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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 November 17th, 2009, 13:12   #1
pbbreath
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Default DIY: 2" Lift Kit for Under $40 - EASY!

Although the Metalnerd kit looks VERY well made and overall not a bad deal for what you get I didn't want to jump through all the hoops to get one.


Soooo.....I fabricated my own kit. VERY little fabrication is needed for this kind of a lift and I found some very user friendly durable solutions.



DISCLAIMER:

I take full responsibility for the kit I made for ONLY my personal vehicle. Should anyone decide to make a kit similar to the one I've made below they take onto themselves full liability for its structural integrity, build quality and correct assembly.



Parts List.

2 - 4" to 2" Black Hex Bushings - $14 Each
2 - 2" Pipe Threaded - $3
4 - 2 1/4 inch long 1x1 Box Tubing or Solid Stock. - $4
4 - Longer Metric Bolts for Factory Upper Shock Mounts - < $1
4 - Longer Metric Bolts with Nylock Nuts for Upper Shock Mounts - < $1
2 - 1" Pipe 2" Long - < $1


Tools Required

Spring Compressors
Impact Gun - for spring compressors
Grinder - (Die Grinder, Bench Grinder or Angle Grinder)
Drill & Bit assortment
Basic Mechanics tools
Jack & Jack Stands


Optional Parts

VR6 Springs or Shine Racing Springs (I used VR6 springs)
This will give you another 1/2 to 1" of lift

Bilstein TC Shocks (I'm using Stock VR6 for now and getting TC's in the spring)
I highly suggest Bilstein shocks and struts, I don't think there's a better manufacturer out there.



To start with I wanted to test the structural integrity of the 4" to 2" Hex busing. I took plate steel a 20 ton Jack the bushing and a 15 Ton Grove Crane and proceeded to lift up a corner of the crane on 1 bushing. Knowing I could lift 10,000 pounds at least on it makes me confident it can hold up 1 corner of my golf.

2" Long 1" Pipe was tested in the same fashion for the front without failure.


The 2" Pipe for the Rear Blocks has to be turned or ground down to about half its original thickness for the springs to slide over them snugly. I did this with a bench grinder in about 10 minutes until they were perfect.



The Front Spacer Goes in between the spring cap and the busing right below the strut tower bearing. Compressing VR6 springs an additional 2" takes a LOT of force so make sure you are using a nice set of spring compressors. Harbor Freight **** not advised. Re-Assemble suspension as normal. DONE.


2" Long Blocks of solid or 1x1 Box tubing Need to be drilled at 1 1/2 inch spacing, make the holes slightly oversized in case your drilling isn't perfect on the car. The Car will need holes drilled the same size and spacing below the original nutserts. You will Bolt the blocks to the car first by the OEM upper bolt holes then the upper strut mount and strut to the car by the lower bolt holes. The is tricky as there is limited space to hold the (Nylock) nut behind. If you have access to a nutsert kit you could use steel nutserts instead of nuts in the back to make the job a lot easier.


Install the Springs and Spacers just as you would stock and re-install lower rear shock mounts just as stock.


Throw your wheels back on and you're ready to go. My friend and I did the entire lift in about 3 hours. I'd bet it could be done faster now that there's nothing to figure out.

Here's the Before and after Pictures.

Car on Bilstein Sport and H&R Sport Springs, Lowered 2" with 18" R32 wheels holding 225/40/18's.


(You can Run 205/70/15's while lowered I found out before I did the lift!)

After the lift: 8" of Ground Clearance to the Skid Plate.



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Old November 17th, 2009, 13:40   #2
REDNECKDZL
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So all you did for the front end is add a 1" pipe nipple, so basically you can add as much pipe as thread that is sticking out the top of the strut mount

I like this, might do the same on the jetta was looking for a bit more clearance for the winter
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Old November 17th, 2009, 13:45   #3
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Interesting. Results look good, I'm just not sure I'd feel comfortable running my own car (and daily driver) that way. I don't really care for your method of rear shock modification, and I also have doubts about the durability of the front spacer. I can assure you that the Metalnerd spacers are more than just pipe.

