H&R Coilovers

COILOVERS
Reason:
Interested in a tighter feeling car when cornering. I was not dissatisfied with the stock suspension setup but was looking to improve an already decent handling car.
Considerations:
I wanted to install a system that gave a reasonable improvement in the performance area, without sacrificing too much of the ride quality. Cost was a consideration though not primary. Ride height was a concern as was how well the system fit with the components already on the car.
Options Available:
At the time I was considering the suspension upgrade there were two options I felt came close to meeting my needs. The following is a list of systems considered and reason I chose to not go with each.

  • MTM Springs- Less costly but seemed to me not the ideal solution.
  • Vortrag Coilovers- Too costly. Overkill for what I was trying
    to accomplish.
  • H&R Coilovers
Decision:
I decided to go with H&R Coilovers. The H&R setup was reported to improve the cars handling without making the ride too harsh. They are also height adjustable, which meant I could keep the car close to stock height. (Road clearance is a concern with this car.)

Satisfaction:
I have been extremely pleased with the H&R coilovers after getting accustomed to them. At first I was disappointed in what I felt to be a harsher ride than I had anticipated. After driving the car for a while though I grew accustomed to the firmer ride. Anymore only over large bumps or very bumpy streets do I long for the old suspension. The improvement in the way the car handles when driven is certainly worth the loss of some comfort. The car handles very well now and feels more like the car I expected the S4 to be.I was disappointed by H&R’s customer service. Initially they sent me a bad coilover. They would not take my word on this fact and I needed to have the garage I was having the work done at call H&R and verify that the coilover was indeed bad. Then they made me pay for the replacement coilover and reimbursed me after I shipped the bad component back to them, at my cost. I could not get them to reimburse me for the shipping charges, and I was also left footing the bill for the second visit to the garage when they swapped out the bad coilover. They make a nice product, but their customer support is poor.

Conclusion:

I have been very pleased with this suspension system upgrade. I have had it on for about 7 months (as of July 2001) and have had no problems. If I could only keep one of the modifications that I have done to my car this would be the one.
Long-term Report:
The suspension has given me no troubles other than the occasional challenge getting over speed bumps or other large hurdles in the road.I still wish I could be closer to stock ride height. I have adjusted to the feel of the car and have no desire to return to the softer feel of the stock suspension.

If I need to replace the coilovers in the future I will investigate a spring/shock combination to save on costs and because I do not use the height adjustment feature that these coilovers have.

Long-term Report Updated May 2005: For the type of driving I do, 99% as a daily driver, <1% on tracks, this suspension is terrific. If I had it to do over I’d probably consider the Stasis Streetsports as well, based upon their reputation. But I have no intention of getting rid of the H&R coilovers anytime soon.

Audi B5 S4