Project MKVI Golf TDI: Handling Upgrades Part Deux



The rebound adjustment primarily affects the low speed damping–shock piston velocities in the 0-2″ per second range. Low speed damping adjustment affects body motions such as roll and pitch. The piston also has a unique two stage system combining a deflected disc valve system and a spring loaded blow off valve for controlling the rest of the velocity range and allowing for compliance over broken pavement, bumps, and track features like curbing. 

Like the rebound, the compression adjuster also mostly influences low speed compression damping, which like rebound is the part of the damping curve that influences body motion. On rebound the fluid flows through orifices and the damping force is controlled by the unique combination of deflected dics valves with a spring loaded blowoff function. The combination of deflected disc valving and spring loaded blow off give KW's their unique range of control with frequency sensitivity. This helps the shocks produce both firm control and a smooth non tire (and occupant) shocking ride.


Project MKVI Golf TDI Handling Upgrades KW Variant III rear shock adjuster
The rear shock's compression adjust is found on the bottom. 
Project MKVI Golf TDI Handling Upgrades KW Variant III rear shock
Utilizing the stock mounts means better noise and vibration isolation than a typical pillow ball or spherical bearing coilover setup.  Unfortunately, short of punching a hole in the shock tower, adjusting rebound will mean removing the upper mount.  We highly recommend replacing the stock torque to yield (TTY) bolts with standard hardware so you won't have to buy new bolts every time you make an adjustment.


As always with our installations, we headed over to Technosquare to put our suspension install in the capable hands of Howard Watanabe.  Being intimately familiar with our Golf from our exhaustive suspension overhaul in Part I, Howard was able to turn us out in a matter of hours.  Like the ST coilovers, the KW V3s utilize many stock parts, easing installation and improving noise and impact isolation when compared to coilover setups that use “pillow” ball mounts (which are decidedly un-pillow-like) and spherical bearings.  While these bits do an excellent job of maintaining control and accuracy, we feel that they are a little harsh for many daily drivers, especially those with econocar roots like our Golf.


Project MKVI Golf TDI Handling Upgrades Howard Watanabe Technosquare
Howard Watanabe is one of very few shops we trust to work on our cars.  His attention to detail rivals (or often surpasses) our own.  He's also got a killer set of tools, he can fix it.

Project MKVI Golf TDI Handling Upgrades ST Coilovers disassembly
While the old shoe, wall and impact wrench method may work for disassembling strut assemblies, the safest and best way to do it is with a spring compressor.  We've personally witnessed top hat retaining nuts damage cars across the street.

Project MKVI Golf TDI Handling Upgrades rear damper adjustment

Baselining the rear dampers is vital to consistent adjustment.  Here Howard counts the turns until the rebound adjuster is fully loose to ensure both sides are set to the same position.  


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