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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old September 19th, 2004, 21:57   #1
hotneutron
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Fuel Economy: 22/27
Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

Credits goes to Peter Cheuk and B100.

First, when installing the rear passenger side shock on A4. The rear bolt is hard to get in the right direction. So if you want to play it safe, remove the fender liner and install it like this:


Now the front part, first remove the top nut. Peter improvise a tool, basically take a 19mm socket and gring the two side a little, so a wrench can hold it tight.


Now the passenger side, the idea is:
You don't have to drop the subframe if you can compress the spring on the car. Since the hub on the passenger side is hard to lower, we have the compress the spring really hard.
Also the sway bar prevent the passenger side dropping to far, we disconnect it first. Notice how we use the spreader tool in the picture.


Then we use jack to lift up the hub and use spring compressors to hold the spring. Notice the nut end of the compressor is on top. Tighten them by bare hand.


We need to get the spring compressed REALLY HARD.

Then lower the lift, we have enough (just barely) space to get the strut out. Before put the new strut back, we compress the spring even harder to make the installation easier.

btw, the new rubber mount seems a little bit high than the stock.

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Old September 19th, 2004, 22:48   #2
Peter Cheuk
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Location: Daly City, Calif., USA
Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

I don't get the credit for pulling the fender liner. That goes to B100.

It's not a 19mm but a 21mm that I ground flats into the sides of. That's something I should have done a long time ago to that socket.

The spreader tool was one I made about an hour before HotNeutron showed up at my house. I have an 8mm Allen socket that I had in my toolkit that I have never used. I took it to the grinder and ground off one of the points then the opposite one. I then ground one corner round on opposite sides. Wa-la, spreader tool that locks in place. The width of the tool is about 6mm and when spread it's 8mm. What you see in the picture is the ratchet handle with the spreader tool on it in place in the car.

We did two A4s (B100's '03 Golf TDI and HotNeutron's '99.5 A4 Jetta TDI) without having to drop the subframe on either. We did this with the spring compressor trick. The driver's side was a piece of cake compared to the passenger's side.
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Old September 20th, 2004, 06:49   #3
NewJettaGuy
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

A great how-to fellas...thanks...
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Old September 20th, 2004, 20:41   #4
isuzu62
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Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

Where did you get that style spring compressor?

I have an old set that looks just like yours but have been unable to find a new set listed anywhere.

I was also successful in changing the struts without disonnecting anything under the car, just the swaybar at the A frame which is very easy to get to.

The passenger side has a little less clearance than the driver's side. But, with the spring compressed, I was able to get just enough clearance even with the new parts which weren't compressed as much as the old parts. I only used 2 spring compressors on the driver's side. On the passenger side, one of the compressors slid behind the spring as I was compressing it and I could get it back easily. I simply added a third compressor to make it easier to work with.

One other helpful action was to carefully move the brake caliper behind the strut and rest it on the steering control rod and A frame. I tried wiring it up as suggested in the manual and it didn't work well.

Be very careful not to hang the caliper by the hose or let it drop with the weight of the caliper stretching the hose. I have had hidden damage occur from this mistake in the past that doesn't show up for months to years with a double action check valve action inside the hose that leads to uneven braking and is extremely difficult to trouble shoot. The hose is only partially blocked so one side is slow to brake so the car pulls to one side. It is also very slow to release, especially if a hard braking action was just used, so the brake tends to drag on one side only and heats up the rotor super hot.

I installed Bilstein TCs and they seem fine.

I got some extra height for my heavy metal skid plate but now wish I had installed some spacers.
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Old September 20th, 2004, 21:08   #5
Peter Cheuk
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Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

I bought those spring compressors over 15 years ago. Either that or my brother bought them. I can't remember, it's been too long.
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Old September 20th, 2004, 21:20   #6
B100
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TDI(s): 2003 Golf
Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

Quote:
Where did you get that style spring compressor?
Yeah, Peter's spring compressors are da kine - they have fat aluminum arms, wide enough, with sping clips that ratchet in place and lock the arms to the spring coil. The mod we would make to them is to put two flats on the bottom so they can be turned with a wrench from below. the nearest I've found through Google are these for Volvos, might work on ours, too.

http://www.ipdusa.com/productscat.as...amp;RootID=629

Google turns up several other high-zoot tools that Peter managed to duplicate with old sockets and careful grinder work. I mightmake some up on my lathe.

- Andrew (B100)
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Old September 29th, 2004, 14:28   #7
kwong7
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Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

I was wondering if it is possible to remove the strut and and the spring separately with the spring compressor in place. I'd like to replace my factory suspension with a set of Bilstein Sports and VW 337 springs. I'm looking to do this job the easiest way possible. I'd hate to get half way and find that the spring would be too cumbersome to remove with the compressor on.
thanks
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Old September 29th, 2004, 19:44   #8
B100
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Default Some tips in installing the struts and shocks (A4)

Quote:
I was wondering if it is possible to remove the strut and and the spring separately with the spring compressor in place.
You have to pull the shock and spring (whether compressed or not) off the car as a unit, no way to slip the spring up over the strut with the shock still on the car.

If you compress the spring first, with the shock still on the car, then you can leave the compressors on and remove the (compressed) spring from the shock, yes.
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