Volllkswagen Cabriolllet DIY Guide Replllaciiing the Rear Shock Absorbers
This how-to was originally hosted at VWvortex.com's ZeroForum and was posted by "tolusina". The original link no longer exists, but is cached; the new URL should be http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?1769448 .
Starting with a MAJOR SAFETY DISCLAIMER: The procedures following regarding spring removal are only KNOWN to work safely on VW A1 chassis REAR shocks/struts. They may work on other vehicles, do so at your own risk unless you know for certain they are safe. These spring removal procedures ARE NOT SAFE FOR FRONT SPRING REMOVAL, severe personal/personnel injury and/or property damage including but not limited to DEATH or WORSE are possible using these techniques on other than REAR Shocks/Struts on VW A1 chassis!!!!!!!!!
Having said all that, just making sure there is no misunderstanding; author has performed this procedure many times during his career as a professional VW tech and has never had a safety issue, not even a close call. Most recent personal application of this procedure was this past Wednesday, 05 January, 2005; again, no sweat at all.
This procedure also assumes factory stock springs, hardware and configuration. Boge shocks are exact fit, excepting the Allen wrench needed for the fronts; stock is 7mm, Boge is 6mm. KYB's are very close to factory configuration, or were when I last did them several years ago. IMO, KYB's are too stiff for street driven Cabbies; Boge Turbo Gas really are a GAS!
Jack and jack stands
Chocks for front wheels
Minimum wrenches would be a pair of 17mm open ends, combination wrenches preferred; 17mm deep well
socket and driver is deluxe
You may need a hammer and a long drift punch capable of driving a 10mm bolt through a bushing
Best with a helper; no beer additives, please
Notice no spring compressor is listed, A1 REARS ONLY!
A creeper is nice
Bentley Service Manual might help
Break loose the lugs in preparation for wheel removal.
Jack the rear of the car, set the jack stands under the main body pinch welds on the side of the car, wooden blocks are good, wood grain at 90 degrees to the pinch. If you put the slot of the stands under the vertical plate of the axle beam, the slots will prevent the axle from moving down when we need it to. Same for putting the stands anywhere under the axle beam, we will need the suspension hanging free. Give the car a GOOD SHAKE after it is on the stands, making certain it is stable and cannot fall on you as you work underneath.
To make sure we won't get stuck later on and have to put it all back together in frustration, we'll jump ahead a little in preparation for later. Get under the car with a pair of 17's, loosen the lower shock mounting nut, then make sure you can turn the bolt. This is the part that hung me up when I tried to change mine at home with hand tools, the bolt had rusted/frozen to the inside of the steel sleeve inside the rubber bushing. If the bolt won't turn, try gentle "persuasion" with a drift and hammer on the threaded end of the bolt, leave the nut in place while doing so. If you mushroom the
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Replacing the Rear Shocks