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(Post Link) post #1 of 10 Old 06-11-18 Thread Starter
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Help Renewing a lowered suspension

Another suspension thread. My 147's dampers feel too worn lately (fitted somewhere between 2004 and 2005 if i remember well), the ride became quite bouncy so it is time renew some parts. My current setup is Bilstein B8 on H&R springs with about 80K Kms on the clock. Revalving the B8s are not an option in my country (the only trustworthy garage is 500Kms away) and I cannot afford a new set, so I decided to go for orange Konis. I have two questions though,

1) should replace the spirngs too? The car seems a little lower than it was years earlier and I am not sure if this is related to the springs or possibly due to squeezed top mounts (I can't imagine how this could be related to the dampers). If top mounts are the case, I could avoid paying extra for an eibach pro-kit. I had a short phone call with the local Bilstein dealer's technician who said that 80k Kms are usually half of life for lowering springs and he would definetly recommend replacing them if i had more than 160K Kms, but now I could be fine by keeping the old ones. But the car do seem a bit lower than it was.

2) Top mounts. Will I be fine with FEBIs? I did a search on the forum before posting and I have read a lot of horror stories for this, some had knocking sounds even after replacing the rear top mounts, it seems there is a clearance issue sometimes around the mount and also another issue if an incorrect nut is used somewhere, but I am not sure if these cases were faulty new mounts, bad fitting or something else. Any advice/experience on this?
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Koni Str.T work fine.
Springs can sag and reduce ride height but the top mounts won't reduce ride height.
AFAIK, the mounts can wear. The fronts just seem to flex a bit when suspension is manually bounced (relative damper piston rod movement can be seen) but the rears can move around in the strut turret when the rear is jacked off the ground. That should be all you need to do to check condition of mountings.
I just fitted a Febi rear mount to the 1999 156 TS. Part number is 34952 (early version). It works fine but cost 55.20. They are probably OE.

If you decide on springs, the Alfisti shop in the Netherlands is possibly the cheapest place for springs. I got the Eibach Pro Kit springs for the JTS from them. Cost was about 130 delivered. They are probably slightly more comfortable than H&R and may ride 5-10mm higher, I think. I chose Eibach for good ride and quality. They work well with Koni Str.T orange dampers which I paid 116 (pair) delivered for.
I just went for standard Boge rear dampers as they appear up to the job as the damping at the rear is quite good anyway. However, my cars are Veloce spec so I was able to order Veloce (not standard) rear dampers which are valved firmer.
I'm not sure if you can do that with 147 and GT though.
I paid 154 for the rear dampers (pair).

In all, my suspension refresh cost 400 for the JTS with quality parts.

Last edited by Fruity; 07-11-18 at 09:03.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 10 Old 07-11-18 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
Koni Str.T work fine.

I just fitted a Febi rear mount to the 156 TS. Part number is 34952. It works fine but cost 55.20. They are probably OE.
Thank you for the reply. For the 147 i have found two different part numbers for the rear mount:

Febi Bilstein 34951
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/1890451

Bilstein 12-238125
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/bilstein/7589430

Somehow different branding, different price, does this mean different quality too?


EDIT: there is a 3rd part number which includes a nut & washer
Febi Bilstein 38106
https://www.autodoc.gr/febi-bilstein/7106686

Last edited by jomor; 07-11-18 at 05:48.
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Febi and Bilstein are the same company these days. It is possible there are old parts in differently branded boxes. All of your links are for the OE part 46791956

I'd pick the cheapest (top) one (34951). You will not need a new nut and washer.
I got the nut and washer in mine but I couldn't find any use for the washer.

Apparently these strut tops are for standard, not Sport Pack (TI, Sport- on 147) suspension which is right, AFAIK.

Last edited by Fruity; 07-11-18 at 09:07.
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Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
I just went for standard Boge rear dampers as they appear up to the job as the damping at the rear is quite good anyway. However, my cars are Veloce spec so I was able to order Veloce (not standard) rear dampers which are valved firmer.

