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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Shock Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100 to $300

Talent:

***

Tools:

16mm socket and wrench, vice grips, 18mm socket, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

VW Jetta GL (1999-05)
VW Jetta GLS (1999-05)
VW Jetta Wolfsburg (1999)

Parts Required:

Rear shocks

Hot Tip:

Use a floor jack to jack the shock up into position

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear springs

Replacing the rear shocks on your Mk4 Jetta is a pretty easy job for the do it yourselfer. In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the rear shocks along with the rear shock mount. This job can be performed without removing the rear springs. Unless you are replacing them with performance springs, I'd leave them in place.

Begin the job by jacking both rear wheels up and off the ground. See our article on Jacking up Your Mk4 Jetta for more information. Always wear safety glasses whenever you work under your car.

Loosen and remove the 16mm nut (green arrow) while holding the 16mm bolt (purple arrow) stationary.
Figure 1

Loosen and remove the 16mm nut (green arrow) while holding the 16mm bolt (purple arrow) stationary. Once free, remove the bolt and pull the bottom of the shock out of the mounting bracket by compressing it up with your hands.

Loosen and remove the two 16mm bolts (green arrows) holding the upper shock mount to the body of the car.
Figure 2

Loosen and remove the two 16mm bolts (green arrows) holding the upper shock mount to the body of the car. Now lower the shock out of the wheel housing. Note that when installing the new shock, you may need to attach the bottom bolt first. Then use a floor jack to lift the shock mount into position.

Pull the dust cover (green arrow) off the top of the old shock absorber.
Figure 3

Pull the dust cover (green arrow) off the top of the old shock absorber.

Underneath the dust cover is the mounting nut for the shock mount to the shock absorber.
Figure 4

Underneath the dust cover is the mounting nut for the shock mount to the shock absorber. If you are re-using the old mounts, use a pair of vise grips to hold the shock rod (purple arrow) stationary while you loosen and remove the 18mm mounting nut. You may need to use either an impact wrench or an offset wrench to get a firm enough grip. Once the nut is removed, transfer the mount (or use a new one) to the new shock absorber. Hold the shock rod stationary and tighten down the mounting nut until it stops. Installing the new shock is the reverse order of removal.


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