New member - FF200 & springs question

sutts

Paid Member
Hello all, I recently picked up a lovely FF 200 so thought I would join up and have a good browse. It’s my first Clio and I’ve already learned a lot. Friend of mine has a 182 Trophy and after having a decent drive of it I knew I needed something light and French in my life!

Here it is

3BE29F01-F75C-42F1-9F31-160AAE818E39.jpeg

It’s pretty well specced with Recaros, Speedlines, Satnav/Bluetooth, ‘carbon’ interior, projector lights etc and has a Milltek resonated full system. Lots spent on it in the last 18 months by the previous owner and the really helpful specialist dealer I bought from has sorted out a new aircon condenser, airbag squib, window seals and a few other little bits. My plan is to use it as a 2nd car with the odd track day now and again.

It’s running the standard cup dampers with Grams springs, which I understand lower 30mm all round. Plus 20ish mm spacers and the Weeder splitter. I love the way it sits and on smoother roads it is of course brilliant. However, when the speed picks up on bumpier B roads I am finding just a bit too firm/bouncy and feel it is lacking travel and not allowing the dampers to do their stuff properly. No doubt it would be great on track. I do also find the splitter can ground out occasionally and I think the centre exhaust clamp bolts have also met tarmac a couple of times!

Apologies if this has been done to death over the years, but I’m wondering if going back to OEM cup springs will help - I appreciate I will get around 30mm of ride height back which will likely solve the grounding problem, but will this improve the bouncing and slightly soften the general ride?

An alternative could be Eibach springs, albeit I will only go up 10mm. Hoping someone who has been in a similar position can advise please? Thanks.
 

Sean197

RIP Albi :( Hello Red 200 :)
Moderator
Welcome :french: more pics are always welcome!

Cup springs are notoriously harsh, it would be worth looking at eibach springs and perhaps a change to non-cup dampers, or some coilovers such as bilstein b14 or if you want something a little stiffer and with adjustability the Yellowspeed coilovers.
 

sutts

Paid Member
Thanks, so you think Eibachs would be less harsh than the Grams or going back to new longer Cup springs? Will do a couple more pics in a bit!
 

burrellbloke

Paid Member
Welcome.

Cup springs may not make much difference in ride quality other than make the car sit higher. If you are going to do some track days get some coil overs.

Nice car - I like the plate.
 

sutts

Paid Member
Thanks, the plate came with the car which was a bonus.

I’ve lost several hours of my life sifting through previous forum posts on springs and suspension generally, and have concluded that coil overs would ultimately be the best option, but likely start at around £1k fitted for the Bilsteins.
At most I will probably do 3 or 4 track sessions per year, and what I’m really after is a small increase in ride height and a slight reduction in the hard/bouncing springs. I appreciate that with the stiff Cup dampers it will never be anything other than very firm (which is fine). I certainly gathered that new Cup springs won’t really help other than raising the height.

On that basis, and following an averaging out of views on this forum, I think my best bet is to exchange the Grams for Eibach springs and see what differences they make. I know this won’t be as sharp on track but, it’s not like I would be going every week. Although I like the motorsport look of it I am also considering removing the Weeder splitter to gain a bit more practical clearance at the front.
 
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burrellbloke

Paid Member
Thanks, the plate came with the car which was a bonus.

I’ve lost several hours of my life sifting through previous forum posts on springs and suspension generally, and have concluded that coil overs would ultimately be the best option, but likely start at around £1k fitted for the Bilsteins.
At most I will probably do 3 or 4 track sessions per year, and what I’m really after is a small increase in ride height and a slight reduction in the hard/bouncing springs. I appreciate that with the stiff Cup dampers it will never be anything other than very firm (which is fine). I certainly gathered that new Cup springs won’t really help other than raising the height.

