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Old 09-25-2016, 06:35 AM   #1
Hammersticks
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Spring & Shock/Damper Installation Reference Guide

Hey all,

This job has been around for a while, but I wanted to put together a list of reference materials and things I found helpful after having scoured through various posts before (and after) my first time through it.

Despite the length of this post, hopefully it saves you some time!

DISCLAIMER: Please proceed at your own risk. This information has been put together to the best of my abilities but I ultimately take no responsibility for your actions. If you are at all concerned with performing this job after reading this entire thread, please take it to a professional mechanic.

With that said, if you are up for the task, please proceed!

How-To Videos: (Good reference but use the 2x4 method below instead)

Tools in the videos:
  • The basic tools outlined in the videos:
  • Spring compressor- This may or may not be necessary depending on which springs and shocks you’re replacing. Use the Autozone rental program.
  • 1/2, 3/8, 1/4” ratchets
  • 18mm and 13mm wrenches
  • Sockets: 21mm, 18mm, 17mm, 13mm
  • 14mm triple square
  • Small screwdriver
  • T25 Torx (rear fender liner & light leveling sensor – if applicable)
  • 10mm socket (front brake line bracket bolt)
  • Strut spreader: Used in the ED video. The DAP video uses 1/4” ratchet which works, but please do yourself a huge favor and get a good strut spreader. Not all strut spreaders are the same size. After the first time through I searched for the widest spreader I could find and found the MetalNerd version (Part MN3424). It is slightly wider than a 1/4” ratchet and has rounded edges that won’t gnarl up the knuckle as much as a ratchet can.
  • Impact wrench (air) - NOT recommended (as not to spin the heck out of the damper piston and over-torque the top nut)

Tools not in the videos:
  • Breaker bar – Not required, but can be helpful if you don’t have air
  • Big round screwdriver (I used this to help align the holes on the lower control arms in the rear upon re-assembly)
  • Allen wrench set (use for the shock piston, assuming you’re not using air)
  • Torque wrenches
  • Pass-through ratchet/sockets for the top shock nuts and front endlinks. http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...t=3438&page=15
  • Strut nut removal wrench such as metalnerd MN2122 (alternative to pass-through socket...just make sure you get the right size sockets, especially if you're changing your dampers)
  • WD-40 or other lubricant: Used to lube the base of the struts before removal.
  • 2x4 (24" piece and adjust as needed) - Some guys are skeptical of this approach, but there’s really no need to be. It works well. As long as the 2x4 is secured to the strut you are fine. I’ve used the pinch bolt approach to secure it, and have also used zip ties (through the hole in the 2x4).
  • Hockey puck (with a small “V” or groove cut into it) or product designed to fit in the pinch welds when jacking up the car.
Required Replacement Parts:

MINIMUM REQUIRED* (for complete front and rear spring / damper job):
•Strut Bearings: 5Q0-412-249-F* (Qty 2) (*New as of Dec '18. Appears to have replaced "E")
•Front Pinch / Strut Bolts: N-909-548-02 (Qty 2)
•Strut Lock Nut: N-101-064-02 (Qty 2)

EVERYTHING** (for those who want to replace all nuts/bolts regardless)
Front:
•Minimum required parts +
•Strut Mount Bolts: N-912-464-01 (Qty 6) (update 2-Feb-19, was N-101-277-07)
•Strut Top Nuts: N-910-216-01 (Qty 2 – for stock shocks/dampers only)
Rear:
•Lower Control Arm Mount Bolt: N-106-405-01 (Qty 2)
•Shock Bolt: N-106-283-01 (Qty 2)
•Shock and Control Arm Nuts: N-101-064-02 (Qty 4, in addition to fronts, 6 total)
•Stabilizer Link Bolts: N-107-765-01 (Qty 2)
•Stabilizer Link Lock Nuts: N-901-838-03 (Qty 2)
•Shock Mount Bolts: N-906-484-02 (Qty 4 –if removing rear shocks/dampers)
•Top Shock Nut WHT-007-127 (Qty 2 – if removing rear dampers - for stock shocks/dampers only)

*Unless you suspect any previous damage, have a high mileage car, or want to replace everything regardless for peace of mind, the "minimum" list is likely all you will need to replace if you perform the job using the 2x4 method. Please see this related post from snobrdrdan (who has extensive experience with VAG suspension work) for reference on these recommendations . I have followed this guidance, but please do as YOU see fit. Please also see post #142 of this thread.

**If you are more comfortable replacing all of the nuts and bolts you touch and use the 2x4 method, purchase these parts. ECS and DAP sell suspension bolt kits but they often have either too much or too little. Best just to order the individual parts.

