Suspension upgrade questions

johnboy00

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2000
Location
Bridgewater,Ma.,USA
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon, 2004 Jetta, 2003 Jetta wagon
I've got a broken rear Koni orange on my 03 IBW TDI. Not warrantied since I just got this car from Ky last May. Its got yellows on the front and H & R lowering springs all around. I have the original springs, struts and shocks. It looks like they were swapped when the car was brand new. I definitely don't want to put the Sachs shocks/struts back in. I did that with my 99 Golf w/MOOG springs and wasn't too happy with the suspension.

Questions I have:

1. The koni sports up front are 16 years old or so. I've always been planning to get rid of the lowering springs, and even though the struts are fine it would seem that it would be foolish not to replace the struts if I have to take them out anyway. Anyone disagree with that?

2. I'm thinking I'll go with the Koni Special Actives all around, but I noticed that Koni doesn't seem to spec them for use on the wagons, even though Idparts and others have them listed as OK. Has anyone heard any explanation why? I was going to send this to IDparts, but I imagine I'll hear from Peter, here, anyway.

3. I'm planning to put the stock springs back since they are basically new. Any reason to think that I should upgrade the springs as well and sell the wagon springs to someone else?

4. I need to fix the rear ASAP, but I don't have the time to do the front. Anyone have any ideas of how bad this will look with a lowered front and normal height rear? More importantly: Will it be dangerous to drive around for a month or so like that?

Thanks in advance.
 

scrambld

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Location
Belchertown, MA
TDI
'06 Jetta...TDI/5spd :) >>>now a '15 Passat TDI/DSG
Suspension Upgrade.....what are you looking to improve? Ride/comfort or performance/handling?


Questions I have:

1. The koni sports up front are 16 years old or so. I've always been planning to get rid of the lowering springs, and even though the struts are fine it would seem that it would be foolish not to replace the struts if I have to take them out anyway. Anyone disagree with that?

Now would be a good time. How many miles on them? How did they feel before....and I would match components front and rear to whatever you choose.

2. I'm thinking I'll go with the Koni Special Actives all around, but I noticed that Koni doesn't seem to spec them for use on the wagons, even though Idparts and others have them listed as OK. Has anyone heard any explanation why? I was going to send this to IDparts, but I imagine I'll hear from Peter, here, anyway.

Peter will set you str8....I'd imagine he has the resources/connections to get the right answer.

3. I'm planning to put the stock springs back since they are basically new. Any reason to think that I should upgrade the springs as well and sell the wagon springs to someone else?

Again, depends on your end goals of what you're wanting out of it.

4. I need to fix the rear ASAP, but I don't have the time to do the front. Anyone have any ideas of how bad this will look with a lowered front and normal height rear? More importantly: Will it be dangerous to drive around for a month or so like that?

It'll be fine....look whacked...but safe as long as you keep possible handling quirks on your mind for the next month......the "so" part voids this suggestion as the "so" may become years and years....LOL
 

johnboy00

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2000
Location
Bridgewater,Ma.,USA
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon, 2004 Jetta, 2003 Jetta wagon
Thanks, I have about 150k miles on the the suspension.

I did e-mail and heard back from idparts. Special actives are fine in in the Jetta Wagon. Apparently, the FSDs were always spec'd that way as well.. That's good enough for me.
 
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Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
Thanks, I have about 150k miles on the the suspension.

I did e-mail and heard back from idparts. Special actives are fine in in the Jetta Wagon. Apparently, the FSDs were always spec'd that way as well.. That's good enough for me.

Hi

I am looking to get the actives as well .... what are your thoughts on them if you got them?

Thanks
Andrew
 
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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
Koni doesn't make a wagon-specific Special Active (fronts are the same on sedans and wagons), but the sedan ones work fine as long as the wagon isn't lifted. The could top out on lifted cars. I ran FSDs (predecessor to Actives) on my wagon for years, and they didn't have a wagon rear in that damper either.

If you don't like Sachs dampers you probably would think Reds aren't quite firm enough. So I'd go with Yellows or Special Actives.
 

johnboy00

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2000
Location
Bridgewater,Ma.,USA
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon, 2004 Jetta, 2003 Jetta wagon
Hi

I am looking to get the actives as well .... what are your thoughts on them if you got them?

Thanks
Andrew
I got them back in April and immediately put the rears in due to a blown shock. The fronts went in in July after I had to replace the steering rack.

I'm quite happy with them. Firm but not harsh in my opinion. I'm still a bit clunky in back, and need to replace my rear beam bushings, next.

I had yellows up front and they were ok on the mild setting but a bit to harsh for me, if set more firmly. I'm sure the lowering springs didn't help.
 

Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
Koni doesn't make a wagon-specific Special Active (fronts are the same on sedans and wagons), but the sedan ones work fine as long as the wagon isn't lifted. The could top out on lifted cars. I ran FSDs (predecessor to Actives) on my wagon for years, and they didn't have a wagon rear in that damper either.
If you don't like Sachs dampers you probably would think Reds aren't quite firm enough. So I'd go with Yellows or Special Actives.
I thought the koni reds were recommended for the lift spring setup?
 

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
They make a wagon Red (Special). That's different from the Special Active. MKIV cars are one of the few, if only, cars left where Koni offers both Specials and Special Actives, although we now have to special order the Wagon rears from Holland.
 

Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
They make a wagon Red (Special). That's different from the Special Active. MKIV cars are one of the few, if only, cars left where Koni offers both Specials and Special Actives, although we now have to special order the Wagon rears from Holland.
Should have mentioned my wagon is a 14. I was looking at the koni special active set (front and rears) which is recommended for the lift springs. I don't see any other koni reds available
 

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
Yes, you should have. :D I don't think anyone makes a wagon specific rear damper for Sportwagens. Some people used Tiguan dampers with lift kits, but Koni has discontinued those.
 

Drclaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Location
MA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen
Yes, you should have. :D I don't think anyone makes a wagon specific rear damper for Sportwagens. Some people used Tiguan dampers with lift kits, but Koni has discontinued those.
I bought the koni special active setup along with the vw lift spring kit. Looking forward to getting the fronts installed this weekend. Did the rears last Sunday
 
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