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Thread: DRC vs Bilstein/Koni Struts.

  1. #1
    Registered User Innovator's Avatar
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    DRC vs Bilstein/Koni Struts.

    I am having issues with the 'new' DRC system that was installed in my car in Sept, when the car was owned by someone else.

    It clunks, squeeks and rattles over bumps. I'm not sure if Audi will fix it under warranty or not now, and I'm not sure I want to deal with the hassle..

    I know about the coil over options, but is there any reason I can't reuse the stock springs and just replace the struts with some good Koni Or Bilstein struts, and maybe some stiffer sway bars to make up for the loss of the DRC anti leaning benefit?

    Rick
    Last edited by Innovator; November 30th, 2009 at 17:00.

  2. #2
    Registered User RS6-4dr911's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that the replacement has a 12mo/12k mi warranty.

    I doubt if you could replace the struts and keep the springs, typically a matched set. The spring rate is probably pretty soft, relying on the DRC to create a stiff handling car through the hydraulics.

    I'd try first to get the DRC working correctly. Plenty have it and are happy with it, clearly yours needs help.

  3. #3
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    +1 ^^ what he said.

    Make Audi fix it.

  4. #4
    Registered User Innovator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHall1 View Post
    +1 ^^ what he said.

    Make Audi fix it.
    Make Audi fix it...like making a horse drink

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    Registered User MaxRS6's Avatar
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    After drowning the horse - I went with the

    Quote Originally Posted by Innovator View Post
    Make Audi fix it...like making a horse drink
    KW and Hotchkiss sway bars. I must admit it is odd to drive the car without the worry of a clunk or DRC oil spill as they always came at inopportune times.

    In one year, I had my car at the shop 5 times for the DRC. Multiple letters to AoA did no good. It ended up wasting a lot of my time with the constant trips to the service shop.

    I will note that AoA did finally come through and reimbursed me for the KW costs and sway bars. However; I'll never get my time back that slipped through the hourglass.

    With that said, there are owners that have had a good experience with the DRC, and the new new new new recent DRC parts and install.

    It seems like it comes down to what you are looking for in a suspension system, and how much tolerance/patience/time/skill you may have to deal with issues.

    Less than .02 worth I'm sure but I had some time to kill and thought I would excercise the fingers.

  6. #6
    Registered User Innovator's Avatar
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    My left rear strut makes a choo choo sound when you push down on the rear of the car. Over bumps, the rear right rattles. There is nothing loose or worn otherwise, so the struts or the install is at fault.

    Its under a 12/12 dealer warranty. I don't know if it's worth the hassle fixing the DRC dealer or replacing the struts with Bilsteins,and upgrading the sway bars myself..I have no point of reference, because I never felt the DRC as it should be. I'm sure the dealer would come through, but is it worth the hassle? That is the question.

  7. #7
    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    I'm with MaxRS6 as far as KW's and Hotchkis bars. If you want a pretty good ride with pretty good handling, the DRC isn't too bad. The poor reliability and unexpected handling was a no go for me. Supposedly they got these new parts in Europe almost a year before we did and they don't have a great record. I can't believe a new dust boot is going to solve all of the problems and the fact that when it fails, my dealer is 1~1.5 hours each way and if it isn't done right then there is another trip back and forth. Warranty or not, my time is worth more to me unless there going to come to my house and pick up the car on a flatbed.
    For me, I always wanted my car about 1" lower than stock. My DRC was still working although a little softer than I would have liked too. I am completely happy with the KW's, a search on the internet shows that they more than back there products and their reliability is excellent. They are ride height adjustable as well as compression & rebound (not the easiest to do once installed). They are also about 40# less the the DRC junk. The suspension is slightly more harsh over expansion joints in the road but otherwise almost as the ride of the DRC but with much sharper handling. I never worry heading out about the reliability and I can't stress that enough. I'm tired of dealing with Audi, and some of the horror stories on this list over the years has sold me.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
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    Registered User V8weight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hahnmgh63 View Post
    I'm with MaxRS6 as far as KW's and Hotchkis bars. If you want a pretty good ride with pretty good handling, the DRC isn't too bad. The poor reliability and unexpected handling was a no go for me. Supposedly they got these new parts in Europe almost a year before we did and they don't have a great record. I can't believe a new dust boot is going to solve all of the problems and the fact that when it fails, my dealer is 1~1.5 hours each way and if it isn't done right then there is another trip back and forth. Warranty or not, my time is worth more to me unless there going to come to my house and pick up the car on a flatbed.
    For me, I always wanted my car about 1" lower than stock. My DRC was still working although a little softer than I would have liked too. I am completely happy with the KW's, a search on the internet shows that they more than back there products and their reliability is excellent. They are ride height adjustable as well as compression & rebound (not the easiest to do once installed). They are also about 40# less the the DRC junk. The suspension is slightly more harsh over expansion joints in the road but otherwise almost as the ride of the DRC but with much sharper handling. I never worry heading out about the reliability and I can't stress that enough. I'm tired of dealing with Audi, and some of the horror stories on this list over the years has sold me.
    I completely agree, KW's are the way to go. There isn't an RS6 application for the bilstein struts, so trying to retrofit a set would just be a compromise. On a side note, hahnmgh63, have you installed the spherical control arm bushings yet? I'm interested to hear if they add any harshness to the ride quality.
    Pat - Eisenmann race exhaust, Catless downpipes, KW V3's, H-Sport sways, 034 Control arms, Apikol diff mount, Sterns motor mounts, Forge dv's, Stainless brake lines, Venair hoses, Sportec vent mod, Euro tails, Viper Tuned ecu/tcu, DPE S20's 19x9.5, 275/30/19's

