprise) brand new black paint on a very new looking part appears out from under the dust and dirt. However, the car came with no receipt for them, and I can't see an identifying marks on them anywhere.

So, three questions:
1. Where are front (or back) shocks usually marked, so I can go digging for a part number or brand name?
2. If they are quality sports shocks, what are the chances of them working well with the H&R Sports springs? Are shocks married pretty closely to spring setups, or do shocks adjust themselves pretty well to a change in springs?
3. Would it still be a positive (or at least not negative) experience to change the front suspension and not the back?

Obviously if I were able to avoid $200-$250 worth of shocks up front, I'd be more likely to invest in some new springs :-)
If you are going to lower the car you need different springs and sport shocks...they are shorter. If you still have the stock springs then you do not have sport shocks. You can not tell what brand of shock you have up front because the main part of the shock is in the strut. The only way to tell what springs you have is to disassemble the strut and look at the numbers stamped on the top. The Bilstein HD shock will make the stock springs fell great. Unless you want to lower the car I would not get new springs, but IE springs seem to be the rage!
with lowering springs, whether they be Eibachs, HR sport, HR race, IE3's, whatever, the most popular shock seems to be the bilstein sport shocks.


So, if I have stock springs (which looks likely) that I do not have sports shocks?
And I couldn't put shorter springs on there (like the Bilsteins) without having non-oem shocks on there?

So it looks like I'll just to some investigating when I have the front end apart a little bit.
If I'm going to take the entire thing apart and put new shocks in there, I might as well spring* for the coils as well, since they are roughly half as much as the shocks. I'll thus save all my direct shock and spring questions for a later date :-)

~Tyler


*no pun originally intended, but once realized, intentionally left in
For a guy that can't afford new shocks it seems a bit of a stretch to now want new springs too! I guess we all dream about what to do next. B)-
Quote
Earendil
So, if I have stock springs (which looks likely) that I do not have sports shocks?
And I couldn't put shorter springs on there (like the Bilsteins) without having non-oem shocks on there?

So it looks like I'll just to some investigating when I have the front end apart a little bit.
If I'm going to take the entire thing apart and put new shocks in there, I might as well spring* for the coils as well, since they are roughly half as much as the shocks. I'll thus save all my direct shock and spring questions for a later date :-)

~Tyler


*no pun originally intended, but once realized, intentionally left in



if you spring for new shocks, you will also need to shock for new springs. but no seriously, if you lower the car on normal-ride-height shocks, you risk doing damage to the shock, and your ride won't be very well tuned, so you need to buy both together. turner (yeah, them again) sell well priced packages. last i saw it was $589 total for bilstein sports and HR sports.


Quote
wodcutr
For a guy that can't afford new shocks it seems a bit of a stretch to now want new springs too! I guess we all dream about what to do next. B)-

Remember my frame of mind:
There is the Now, which is a need to repair with tax return. And there is Later, which includes a large(r) income and more time. When later comes about, this bachelor will have little standing in the way of buying a commuter car, and giving his baby the TLC, and maybe a few track components, that she needs. I'm not about to "pimp" it out, but springs/shocks are certainly on the list :-)

If I could pop two sports springs under there for $100, I might do it. If I have to buy shocks as well, and have it cost 300-400, than I'll wait until I rip the back end apart come summer and a disposable income, and do everything at once.

So, To Be Continued...
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