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Thread: MSS Kit in My TT RS - Review

  1. #1

    Default MSS Kit in My TT RS - Review

    About 6 weeks ago, I fitted an MSS Sport kit to my TT RS. Why? Just looking to see if there was any improvement to be gained in keeping the Magride system in place.

    I was stupid enough to DIY the install. So, I wont bore with details of how previous Audi workshops had over-tensioned strut nuts, wheel bolts and the like… or that 3 years on Aussie roads seems sufficient to seize axle bolts well and freaking truly… Or that trying to buy a 2-3ft breaker bar in Sydney on a Saturday is like trying to find rocking horse ****.

    Other than the usual “I was dumb enough to do this in my driveway” issues, the kit fits exactly like OEM and really is very easy to install if you have the time and/or knowledge to overcome any little hiccups.

    Now, I have a pattern I started last year of making some major mod to the TT before taking it to Tasmania on holidays with my wife. This also reeks of insanity given I’ve taken a known reliable performing car and for no apparent reason made some significant changes to it days before going on a 5000+km round trip. Last year it was swapping brakes over to one of the famous DaveB AP racing kits with pagid RS4-2’s only to find I had the wrong carrier brackets for the callipers… to this years effort of stripping the suspension and changing it.

    It was a rewarding experience, though. The first leg of our trip as to travel to my mums where we drop our dingoes off while we’re on holidays. Yes, we have dingoes and yes they travel in the TT RS quite happily snoozing on the back seat on top of protective covers and rugs. The route to mums house involves a bulk of inane highway driving. But, a good start to seeing just how bearable the MSS kit is on our ‘fine’ NSW highways. We headed off down the M5 for Bowral.

    This kit does remarkably well on the typical inner west Sydney backstreet and highways. NVH is exactly OEM. The ride is a little more harsh but this is to be expected with the increased spring rates. Having the stacked spring system up the rear certainly helps keep the car quiet and comfy on a long trip, though.

    I also did a number of ‘trials’ around my neigbourhood with a bunch of ‘speed reducing’ roundabouts, ‘chicanes’ and ‘jumps/ (sorry “speedhumps”. I take all of these things as a challenge from my local council and relish in the opportunity of see if I can maintain the advised speed or local limit through them. The thing about speedbumps is that I noticed immediately the more controlled absorption of them. The stiffer spring rates seem to place less stress on the shocks, putting them back to damping the springs rather than trying to compensate for them. This is all with sport off – turn it on and it’s like being in a steam roller glued to the road. Body roll is reduced, understeer dialled back and the car is generally easier to chuck about in the lower speed tight stuff.

    One thing I’ll mention is I had a set of 10mm spacers for the front from a H&R kit I had. This keeps the car within 5mm of OEM at the front. The rear springs are adjustable and I set those to OEM + 5mm height as well. I know lowering is all the rage, but I’m old skool about maintaining suspension geometry and believe a fast road car in Aus needs to be more like a rally car and hence needs to keep as much suspension travel as possible at a sensible obstacle avoiding height. The +5mm was to add a touch compensation for most of the trip being with a full boot, that would only get more full knowing my Mrs.

    So, the better part of the trip to drop of the dingoes is going via Kangaroo Valley to Nowra. With the car full of luggage, the talking handbrake and a couple of weights on the seat, I hit sport mode and thought we’d be sitting nose high everywhere. I was pleasantly surprised. The kit handled better than last years effort with a lighter load on the OEM springs. Again, on the rougher sections of KV and through the twisty stuff, the NVH is at least as good as OEM with a big step up on performance. Quite impressed. We arrived in Narooma for our first 4 days on holiday and had now ticked over 380km.