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    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    Getting ready to do the install in the next couple of weeks. I have the front end apart right now installing my Wagner intercoolers that UPS just delivered today, they look great, doing Silicone hoses too, although Venair just sent me a set of Corvetter coolant hoses so I'll have to wait for the exchange, I also just bought a nice aluminum oil catch can to help keep the intake tract cleaner, and give the engine all of the octane it's got coming to it.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
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  10. #10
    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    Here is the Bilstein part# out of their catalog. Ask for some feedback as some were having a little clunking although it may not have been the shocks and just control arms that were worn which wear out quickly on C5 Audi's and especially the RS6 due to the extra weight it carries.

    BILSTEIN - - 9-way Perf Susp Sys (PSS9)


    LIST PRICE: $2,466.00 Part Number: F4-GM5-8868-H2

    BILSTEIN - Audi A6/S6/RS6 4B 4WD ;K; B16
    [LIST][*] Setting: 9-way Perf Susp Sys (PSS9)[/LIST]
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
    2013 Daytona RS5 2x944 Turbo's 1974 911 w/'91 3.6ltr motor
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    Registered User MaxRS6's Avatar
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    I was able to get my hoses expedited-

    Quote Originally Posted by hahnmgh63 View Post
    doing Silicone hoses too, although Venair just sent me a set of Corvetter coolant hoses so I'll have to wait for the exchange,
    Venair (Spain office) told me my order was going to take 3 to 4 weeks from Spain after I placed the order, and I needed them sooner. Venair's web site said it would take 5 - 12 days and I called them on it. Venair was very prompt and were able to send me the RS6 turbo hoses from their Miami office in two days.

    If you have some sort of time crunch, you might consider this as an option to get the hoses quicker than having the replacements shipped from Spain.

    VENAIR INC. MIAMI
    (commercial office)14470 Commerce wayMiami Lakes FL 33016 (USA)Tel. (305) 362 89 20Fax (305) 362 89 21USAsales@venair.com>>

  12. #12
    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    I ordered my hoses through their website (spanish) but they shipped the hoses from Miami, UPS screwed up the shipping, they got to Seattle, then re-routed all the way back to the East coast, figured it out then finally got to me. I was happy to finally get them until I opened the box to find they were coolant hoses for a 350CID corvette. I E-mailed them (Miami) yesterday but no reply yet. I'll call them tomorrow to figure this out. I'm also going to do a leak check on my old intercoolers as I'm sure one was leaking but I'll check them both anyways.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
    2013 Daytona RS5 2x944 Turbo's 1974 911 w/'91 3.6ltr motor
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    Registered User wmgarton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by V8weight View Post
    I completely agree, KW's are the way to go. There isn't an RS6 application for the bilstein struts, so trying to retrofit a set would just be a compromise. On a side note, hahnmgh63, have you installed the spherical control arm bushings yet? I'm interested to hear if they add any harshness to the ride quality.
    If you're looking for Pss9's check ECS Tuning:
    www.ecstuning.com/Audi_A6-2.7T/Suspension/Coil/ES4552/
    less than $1800
    Last edited by wmgarton; December 1st, 2009 at 04:59. Reason: adding info

  14. #14
    Registered User GEN XER's Avatar
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    I think if/when my DRC goes again, Im going with AVO if they have an RS6 application, if not then KW's I have a set of AVO's coming for my GTI VR6, they are said to be as good as KW's. I am also considering selling my GTI for an R32. My wife does not know this yet, so Ill wait till after Xmas and after the house we are looking at getting is closed.

