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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

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 December 23rd, 2011, 18:14   #1
WillR
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Default Replacing RS strut. Removing PS strut.

I figured I would post this with a simple title so maybe someone might find it searching for it.

I read everything I could find on how to replace the RS strut. This reading provided me with the information that the RS axle will hit on the sub frame, which prevents the hub from dropping far enough to get the strut out of the arm.
Popular Suggestions include:
1) using Spring compressors to shorten the shock.
2) Lowering the sub frame.

I tried #1. No way was that dam thing coming out. I really don't want to drop the sub frame: snap that bolt off and your in for a world of hurt.

So I sat back and looked at it and thought "Since you are also installing complete lower control arms, why not pull the lower arm and see if it the strut comes out"?

Problem solved. In fact I put the new strut back in, TC's with VR6 springs, 1 spacer and new mount without using the spring compressors.
Just move the rotor/hub forward which allows the axle to clear the sub frame (as you turn it CCW) and everything comes right apart.
Keep something handy (within reach) to hold up the rotor/hub, it's going to drop far enough to mess up your brake hose if you let it drop.

So if your thinking of doing struts, you probably need at least the rear lower control arm bushing anyway, so just do them all the same time, and pull the lower control arm first when you do the RS.

PS: I went with complete lower arms with ball joints because rock auto had them for like $36.00. I feel this was cheaper then rebuilding my old ones when you include the time to replace the bushings and ball joint.

Have fun!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 18:34   #2
BlackJet01
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Thumbs up Nice post!

I searched while doing my struts today and came across your post.

Rear was a piece of cake, and drivers side wasn't bad either even though
I was still using original springs.

Passenger side I dropped the two 22mm bolts holding subframe together.
Wasn't bad at all, and allowed plenty of room to get strut out!

Car rides so much better now!!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 19:14   #3
runonbeer
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Just pull the axle. It's really easy.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 19:21   #4
BlackJet01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runonbeer View Post
Just pull the axle. It's really easy.
I think using the air ratchet on 2 very easy to reach bolts is much easier.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 06:17   #5
WillR
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I was just pointing out that removing the lower control arm allows you to remove the Passenger Side strut without using a spring compressor, removing the axle, or lowering the sub frame.

besides, the lower control arm bushings probably need to be replaced anyway .
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Old January 30th, 2012, 06:44   #6
runonbeer
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Pulling the axle has no affect on alignment. But I agree, pulling the subframe is also easy. But I do recommend an alignment check afterwards.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 07:36   #7
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Thumbs up

Bottom line we all got the job done!
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Old January 30th, 2012, 08:00   #8
WillR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runonbeer View Post
Pulling the axle has no affect on alignment. But I agree, pulling the subframe is also easy. But I do recommend an alignment check afterwards.
Anytime you change the strut, top bushing, or spring you are in affect changing the ride height.
As you raise the front end, the toe will change and the tires will become toed out.

Picture the mount location of the outer tie rod drops but the stearing rack stays the same. In order to keep the tire (toe) pointing the same, you will need to make the tie rods longer.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 13:40   #9
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I am guessing that when you tried compressing the springs you you didn't have a nut welded on the other side of the compressors. That is about the only way this will work. Otherwise as you shorten the spring the threaded rods will take the place for where the spring was and you are still up a creek.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 13:56   #10
WillR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminer16 View Post
I am guessing that when you tried compressing the springs you you didn't have a nut welded on the other side of the compressors. That is about the only way this will work. Otherwise as you shorten the spring the threaded rods will take the place for where the spring was and you are still up a creek.
My single compresses tools can be changed so the thread is either on the top or bottom. Then once out of the car I put the big compressor on it that covers both sides of spring.

Not doubting your method, just saying:
"If this is the first time you have done your struts, you probably need control arm bushings", so just pull the control arm and the strut comes right out.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 19:15   #11
ECUshockguy
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Video of how my mechanic did it. He did the control arm/axle method.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux5TbjwJ9_c
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:49   #12
WillR
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Ok, that's another way. But watching the video I cringed when he knocked the strut out of the spindle. I bet he sells a lot of brake hoses
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