Koni Active Dampers And H&r -40 Springs

Discussion in 'Suspension Steering Brakes' started by .50, 15 Nov 2019.

  1. .50

    .50 Senior Member T6 Guru

    Ever since I have had my 2017 T30 Kombi I have found the ride to be quite harsh.

    I fitted -40 Cobra springs to the standard dampers more to just reduce the arch gap above the wheels than for comfort.

    Like me, many people over the years have asked, "how do I make my Transporters suspension smoother", and it seems that the most common answer is, "fit bilstein adjustable sports suspension".

    Now this is ok if you want to try to make you're van handle like a track day car, but no good if you actually just want it to give a smoother ride.

    Fortunately, as a result of this forum, I have found Steve at CRS Performance, who is a specialist suspension supplier, and EXACTLY the right kind of person to talk to about suspension.

    As a result, he has fitted for me a set of Koni Active dampers, (FSD), and -40 H&R springs.

    The results have transformed the driving experience of my van.

    You can still feel the road beneath the wheels, but it's as if you are driving on foam matting.

    Everything is just

    Bumps are still bumps, and potholes are still potholes, but this suspension just takes the edge off everything.

    The van seem to track the road surface better giving a feeling of greater stability.

    Nose dive under braking is reduced as is body roll under cornering.

    The 40mm drop the springs give, to me, is perfect and really suits my 19" alloys.

    Steve also has the ability to mix and match spring rates to accommodate increased vehicle weight thus giving you the ride height you want.

    I really have been impressed by CRS and the equipment they have fitted to my van.

    IMG_20191115_131850989.jpg IMG_20191115_120436550.jpg
    CRS Performance, Raven, KevC and 2 others like this.
  2. 362bkr

    362bkr Senior Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Thanks for that review, it is music to my ears and two weeks from today I will have these fitted by CRS on my van .
    CRS Performance and .50 like this.
  3. Higgidav

    Higgidav Member VIP Member

    Hi @.50 are you anticipating any tracking / alignment or tyre wear implications as I am also seriously thinking of going the same route.
  4. .50

    .50 Senior Member T6 Guru

    Not really.

    It's the same ride height as before and I had it Hunter aligned after I fitted the first set of -40 springs.

    That was 2 years ago and tyre wear has been fine.
  5. ChrisR

    ChrisR Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    That's a mostly great review and really interesting reading, but a bit of feedback from an owner who only yesterday chose a different route...... I had B14s fitted, and they are wound all the way down...

    You made this statement about the bilstein suspension: "Now this is ok if you want to try to make you're van handle like a track day car, but no good if you actually just want it to give a smoother ride." That's just not true, I'm sorry, but it really isn't. My van was previously lowered on 50mm H&R springs and standard shocks, but the Bilstein setup has noticeably improved the ride, in fact, several statements you made about your new suspension could be applied to mine. Everything you have written from "Everything is just smoother" all the way down to "roll under cornering" applies to my van, and I have found myself genuinely surprised at the quality of the ride considering I'm about 70mm or so lower than standard.

    Your setup looks great, and I'm glad it works for you, I would expect it is even more comfortable than the B14s, but it's a bit short sighted to criticise a setup you haven't run yourself, unless of course you have, in which case, fair enough.

    I also spoke to CRS and was very tempted with one of their options, but chose the Bilstein route instead, simply because I was able to test drive 2 different vans running the same suspension, but set up two different ways. That was a major advantage for me and confirmed that yes, it is true, you can go low and still improve comfort.
  6. Wills

    Wills Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    I’ve been running the same KONI & HR combo for 3 months and am totally satisfied with the ride and handle.
    They smooth out the harsh road surfaces and sharpen up the steering / handling.
    Again, all thanks to Steve Hurley @CRS Performance.
    CRS Performance likes this.
  7. Andyf

    Andyf Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru


    Which two set ups did you test drive pal

  8. ChrisR

    ChrisR Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    First up a caravelle running 20” rims and B14s set at their highest. The comfort was genuinely remarkable, yet still noticeably much more controlled than standard.

