Suspension upgrades

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
Assuming the suspension is OK in stock condition (not worn out / sloppy) .....I would start with a rear anti sway bar

If some of your suspension needs work .... fix that first .... getting performance parts for whatever is being replaced.

You can refer to my signature for what I have done (most of the parts were added on as stock parts wore out and / or needed replacing .... some were added IF it made sense while things were apart and would have been difficult to take everything back apart to change something simple).

After the rear sway bar (and bushing if needed), I would do the struts and change the front springs and get better strut mounts (I added a 1" spacer while I was in there to run bigger tires when the old ones wore out ... knowing what I know now I should have gone 2" with the spacers but maybe in the future (I'm thinking lightweight lithium battery / carbon fiber hood may loose enough weight to get the 1" for "free"..... the lightweight mods are on my to do / wish list).

The skid plate does noticeably stiffen the front end ..... extra bonus it protects the oil pan.

I would LOVE to hear a review of some of the suspension goodies from here :


They have other goodies also ..... I'd love to try some!

Andrew
 

J_dude

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Location
SK Canada
TDI
2003 1.9l “Jedi”
 

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
What people mention here: Good dampers and tires will make a world of difference. Fresh control arm and rear axle bushings would help, too, if they're worn (and they probably are).
 

jettaroundtown

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2021
Location
sacramento
TDI
2002
Thanks for the input, folks!!
I'm going to replace inner, outer tie rod ends.
New shocks and all the bushings.
Any recommendations for the shocks? I am looking for a smooth freeway suspension.
 

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
My favorite is Koni Special Actives. If you want to spend less, the OE Sachs dampers work well.
 

chaoscreature

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Location
vista, ca
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI Special Edition
"best bang for the buck suspension upgrades?"

My first question when someone asks this is always: What do you want to improve? Ride Quality, turn-in, corner exit oversteer?
I guess my point is there is no single answer to this question and like most things in life, suspension upgrades almost always involve some amount of compromise.
 

braddies

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Location
America
TDI
03 golf ALH
How many bucks? Full front end from an mk1Audi TT makes a dramatic difference. Subframe, control arms, sway bar, spindles, struts, 1.8t calipers/rotors for small rims, TT calipers/rotors if you're running 17 or 18" wheels
 
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Zak99b5

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Location
Albany NY
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI
I assume you mean upgrade the performance of the suspension, not looking for "stance" or other bs. In order of importance:

1. Replace all worn suspension bits
1a. High performance driver ed training session
2. Sticky tires on light wheels, such as the Avus
3. RSB
4. Better dampers than stock (I like Koni Yellows)
5. Stiffer springs that do not lower more than 1/2" if at all (I like Neuspeed SofSports, but H&R OE sport are good too)
 
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