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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Rear Shocks

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100 to $250

Talent:

**

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, 16mm socket, 16mm wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Golf GTI (1999-00)
VW Golf GTI 1.8T (2002-05)
VW Golf GTI 20th Anniversary (2003)
VW Golf GTI 337 (2002)
VW Golf GTI GLS (2001)
VW Golf GTI GLX (2000-01)
VW Golf GTI VR6 (2002-05)

Parts Required:

New shocks, mounting bolts

Hot Tip:

Check your bushings

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

New springs

The shocks on your car are an import component of the suspension system and along with the springs should checked at least once a year. You want to look for worn out bushings/mounts along with any damage including leaking oil. People also like to change out their shocks when performing suspension modifications on their cars. If you are interested in changing your shocks out for after market or a sportier model make sure you match up the springs to go with your new shocks. The shock and springs work in tandem and just changing one may result in worse performance than when you started.

There are two ways to change the shocks on a GTI Mark IV. If you are going to be changing or removing the springs as well please see our article on removing you springs and at the end of that just remove the lower 16mm nut and bolt combination on the bottom of the shock.

If you are just changing out shocks you will need to be able to lift the vehicle a little but you do not have to lift the wheel completely off the ground.

Begin by removing the two 16mm bolts holding the shock to the top of the wheelwell. Note: these bolts along with the lower one are single use only and should always be replaced.

Slowly lift the car until you decompress the suspension but do not lift the wheel completely off the ground.

Depending on where you live and the age of the car the lower mounting hardware may be severely corroded, check before you begin the job and hit the nut and bolt with some penetrating oil if needed. Remove the nut and bolt. You may need to slightly compress the shock to get it out of the car.

Inspect the lower bushing upper shock mount and bump stop along with looking for any excessive oil leaks.

If you are changing shocks remove the upper mounting bracket. Pry the upper cover off. Under the cover is where the top of the shock connects to the mount. Volkswagen recommends using special tools T10001/9, T10001/11 and T10001/1 to remove the shock but you may be able to do the job with a crescent and 16mm wrench.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Begin by removing the two 16mm bolts (red arrows) holding the shock to the top of the wheelwell.
Figure 1

Begin by removing the two 16mm bolts (red arrows) holding the shock to the top of the wheelwell. Note: these bolts along with the lower one are single use only and should always be replaced.

Slowly lift the car until you decompress the suspension (yellow arrows) but do not lift the wheel completely off the ground.
Figure 2

Slowly lift the car until you decompress the suspension (yellow arrows) but do not lift the wheel completely off the ground.

Depending on where you live and the age of the car the lower mounting hardware may be severely corroded, check before you begin the job and hit the nut and bolt with some penetrating oil if needed.
Figure 3

Depending on where you live and the age of the car the lower mounting hardware may be severely corroded, check before you begin the job and hit the nut and bolt with some penetrating oil if needed. Remove the nut and bolt (red arrows). You may need to slightly compress the shock to get it out of the car.

Inspect the lower bushing (red arrow), upper shock mount and bump stop (green arrow) along with looking for any excessive oil leaks (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Inspect the lower bushing (red arrow), upper shock mount and bump stop (green arrow) along with looking for any excessive oil leaks (yellow arrow).

If you are changing shocks remove the upper mounting bracket.
Figure 5

If you are changing shocks remove the upper mounting bracket. Pry the upper cover off. Under the cover is where the top of the shock connects to the mount. Volkswagen recommends using special tools T10001/9, T10001/11 and T10001/1 to remove the shock but you may be able to do the job with a crescent (yellow arrow) and 16mm (red arrow) wrench.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:34:49 AM