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Spring & Shock/Damper Installation Reference Guide

_cruster

Ready to race!
Location
USA
Had everything apart 3 times. Checked and rechecked torque settings. Didn’t notice anything out of sorts. After the third time with the same results I decided to call a pro and took it in to a local German specialist. I guess I missed the part where the axle somehow separated from the CV joint. It’s now toast. I wouldn’t warn anyone away from the 2x4 method - it still makes sense to me. Also, I could now change all 4 shocks out in about 3 hours, which, uh, has no practical application for me. Not sure how this happened but just seems like a bad stroke of luck. Car will be fixed in a few hours and everything else checked out so I hope to be back on the road soon.
 

KyACRASH

Go Kart Champion
Location
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Car(s)
2015 GTI 6MT
Had everything apart 3 times. Checked and rechecked torque settings. Didn’t notice anything out of sorts. After the third time with the same results I decided to call a pro and took it in to a local German specialist. I guess I missed the part where the axle somehow separated from the CV joint. It’s now toast. I wouldn’t warn anyone away from the 2x4 method - it still makes sense to me. Also, I could now change all 4 shocks out in about 3 hours, which, uh, has no practical application for me. Not sure how this happened but just seems like a bad stroke of luck. Car will be fixed in a few hours and everything else checked out so I hope to be back on the road soon.
I don't understand? That shouldn't happen if you use the 2x4 method. Right?

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Faceman

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Long Island
Car(s)
'17 GSW 4Motion
I don't understand? That shouldn't happen if you use the 2x4 method. Right?

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It happened to me, too.

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shortyb

Autocross Newbie
Location
Upstate SC
Car(s)
Felon Taxi
I don't understand? That shouldn't happen if you use the 2x4 method. Right?

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This happens when you pull the knuckle down to clear the bottom of the strut. If you pull too far, it will dis-engage the CV joint at the trans and shift it when the rotor or axle is turned. Raise the strut more with the jack, it will compress quite a bit, and lower the need to pull the control arm down so far. Almost happened to me, fortunately it felt "off" as the control arm was being raised. Turned the rotor by hand until it re-engaged the CV joint. Now I put a block under the control arm to limit drop and make sure to rotate the knuckle forward as a unit, and not using the brake rotor to do it. No problems since.
 
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_cruster

Ready to race!
Location
USA
This happens when you pull the knuckle down to clear the bottom of the strut. If you pull too far, it will dis-engage the CV joint at the trans and shift it when the rotor or axle is turned. Raise the strut more with the jack, it will compress quite a bit, and lower the need to pull the control arm down so far. Almost happened to me, fortunately it felt "off" as the control arm was being raised. Turned the rotor by hand until it re-engaged the CV joint. Now I put a block under the control arm to limit drop and make sure to rotate the knuckle forward as a unit, and not using the brake rotor to do it. No problems since.


Good stuff. I likely did exactly that. Driver’s side absolutely would not come out, strut was “stuck” to the knuckle. I wrestled with it for at least an hour so I’ve no doubt I pushed the knuckle too far at some point and didn’t notice. Ah well. Good to go now short of an alignment.


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_cruster

Ready to race!
Location
USA
Just following up on my own saga. Driver's side axle was trashed; replacing it got me on the road. I had taken it to a shop when I couldn't diagnose, so they did that work; they also noted that passenger side axle had some play but not enough to be catastrophic. However, that's showing up as some minor vibration on acceleration, and it's going to drive me crazy, so I'll be swapping the passenger side axle next weekend. Everything else in my car checked out OK.

What I learned:

- 2x4 method is still viable and convenient if you're cautious and/or reasonable.
- Compress the shock/spring assembly to clear the knuckle rather than compressing part way and wrestling the knuckle down and out. Don't be dumb like me.
 

_cruster

Ready to race!
Location
USA
This is key, you have to "lift" it high enough out of the knuckle

Sorry you had to learn the hard way though, that sucks :(
Thanks - in hindsight I see all the things I did wrong. :)

Just wanted to post the updates here so people know what not to do/what to be careful of. I would still advocate the 2x4 method.
 

dsgvw

Ready to race!
The only thing I would recommend for the 2x4 method is using a tie down strap to hold it to the strut.

After discovering this technique I feel 100% confident now using the wood. Either this or drill a hole in it and physically connect it to the strut as seen in the other DIY thread.
 

_cruster

Ready to race!
Location
USA
The only thing I would recommend for the 2x4 method is using a tie down strap to hold it to the strut.

After discovering this technique I feel 100% confident now using the wood. Either this or drill a hole in it and physically connect it to the strut as seen in the other DIY thread.


About halfway through I ended up drilling a hole and using the old pinch bolt to connect the 2x4 at the sway bar endlink tab, and I felt like a real dummy for having not done that in the first place. So much better.


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Hammersticks

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Bay Area, CA
Car(s)
'16 GTI, '18 e-Golf
This happens when you pull the knuckle down to clear the bottom of the strut. If you pull too far, it will dis-engage the CV joint at the trans and shift it when the rotor or axle is turned. Raise the strut more with the jack, it will compress quite a bit, and lower the need to pull the control arm down so far. Almost happened to me, fortunately it felt "off" as the control arm was being raised. Turned the rotor by hand until it re-engaged the CV joint. Now I put a block under the control arm to limit drop and make sure to rotate the knuckle forward as a unit, and not using the brake rotor to do it. No problems since.
I just checked my old bearing from my 2017 GTI Sport and can confirm that it had the F revision installed from the factory (Purchased in April 2017).
Thanks, guys. I've referenced your updates in the first post. (y)
 

growlyboi

New member
Location
WA
Car(s)
Mk7R
What would be the definition of "high mileage" in terms of whether to replace the strut mount or not?
 
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