My 147 has H&R springs and Bilstein B8 dampers which are worn out and need to be replaced or repaired asap.
What I am looking for is a smooth ride (since fast cornering and fast driving is out of the question as my kids are usually with me in the car) but I don't like at all the SUV looks of the 147 with standard suspension.

On the last MOT the fronts were found weaker than the rears (fronts were always stronger on every older measurement). Since the front Bilsteins are out of production (and which was an expensive but safe choice) I now have the following options and I cant make up my mind:

1) a set of Koni str.t
2) a set of TRW shocks for lowered suspension (black, 20mm shorter than standard, part No JGM871T, JGM869T). - Are they stiffer than standard, who knows.. (Unfortunately there are no 20mm lowering springs from TRW.. this would be a perfect setup for my needs imo..)
3) Koni str.t in front, TRW in rear
4) a set of standard KYB springs combined with KYB excel shocks
5) drive 500Kms far from my city and repair the B8s in a well respected Bilstein suspension expert.

any opinion will be appreciated since i am quite confused i must say..
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I'm not sure we can help as you must make the decision.

Firstly, Febi Bilstein is OE, I think and will be the best quality product. I don't see how the mountings will influence ride height. They only really provide a compliant location for the damper rods.

The springs are the major factor in ride quality. The dampers control how they work so standard, softer springs will iron out imperfections better but worn dampers will make any set up poor.

I'm not happy telling people what to do but I can offer guidance.
KYB never produced any components for 156 Sportpack/Veloce suspension. I don't know what the suspension spec of 147s was. All I know is that there was not an option for standard or sports. No one has measured standard ride height for a 147 and posted measurements, so I don't know. There does seem to be a bit of variation but this is not surprising as the cars are a bit older now. I have some conflicting but possibly spurious information about that so I just cannot say.

If 147 suspension was based on 156 standard suspension, nor Sportpack, then KYB never actually made any dampers fit for a 147. Sports suspension cars should have firmer dampers but no one can say for sure how it will perform in respect of a particular owner's preference.

Ideally, I'd rebuild the Bilsteins. I don't really see much advantage in using Koni dampers (other than flexiblity to use standard springs).

I don't think non Koni/Bilstein dampers would be a great idea with H&R springs but it is more important at the front because the front unsprung mass is greater.

If changing springs, given the current set up which is not firm like Apex, Leda etc in your opinion (from what I know, I'd tend to agree), I think Koni Str.T front struts with TRW rear ones would be the way to go.

Doesn't really help, does it?

Last edited by Fruity; 3 Weeks Ago at 11:52.
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i just got a reply from ZF and called them about the shortened versions of TRW shocks (JGM871T, JGM869T), they are "enhanced" for lowered cars, not suitable at all for standard height springs and not as stiff as bilsteins as they mentioned on the phone.
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Originally Posted by Fruity View Post

Doesn't really help, does it?
yes it did, exchanging opinions and combining the answers often helps making a decision
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TRW shocks (JGM871T, JGM869T), they are "enhanced" for lowered cars, not suitable at all for standard height springs and not as stiff as bilsteins as they mentioned on the phone.
I'm guessing it was the B4s they mentioned which are firmer.
That is useful information.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruity View Post
I'm guessing it was the B4s they mentioned which are firmer.
That is useful information.
no, they refered to B8s which are shorter than normal suitable only for lowered cars. The specific TRWs are shorter than normal too, suitable only for lowered cars just like the B8s are, but they are not as stiff as the B8s at all. Obviously their quality cannot be compared too since at the end you always get what you pay for and these TRWs cost aproximately 230€. Being 2cm shorter, cheap and black colored, I believe they are targeted to versions like Veloce, slighty lowered from the factory and definetly not for much lowered with stiff aftermarket springs at the 4-6cm range. Something similar to the Boge shorter versions you had at the rear of your 156

ps: For the rear there is also JGM869S ( s = single in a box) JGM869T has 2 in one package
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Last edited by jomor; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:45.
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