***Again, the bearings are the weak link with the front struts, and especially true when lowered. GET NEW BEARINGS!!!


Optional Parts:
  • TT Pads (optional): Part number: 8j0-512-149. The pads are roughly ” thicker than the stock pads which can be used to correct reverse rake.
  • Strut Mounts: Part number: 5Q0-412-331-D. Again, shouldn't be necessary unless your car is older / has high mileage. Note, there are aftermarket options for the strut mounts, but most should just stick with stock. There have been numerous reports of noise issues with the ECS mounts, and here's what happened to my 034 mounts after 15K miles: https://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showp...4&postcount=98

Process tips

Bump Stops: http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27947

Front Strut Replacement:

First thing, before you take the front struts off, do yourself a favor and break the strut top nut loose (Don't remove all the way...just break them loose.). This will make loosening the nut much easier once you have the strut off of the car.
  • 2x4 method: The VW techs obviously don’t do this, but it saves time and it works.
  • http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...050#post113050
  • http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...?t=7982&page=5
  • http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13185

    *Trick for getting the front struts out…I’m sure others know this as well, but I found this from marcg611 in the link below which saved me a TON of time. You really only need the 2x4 for the last little bit. If it’s taking you longer than 10 min to get the strut out you are either doing something wrong, don’t have the right tools, or both.

    “Strut spreader trick: Install spreader at top of knuckle 1st, shake and push on top of brake rotor, knuckle should drop an inch, now install spreader at bottom middle of knuckle, shake and push on rotor again until it drops another 1/2 to 1". Now use 2x4 method to pull additional 1/2" out. If you don’t get it to drop this 1st 1" to 1 1/2" before 2x4 method you may just raise the entire arm and get frustrated like I did until I figured out where to shake to relieve tension to get the knuckle to drop.” http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...?t=7982&page=5

Note, the only time I moved the spreader was to clear the tab on the shock…other than that I just left it in place and wiggled & shoved the rotor down ~2” before using the 2x4.

Front torque specs:
  • Front strut mount bolts: 15Nm + 90 degree additional turn
  • Front sway endlinks: 65Nm
  • Front pinch bolts: 70Nm + 90 degree additional turn (tighten the nut while holding the M14 triple square in place)
  • Front (stock) strut top lock nut: 60Nm

Rear spring replacement:
  • If your car has a light leveling sensor on the driver’s side lower control arm, remove it before you do anything else so you don’t forget.
  • Bolt removal & reinstallation: If you are working on jack stands you will need to use the floor jack to move the lower control arm up and down to the right position to relieve tension on the 3 bolts (endlink, shock, lower control arm) when removing and realigning on the install. This seems easy but can take some maneuvering. Recommendation to do the control arm bolt (closest to rotor) first and work inwards towards the sway endlink bolt on removal and install.

Rear torque specs:
  • Rear sway endlink bolts: 20Nm + 180 degree additional turn
  • Rear lower shock bolts: 70Nm + 180 degree additional turn
  • Rear lower control arm bolts: 70Nm + 180 degree additional turn
  • Rear top shock mount bolts: 50Nm + 45 degree additional turn

Rear shock/damper replacement:

Nothing special to note except the EVAP tank on the passenger side. The DAP video tells you there’s a bracket up top which is true, but you’ll soon find out the tank doesn’t just pop right out. No matter which direction you try to move it, it hits something and won’t come off the bracket. I reached in over the top and managed to press the tongue on the clip in which released it from the bracket. The problem is you can’t see back there and there’s barely any room. I’m sure there must be a trick to it. See the pic below to know what you are working with.

Conclusion:

Like most things, the first time through will definitely take more time. The people who say it can be done in 3-4 hours have had lots of experience. It's definitely doable though.

Hopefully this helps, and thanks to all who have contributed!
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Last edited by Hammersticks; 02-03-2019 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:41 AM   #2
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Spring & Shock/Damper Installation Reference Guide

Additional pics

MetalNerd strut spreader (middle)


Other tools


Strut bearings, strut pinch bolts, and nuts


Evap tank clip and bracket


TT spring pad / stock pad comparison


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Last edited by Hammersticks; 09-09-2018 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:14 AM   #3
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Anyone know the torque specs for the rear top shock mount bolts and the front end links (where they mount to the shock)?


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Old 10-05-2016, 03:17 AM   #4
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Rear top I think is 60nm. But I just impacts it....
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
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Great thread. Wish this was posted before I did my install. Would have saved me from having so many tabs open for weeks.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammersticks View Post

Replacement Parts:
  • Strut Bearings: 5Q0-412-249-E.(Qty 2) = ~$40-50/pair. Best to replace regardless of miles while you’re in there. You also don’t want to get stuck mid-project if the old ones fall apart during the removal. (I’ve heard of this happening.)
  • Bolts: Using the 2x4 method, I took snobrdrdan’s advice and just replaced the front pinch bolts (2), strut lock nuts (2), along with the strut bearings. I’ve reused all of the rear bolts a number of times while trying different configurations and the fronts strut mounting bolts a couple times without any issues. Ultimately though, do what you are comfortable with doing. I know some guys would rather replace everything.
  • Front Pinch / Strut Bolts: N-909-548-02 (Qty 2)
  • Strut Lock Nut: N-101-064-02 (Qty 2)
  • Here are a couple other threads on bolt replacement:
  • http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showth...prings&page=10
  • http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9213

Why no axle "stretch" bolt as snobrdrdan mentioned in the second thread? Is that because you didn't take the axle out & used the 2x4 method?


Inner-1102 & outter -5437 stretch bolts?