    Then a Kombi that’s been converted to a caravelle again running 20” rims and B14s, but this time with only about 15mm left to go down. This also has H&R anti roll bars and the handling was significantly better than a standard setup, yet still really comfortable.

    The 20” rims should in theory give the harshest ride, so the suspension was clearly doing its job.

    To get the same drop as the second one I am wound right down at the back but still about 10mm left at the front, that’s because my Kombi is empty in the back and not carrying the extra weight of the caravelle Seats and interior fancies.

    I didn’t want to shell out for the ARBs yet, they’re on my wish list for after I’ve sorted some interior stuff.

    To me, it’s really important to understand and accept that there are many ways to achieve a great setup that can work for you, from a number of manufacturers, but it was a massive bonus for me being able to test drive 2 vans with very different setups from one manufacturer and in fact 1 product. It was really an eye opener to see how the B14s can be so different depending on how they are set up.
  9. Andyf

    Andyf Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Food for thought there Chris

    Looking at different options my self

    ChrisR likes this.
  10. CRS Performance

    CRS Performance Member Trade Member T6 Pro

    we would encourage tracking check after fitment , but because the 40 mm drop is sensible and with in the tolerance this is normally a slight adjustment if any . It isn't terminal like it will be with excessive drops that cause large changes in toe and camber that cant be adjusted out .
  11. CRS Performance

    CRS Performance Member Trade Member T6 Pro


    Ride quality is a very subjective thing and everyone has different opinions . there is no doubt that B 14 will be better than springs alone , its because the shock is the important bit and that is the difference . 70 mm drop will never be as comfortable as a 40 mm there simply isn't enough travel on the shock to offer levels of comfort on bumpy roads . No one in their right mind would knock the success of the B14 but I feel its success is because it allows very low drops and maintains a level of comfort and handling that is acceptable to some . Having said this as a professional installer of suspension at the last 2 Busfest shows I exhibited at, I had feedback from B14 owners that wasn't great ( almost unanimously ) . many purchased them based on comments on forums about how good they were , but they didn't get what they thought they were getting ! They weren't happy with the comfort levels and commented about a crashy ride which is often associated with excessive drops . As my opening comment made, "this is a personal thing" and as a race car builder and driver I can tolerate hard suspension we have B16 in our track car , Its brilliant but the ride to the track isn't greatest, and I wouldn't take my Mom to church in it .

    So lets just state that comfort is related to drop , 100 %, this is simple engineering limits and no way around it . the lower the car /Van the more uncomfortable . The two technologies offered by the market leaders KONI and Bilstein are totally different and these technologies have different comfort characteristics altogether .
    I try to establish a customers needs and desires before offering anything , when a customer want s 70 mm plus I am happy to walk away unless he is willing to part with 1500 Quid for the H&R / KONI Coil over kit which is with out doubt the best you can buy for the T 5 T6 Van . Its damping adjustable so can be set up perfectly for low drops and bigger wheels .
  12. ChrisR

    ChrisR Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    It seems we agree on this subject, only yesterday evening I posted in another thread about comfort etc. being very subjective (it was a lengthy post so I'm not going to replicate it all here. I understand the engineering limitations, I'm an engineer myself, I don't have the suspension specific experience that you have, that's not my field of expertise, but I appreciate the fundamentals.

    I was very strongly considering the kit you recommended to me when we were discussing this via PM, the same one you have quoted above, but ultimately I had to make a choice based on my available budget. That led me down the B14 route, it felt like the best option for my needs and I was able to drive similar setups before buying, which confirmed that it would do what I wanted it to do. It may not offer the same ultimate level of comfort that the damping adjustable setup does, but it was also only two thirds of the price and on this occasion that mattered.

