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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 07:13   #1
pricha00
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Default Is DIY strut and shock replacement really that easy ??

Had my TDI for a few years now and its approching 300KM.. I am debating on whether to try and tackle some suspension work myself to save the labor charges. When I search the forums I see quite a few suggested unique tools like a spreader and special socket for the strut nut. I do have an impact and a fairly good complement of sockets but no spring compressor. Do I jump in and give this a try or just bite the bullet and let the pros take care of it for me? Any suggestions for daily highway driver, I was looking at Bilstein kit at Bora Parts along with the kit with the mounts, bearings, bump stop, and some LCA bushings.

Pat.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 07:31   #2
2000BlueJ
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Strut nut can be done with a spark plug wrench I believe, I used a cold chisel to spread the knuckle, but spring compressors are a must to remove your old springs and build the new ones. Some say you have to compress the springs in order to remove the whole unit but I didnt have to. Took me a few hours to do it but that also included machining some strut spacers for the front. Hope this helps!
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Old October 14th, 2013, 07:34   #3
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Its pretty easy besides the front passenger side strut. That one sucks to get out. you have to somehow get a spring compressor up in there or lower the subframe or something.

I personally find it easiest to just take the axle out of the hub and remove the 3 ball joint bolts so that you can flap the hub outwards and get the strut out of its seat with ease, but that's just my method.

Its not a hard job, just a frustrating one.

I'd give it maybe a 4/10 on the difficulty scale and a 6/10 on the irritating scale.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 07:46   #4
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I am pretty sure I can borrow the spring compressor from one of our local parts sellers. I like a challenge but don't want my car stuck on jackstands and in peices to discover I will need a pro to complete the job.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:28   #5
1.9glstdi
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Dont need no stinkin spring compressors and dont drop the sub frame 1 time use bolts.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.9glstdi View Post
Dont need no stinkin spring compressors and dont drop the sub frame 1 time use bolts.
Can you elaborate on this ??

Pat
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Old October 14th, 2013, 10:58   #7
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spring compressors at princess auto are like 10bucks, you can make your own spreader tool from a 8mm hex socket(using a grinder). right side is easy when you unbolt the inner cv(hang it up).
goodluck
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Old October 14th, 2013, 14:22   #8
1.9glstdi
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I am sorry to take the current struts ou you dont need a spring compressor t. I upgraded to vr6 springs I threw away my old struts. You can also buy fully assembled struts and springs for $100 so technically you don't need compressors.
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2005 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 1.9L L4 DIESEL Turbocharged SOHC : Suspension : Strut / Coil Spring / Mount Assembly part numbers 1336306 $68 , 171525 $98,7171525 $102 fullyn assembled with spring already just swap them out. If you want a sportier ride you can get the vr6 model.
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Last edited by 1.9glstdi; October 14th, 2013 at 14:25.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 16:39   #9
Golfrunner
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I "refreshed" my suspension when my Golf hit 200 k (miles). I have found the Bilstein TC's a fine compromise... good handling and still comfortable. I would replace the control arm bushings and stabilizer bushings while you are in there - I bet they are worn and sloppy by now.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 17:05   #10
pricha00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1.9glstdi View Post
I am sorry to take the current struts ou you dont need a spring compressor t. I upgraded to vr6 springs I threw away my old struts. You can also buy fully assembled struts and springs for $100 so technically you don't need compressors.
rock auto
2005 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA 1.9L L4 DIESEL Turbocharged SOHC : Suspension : Strut / Coil Spring / Mount Assembly part numbers 1336306 $68 , 171525 $98,7171525 $102 fullyn assembled with spring already just swap them out. If you want a sportier ride you can get the vr6 model.
I have ordered some parts from Rock Auto but I wonder what the quality is vs something from Bilstein or other aftermarket suspension peices.

Pat.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 18:11   #11
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look up bilstein Canada, no cross border duty, ships from vcr.bc
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Old October 14th, 2013, 18:30   #12
pricha00
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Cross border shopping never an issue for me ... 10 minutes from US border at 3 bridges. Just have packages sent to CBI in Niagara Falls NY and pick them up. I will always shop local until the savings just become too good to pass up or the item is not available here.

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Old October 14th, 2013, 20:23   #13
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Just this past weekend, I did this job - replaced struts, and LCA rear bushings.

If you are replacing the LCA bushings, you need to take the LCA off the car, which makes removal of the struts easy.

To be honest, replacing the struts was the easy part (with the exception of spreading the strut cup - I ended up using a 3/8" to 1/4" socket adapter).

The much harder part is getting the LCA off and back on. The rear bushing is squeezed in there pretty tight, and its a fight to get them back on, if you leave the ball-joints on (by removing the 3 13mm screws).
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Old October 14th, 2013, 22:05   #14
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I recently did a full suspension refresh recently. It was a little challenging. I bought the Metalnerd Part MN2122 - Specialty Double 21 & 22 mm Strut Nut Sockets and the Part MN3424 - Strut Spreader Bit...www.metalnerd.com which a lot of people here recommended to make the job easier and it definitely helped. I also had a friend help me with a spring compressor to get the new springs on the new struts. I was able to get the struts out with out the compressor but its a must to install new springs. I replaced everything...shocks, struts, strut mount bearing, springs, ball joints, tie rod ends, lower control arm bushings, and sway bar bushings...so it was a lot easier to get take everything apart and then put it all back together. The passenger side strut was a bit of a bear to get out and back in but since I took everything out it made it a little bit easier to but it all back together. Its definitely a pretty straightforward DIY project but it was a little daunting when all I had in my wheel well was the cv axle and everything else was gone! But it all went back together with not much of a problem. Removing the tie rod ends and the ball joint seemed impossible because at first the just would budge but after soaking them overnite in pb blaster and tapping/pounding on them both the next day the popped loose. There's lots of info here on how to do it successfully...Good luck...its a pretty awesome difference after its all done and you have a brand new tight suspension...also go with the audi tt bushings if you are doing the lower control arms and you'll have a better than factory suspension. Bilstiens or better are nice too.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 03:58   #15
50harleyrider
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Here's what I recommend:http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-Jetta_IV--1.8T/Suspension/Refresh_Kits/ES248440/. Has the Audi TT CA bushings too.
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