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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 March 29th, 2011, 13:23   #1
miketoth1979
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Default Beef on a Budget. VR6/Wagon springs

I know there is a lot of interest on this site about suspension modifications...and especially lifting. Many of the options for a full suspension redo can be very expensive, and for someone on a tight budget like me, were not really an option. Here is how I did a full suspension redo for right around $500, complete with all the positives and negatives of going this route.

I read through literally hundreds of pages on this site trying to arrive at a decision for my '01 5m Golf. With 130K, my stock suspension system was pretty well worn. It bottomed out hard over just about every moderate bump, and with the addition of a Defender steel skid plate in the front and a Curt towing hitch in the back, it just got worse. Also, I tow an 800 lb boat and trailer with a 70lb tongue weight which sagged my poor Golf somethin' fearful, so it was definitely time for some added beef.

There are guys who swear by shine springs with Koni Reds, yellows, or bilstein hd's strut/shock combos and 10mm spacers, plus new mounts, bolts, bump stops, bearings, etc. ($$$). And then there are those who go out and get the heavier VR6 front springs and Jetta Wagon rears springs. I put out many requests for the coveted 2blue 2white front Jetta spring combo and for Jetta Wagon Rears without much luck. My manual golf had 2 green 1 pink stock springs which are rated at about 146lbs. The 2b/2w are about 170...so it's a significant jump UP. Most of the springs I was offered on this site were only a slight jump up....usually 153lbs or so. You can always buy the exact ones you want from VW, but they sure are expensive..and since I am on a tight budget, I was looking for a cheaper and, hopefully, reliable alternative.

I ended up finding the website www.blauparts.com They offer full suspension kits with limited lifetime warranties for VWs and Audi's that include the replacement mounts, bearings, and all necessary hardware for something like $259 plus free shipping. Wayy cheaper than the Konis/Bilsteins and necessary suspension refresh kits. I bought the MGR1002-A kit listed for my A4 golf, but I think could have gone stiffer (more on that later). Since I couldn't find the springs I wanted, I went with what I was told by a member of this site and checked out rockauto.com because they have MOOG aftermarket springs that are direct replacements for VR6 and Jetta wagon springs, and the prices are pretty amazing. $42 for the PAIR. The part numbers 81134 are the VR6 fronts and 81055 are the Wagon rears.

2003 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA GLX 2.8L 2792cc V6 FI [BDF] DOHC MOOG81134Coil Spring$ 42.79$ 0.001$ 42.79 MOOG81055Coil Spring$ 42.79$ 0.001$ 42.79 ShippingGround (FedEx or UPS)$ 16.79

Those springs are the same height as the stock ones I removed from my Golf, although they are substantially thicker and heavier. (13.75" for the rears...I forget the front springs overall height, but the new ones were the same)

Rears. MOOG on right.


Difference in thickness. Sorry, no micrometer.



Anyways. Once I got these springs, I was sure that they were beefy enough. In fact before I put them on, I worried they were TOO beefy, so I ordered the softer shock/struts in order to compensate for that. Basically how some guys buy new springs and adjustable heavy duty shocks but put them on full soft to dampen the harsher springs and make a smoother ride. I also opted out of buying front strut spacers because I figured I wouldn't need them. Well...that was probably a mistake. I installed the rear shocks and springs and had a professional mechanic friend install the struts, mounts, springs, and bearings for me...plus the necessary alignment afterwards. Everything popped in just fine and fit like OEM components.

RESULTS:

Well, I succeeded in firming up the suspension. It seriously drives like a different car and there is virtually no body roll. Bumps are absorbed very nicely, and in no way would I consider the suspension too harsh. With the blausport shocks and the MOOG wagon springs, the rear of the car has boosted up about 1.5" after settling in for about 5 days (from 27" to 28.5" from the ground to top of outer wheel well) and is very solid, even with the boat on it. Exactly what I wanted. The fronts, however, not so perfect. With the blausport struts, new mounts, and MOOG VR6 springs, I gained a measly 0.5" (from 26.5" to 27"), which is probably what I gained by replacing the worn out mounts alone. I now have a forward rake of about 1.5"...which actually feels kinda cool.

WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY:

When I have the money to have the work done, I will probably need to get one or perhaps two sets of the VW 10mm strut spacers to boost up the front...which will require another alignment, etc. The front springs I installed feel nice. They are stiffer, and the body roll is much reduced, but I was quite surprised that I didn't gain more height than that. I was expecting another inch at least. I think I may have gone too soft on the blausport struts. You have the option to get beefier kits which are for the VR6's, and I wish I would have now.

Overall, I'd say I am happy with the results, although it is still way too early to tell how the components hold up. There aren't many threads here about blausports, so I figured I'd start this one.

