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Thread: Quick easy and affordable rear spring upgrade

  1. #1
    Where's 6th? BecauseRaceCar's Avatar
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    Quick easy and affordable rear spring upgrade

    Total cost: $45 from pick and pull or $30 + shipping from rockauto.com (spring length not guaranteed)
    Tools needed at home: Jack, spacers for extending jack height, ratchet and a 17mm socket.
    Tools needed at the auto yard: widow-maker jack from beetle's trunk, ratchet and appropriate sized socket and wrench.

    Having owned VWs in the past I found the rear suspension on the Mirage to be a familiar sight. Aside from it's dimensions the rear torsion beam suspension in the mirage is identical in function to the mk4 golfs and jettas of the early 2000s. After a trip to the local pick and pull I found that the coil springs for the mk4 golfs and jettas are too long for our little cars. I did however find one lone coil spring that measured the same as the factory supplied springs of the Mirage. It took me a while to find the car that it came from though as being a guy I wouldn't think to be seen in a VW New Beetle and had done no research on modifying them.

    After doing some research online I found a 1998 2 liter Beetle with the rear suspension intact. As the base model I knew it would have the softest springs available from any VW that would fit the Mirage. In my opinion the springs are stiff but not punishing. Now for some pictures:

    Factory ride height (ground to fender bisecting the wheel).

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    The smaller springs are the original Mirage springs.

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    Ride height (ground to fender bisecting the wheel) after 15 minutes of mixed driving.

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    Before:

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    After:

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    After switching back to the factory springs for a few days and as of this write up having re-installed the VW springs I think a sway bar and some firmer shocks will have the rear end sorted. The front is still too squishy for my preference and driving style. If I find a solution for the front that is as simple I will share it.

    A few notes to think about:
    Pay attention to your brake lines. They will be stressed if you let the suspension hang at full extension after removing the bolts that connect the shocks to the hub assembly.

    I don't expect Mitsubishi to warranty my shocks with this modification so if you choose this route, you do so at your own risk.

    Ride height is raised by 1 inch, but may settle as the rubber parts adapt to the springs pressure.
    Low looks fast, but I enjoy having the ground clearance for daily driving.

    If you have any questions, comments or suggestions let me know.


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 38.6 mpg (US) ... 16.4 km/L ... 6.1 L/100 km ... 46.4 mpg (Imp)


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  3. #2
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Awesome find. Can you describe how the springs effect the ride for people who haven't tried it?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 49.0 mpg (US) ... 20.8 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 58.8 mpg (Imp)


  4. #3
    Senior Member Ares's Avatar
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    Not sure if I like the ride height. If we could somehow raise the front too, I might give in... Otherwise, its a no go for me.

    Also you have to take into consideration the roll-over rate of the car. You have just changed a whole lot of the car's geometry by lifting the car.

    FWIW, I know someone on here WANTED to raise the car.

  5. #4
    Where's 6th? BecauseRaceCar's Avatar
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    Driving today I was cruising at around 75 mph. As I drove over expansion joints on bridges and ramps the car did not bounce or feel unstable as it did before. The car feels more planted at freeway speeds. There is less free play in the steering also. It will not fix all of the leaning in corners though. I think a rear swaybar should be issued at no charge to all current Mirage owners. I still need to find a solution for the front suspension as it is not on par with the rear.

    As far as increased roll over risk goes. Because the weight of the car is not shifting as rapidly or as far as it did with the softer springs I don't think it will be at any more risk of rolling than it was when new. I also have plans of getting wider wheels that will fill out the wheel wells and widen the track width.

    If anyone in the san antonio area would like to drive my car to see if they will like the different springs let me know.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 38.6 mpg (US) ... 16.4 km/L ... 6.1 L/100 km ... 46.4 mpg (Imp)


  6. #5
    Senior Member Ares's Avatar
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    I may take you up on that offer, if you're serious. I'll be in San Sntonio for a 'Power Rangers meet and greet' sometime soon. Not quite sure of the date.

    It's good that I haven't put my rear swaybar in yet. I may just do both at the same time.

  7. #6
    Where's 6th? BecauseRaceCar's Avatar
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    Let me know when you will be in town. I work an odd schedule so it may take a little bit of planning.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 38.6 mpg (US) ... 16.4 km/L ... 6.1 L/100 km ... 46.4 mpg (Imp)


  8. #7
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    I like it!!! This is now on a short list of mods to do when I get back up on my feet!!
    Certified holder of useless car knowledge.

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    Thanks to BecauseRaceCar for figuring this out.

    I bought a set of 2003 Beetle springs with the same color codes as on here for $48 shipped. I installed one side at a time though. It was very easy to install.

    I will say these made a big difference in the way the rear leans. The rear feels more planted, and the car isn't near as tippy feeling. I ran a controlled test with the stock springs and I will do the same with these when I get a minute, and will post them here.


    Before



    After



    Side by Side



    Edit: I decided to finish my test. Below are my results. I took a circle exit with my stock springs with cruise set at 35 mph (first pic) and the same exit with the Beetle springs set at 35 mph (second pic). I know this isn't scientific date by any means, but the clinometer on my phone showed about 7 degrees less lean with the new springs. Good enough for me.
    Last edited by Alex1a1f; 06-09-2016 at 10:57 PM.

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    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zx2uner View Post
    I will say these made a big difference in the way the rear leans.
    The rear feels more planted, and the car isn't near as tippy feeling.
    You have a 2017, right? I thought they had improved the springs and shocks. Did you ever drive a 2015 to compare your car?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.5 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 61.9 mpg (Imp)


  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Fuel View Post
    You have a 2017, right? I thought they had improved the springs and shocks. Did you ever drive a 2015 to compare your car?
    Nope, never drove a '15 or less. They probably did improve the rear, but since I have nothing to compare to, I felt there was too much lean for my liking. Either way, I'm happier now. I'd like to feel the compression difference between the '15 and '17+ though.



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