How to: B4V rear shock access, 1 of 2

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H, the other oil burner: 1967 Saab Sonett II two stroke
So you want to change the rear shock absorbers in your B4 variant / wagon. YOU FOOL! I have two pieces of advice…the first now, the second later in the instructions.
Advice #1: If planning other work on the car, remove the trim first while your hands are still clean. Corollary: Don’t reassemble the trim until AFTER washing up from other work.

Let’s go!

Remove the door sill trim by pressing down with the heel of your hand and pulling the lower lip of the sill in toward the center of the car. Remove the sills.



Fold the rear seat backs forward. Remove the socket head screw holding the outer pivot hinge.



Remove the clip from the center pivot hinge by prying out the retainer tang and then sliding the clip off the hinge pin. Remove the seat backs.





Remove the outer pivot mount and the carpet retainer disc.



Unscrew and remove the six plastic nuts under the forward edge of the cargo carpet. Remove the carpet. Remove the two metal covers over the spare tire area. Remove the plastic side compartment covers.



Remove the rear cargo cover. Remove the five Phillips head screws from each side of the cover slide tracks. Remove the tracks.




Pry up the rear hatch sill by releasing the five holding clips. Remove the sill.




Continued in part 2 of 2 (due to 10 image per thread limit)
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H, the other oil burner: 1967 Saab Sonett II two stroke
Continued from part 1 of 2

Remove the rear seat elbow pad starting from the bottom of the pad. Pull to release the round, three point clip at the bottom. Slide one hand between and up to peel apart the hook and loop adhesive strips. Slide the pad upward to free the key slot. Pull the pad forward to free the tab.


Insert a flat screwdriver into the belt slot on shoulder belt guide to press the retainer tang. Pry the guide up and forward to release.


Remove the two Phillips screws in the shock cover and lay the covers aside.


Remove the fasteners from the cargo area side panels and remove the panels. Note that some screws are hidden.






Unbolt the left side seat belt. Unscrew the right side cargo cover mount.



You now have access to the upper shock mount bolts. Enjoy!

Advice #2: Mark the relationship of the black plastic anti-rattle cap and the upper shock mount BEFORE prying off the anti-rattle cap.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H, the other oil burner: 1967 Saab Sonett II two stroke

On the sedans the shock top bolts are reached from inside the trunk, meaning almost none of this disassembly is needed.
Good luck!
 

Phoenix42

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2001
Location
Littleton, MA
TDI
'08 Mazda3 Hatch
Explains why Herm dislikes doing the shocks on these cars so much. I have to say it's a bit crazy that so much needs to be removed.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Stafford Virginia 22556
TDI
96 glx variant tdi
I'm not saying you did it the hard way, but I did mine a few months or so ago and didnt do 3/4's of that. You do have to fight your way to the top mount, but I think all it took was a few curse words and some yanking and pulling on some trim and removing the cover tracks. As long as you're a bouncefree and happy camper, what does it matter ?
 

bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
GREAT write up on the SHOCK removal for the B4 Variant.
Where were you BEFORE I did my shocks??????????

I took everything off like the write up; but realized that with a little "determination...", shocks CAN be replaced without removing most of these pieces. (like ninnedee mentioned)

DO replace ALL the shock pieces, while you are at it..., get a REAR SWAY BAR! Makes a difference, that is why I am searching for a good one :) .

After removing all the pieces, I found out that the rear 1/4 panel had been replaced and rust had begun to work it's majic and the panel was NOT painted. So I removed the rust and painted the panel!
After all, it was a great happening that I took off all the pieces :D
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
04', 05', 06' TDI's. Audi SQ5, RAM Rebel
UGGHHH!!!! You reminded me what I have to go through again SOON when I swap the yellows out for the reds.....

I see Peter conned you into helping him! I must have scared him when I told him how long this job took!
 

bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
Jason; YOU CAN do it without taking most of the trim pieces OFF!
Start with the SEATBELT roller thingy, there is a cover for it that has to be removed.
After that, a little double jointedness and a new style swivel socket or swivel extension WILL really help.
(it looks like a short extension but goes inside the socket and will swivel about 20ish degrees, or more & it really works!