For shocks, struts, all necessary hardware, springs, install and alignment, I paid right about $500. With the lifetime warranty, I figured it was worth a shot. In no way am I saying what I did is any better than a fancy new set of Konis or Bilsteins with new springs straight from a vendor of VW. But it's definitely a cheaper alternative....so I will keep you all posted on my results.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 16:05   #2
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Miketoth, are you experiencing any pitch?..unbalanced feeling front to rear?
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Old March 29th, 2011, 16:32   #3
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would you mind sending me the part numbers for the vr6 front springs and the wagon rears. also, are the wagon rears the towing ones? I will be doing this with konis soon but would love new springs while i am in there!
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Old March 29th, 2011, 20:27   #4
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Hmm, so far I haven't had any issues with feeling unbalanced. The rear IS higher than the front now, but not enough to be a problem. I actually kinda like it.

And the spring part numbers are listed up there. 81134 for the MOOG version of the VR6 fronts and 81055 for their version of regular Jetta Wagon springs.....not the heavy duty European towing springs.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 22:19   #5
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Great write-up and much appreciated. I know I've been sitting on the lifting project due mostly to my inability to weed through the myriad of choices -- spacers, home-made vs. metalnerd lift kit -- new Moog springs just added more confusion to the mix until someone experimented. Thanks for being daring! The info is very useful.

Basically, I have the same setup with a front steel skid plate. In addition, I've got a bypass filter kit and coolant heater forward. It all adds up and currently, I tilt forward with all stock components.

I'm not too worried about the ability to lift the rear as you have shown here with the moogs. The front is the more dificult task though I'm surprised that it didn't do much in your experience. Adding two 10mm spacers wont even get another inch in height in the front unfortunately.

I have a used set of wagon rears and 2b/2w front springs on hand but they've got miles on them and your report makes me seriously consider going with new VR6 front springs and the moog rears with Koni Reds using the wagon length rears. If not equal at that point, spacers could be added up front.

I also have a front and rear adjustable lift kit. So the combinations of possible approaches is maddening. I'd like to get about 1.5 inches in the back and 2 up front. I'd also like to do it once and correctly.

Didn't the original poster of the Moog spring thread indicate that the Moog fronts were longer than the stock springs....?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 05:17   #6
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Yes, he DID say they were longer. However, mine were definitely the same height as the stock ones, AND I didn't get much lift...which leads me to believe that there may have been a mixup at the Rockauto warehouse and the fronts I was sent were too soft.

Hmm....
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Old March 30th, 2011, 05:46   #7
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If you look at some of the other spring manufacturers in the rock auto catalog, they have separate options for the GLX with an auto trans. I wonder if that could have gotten you a little more beef, so to speak. Interesting that there is no choice for sedan vs. wagon in the catalog... or am I missing something?

Anyway, nice write up.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 08:31   #8
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Good observation. I think that the key to the 2b/2w involved auto trans. I think that the way to do this is to figure-out which A4 platform cars had the heaviest fronts (6cyl/auto trans) and specify those springs. Also, look at the specs in terms of OEM vs. replacement spring length.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:40   #9
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For those that want just a lift and no spring beef and no contracts to sign kerma is now selling a 1 inch lift which looks pretty good. Brother bought the 1 inch lift as he has the esp but wanted to be a bit higher and he already has rear air bags.

Also have to say the one thing with the rest of the suspension things. The reason for larger shocks is the spring requires it. If you have a larger spring it takes more to dampen the spring. An un-dampened spring will bounce more then a dampened spring causing the bouncing slide to the side of the road on a bumpy corner. This also leads to uneven/choppy tire wear (seems to be more pronounced in the rear). Not to say this combo won't work but check your tires often to see if they are starting to wear funny. I am not saying it can't work but in theory it states that.

Also the reason for replacing the other rubber components (mounts, etc) is because they can cause alignment issues from their movement. If the rubber is visibly cracked then it would be a good thing to replace. Same for the front top strut mount if you have a large space between your top cap and the rubber it is also bad and going over bumps fast will pull that slack out.

Other then that good find and let us all know how the results down the road turn out.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 06:17   #10
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PSSST They dropped in price!

81055 $38.89 rear
81134 $41.79 front

This is a great right up! Ant pictures of forward rake setup? I am considering this!
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Old April 1st, 2011, 10:53   #11
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Here are a couple pictures of the new setup complete with forward rake...





Drop the boat on the back and she sits nice and level...





However...I am starting to believe that my mechanic friend may have done something wrong during the install. Here is what the top of the struts look like in my engine bay. Keep in mind, I had the struts, springs, strut mounts, all bolts and strut bearings replaced at the same time. This is what WORN OUT struts should look like...



After reading through tons of pages on this site and vortex, I'm starting to believe that he either didn't tighten both of the top strut nuts correctly (can't use an impact gun alone or the strut shaft will spin with the nut), or he installed the bump stops upside down, which surprisingly makes a large difference in how high this gap is.

Any sage advice?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 16:34   #12
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Take the top nut off if you have the tool and see.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 05:37   #13
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Thanks for all the replies here. I read through and considered them all.

The mechanic is going to take a look in a couple days. Might be nothing wrong...but I'd rather know now than go 100k on something funky.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:15   #14
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Thanks for posting this - I just ordered the 81055 rear springs. I just completed a front suspension refresh and wanted to replace the rear springs with the towing springs but these look pretty good especially for the price.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 07:32   #15
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robhegedus did you see the movie Grown Ups... These a scene with a guy from your neighborhood Saskatoon Saskatchewan
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