I know that the 2 strut bearings you mentioned are $40-50 for the needed 2 fronts weren't on the list below from Yomny but neither is that outter axle stretch bolts - WHT005437.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yomny View Post
The kit ECS sells its a little expensive for what you may need but it is complete if you do the "removing axle" method. I cant find the thread now but i made a list of exactly the bolts and nuts you needed for a spring removal, which in my case was via the 2x4.

Found it, its a lot cheaper. Front you'll replace top three bolts of strut top and lower pinch bolt

STRUT MOUNT BOLT x6 Part Number: N-101-277-07
STRUT "Pinch" BOLT x2 Part Number: N-909-548-02
STRUT LOCK NUT x 4 Part Number: N-101-064-02
STABILIZER LINK BOLT,x2 Part Number: N-107-765-01
STABILIZER LINK LOCK NUTx2 Part Number: N-901-838-03
LOWER CNTRL ARM MOUNT BOLT x2 Part Number: N-106-405-01

Total about $16.

Last edited by Mk7User; 10-05-2016 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk7User View Post
Why no axle "stretch" bolt as snobrdrdan mentioned in the second thread? Is that because you didn't take the axle out & used the 2x4 method?

Correct. I use the 2x4 method per above. There is no reason not to. I also did not replace any nuts/bolts on the rear based on the recommendation of others. 5k miles later and everything is fine.

Also, I don't know where you can buy all of those OEM nuts/bolts for $16. Screaming deal if that's true.



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Old 10-05-2016, 07:51 PM   #8
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Spring & Shock/Damper Installation Reference Guide

RacingManiac, thanks!

Danjoy,
Hopefully it will help you out the next time!


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Old 10-05-2016, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammersticks View Post
Correct. I use the 2x4 method per above. There is no reason not to. I also did not replace any nuts/bolts on the rear based on the recommendation of others. 5k miles later and everything is fine.

Also, I don't know where you can buy all of those OEM nuts/bolts for $16. Screaming deal if that's true.
Thanks for the confirm Hammersticks! Excellent resource you've provided here!
I'm taking this thread to my installer & telling him there is more chance of mishap by unscrewing more things than necessary .
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:52 AM   #10
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So...I doubt a shop is going to want to use a 2x4 but will rather go "by the book." As long as you go to a reputable shop I'm sure you will be just fine.



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Old 10-06-2016, 04:24 AM   #11
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I've removed my front struts 5-6 times, reused the pinch bolts and nut each time...
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik View Post
I've removed my front struts 5-6 times, reused the pinch bolts and nut each time...
Yeah so did this guy, but when he went to tighten the stretch bolt it snapped (because it was all distorted/stretched)

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Old 10-07-2016, 04:28 PM   #13
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^^ that looks like it was WAYYYY over torqued. Are we positive the pinch bolts are stretch? I've never replaced those on any VW...
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #14
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Yes, they are stretch bolts

I've replaced hundreds of them, seriously. On my own cars doing tons of swaps and also other people's cars. They're only $6/pair

Are they going to fall out or cause damage if not replaced...probably not.
There's still a lock nut holding it there, and also the clamping force of the knuckle holds the bottom of the strut in place too....but still, VW recommends they be replaced and I always replaced them

(although after so many times of opening the knuckle up or overstretching it with a strut spreader bit...it can stretch out the knuckle's opening and the clamping force isn't there 100% anymore, so you DO rely on the bolt to clamp the knuckle around the base of the strut)

My 2 cents
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snobrdrdan View Post
Yes, they are stretch bolts

I've replaced hundreds of them, seriously. On my own cars doing tons of swaps and also other people's cars. They're only $6/pair

Are they going to fall out or cause damage if not replaced...probably not.
There's still a lock nut holding it there, and also the clamping force of the knuckle holds the bottom of the strut in place too....but still, VW recommends they be replaced and I always replaced them

(although after so many times of opening the knuckle up or overstretching it with a strut spreader bit...it can stretch out the knuckle's opening and the clamping force isn't there 100% anymore, so you DO rely on the bolt to clamp the knuckle around the base of the strut)

My 2 cents
This. The clamping force of my front knuckles has diminished significantly. I don't even need a 2x4 anymore. Maybe the metalnerd bit is TOO big...and/or due to the fact that I've redone my suspension a few times.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammersticks View Post
Correct. I use the 2x4 method per above. There is no reason not to. I also did not replace any nuts/bolts on the rear based on the recommendation of others. 5k miles later and everything is fine.

Also, I don't know where you can buy all of those OEM nuts/bolts for $16. Screaming deal if that's true.



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I'm installing my ED Springs this weekend and this guide definitely helps. I've done installs before on my previous car (MKIV Jetta) so I'm not too worried about this install.

Question on the 2 x 4, does it matter if the one I have is 24"? I mean I seen people mentioned they have used 22" or so. I'm just wondering if 24" is too long.

Thanks, great write up!
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik View Post
I've removed my front struts 5-6 times, reused the pinch bolts and nut each time...


Nik, this is no debatable,there are facts to back this up, never advise people to do this just because you never had a problem. Those bolts are reasonably priced and it is a good idea to replace them.


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