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90Q 2.3 Rear shock absorbers?

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  • 90Q 2.3 Rear shock absorbers?

    Happy new year everyone!
    New year, new problems. So my rear shocks both have leaked out, looking at replacements it seems like only available brands are Magnum technology which has proved to be terrible brand in my experience and Bilstein which i have 0 experience with, from what I know they are ''get what you pay for'' brand. (Some stores offer KYB suprisingly, but, again, mixed reviews).
    I was told in different forums that sachs performance and other brands have discontinued them 6 years ago. One of the options I got offered is to take 80 b3 front struts, cut off all the steering bits and put them in the back. 2nd option offered is to take C3/C4 socks and modify threads on the strut.

    Wanted to ask has anyone ever done any of these hack'ish methods and can point me to/explain them in bit more detail? Maybe someone has experience with Bilstein/KYB? Problem I'm facing is roads around here that are ''sub optimal'' to say the least so I'm looking for somewhat decent solution that won't end up with shock replacement after a year or two.

  • #2
    If you want decent then bilstein fit the bill!

    Original fit for many manufacturers which gives them some credibility in my book. Bilstein B4 are the 'standard' replacement and B6 are the uprated level. I'm not sure about B4 but, the B6 can be rebuilt if you ever kill them on your sub optimal roads ​​​​​​

    I've got B6 on my cq20v with the factory 15inch wheels with standard s2 springs and I like it very much - firm, good control and importantly it does not crash and bump on bad roads.

    The B6 were factory approved tuning upgrade for audi back in the early 90's and original fit for the saab 99 turbo when that was launched in the 70's.


    • #3
      Putting a damper on "hack'ish methods"...

      Firstly, for myself and others reading, please confirm, perhaps you have a 1988 - 1992 B3 chassis quattro sedan (four-door) with the long and tall rear MacPherson struts which sites the main springs above the wheel (as opposed to the short coil-overs of the later B4 chassis cars (with main springs behind the wheel) on the rear, correct? If not I apologize for the following.

      Certainly that 2nd option you list above would void any part warranty and make future replacement equally convoluted. I do think most folks should stay with near to stock components.

      I also 2nd Steve's remarks above and would add that a very satisfactory and durable rear damper install is entirely achievable using some care and all very nearly stock original parts. The Bilstein B4 dampers are not rebuild-able. There is possibly an authorized Bilstein rebuild facility (that can fix B6s and B8s) not too far from you.

      Although I've no experience with other than Boge, Koni & Bilstein, I see no need, nor good reason to not simply re-fit your original rear struts with fresher dampers inside; and Bilsteins are a reputable and popular choice I also prefer. Over worn ones, fresh OEM dampers alone in the original struts on the rear will restore some of the car's original positive steering feel on initial turn-in as you approach a corner, and they will add to the car's stability at highway speeds, and even though the B6s will add more of this than the B4s or other stock equivalents for a more enthusiast oriented ride, my experience with B6s is, installed as per below, they are not at all uncomfortable on imperfect roads.

      Although lengthy, please have a look at this: Billie into MacStrut...

      Also know that I have widgets to flog, but even if you choose otherwise, consider that even the best dampers by themselves, cannot on their own deliver their best performance. A total install overview that encompasses renewing all the suspension mounting points is necessary for a most durable and satisfying result. Often over-looked and dismissed as of little importance, those hinge points and top-mounts are ordinarily some of the fastest and easiest items to wear and fail on this chassis. Particularly at the rear, poor suspension hinges and mounts will act as the tail that will wag the dog. Replacing these with more durable items which will remain precise and quiet far longer, will add to your driving enjoyment and subtract from future maintenance time and expense.

      To that end, perhaps these may be of interest:

      For Boge A-arm bushings only...

      For Boge top-mounts only...
      Last edited by Lago Blue; 1st February 2020, 18:57.


      • #4
        I have B3 1988 chassis 90Q
        Ok so I put fresh B6's in with original top mounts. Sadly didn't knew about the ones you sell while replacing. Will replace them on next suspension run. I also liked idea of modded lada top mounts, that somebody did on forums ,which had thicker rubber though I'm not sure how it will impact B6's performance or overall life.
        Thank god you mentioned holes that I had to drill in strut. Never knew for gas shocks it can raise issues.
        But yeah, more things on list to replace, springs seem to be some aftermarket stuff so will have to look into used alternatives, rubber bushings on wishbones are almost but not fully shot, I'm even questioning now how close to stock performance I can get it. It almost seems like the old wishbone suspension isn't finest thing in the world and b5 individual arms really have something more to them to make ride enjoyable.


        • #5
          Thumbs up on the drain-holes. That was going to be my question. Some of the best mods are simply preventative, hidden and inexpensive. BTW, I don't sell top-mounts, just a reinforcement for one in particular. In any case, as the rear of the car normally only carries about a 3rd of the total weight, they should in theory, last twice as long. However as stock they remain much more vulnerable, therefore "long" can be pretty short.

          I was also intrigued by Nail's Lada mounts, very clever fellow! I'm a fan of more generous ground clearance and some comfort in our cars.

          WRT sourcing springs, consider that stock, the sport 20v edition of your car would have had slightly up-rated springs, and an early S2 even more so.

          Perhaps IMHO only, but there is nothing I can see implicit in an aluminum suspension arm with what, a non-replaceable joint or joints(?) that can make them more enjoyable, just more expensive to maintain. It is the quality of the maintenance received that is the defining aspect of each of our car's driving experience, more than the spec. of the attached equipment. I regard that our suspension is made from steel as holding several advantages. Thirty years on, I've got arms that could be originals. Besides, in comparison, how many world championships have the newer fatter cars won? For a street driven car, nothing inherently wrong or inadequate with single A-arms and struts (see also Porsche and others), one just needs to attend to the details. The satisfaction of a more nimble and lighter car awaits those who correctly do.

          I know nothing about your car but hopefully you have sensed enough of an improvement with the above that you are encouraged to continue on at the rear; and then do similar up front; where those mostly identical parts; have to do twice the work. Confirming the fitness of, and re-newing as required (and particularly reinforcing) all the joints and soft tissues of the car's suspension (and steering) is one of the most cost-effective and satisfying tasks one can do (and that one can easily D-I-Y) towards improving the every-day driving experience, and is absolutely foundational to any other more visible changes. I of course suggest you aim for some particular Boges; and reinforcements.