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 HOR sport springs. They lower the car approx.
1.25 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
- 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
- Remove the wheel, making sure to support the vehicle with a jackstand.
- Unclip the ABS wire from the strut, and push the brake line out of it's bracket on the strut case.
- 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.
- 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.
- Compress the spring w/ a spring compressor until it's loose
in the spring seat.
- Now that the spring's compressed, you can remove the upper spring perch retaining nut.
- Remove the spring from the strut assembly, and decompress.
- Take a break and have a beer, that's a lotta work so far.
- Allright, back to work. Decompress the old spring, and compress the new one.
- Fit the new, compressed spring over the strut, and reinstall the upper spring perch retaining nut.
- 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.
- Now all you have to do is reinstall the strut assembly in the reverse order from disassembly.
- Repeat for the other side of the car, and congratulations, the worst part is over.
And now....for the back (the easy part)