Shocks and Struts

tdihopeful

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Location
California
TDI
03 2dr 5sp Golf
For shocks and Struts is it a recommendation to use a shock and strut or is it easy enough to reuse the old springs.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
If you’re talking about something like quick struts for the front which are pre-assembled ready for install, those are junk, with cheap springs and cheaper struts. Your springs are reusable you will just need a spring compressor and of course an impact gun either air or electric is a big plus, though not absolutely necessary.

The rears are just shocks the spring is separate so that just gets replaced when they sag, break or you decide to upgrade.

Bilstein is what many here go with, there is also Koni which some like. Monroe, KYB and others are typically chinese junk.

You will need to replace the strut top bushing and bearing when you replace the front struts, that is a separate purchase.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Springs hold up well. Look for de-lamination, if that look clean, you don't need new springs.
 

03TDICommuter

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Location
So. Cal
TDI
01' NB, 5spd
If you’re talking about something like quick struts for the front which are pre-assembled ready for install, those are junk, with cheap springs and cheaper struts. Your springs are reusable you will just need a spring compressor and of course an impact gun either air or electric is a big plus, though not absolutely necessary.

The rears are just shocks the spring is separate so that just gets replaced when they sag, break or you decide to upgrade.

Bilstein is what many here go with, there is also Koni which some like. Monroe, KYB and others are typically chinese junk.

You will need to replace the strut top bushing and bearing when you replace the front struts, that is a separate purchase.
I agree that quickstruts are junk. All the KYB's I've bought though have been made in Japan, but they were for Nissans and a PT Cruiser. Bilsteins B4's - they're too harsh for me. Hated them on the Jetta, hated them on the NB. Too harsh on rickety sections and would bottom out easily on freeway dips. Went to Sachs for the Jetta and liked it, but they're too soft for the NB. Way more comfortable for our battered freeways out here.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
I agree that quickstruts are junk. All the KYB's I've bought though have been made in Japan, but they were for Nissans and a PT Cruiser. Bilsteins B4's - they're too harsh for me. Hated them on the Jetta, hated them on the NB. Too harsh on rickety sections and would bottom out easily on freeway dips. Went to Sachs for the Jetta and liked it, but they're too soft for the NB. Way more comfortable for our battered freeways out here.

I have bilsteins on my Golf I’m trying to talk my daughter in to putting them on her beetle. I don’t mind a little stiffer ride fully 25% of the roads I travel on are gravel/dirt and PA macadam roads are known for being awful. I had some KYB’s on my old Golf I honestly don’t remember how they rode.
 

Zak99b5

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Location
Albany NY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI
KYB= kill your back.

My experience with them (in a Toyota Previa) was they rode well at first, but within a year, they were shot and bouncy.

When I bought my Jetta last spring, it had old KYB shocks in the rear. I replaced the when I did the complete suspension.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
KYB= kill your back.

My experience with them (in a Toyota Previa) was they rode well at first, but within a year, they were shot and bouncy.

When I bought my Jetta last spring, it had old KYB shocks in the rear. I replaced the when I did the complete suspension.

Keep Your Bilsteins
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
I've never felt that the cost of stock springs were enough to NOT replace. It's the LABOR that's the killer in all this. NOTE: having done four complete suspension refreshes -all using new springs- I've had ONE spring go bad (daughter's wagon, it busted, no idea how it happened, but the roads the car operated on are horrible; could be poor metalurgy, so perhaps stay with originals? all is a gamble).

Road conditions and ride expectations are EVERYTHING when deciding on the type of shock.

I am running Koni STR.Ts on my car. I have very good roads and travel primarily highways, rural roads. I like a firmer and quicker response. Handling and ride of thes STR.Ts is perfect for this, for me. I had a 2000 Golf that had Bilsteins on it and I prefer the Konis (out West they won't rust out). Again, it depends on your roads and expectations. I put Koni Reds on the wife's previous Golf and on her daughter's wagon. I wanted a softer ride for the wife, and the daughter's car ran up in the Vancouver area (crappy roads). On my wife's current Golf, 2003, I put on Koni Active shocks- these are AWESOME! Fantastic ride AND they perform (push thing hard and they set up really nicely): for ride and safety [performance] these are hands-down winners. If I ever change the suspension on my car I'll be putting on the Actives.

Cupra R bushings in the rear and Audi TT bushings up front and you're all set!
 

tdihopeful

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Location
California
TDI
03 2dr 5sp Golf
Thanks UhOh I was in the midst of doing a few things on my car (elective) sorta stuff and I think my Clutch went awol/sabotage the other day. I bought a Subaru Forester to get around with and uhh I want my VW back.

I think the Forester did around 150 miles on 3/4 tank... That 3/4 tank lasted a couple days. Sucks. Overpaid for it too. Tons of little things wrong with it and a Trans leak as well. Just made me realize how many people put as little $ as possible into their car and swindle as much as they can out of it. I'll be fixing it up a little and someone else will get it in better shape than I did.

Maybe I'll get a little $ out of it. Update wrote the previous part last night. Today the Subaru's transmission locked up in the middle of town right at a busy intersection. I tried to brute force it out of the roadway but it wouldn't budge. I activated the emergency blinkers got out of the car and called AAA roadside assistance.

There I was on the phone and the operator was having trouble locating my account information and put me on hold. I figured screw that called a local tow company. An hour out was they're next available tow. I explained the situation and the operator asked me where I was. She recommended a tow company on the same road a little ways away. I immediately called them. The had a tow truck in route within a few minutes. All the while motorists seemed to not understand what emergency blinkers are and many were all sorts of flustered with the extreme inconvenience they were suffering in going around my car letting me know just how much with their cars horns.

A Police Officer arrived and I mentioned that the tow was in route. She asked if she could try to start it to get it to move from the roadway. I told her Im a mechanic and was certain it would not. She then helped manage traffic. The tow truck arrived and while the car was winched onto the flatbed both me and the driver noted that the front wheel on the driver side was not rolling but got it on the trailer and I was away essentially unscathed.

Once at my place and unloading the driver says look and the front wheel was rolling. I immediately knew that there was a possiblity that I could then use the car again being mindful to keep the trans gear oil filled up completely or a little overfilled even. The trans seems to be un-stuck now and I'll be doing a little test drive to see. If there is a trans oil cooler I'll find out and service that if possible. Trans seals are on the way.
 

tdihopeful

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Location
California
TDI
03 2dr 5sp Golf
I ordered a Sachs Single Mass Flywheel and Clutch today for my TDI. After considering the sound made and lack of pressure feedback from the clutch pedal plus considering the previous owner saying the clutch would need replacement after a while I am fairly confident that the car has a dual mass and that is what failed. Read up on the procedure for replacement in my Bentley and watched the YouTube video on it. A little involved even more than timing belt but even less intimidating as far as I can see. No prob.
 

tdihopeful

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Location
California
TDI
03 2dr 5sp Golf
Turbocharged I plan on a road trip/picking up a trailer in upstate New York and bringing back to Oregon soon hopefully. I would not do that unless my Jetta is in good condition. When does it start getting bad as far as roadways are concerned? Will I miss the fall colors if I don't get out there soon?
 

turbocharged798

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Location
Ellenville, NY
TDI
99.5 black ALH Jetta;09 Gasser Jetta
Depends where in NY, mid-hudson valley is just starting to turn now. Further north I hear the colors are starting to come out now. Winter is still about two months out, usually around thanksgiving is when all bets are off for winter weather.
 
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