    I’ve been going to Narooma literally since I was a foetus. I know a few of the local back roads and fortunately with more bypasses going in, there’s a few that use to be polluted with trucks, tourists and caravans that were now ripe for a bit of unloaded testing with talking handbrake removed. I think my grin, the smell of cooking brakes and the ‘ting’ from the exhaust said it all on my return home. The kits good. Real good on the road. I found it takes a bit of getting use to the more ‘tail happy’ nature of the car – it’s not aggressive oversteer, but it points and turns in much more sharply. Composure under the AP rotor setup is exactly where it should be and a real shortcoming in the OEM setup once you do something about the shoddy Audi brakes. Callipers great – rotors and pads must have been on sale at the $2 shop…



    A few days kicking around Narooma and it was time to head to Melbourne portside and board spirit of Tas. My wife has learned to live with the ‘malfunctioning satnav’ that always seems to find the most twisty route to anywhere. She already knew where we were headed – Delegate and then onto Orbost via Snowy Mountains Highway. This is one of my favourite roads – 105km of nothing but corners.



    We got a good clear mid week run up to Fred Piper lookout from Bega and had a real rhythm going by the time we hit the summit. Despite the noticeable increase in cornering speed, the handbrake was much more quite than usual. She admitted later that, whatever had been done to the car, it was more composed in corners and didn’t feel like we were moving as fast as usual. I was hoping the feeling would last to Orbost!

    Just before we stopped to take the pic below, you have to drive over about 5km of unsealed but well graded dirt roads. A small price to pay, IMO. Again. Sport mode off and the kit was composed and OEM quite. Another tick. Once the corners arrived, well, the game was on!



    The road is in Vic with 80km/h limit (use to be 100 ). It’s a well sealed and maintained road that’s popular with bike riders heading from NSW to Phillip Island (so the locals tell me!). Surface is good, but not perfect. On a nice clear day like we got, with only 1 truck who waved us past, lie doesn’t get much better. I’ve done this drive a number of times and it’s always good fun. This time it was effortless. The limits of grip using the MSS kit is pretty damn impressive. The most notable thing would be the improved mid corner grip and stability on exit – power on sooner, less nose heavy and much easier just to point and shoot. Off camber rolls are common place for drainage on the road but barely break a sweat for the kit. Things were looking up for Tas! And Angela the Audi was a dirty girl…



    Back on the highway and once again appreciating the more mild manners with sport off. It’s not such a noticeable change over OEM that the trip is any more noisy or harsh. An interesting mix, overall.

    First day in Tas was around the Tamar Valley before a few nights in Launceston. Lots of country roads, many more pot holes and our first real corrugations this trip. The kit isn’t as responsive as OEM over corrugated road. It’s still quick and provides enough feedback to keep confidence high and understand what’s going on, but the harder spring rates are never going to cope with fast corrugations – there’s not enough give. Sport or not, it’s the same issue. It is easier to break traction than OEM under these conditions, but fortunately most sealed roads in Aus don’t have this issue. Potholes aren’t a problem, nor are the ‘road repairs’ we make in Aus to fill pot holes. Maybe a stacked system up front with a softer small spring would help – but it may also compromise the handling. Overall, I don’t think it detracts from the experience, just a ‘be warned’.

    Driving wise, there were 2 earl highlights this year in Tas:

    1. A clear run in the rain down from Cradle Mountain to Rosebery and back up to Cradle Mountain. Sooo much fun!
    2. Trying a “back way” around the great lakes knowing we’d probably hit dirt road, to turn back and find another brilliant clear run of dry sealed twisty tarmac on the B51. And another clear run through the twisties thanks to the considerate Tassie locals who just wave you past if you’re moving quicker than them.

    The wet run was the most fun I’ve had with my pants on for a long time. The car is so composed, so predictable and really has dialled out the understeer tendancy significantly. It was always quick in the wet, now it’s quick and “meh, is that all you’ve got?”. We missed out on snow up in Cradle Mountain this year. Maybe next year.


