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Spring & Shock/Damper Installation Reference Guide

Hammersticks

Go Kart Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Ride
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Hey guys, I just wrapped up another DIY, specifically for spring/coilover install that can suppliment this thread. Let me know if you want me to post the video link.
Go for it. Updating the first post may be a no-go for me though. Last time I tried to edit it I got an error about it needing to be under 10K char.
 

zcspec

Ready to race!
Location
Orange County
Ride
MQB S3
Great job! Question on the torque specs, not questioning the validity, but what is the source? Some are quite different than the ones I’ve collected.
Also, what strut spreader do you have there? I’ve only ever seen the bit style. Fancy. 😄
Hammersticks, I sourced the torque specs from 034 and ECS guides. As far as the "fancy" spreader, it's a "FIRSTINFO Universal Multi Functional Steering Knuckle Spreading Tool" that I purchased from Amazon. I also have the bit style, but after seeing what it can do to the aluminum knuckle, I waned to try something different.
 

VL3X

Ready to race!
Location
Delaware
Ride
2017 GTI SE
^^ Damn, that thing looks way more secure than the Metal Nerd bit I used. The bit can pop out of place and can grind away if not aligned 100% perfectly. If doing this job more than once, I'd recommend getting that tool zcspec has!
 

Hammersticks

Go Kart Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Ride
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
Feel free to use this an another resource to install springs/coils on your MQB car!
Spring/Coilover Install DIY Video
Hammersticks, I sourced the torque specs from 034 and ECS guides. As far as the "fancy" spreader, it's a "FIRSTINFO Universal Multi Functional Steering Knuckle Spreading Tool" that I purchased from Amazon. I also have the bit style, but after seeing what it can do to the aluminum knuckle, I waned to try something different.

Updated the initial post with both of these. Thanks again! I also ordered the spreader. The metal nerd bit absolutely gets the job done, but I like the design of the firstinfo tool and will put it to use soon enough.


 
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Hammersticks

Go Kart Champion
Location
Bay Area, CA
Ride
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf

Updated the initial post with both of these. Thanks again! I also ordered the spreader. The metal nerd bit absolutely gets the job done, but I like the design of the firstinfo tool and will put it to use soon enough.
I tried using the FirstInfo tool yesterday. In my experience, it didn't loosen the strut enough, at least using the 2x4 method. I tried for ~15 minutes but the strut simply wasn't budging. I then went back to the "tried and true" MetalNerd bit, and voila, it immediately dropped .5" with a gentle push down. The bit style also provides the flexibility of moving the bit up/down within the knuckle to account for the tab. The firstinfo tool has obviously worked for others, but so far, I personally prefer the MetalNerd bit for its flexibility, effectiveness, and cost.
 

growlyboi

New member
Location
WA
Ride
Mk7R
Just want to say thanks for this thread. I'm a shade tree mechanic, and with this info and a 2x4 was able to get my springs installed with relatively no fuss.
 

impulsive.ca

Ready to race!
The passenger side front I find to be the hardest just because of its orientation with the knuckle and the FSB endlink.

With that said, the 2x4 method is by far the easiest way to get them out.
 

GTIfan99

Go Kart Champion
Location
FL
The passenger side front I find to be the hardest just because of its orientation with the knuckle and the FSB endlink.

With that said, the 2x4 method is by far the easiest way to get them out.
Getting them back in with the 2 x 4 method is super sketchy though unless you're going really low. My buddy that helped me almost took a 2 x 4 to the hand when we overshot the hub and 2 x 4 slipped off.

I'm thinking ratchet straps on the springs would be safer.
 

Mother

Ready to race!
Location
Orlando, FL
Getting them back in with the 2 x 4 method is super sketchy though unless you're going really low. My buddy that helped me almost took a 2 x 4 to the hand when we overshot the hub and 2 x 4 slipped off.

I'm thinking ratchet straps on the springs would be safer.
Are you not using the modified 2x4 method with a hole drilled for the endlink bolt?

It doesn't have to compress it that far. Just the last little bit since the hub drops so far.
 

GTIfan99

Go Kart Champion
Location
FL
Are you not using the modified 2x4 method with a hole drilled for the endlink bolt?

It doesn't have to compress it that far. Just the last little bit since the hub drops so far.
No, just wedged it under there. Your way sounds safer. Lol
 

snobrdrdan

former GTI owner
The passenger side front I find to be the hardest just because of its orientation with the knuckle and the FSB endlink.

With that said, the 2x4 method is by far the easiest way to get them out.
See...I always had the easier time on the passenger side. The strut doesn't wanna rotate.
On the driver's side, it DOES want to turn/slip rotate off the 2x4.
Attaching the bolt to the 2x4 does help prevent that problem though.
 

impulsive.ca

Ready to race!
Man, I never thought of that lol. I've taken the suspension on/off my old gti around 7 times without securing the 2x4 like that. I'll definitely drill and secure it when I do the R this spring.
 

shortyb

Ready to race!
Location
Upstate SC
Ride
The crazy train
I, personally, always use new ones.
No point in pairing old parts with new ones, that'll be your weak link. It's a giant rubber bushing, essentially, btw.
But if you wanna be cheap...I'd keep it under the 20k-30k mile range. Unless you want to tear down the suspension again to replace them in the future.
Do it one time and do it right, IMO
Smart advice.

With front mount bearings, a lot depends on what duty cycles they undergo. As said, lots of rough road use will cause them to deteriorate more quickly. Also they sometimes take a "set" and will make noise if not re-oriented exactly as removed. At a minimum, check for smooth operation of the bearings. Or just don't take chances and replace them like Dan said.
 

shortyb

Ready to race!
Location
Upstate SC
Ride
The crazy train
Great job! Question on the torque specs, not questioning the validity, but what is the source? Some are quite different than the ones I’ve collected.
Also, what strut spreader do you have there? I’ve only ever seen the bit style. Fancy. 😄
The torque specs I offered up came directly from the repair info supplied by VW. While I don't question the source validity given by zcspec either, I do question the differences from what is in the repair info database for the MK 7/7.5. There is no additional rotation mentioned which has been stressed everywhere I've seen referencing the proper fastening/torquing of certain suspension components. See my post #142 for some insight.

Also, in the first post the tightening spec for the front pinch bolt is incorrect. I believe it should be 70Nm (52 lb/ft) + 180° additional turn instead of 90°.
 
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