Replacing struts, KYB vs Monroe, Gas vs Oil

ytk

Active member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Location
IL
TDI
MK3
Hi. One of the front struts is starting to sweat oil from the top so I will be replacing them among other things in the front suspension. I have no idea which ones are currently installed.
My easiest options locally are either Monroe-70$ or KYB-90$. There is a gas vs oil pressure option. Not sure what is the right one for me? All I know is that on the current struts you can hear them hissing (similar to the trunk shocks) every time I go over a bumper.
We have a lot of rough roads around.

Thanks
 

Nevada_TDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
I just replaced my worn out struts and dampers with the STR.T's and am very happy with them; my car corners and rides much better now. I don't autocross, my Jetta is my DD. I also got springs as well, and my lower front valance no longer drags when leaving my driveway. I suggest you buy the new mounts, stops, and bolts as well; it was so much easier assembling the the front struts away from the car and installing them as a unit and a whole lot cleaner install too. Yes, it is a lot more money but with the lifetime warranty, you only have to pay once. YMMV.
 

iluvmydiesels

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Location
phila area
TDI
AHU
oil struts seems to me several generations out of date. 1 perhaps you havent serviced your suspension and/or struts for quite some time. kyb are ooh average, perhaps below average, they are ok, but just about, not better. looking at your price of $90 way over priced, i can or have found bilstiens for about the same price. wayy better. i dont know who really buys monroe, and $70 is wayy expensive for a sh*tty strut. maybe from pep boys monroe is a good shock, some how. <not here!

i dont know what to tell you as far as rough roads. it can eat at more than parts. other than keep it easy over rough roads. you may need to service your whole suspension, may be the case. kyb at a much better price may not be the worse idea depending on your driving area/rough roads. but just an idea. some of the shocks/struts listed above (prev posts) can be stiff, to say the least. bilsteins and koni -can- be quite stiff, that is to say. you dont necessarily want that in your driving conditions. i doubt *you do.
 
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oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Hi. One of the front struts is starting to sweat oil from the top so I will be replacing them among other things in the front suspension. I have no idea which ones are currently installed.
My easiest options locally are either Monroe-70$ or KYB-90$. There is a gas vs oil pressure option. Not sure what is the right one for me? All I know is that on the current struts you can hear them hissing (similar to the trunk shocks) every time I go over a bumper.
We have a lot of rough roads around.
Thanks

I'd go with Bilstein or Koni. KYBs are awful, and some Monroe stuff is OK (some are even OEM on some VAG products, believe it or not), but I'm not sure I'd go through the effort to install new struts for something so mediocre.

Another option, if you can find them, and are likely the OEM for that car, is Sachs/BOGE. Availability (like most parts for those cars) has been spotty but I can usually get these. There is a cheapo brand, Autopart International, that seems to work OK for budget minded folks, but I have never installed any on an A3. I have put some on A4s and B5s, and they seem to work and fit just fine. No feedback on their longevity, though.
 
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rallywagon

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Location
Western NC
TDI
'98 Jetta, '00 Jetta
I think the Sachs/Boge upgrades are great deal....the "Advantage" series....(NOT the Super Touring which are OEM soft)

for the Mk3 Jetta: SACHS 170 128

On my '98 Jetta, I used Sachs Advantage (SACHS 170 160)for a '97 passat. This automatically raised my vehicle 1.25" because the Passat struts have the spring perch 1.25" higher than the location on the Jetta units. Use at your own risk.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
170-128 does not show fitment for a '98 Jetta TDI. It's a Corrado/Cabrio damper. It may fit, but the valving may not be correct.

Any damper for these cars are getting hard to find. Koni STR.T, Bilstein TC are two of the few that I would feel good about installing.
 

rallywagon

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Location
Western NC
TDI
'98 Jetta, '00 Jetta
The 170-128 is listed for the "off road" Jetta III from 9/94 - 9/98. Fitment for 98 Jetta recommended here: https://www.autohausaz.com/pn/170128

The Sachs 170-160 is NOT designed for the Mk3/A3 Jetta. But, I run a pair on my Jetta for the lift. They definitely change the geometry...biggest difference is introduction of some bump steer. I can not comment on the valving / damping beyond saying it is not as stiff as I would like...only slightly stiffer than OEM I'd say. I have Bilstein HD on the rear, and they are stiffer to my liking. If you are not willing to experiment, I would NOT try the swap. As other input, I installed Sachs Advantage series (200-954) on my son's MkIV Jetta Sedan with stiffer lift springs....feels great...very stiff but not harsh.
 
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