Try that and see if it does make the job easier :confused:
 

jasonTDI

TDI GURU Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Apr 26, 2001
Location
Oregon, WI
TDI
04', 05', 06' TDI's. Audi SQ5, RAM Rebel
Yeah, I didn't do near this rtemoval. Just the top piece, side panel and loosened the trim along the seats. Still a PITA compared to a sedan. I have to pull the whole interior out soon anyway to soundproof the car anyway. I'm going to replace the rears at that time. IMO everytime you remove panels you gain rattles.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H, the other oil burner: 1967 Saab Sonett II two stroke
jasonTDI said:
IMO everytime you remove panels you gain rattles.
No, I fasten them back properly. And since they aren't cracked or distorted by forced manipulation they can be reinstalled in such a way that they don't produce squeaks and such. Any signs of chafing between the panels where they overlap can be an opportunity to eliminate previous noises by the application of thin felt strips or other means of separating the parts.
All my cars are purchased used. I have ample opportunity to curse the Dreaded Previous Owners who take shortcuts, damage parts, and omit fasteners. I have no intent to become someone else's DPO.
 

Joa

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2003
Location
Sandpoint, ID
TDI
WTB TDI Passat Wagon
Just did Bilstein TDs for my '96 B4 wagon a couple of weeks ago and have some tips...

* No need to pull everything apart per above unless you either: really want to for fun (s&m tendencies), don't want to risk damaging the plastic, or don't have a universal joint socket adaptor.

* Just pull off the obvious pieces and use the swivel head socket extension (or universal joint adaptor) and you can get the one in the corner by "encouraging" the plastic (which may crack, especially if cold).

* If you're replacing the bump stop, have fun putting on the shock boot retaining ring. The only way I was able to get it was to use lots of grease and then put it in a shop press, compress it about halfway to apply pressure, and then go around the edges with a screwdriver to encourage the ring to slip on.

* When you install the lower plastic cap (goes inside lower end of boot) have fun- it's really tight. I ended up putting the first one on by boiling the plastic piece in water and then pressing it on a bit by hand (clocking it to align the grooves) and then finishing the install by tapping it down with a BFH and a pipe (actually an expensive piece of 4130 tubing...) that went over the shock shaft. The second one I put on without heating it up and used a large diameter deep socket to protect the plastic from the end of the tubing.

* This one's kind of obvious but... you don't need a spring compressor if you do the following. Put the whole shock assembly together except for the nut and then install it temporarily on the car. Jack up the trailing arm to compress the spring and then start the nut. Remove the assembly and then tighten the nut by using a pair of vice grips on the upper end of the rod as high as you can get them to keep the shaft from rotating. Don't mar the rod or you'll have a stress concentration and will remove the protective chrome coating and will create a possible future fatigue issue.

* Pneumatic impact wrenches are your friend for this job. A few years ago I bought on sale the heaviest duty 1/2" one that Harbor Freight offers and have use the snot out of it with great results (I keep it oiled, dry, etc.). Something like this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=2623

Enjoy... and remember to smirk a lot from all the money you're saving by doing this job yourself. I didn't check but I bet the dealership wants a pretty penny for the labor.
 

timsch

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2009
Location
Brookside Village, Texas
TDI
2003 Mk4 Jetta (blue), 2003 Mk4 Jetta (black), 2011 Mk6 Jetta, all manuals
Partial disassembly with pictures

After using this thread as my main source of information on doing the rear shocks, and being especially moved to try to do it without removing all of the parts initially shown, I figured I ought to add to it with some pictures.

I started disassembly at the 2nd set of pictures posted by LugNut. It took some time to figure out what the tang was that I was supposed to press to release the seat belt guide, but finally got it with the screwdriver.

Remove screws from the REAR of the plastic that covers the wheel well just enough to pull it away to allow access to seat belt component and shock screws


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I wedged some old towels between the plastic and the wheel well to hold the plastic out, allowing easy hands-free access to nuts/bolts. I never felt that this was stressing the plastic in any significant way and I never heard any indication otherwise from the plastic.

At this point, a universal joint as mentioned is helpful. If you don't have one, you can still get in with a ratchet and straight extension, but will have to strain the plastic a bit more. At this point, you may be pressing your luck, so a universal joint is highly recommended. Besides, any real mechanic should have one since they are frequently the only way you can easily get to nuts/bolts on whatever you are working.


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From this point forward, it is fairly easy to remove the shock. To remove the bolt at the bottom of the shock, you need access to the nut inside the frame. You can get to it from the rear, but will need to disengage the emergency brake at the calipers, remove the lower bolt holding the calipers in place, rotate the caliper up and hold it in position. You will need a 19mm wrench as neither a ratchet nor a crescent will fit inside.


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After this, you can have your fun swapping springs, etc. Not a bad job with the right tools. If you can get a hydraulic spring compressor it will help.

Thanks again to LugNut and all the others with this most useful information
 
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