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  Do it Yourself: Sport Spring Installation

How to?
Here's a short description how I did it. Take your time for it and enjoy!

Sport Spring Installation

One of the best things you can do to improve the handling of your VW is the installation of aftermarket springs/shocks. There's a lot to pick from when you start shopping, and many good combinations. The best one would be a coilover set, but these are very expensive. The next option is a set of springs, and shocks build for use with lowering springs. However, this will still set you back some serious cash. Personally, I chose to keep the stock shocks (for now) and use a set of JAMEX sport springs. They lower the car approx. 1.50 inches, and offer greatly improved handling characteristics over the factory springs.
While this project doesn't require any special training, I strongly urge the inexperienced to have this done by a professional (I don't plan on doing it again). Spring compressors must be used, along with some fairly specialized tools which can be hard to find. In addition, my set did not include instructions. So if you're feeling adventurous, read on!

What You'll Need

·         Jackstands

·         Spring compressors

·         (2)18mm wrenches or sockets

·         10mm allen head socket

·         10mm wrench

·         17mm wrench

·         22mm or 7/8" offset wrench

·         21mm or 11/16" offset wrench

·         breaker bar

Note this is a list of tools used for my 98 GTI. Your VW may be different, and it's entirely possible I have forgotten a wrench/socket.

OK, lets get down to business...Starting with the front

1.       Remove the wheel, making sure to support the vehicle with a jackstand.

2.       Unclip the ABS wire from the strut, and push the brake line out of it's bracket on the strut case.

3.       Remove the two bolts from the lower strut mounting point. (see photo) This is where the breaker bar comes in because these bolts are Very tight. You'll need to hold the bolt head in place w/ one 18mm while turning the nut w/ the other.

4.       Place the 22mm offset wrench onto the upper pillowball nut; and insert the 10mm allen head socket into the top of the strut. The allen socket is needed to keep the strut from spinning. Now remove the upper mounting nut.The strut assembly can now be removed from the car. !!!DO NOT REMOVE THE SECOND NUT AT THIS TIME!!! Removing the second nut now can result in Serious injury.

5.       Compress the spring w/ a spring compressor until it's loose in the spring seat.

6.       Now that the spring's compressed, you can remove the upper spring perch retaining nut.

7.       Remove the spring from the strut assembly, and decompress.

8.       Take a break and have a beer, that's a lotta work so far.

9.   Allright, back to work. Decompress the old spring, and compress the new one.

10.   Fit the new, compressed spring over the strut, and reinstall the upper spring perch retaining nut.

11.   Make sure the new spring is seated in the lower spring perch in the same place the old one was seated. You'll be able to see a mark on the lower perch. Decompress the new spring.

12.   Now all you have to do is reinstall the strut assembly in the reverse order from disassembly.

13.   Repeat for the other side of the car, and congratulations, the worst part is over.

Rear Spring Installation

1.       OK, so raise the car and remove the wheel, yada, yada. I found it was better to use the factory jack on the rear instead of a floorjack, because you want the suspension unloaded (no weight on it) when you take off the shock assembly.

2.       Open the rear hatch and remove the luggage cover.

3.       Remove the black plastic side shelf which goes over the top of the strut tower. Do this by removing the 2 10mm nuts: one's at the inside edge of the strut tower, and the other's at the back wall of the hatch. You'll also have to unplug the trunk light.

4.       Remove the black rubber cover from the top of the strut.

5.       Remove the upper mounting nut and the upper pillowball.

6.       Remove the lower mounting bolt at the bottom of the shock assembly. There may be a plastic cover which you'll have to snap off in order to get your wrench onto the bolt. Again, get a breaker bar, as this bolt is very tight. It will also be a bit difficult to get the bolt out of the bracket because the shock is applying pressure to it.

7.       Now the rear assembly is loose and ready to be removed from the car... if you can. I couldn't get mine out of the fenderwell and had to do the rest of these steps inside the fender.

8.       Compress the spring.

9.       Remove the second retaining nut from the top of the strut. This will be Much easier than the front one was!

10.   Remove the spring and decompress.

11.   Fit the new spring over the strut. It isn't necessary to compress the new one.

Now all you have to do is reassemble everything in the reverse order of disassembly, and you're done!

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Do it Yourself: Sport Spring Installation

Do it Yourself: Frequently asked.. Part 3

Do it Yourself: Frequently asked.. Part 2

Do it Yourself: Frequently asked..Part 1


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