Project MKVII Golf R : Part 2 – Bilstein Clubsport Suspension


The front inverted monotube strut assembly features a threaded body for height adjustment. The linear spring employs a helper spring to help keep everything under tension when the suspension is at full extension. An inverted body means that the damper body itself is upside down and the shaft is supported inside the strut housing and the part that you see that looks like the shaft is actually the large diameter body of the damper. This makes for a much stronger and stiffer assembly. 
Damping and rebound adjusters are located at the bottom and are very easy to access without needing to remove the wheel or raise the car to make quick adjustments. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the orientation of each knob as well as direction to turn the knobs to get the desired adjustment. We are really pleased with how easy these are to adjust. Bilstein has certainly perfected their craft.
The Bilstein Clubsport suspension lives up to its name with the inclusion of spherical ball upper mounts that allow for camber adjustment. This feature is something we definitely need on the Golf R for a serious track alignment. The factory alignment setting for the front of the Golf R is very close to 0 degrees of camber and the total lack of camber gain inherent to the strut suspension geometry makes the car plow in to and out of the corner like a dump truck. These adjustable top mounts are very high quality and made of beefy slabs of aluminum. These are much thicker than most of the stuff you see on entry level suspension systems.
The Bilstein Clubsorts are high-pressure monotube dampers.  The Piston rides inside the main tube and uses washer stacks to set the damping curve for compression and rebound. The damping adjusters control the size of the bypass orifices that allow the fluid to bypass the washer stacks. High-pressure nitrogen gas is separated from the fluid by a floating piston.  The pressurised gas keeps bubbles from forming in the fluid as it passes through the valves making for more consistant damping even as the shock gets hot.


At the rear, Bilstein uses a spherical bearing for the top shock mounting location. They include this really stout machined aluminum mounting bracket. The only part that is carried over from the stock rear shock setup is the mounting bolts. The rear damping and rebound adjustment knobs are located at the top of the shock and are also very easy to access, however we did have to raise our car to reach the knobs. Not as easy to access as the front knobs, but still very easy.  We feel that indepedent adjustment of compression and rebound is a very important tool for setting up a car that is going to see some serious use.


For the suspension install, we brought the Golf R over to the MotoIQ megashop to have Howard work his magic. He decided to start at the back, and the installation process was very straight forward. The rear suspension design inboard mounted springs and shocks mounted separately further out on the control arm, which is a very common design in modern cars where interior cargo capacity requirements are very competitive. This design maximizes interior capacity while also delivering great suspension geometry and performance.


The rear spring on the Bilstein Clubsport suspension has a progressive rate that was refined on the Nurburgring for optimal handling performance. The adjustable upper perch also features a corrosion resistant surface finish which will help when making adjustments as the suspension ages. Having a tough surface finish that will hold up to the elements is essential and not something you see on suspension systems of lesser quality.

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