  15. #15
    Registered User Innovator's Avatar
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    I do quite a bit of suspension modifications and repairs on Audis. The A6 4.2 weighs around the same as the RS6 . The struts for an A6 will definately work on a RS6, no question. So will A6 4.2 H&R or Eibach springs for the 4.2... All that, with the sway bars can be obtained for under 1200, and I can install it for 600 plus an alignment... Don't be fooled into paying more for an RS6 specific suspension, because it's baloney... Other than the DRC, this suspension is the same as the A6. If you buy adjustable struts or coil overs, you will always think you could have adjusted them better... I like the fixed style, simple, and nothing to worry about, and totally reliable..

    Due to the cars lower height, you must use the Bilstein Sport Strut, because the rod is shorter and will not bottom out with the RS6 lower ride height.

    I spoke to the head tech at my dealership yesterday about the DRC. He said that the ride height should not be affected by the DRC pressure. I know that counters what I've read on this forum, but that's what the techs are taught anyway. If the car sits higher after the recall, it's probably due to the position the control arms were in when the were re-torqued. The car sits on the springs, not the shocks..He said that clunking indicates that not enough fluid was injected into the sytem on install.Not so much a pressure issue.. Either way, it seems to me this is a problem that will never go away, and I hate the fact I lack the tools to fix it myself, as that is the only way in my mind the DRC will ever work correctly. I cannot tolerate a rattly clunking car.. And I cannot bring myself to pay the dealer to do what I do all day long...

    My DRC replacement strategy is go cheap, yet sufficient. All you really need to do, is replace the struts and sway bars, as long as you are happy with the ride height, as is stock.. Some Bilsteins have grooves cut in them, so you can lower the spring perch, thus lowering the car. If the back sits too low, you can also raise it up if need be..

    I want my car to handle crisp, but lets face it, this car is not a race car. It is big and heavy, and will never handle like a RS4 or M3. Sure, you can kill the ride quality and make it ride like a hay wagon, deriving slightly more responsiveness and lateral traction in the process, but IMHO, not enough to make it worth while. The car is not balanced, and that is very hard to overcome..

    I'm gonna give the dealer one shot to fix it right, but if they BS me, or try to charge me, I'm going to do what I proposed above.
    Last edited by Innovator; December 1st, 2009 at 15:06.

  16. #16
    Registered User hahnmgh63's Avatar
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    You are exactly right about the suspension. Once the DRC is completely removed, all of the supsension control arms are the exact same as the A6, although a couple of the RS6 bits have a different part #, only becuase a couple of the pieces have stiffer bushings, but other than that, the arms are identical and fully interchangeable.
    One thing I've learned though is don't go cheap. The car is expensive and had a complex suspension with the idea to make it better than the A6. Buy a top of the line suspension in order to keep it top of the line handling. As far as the RS4, the RS6 only weights just under 100lbs more so with the right setup it has much of the same capabilities to run around a track faster using the extra Torque to make up for some of the slight time it looses in the corners as the RS4 is balances a little better. Of course the RS4's DRC has been failing miserably too, check out the RS4 forums, a lot of unhappy owners there.
    2003 White RS6 2013 Midnight Blue S5
    2013 Daytona RS5 2x944 Turbo's 1974 911 w/'91 3.6ltr motor
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  17. #17
    Registered User Innovator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hahnmgh63 View Post
    You are exactly right about the suspension. Once the DRC is completely removed, all of the supsension control arms are the exact same as the A6, although a couple of the RS6 bits have a different part #, only becuase a couple of the pieces have stiffer bushings, but other than that, the arms are identical and fully interchangeable.
    One thing I've learned though is don't go cheap. The car is expensive and had a complex suspension with the idea to make it better than the A6. Buy a top of the line suspension in order to keep it top of the line handling. As far as the RS4, the RS6 only weights just under 100lbs more so with the right setup it has much of the same capabilities to run around a track faster using the extra Torque to make up for some of the slight time it looses in the corners as the RS4 is balances a little better. Of course the RS4's DRC has been failing miserably too, check out the RS4 forums, a lot of unhappy owners there.
    What I meant about going cheap, was not buying a RS6 specific setup...

    I am not a fan of coil-over setups. They usually sacrifice ride quality too much . That may not bother a younger man, but I am getting old I suppose. Struts and springs can do the same exact thing for a lot less money, if in fact money is an issue. Perhaps it is not an issue for many of those that own this car, but why spend more than you have to? Larger sway bars will make up for the DRC, although the ride might be harsher on uneven roads.

    Anyway,my wife would kill me if I made the car too stiff. This is our new family sedan.. I have a 475 HP stage 3 S4 for Limerock...

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