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).
The smaller springs are the original Mirage springs.
Ride height (ground to fender bisecting the wheel) after 15 minutes of mixed driving.
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.