    I can’t say I’d push the car on public roads anywhere near what Matty Closes TT RS gets up to in Targa, but in the whole trip, regardless of the road, the shock performance was consistent for the first time ever. No heat load from dampers trying to compensate for springs. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes on track, but on the road, it’s where the car should have been from day 1. 5000+ km in 2 weeks and not a rattle, bang, clunk or bump out of place. No whining about ride comfort, no new rattles in the car. Something just seems to fit with this kit.

    Just to ensure the trip from Melbourne back to Albury to see friends and then over to collect the dingoes wasn’t boring, we called in to see Matt Close who’d offered me a deal on a used Miltek Turbo back exhaust and a Stage 2 Revo from Ray @ Audvolks. In 2 weeks, I went from having a TT RS to having an “new” TT RS with the improved handling and then a crapload more power and a touch more noise to finish the package. An interesting holiday!
    Daytona Grey TT RS

    Revo Stage 2+, Miltek Turbo Back, MSS Street Kit, AP Racing Front Rotors + ProjectMu RS4-2's, ProjectMU race brake fluid, APR FMIC, RS6 rear rotors + Ferodo DS3500, BBS CH-R's with Michelin PSS, Southbend Stage 2 clutch + SMFW, badged, built in hair care kit... One small wang

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to jester_fu For This Useful Post:

    meds (March 31st, 2016)

  3. #2

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    Hi jester fu, great review on the MSS kit, few questions for you.
    I guess after fitting the kit you've got wheel alignment, did you deviate from OEM geo settings?
    Is the only mod suspension wise?
    Did you buy the kit locally?
    I've been closely watching all the reviews on TTOC and VWvortex, i had a chat with Matt and he suggested to fit sway bars front and rear and caster adjustable ALK, he reckons it makes a big difference in dialing out understeer.
    I'm planning to fit 12/15 mm spacers and i would like to get rid of the squatting on hard acceleration but i don't want to chuck springs and sway bars at once i might start with the latter.
    What's your take.
    Cheers
    Ross.
    2010 Daytona Grey TTRS
    2000 Brilliant Black TT quattro

  4. #3

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    Yes, just the OEM Geo to try it out. I'm due to go back for an adjustment.

    This is the only mod suspension wise.

    There's a local distributor. I got involved early so bought mine directly from the manufacturer.

    ARB's will make a big difference with dialling out understeer. MY issue with ARB's has always been application. ARB's have a tendency to cause wheel lifting on off camber corners and over certain types of road surface. On the race track or good roads, not so much of an issue. The other problem with ARB's only, IMO, is the impact they have on other suspension parts - springs being a key one. I've yet to be convinced that changing ARB's alone creates a better package on any car i've owned or driven. I think it generally requires an adjustment to the entire suspension SYSTEM. I think you get better results from spring/shock adjustments (up to a point) without doing ARB's - but there comes a point where springs and shocks need to be considered as part of the system and the ARB's need to be done.

    Sways bars aren't going to help you with 'squat' or 'dive' (under braking) - this is the spring's job. Also not sure about fitting the spacers - are you trying to increase front wheel track to dial out more understeer? It'll work, but be careful about the legal implications of running spacers on a road car. If you're doing it all round then i suggest it's a bit pointless other than aesthetics. You know Matt Close, by the sounds - ask him if he's running spacers and why (if he is). You'll get better results to handling overall if you drop the spacers and do the ARB's front and rear IMO. Really depends what you want to change and why. Even this MSS kit - it's not really a solution for a race car, IMO. Great fast road car and track day use but i'm not convinced the magnetic shocks will stand up to longer and more full on race conditions.
    Last edited by jester_fu; November 9th, 2013 at 09:21 AM.
    Daytona Grey TT RS

    Revo Stage 2+, Miltek Turbo Back, MSS Street Kit, AP Racing Front Rotors + ProjectMu RS4-2's, ProjectMU race brake fluid, APR FMIC, RS6 rear rotors + Ferodo DS3500, BBS CH-R's with Michelin PSS, Southbend Stage 2 clutch + SMFW, badged, built in hair care kit... One small wang