Congrats anyways for taking the initiative and giving it a try. Please keep us updated as to how it works out and holds up. Is this car your daily driver? The final results look real good, you definitely got more lift out of the front VR6 springs than I did. So either the used springs I bought are saggy, or the heavier auto trans is weighing it down more.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 16:06   #4
pbbreath
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Alright.

I completely accept that my home made setup is not as pretty as the MetalNerd Kit. I wasn't going out trying to beat him, I have NO INTENTION of ever selling a lift kit and furthermore I think he makes one hell of a product. I just didn't want to spend $300 and jump through hoops to get it.

His Front Busing isn't just a piece of pipe true, I know this, its a steel bushing. Neat. Works the same. Just as reliable. As said I tested my pipe to 10,000+ pounds of force. It should hold up just fine.

The rear fits just perfect, I know its a pipe fitting, say what you must but its structurally VERY strong *Tested* and its EASY and CHEAP.

The Rear Upper Shock Mounts I'm not thrilled with the look of however they are more than structurally sound. The Shock only inputs at most 40lbs of pressure to that point. I'm currently thinking about getting a couple pieces of solid stock to do the same thing to. I'm sure the double wall box tubing should be plenty good but I'd rather over engineer for the long run.


I took the car to get aligned just about an hour ago and the suspension guys there liked the home made lift and the car was able to get aligned to within spec. Goes down the road really nice, no negative side effects so far.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 17:49   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNECKDZL
So all you did for the front end is add a 1" pipe nipple, so basically you can add as much pipe as thread that is sticking out the top of the strut mount

I like this, might do the same on the jetta was looking for a bit more clearance for the winter
I wouldn't suggest adding more than the 2" that I did. That looks like about the max. The pipe or bushing actually goes over the shock shaft not the threaded part.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 19:54   #6
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Keep us informed (update this thread or start a new one) on any issues, particularly shock wear/life and any stability problems.

As above, good on you for giving it a try. The more we know about lifting these little babies of ours, the better!
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Old November 18th, 2009, 10:48   #7
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8" of clearance! Holy smokes.

I have to admit I've always been tempted to take my TDI the complete opposite direction (I'm currently 2.5" lowered). Getting some over-sized, meaty tires, rally lights / bumper bar would really kick ass in the winter or for some light off-roading.

Good work. I'm also interested to see how your kit holds up. The only thing I wonder about is that you tested the static strength of your pipe one time, but it could still be prone to fretting or wear over time even if it doesn't yield under static load.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 18:37   #8
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You have a point, I'm going to be keeping an eye on everything and I'll update everyone if anything turns out to be a wear part. Or if I decide to replace anything for the sake of making it prettier.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 20:40   #9
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I would think the welds on the linkages would give first, before the cast steel nut fails. But, it all depends on where the cast nut was made, and the process, etc.
I like it.. Im all for DIY's!
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Old November 19th, 2009, 20:56   #10
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How bad is the angle of the CV joints now?

I know the CV boots have a tendency to tear at stock height. I wonder if this is gonna be exagerrated with the lift kit?
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Old November 20th, 2009, 23:23   #11
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In the first lifted picture, it looks like a baby Touareg, very functional. I need 2" of lift, specially in the winter here. I'll get my Dad on it, he's a retired machinist; once he sees a project like that he won't stop till he's done.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 07:56   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixmy59bug
How bad is the angle of the CV joints now?

I know the CV boots have a tendency to tear at stock height. I wonder if this is gonna be exagerrated with the lift kit?
No, its fine. I have over 100,000 miles on a lift kit and 200,000 on the car and boots and all is fine. Handles just fine and seldom does it ever bottom out.

Art
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:53   #13
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I see a possible problem with the pipe fitting block. The top is open and water and stuff can collect in it and rot it out.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 17:10   #14
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yeah it will rot out, but how long will that take? it isn't going to rot in a year or 2
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 17:27   #15
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Paint it and put a cap on the hole.

Nifty idea though.
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