    My original post is this thread was to challenge the statement from the OP that the Bilstein adjustable suspension cant be comfortable, it can be. I'm not trying to say it's a one stop shop for the best suspension money can buy, there are so many options for so many different requirements that it would be ridiculous to make that claim.
    CRS Performance likes this.
  13. .50

    .50 Senior Member T6 Guru

    A small update.

    I managed to get the van rolling around some of our back roads today, and the results were amazing.

    I sits into corners really confidently and doesnt become unsettled when changing direction between them.

    The van feels very planted and goes where it's pointed.

    As has been pointed out by others in this thread, opinions on ride quality are subjective and vary depending on vehicle type and weight as well as an individuals perception of comfort/handling.

    I was not implying that a fully height adjustable sports suspension could not offer improved comfort as well as improved handling, only that, in mine and many others cases, this seemed to be the only available option to attempt to achieve this.

    My 2 years of researching suspension for my T6 had revealed a mixed reaction from people who had fitted the B14 set up, some saying it had improved their initial goal of increased comfort, but many saying it hadn't. (I focused on comfort here not handling).

    My research also revealed, that most B14 users, having found a ride height that suited them, did not adjust them again.

    I am not trying to suggest that the B14 users have been lead into fitting a suspension system that doesn't answer the question they asked about improving the ride comfort of their van, merely, that as a result of my research I mentioned above, I hadn't found enough evidence of a definite improvement in ride quality to prompt me to pull the trigger on fitting it.

    I have to give credit where credit is due, and the Koni Active damper system together with -40 H&R springs has surpassed my expectation, not only in comfort, but also handling, but accept that what works for me and my, mostly empty, T6 Kombi, may not work for everyone else.

    I do not wish to upset any of my fellow VW enthusiasts, and appreciate that people have different opinions, but we must remember that, if it wasn't for people trying to give their opinions on stuff, non of us would know where to start on the road to personalizing our vehicles.
  14. minicharli

    minicharli Member

    Hi guys @.50 and @CRS Performance vulgar question but how much for supply and fit of the konis. The springs are already fitted and I am happy with the ride height just not the ride quality. Thanks
    CRS Performance likes this.
  15. .50

    .50 Senior Member T6 Guru

    £595 for the dampers and £150 fitting.
    CRS Performance likes this.
  16. chriscroft

    chriscroft 14 years of VW T 'ing VIP Member T6 Legend

    A very interesting thread, :thumbsup:
    CRS Performance likes this.
  17. 362bkr

    362bkr Senior Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    So on Friday I drove from Plymouth to Cannock to have these Koni Active dampers fitted to my T6 by Steve at CRS. After 7 years and four transporters I feel I have found the most comfortable drive available in my opinion (apart from air maybe). I have test driven most other options and as I use my van as a daily driver comfort was my top priority although the van handles very nicely as well . If any members locally want a ride in it just give us a shout.
    chriscroft and CRS Performance like this.
  18. CRS Performance

    CRS Performance Member Trade Member T6 Pro

    Glad you got home ok.
  19. chriscroft

    chriscroft 14 years of VW T 'ing VIP Member T6 Legend

    Thats really interesting, I think dampers have for too long been overlooked as an entity in their own right, in all our efforts to get an optimised performance from our vans.
    Which springs do you have? & How Low?
    CRS Performance likes this.
  20. CRS Performance

    CRS Performance Member Trade Member T6 Pro

    chriscroft Spot on . Most drivers think that the natural progression from Springs alone , is straight to coil over .. My point has always been that fitting performance shocks to a lowered Van gets great results and is a lot cheaper than buying a quality coil over which often customers find a little harsh. These shocks work well in standard height , 40 mm and 50 mm drop Vans . The Van that 362 BKR owns has a comfort Eibach kit that is 30 mm with height adjustable rear spring perch . Our kits are normally 40 mm .
    chriscroft and Raven like this.

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