  5. #4

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    I appreciate your opinion jester_fu.
    I want to fit wheel spacers only for aesthetics, i'm working on a way to make them undetectable.
    Car is used for spirited drives on weekends so not looking for all out track performance just yet.
    Really like to get rid of the diving/squatting situation and the slight vague steering.
    Yes u do know Matt Close and the crew at Audvolks.
    Cheers
    2010 Daytona Grey TTRS
    2000 Brilliant Black TT quattro

  6. #5

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    Nice write up Jester, sounds like an excellent trip.
    Hats off to finding such an understanding wife who enjoys the twisties.
    MY14 A4 2.0Tq S-Tronic S-Line - Phantom Black

    Past Audi's
    MY10 S3 Sportback - Revo 2+, Bilstein PSS10 (sadly missed)
    MY07 A3 2.0T Sportback
    B6 2.0
    B5 1.8

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by poli84 View Post
    Nice write up Jester, sounds like an excellent trip.
    Hats off to finding such an understanding wife who enjoys the twisties.
    Mine makes comments all the time of "you make me feel sick". She once though in a moment of clarity and understanding said nicely, "you live for these bending roads?". To which I answered with a tap of the left paddle and a press of the right foot.
    Current: MY16 Porsche Boxster Spyder
    Previous: MY09 TTS, Phantom Black, Extended Leather, Sat Nav, Bose, etc. APR 2+

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peach View Post
    Mine makes comments all the time of "you make me feel sick". She once though in a moment of clarity and understanding said nicely, "you live for these bending roads?". To which I answered with a tap of the left paddle and a press of the right foot.
    haha great response to the Mrs.

    My girlfriend was really good, even used to come out quite frequently.
    Then she came on an early morning run while slightly hungover and threw up (quite literally), as we pulled into Warburton after a very quick run and she hasn't come since.
    MY14 A4 2.0Tq S-Tronic S-Line - Phantom Black

    Past Audi's
    MY10 S3 Sportback - Revo 2+, Bilstein PSS10 (sadly missed)
    MY07 A3 2.0T Sportback
    B6 2.0
    B5 1.8

  9. #8

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    D.I.A.Z.E.P.A.M. You ladies have so much to learnz.
    Daytona Grey TT RS

    Revo Stage 2+, Miltek Turbo Back, MSS Street Kit, AP Racing Front Rotors + ProjectMu RS4-2's, ProjectMU race brake fluid, APR FMIC, RS6 rear rotors + Ferodo DS3500, BBS CH-R's with Michelin PSS, Southbend Stage 2 clutch + SMFW, badged, built in hair care kit... One small wang

  10. Default

    Jester_fu great review. Did you notice any major improvements on the track with these new springs? Thanks.

  11. #10

    Default

    Did a track day a few weeks ago at Wakefield. The car is much more composed at all speeds. The dive under braking is reduced - i know that was something Will who designed the kit was chasing while trying to keep his magride in the car. I'd say he succeeded. I can't say my lap times were any better... i spent far too much time mucking about with the Revo settings making sure the timing and due was OK as it was the first time i'd been on the track since the tune and had the track to myself. Literally.

    So, the nut behind the wheel was loose even for my usual nuttiness... but the car was smoother in the bends and it took a lot more pushing to get it to react badly under brakes and in corners. I'd say the understeer is slightly reduced as well. No issues with shocks heating up and was managing to get a full session before the tyres were too hot - another improvement over OEM and a good sign the springs have helped the handling. My times weren't any better due to me - it was just much easier to do them consistently and focus on other things in the car i was mucking around with.
    Daytona Grey TT RS

    Revo Stage 2+, Miltek Turbo Back, MSS Street Kit, AP Racing Front Rotors + ProjectMu RS4-2's, ProjectMU race brake fluid, APR FMIC, RS6 rear rotors + Ferodo DS3500, BBS CH-R's with Michelin PSS, Southbend Stage 2 clutch + SMFW, badged, built in hair care kit... One small wang

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