DIY: 2" Lift Kit for Under $40 - EASY!

pbbreath

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Location
Redding, CA
TDI
84 Rabbit TDi
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.



 

REDNECKDZL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Location
Omemee
TDI
2001 Jetta, 2015 Jetta, 1984 Wabbit TD, 1986 RX7 waiting on AHU swap
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
 

TDICADDGUY

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Location
Blaine, MN
TDI
2000 New Beetle GLS
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.
 

pbbreath

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Location
Redding, CA
TDI
84 Rabbit TDi
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.
 

pbbreath

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Location
Redding, CA
TDI
84 Rabbit TDi
REDNECKDZL said:
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.
 

Thorne

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2006
Location
SF Bay Area
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!
 

shizzler

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2005
Location
Ann Arbor MI
TDI
05 BEW Wagon
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.
 

pbbreath

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Location
Redding, CA
TDI
84 Rabbit TDi
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.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Location
Toronto
TDI
1.8T
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!
 

Fixmy59bug

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Location
Henderson, NV
TDI
2015 Passat TDI SE
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?
 

DieselOx

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Location
Spokane, WA
TDI
None, and it's a relief, kind of.
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.
 

Blownvette

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Location
Derwood, Maryland
TDI
1990 Corvette with V10TDI ,2004 (2)V10TDI’s
Fixmy59bug said:
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
 

Pugsley

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Location
Valparaiso IN
TDI
2003 Beetle
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.
 

REDNECKDZL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
Location
Omemee
TDI
2001 Jetta, 2015 Jetta, 1984 Wabbit TD, 1986 RX7 waiting on AHU swap
yeah it will rot out, but how long will that take? it isn't going to rot in a year or 2
 

Thorne

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2006
Location
SF Bay Area
Blownvette said:
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
Art - what lift and how much? I really want to go with the MetalNerd 2" lift, but my mechanics have only done lowering and fear the shocks / struts / alignment will suffer.
 

coalminer16

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
Central Wisconsin
TDI
Golf 2004
Your car can get aligned in spec. I don't think the suspension gets stress to much extra. If you are thinking of it then just do it. It was worth it for me. I live in a state that doesn't believe in snow plows though.
 

ve9aa

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
Location
Fredericton, NB, Canada
TDI
02 Golf GLS TDI 271,000kms
Hi - thanks for posting your mod. I like it ! THinking about maybe doing something like this as we get lots of snow here in NB, Canada and my car sits very low. Unsure if it's been lowered or the springs are just tired (lol) <I have good strut mounts>

Can I ask what the large red cap thingy made of plastic or rubber is, in the first and second pictures please?

Cheers
 

mikey141414

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Location
Overland Park, Kansas
TDI
N/A 2015 Nissan Rogue, 2017 Sonata Plug in Hybrid
I am also considering following your lead and going to the hardware store tomorrow. Its been a 2 and 1/2 months since first post, whats the verdict? Any unforeseen failures? Modifications to original post?
 

longo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Location
alberta
TDI
2006 Candy White, Beige leather, Pkg 2 DSG
Any MrkV ideas?

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/KeywordSearchCmd?Nty=1&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallany&quickOrder=quickOrder&langId=-1&Ntt=720+1281&N=0&quantity=1&orderId=.&Ntk=all&Ne=2+3+2500000+1147708&Jnar=0&partNumber_1=720+1281&D=720+1281&Dx=mode%2Bmatchallany&catalogId=10002&searchTerm=720+1281&storeId=10001&calculationUsageId=-1&quantity_1=1&ddkey=http:OrderItemAdd

This is about the only idea I can find to solve my saggy 06 Jetta TDI issues.

Mine looks like it's dragging it's nose down the road and a friend of mine with another 06 Jetta is complaing about his 'bottoming out' when he exits his driveway.

Anyone think these things would actually solve the problems or create more. I notice that metalnerd has a disclaimer about using lift kits on anything with Stability Control
 

horsieclatter

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Location
houston
TDI
2000 Jetta TDI
WAY TO GO LEADBREATH!! I did a similar trick on my 2000 jetta about a year ago. only I went more cheap as I was experimenting & determining for sure my springs & struts were shot. They are, but the lift to price ratio still makes me smile...

I used a 3-1/2" x 5" OD landscape timber about 5" long with an appropriate hole drilled in it for the front strut rod to pass thru installed exactly where you located the 2" long piece of 1" pipe spacer; between the bearing and spring cup. Yes, I jacked my front end by 3-1/2".... I decided to go big or not bother, as I was playing around with worn suspension components. While apart discovered struts are shot; fine, new ones on the way... Now the worn out stock wimpy springs have only 1/2" gap before coil bind occurs. fine. new ones in the works... so now front end pogo sticks down the road, with no spring travel or damping left...

However, significant ground clearance was achieved for 205/75/15's to clear with no binding at all... This means I can go nuts with off road rubber in the future after an LSD find its way into my tranny... No regrets here, all smiles...

