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Old 11-02-2010, 03:54 AM   #1
hotmilk400
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Default difference between standard and sport suspension?

so i have a 98 Active, and i wanted about the suspension.

it should be the standard suspension (i do not think it is the sport), but i bought Sport struts (front and rear), is their anything that i need to change to be able to install sport struts on the standard suspension?

i know it might sound like a dumb question, but i ordered the suspension stuts by accident, and i got a good price on them, so i do not want to return it. haha. do i need to upgrade the swaybars and stuff (since they are different on the sport package) or the springs? i am hoping i can just replace the struts without replacing anything else, but that might be far from the truth. i am not looking to mimic the sport package, i am making sure i have everything just to do a direct replacement.

thanks alot =]
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:00 AM   #2
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Sport struts should work just fine with everything else.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:06 AM   #3
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And I should be playing Twister with Selma Hayek. Not the most reassuring term, mate.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:08 AM   #4
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haha. they are physically the same size, but i was not sure if they were different in any other ways that would effect installing them.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:35 AM   #5
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If anything, they're valved for the SLIGHTLY stiffer sport springs. As long as your current springs seat properly in the spring perches, the sport struts WILL work. Now if it were the other way around, say stiffer springs going onto shocks that are valved for lighter duty, then yes, they may fail prematurely. However in your case, the strut cannot harm the springs.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:40 AM   #6
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thanks, sounds good.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooljess76 View Post
If anything, they're valved for the SLIGHTLY stiffer sport springs. As long as your current springs seat properly in the spring perches, the sport struts WILL work. Now if it were the other way around, say stiffer springs going onto shocks that are valved for lighter duty, then yes, they may fail prematurely. However in your case, the strut cannot harm the springs.
Are sport springs stiffer than standard springs? I just measured both and the wound diameter, wire diameter, and number of coils is identical. The only difference was height. Unless the steel is a different material then the spring rate is the same. I doubt the steel is different.

The loaded height will be different and that could effect strut stroke resulting in a valve bottoming out, but probably unlikely. Larger sport sway bars will increase the spring coefficient.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSpeedracer View Post
Are sport springs stiffer than standard springs? I just measured both and the wound diameter, wire diameter, and number of coils is identical. The only difference was height. Unless the steel is a different material then the spring rate is the same. I doubt the steel is different.

The loaded height will be different and that could effect strut stroke resulting in a valve bottoming out, but probably unlikely. Larger sport sway bars will increase the spring coefficient.
Honestly I'm not sure. I've driven both base and sport models and there is a noticeable difference in handling. But there's other factors to be considered such as the condition of bushings, wear level of shocks/struts, tires/pressures etc.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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The sport suspension is .5" lower if i remember correctly. The valving and max extension of the piston, standard vs sport, is different between the two; sport being shorter to compensate for the shorter spring.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:26 AM   #10
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if i do the work myself, do i need a front end aliment right afterwords. I am not 100% sure if i can get into the shop right away afterwords.

bought all new mounts, bolts, nuts and a few other things. lets hope this is easier then i think it will be, (since i am thinking it might be a day killer.. and maybe a hand breaker.. haha)

thanks for the input. i was only worried because the fronts have the spring, and i did not want to run into problems with the car taken apart.

looks like a project for tomorrow night, thanks everyone.

any tips for me before i start? maybe not to use a broken spring compressor or something would be good.

thanks all
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:27 PM   #11
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The tires might be out of alignment after swapping shocks, but I doubt it would be significant. I wouldn't worry about getting alignment right after.

Most difficult part of rear shock was reaching the bolts in trunk area. Otherwise a walk in the park.

I've swapping springs/struts on a bunch of different cars. The 318 is relatively easy except for compressing the springs. I had to hook one on the upper hat, and it was a little bid unnerving. Could potentially slip off. I saw posts about difficult aligning the strut, but I had zero problems.
  • Attach 13mm x3 nuts loose in strut tower (easy with assistant)
  • Slide (tap with hammer) 18mm bolt horizontal through top mount. May help to use floor jack.
  • Attach (hand tight) bottom 18mm bolts switching between both to keep parallel.
  • back out one bolt at a time, drop loctite, tighten
  • tighten upper 18mm with loctite.
  • tighten 13mm on strut tower
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:49 AM   #12
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Or, spend the 100 bucks to buy a caster/camber guage and a set of alignment plates.
It is not that complicated. and it will let you really dial the car in.

Just another thought on it...

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Old 11-18-2010, 03:17 AM   #13
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i never thought about doing them myself. hmm, maybe i should look into that. thanks for the tips.
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Old 08-14-2022, 04:24 PM   #14
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Default Same Issue . . .

Greetings all! I have the same question. Can I directly replace standard struts and shocks with "sport" versions on my 1996 318ti hatchback (1.9l I4 / auto trans) ?
Thanks in advance . . .
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Old 08-17-2022, 01:01 PM   #15
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I think your question was directly answered above. Yes, you can.
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