In response to Andrew S. and Steve A. about my Bilstein front struts, I did go back into my Pendaflex files for a more thorough look-see.
I ordered my Bilstein F4-V36-0406-H1 HD front struts from Import Replacement Parts for $269.28 on 3/05/10 and I installed them on 3/29/10 at 235,625 miles.
It looks like I changed everything but the front (Bilstein) struts on 4/12/13 at 273,514 miles: front strut bearings, strut mounts and spring plates. So I stand corrected; I did not change the struts at this time.
I have had a strut failure on my DD, however. My OEM right rear strut seized up on a February winter day in 2010. According to my records (I know, I've been called OCD among more colorful names), I R&R'd the rear struts and did a rear brake job on 2/26/10 at 234,161 miles. Those rear Bilsteins cost about the same, $263.90 for the pair from Discount Auto Shocks.
On another note, yesterday I got my back up plan B4 Passat into the garage and up on RhinoRamps for a 7" lift and then used the floor jack and jack stands for rear end access. My rear rotors are sad looking and I wanted to spray everything that I could with Aero Kroil (thanks for the tip Abacus) to help loosen those 8 mm cap screws (that hold the caliper carrier bracket) and any other bolt or screw that might give me a fight. Especially targeted with Kroil are the caliper bleeder screws. I purchased more than one disc caliper because of a snapped off bleeder screw and I confess that I've paid for at least one rear caliper carrier bracket that I managed to break.
The back up plan has ABS so there is more hardware and wiring here in the back. It looks like I saw a fixed disc on the passenger side. Anyways, I'm going to let the Kroil saturate for a week or so before I tackle this job. Jeff
TDI household total miles is currently at 887K: My 1997 B4 @332k, my back-up plan 1997 B4 @233k, and her 2002 A4 @322k gaining fast.
Last edited by nh nam vet; Today at 07:01.