Rear end lift achieved with a 2x4 shimming up the spring, similar to what you did. this leveled up the car nicely. it can't fall out as the lower shock bolt needed removal to drop the axle to get it in there; spring preload exists a wee bit at full extension, so no issues there. my way does not hold the rear spring in its proper place as well as yours as I get groaning from shifted spring rubbing stuff. If I had "sculped" the wood to fit a bit better...blablabla..... Otherwise it has settled in nicely.

What have I learned here? not bad for some free scrap wood and some labor. I learned how to do struts finally. I bought a set of good spring compressors and got after it. Now I can do all the struts on all my cars myself instead of paying thru the nose for a shop to do them. Until I get an LSD installed, I intend to back off the tire size to 205/70/15's as the 75's are the most extreme I care to go as the gearing thing is concerned. Do-it-yourself beadlock kits are out there for serious off-roaders to consider. the ability to mount your oun tires by hand may be wise out in the boonies. OR maybe just having spare spares is enough to get home... just throw them in the trunk or onto custom mounts on the roof... I have not had any axle or joint issues with the taller tires either. and the wood is holding up nicely till I quit this unemployment thing... Will post pix after tech support nephew gets here.
 

gusphoto

New member
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Location
Edison, NJ
TDI
99 Golf GL TDI 2dr
Wow! exactly what I was looking for..

Thanks for all the info.
It is hilarious to see the faces of mechanics when you ask them if they've ever lifted an A4 suspension.
Since getting my TDI some four years back I've been dreading driving over tall sewer holes and the deteriorating road conditions here in crumbling NJ. I want to lift my 40+mpg Wondercar and now I will. Thanks to all your inputs. ..and yes, it will be my doing and my responsibility!
 

Birdman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 7, 1999
Location
Near Hagerstown MD.
TDI
Jetta 2001 Died by Truck one snowy day. Jetta 2003
Fixmy59bug said:
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?
I have seen little about CV Boots tearing on the forum, I have had this last Jetta for 10 years with out one ever starting to look bad. I also have been driving VWs with CV Joints for 30 years and only replaced 2 boots in all that time and several of the cars had well over 250,000 Miles. Of course maybe you are talking about Jap cars all riced out then I could believe their boots tearing
 

jcilforever

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Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Location
Southeast
TDI
2004 Jetta (SOLD), 2004 Beetle, 2003 Jetta Wagon (parts car) all manuals all for sale
Any update on this? any failures?
 

Blownvette

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Location
Derwood, Maryland
TDI
1990 Corvette with V10TDI ,2004 (2)V10TDI’s
jcilforever said:
Any update on this? any failures?
I think a better question will be any deaths. I just removed my 1 inch rear kit from MetalNerd and switched in a 2 inch kit. I looked at the pictures on the first page and got scared! (edit)

I put 135,000 miles on my kit (2 inch front 1 inch rear) the spacers look new when they came out.

Warning, IMHO, YOU WILL KILL YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE IF YOU DO THIS.

If you want a lift, do it the safe and proven way. Its only a few hundred bucks VS. causing a major incident that may change your life or that of someone who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
 

DJGonzo

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Location
Souf Amurica
TDI
99.5 Jetta 2.0 BHW
Blownvette said:
I think a better question will be any deaths. I just removed my 1 inch rear kit from MetalNerd and switched in a 2 inch kit. I looked at the pictures on the first page and got scared! (edit)

I put 135,000 miles on my kit (2 inch front 1 inch rear) the spacers look new when they came out.

Warning, IMHO, YOU WILL KILL YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE IF YOU DO THIS.

If you want a lift, do it the safe and proven way. Its only a few hundred bucks VS. causing a major incident that may change your life or that of someone who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
How are you so certain they will kill someone? There's not a huge possibility of that happening, but as every mod you do on your car, chances of risk increase (including using kits from MetalNerd). Your wheel will not fly off if these break, IF they break (AFAIK), so please elaborate on how someone might die from this. Thanks.
 

NarfBLAST

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 3, 2002
Location
Waterdown, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2001 Golf 5MT
I was thinking the same thing... people drive around with broken springs and usually do not find out until they get under the car and investigate "that annoying clunking noise".
 

rideage

Active member
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Location
UT
TDI
jetta
My goodness.. calm down people.... it looks like a good low cost alternative to me... just because its not a manufactured item sold by a retailer does not mean its unsafe and dangerous.

I WILL BE LOOKING INTO DOING THIS FOR MY SELF.:eek:
 

lucamajuke

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Location
New Haven, Vt
TDI
2004 A4 GLS
Has anyone here tried the Superior Spring-Lox? I read that it can raise or lower from 1 to 2" depending on how you orient it. I think two per spring. Downside: Could fall out at full extension. Upside: Costs $6.50 for two.
 

DJGonzo

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Location
Souf Amurica
TDI
99.5 Jetta 2.0 BHW
NarfBLAST said:
I was thinking the same thing... people drive around with broken springs and usually do not find out until they get under the car and investigate "that annoying clunking noise".
We have had that happen a million times here at the shop. the springs are all rusted up and broken and they didn't die or have an accident. LOL :D
 
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