On that basis, and following an averaging out of views on this forum, I think my best bet is to exchange the Grams for Eibach springs and see what differences they make. I know this won’t be as sharp on track but, it’s not like I would be going every week. Although I like the motorsport look of it I am also considering removing the Weeder splitter to gain a bit more practical clearance at the front.
It could be a slippery slope once you get out on track, you might look for performance gains such as stiffer suspension and negative camber. But saying that new springs should be far cheaper than coil overs.
 

sutts

Paid Member
True, although I suspect it would be pretty good on track as it is now (certainly for a relative track novice as I am - 3 track days in the last 20 years :relaxed:) as it feels like it corners pretty flat with good traction on smooth roads.

This will be about 0.1% of my driving time, a lot of which will be on less smooth B roads, hence wanting a little more compliance. I would welcome anyone’s views who currently have cup dampers and Eibachs, and especially if you’ve gone from Grams to Eibachs to say if there’s much difference!
 

DanceMonkeyRS200

Paid Member
True, although I suspect it would be pretty good on track as it is now (certainly for a relative track novice as I am - 3 track days in the last 20 years :relaxed:) as it feels like it corners pretty flat with good traction on smooth roads.

This will be about 0.1% of my driving time, a lot of which will be on less smooth B roads, hence wanting a little more compliance. I would welcome anyone’s views who currently have cup dampers and Eibachs, and especially if you’ve gone from Grams to Eibachs to say if there’s much difference!
Welcome to the forum - I'm interested in this topic myself as my 200 FF cup came with H&R springs and H&R 25mm spacers and similar to yourself I'm considering a suspension refresh for bumpy B roads as the rear just bounces around once you get moving way more than my previous Megane 265 cup which was fantastic on B roads if a bit firm around town but it just got better with speed on a B road.. The 200 looks great as far as stance goes but I'm sure it can be improved on.
I've considered everything from a return to stock by replacing cup dampers and springs, probably including top mounts, gaitors and replacing arb drop links and the anti rotation links while it's in bits (any recomendations on parts for these renault v copy parts?)
Along with changing dampers for non cup with eibach springs to Yellowspeeds as they come with top mounts and springs so they are not much different in price if using Renault top mounts, springs and dampers but I've no idea how they work as a road kit.
 
I've been in two 200s with KW V3 by now and it makes a total difference on bumpy backroads. Where mine (Cup dampers + HR springs) is bumping around the others were extremely smooth. If you've the money I'd suggest to go for it.
 

DanceMonkeyRS200

Paid Member
I've had a chat with a specialist today while my car is having a couple of bits looked at and they said the Eibach springs are similar to stock cup springs but with a small drop but others say they are a bit more progressive. They said the non cup setup is smoother for fast road but if you are doing track days they will be too soft.
The Eibachs also have the advantage of being cheaper for a set than new Renault springs, the Cup fronts are £140-170 depending on if the car has the small top mounts and rears are about £150
 
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suj

Paid Member
The Eibachs are non-linear springs, which means they don't provide the same spring rate through the same levels of compression, i'm pretty sure OEM are linear springs (been a long time since I looked), so benefits of non-linear springs are that they have been made to give a softer feel of ride for small compressions then stiffer feel when pushing on. (They have varying spring rates through compression and rebound).

Yes the non-cup dampers are not as stiff as the cup dampers, so will also feel softer for day-to-day driving. Also the Eibachs were designed around the non-cup dampers.

I have been running them with non-cup dampers for about 2.5years, been great, not taken it on track but have done many country lane bashing on roadtrips and it's been brilliant (so much nicer than my old R27 F1, they come with cup pack as standard and they were just refreshed before I bought the car).
 

sutts

Paid Member
Great feedback all, I think this could be the way forward for me in due course. That’s a good price above, although mine’s a late car so different ones needed. Ktec have them at £226 at the moment, which is still usefully cheaper than OEM cup springs.
 

suj

Paid Member
Try Autodoc, they have previously had them for quite cheap (find the Eibach part number and then search that on their site).
 

sutts

Paid Member
Good call thank you, looks like they have them for £169. I’ve used Autodoc in the past and if you’re not in a hurry for delivery they do seem decent.
 
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