head of the bolt, you'll have big trouble getting the nut back on, also it may not pass through the steel sleeve. If you can't get the bolt to turn with gentle "persuasion", stop, button it up and take the car to a shop where they can loosen it with air tools, then come back and pick up from here.
If you really force turning these bolts and manage to break the sleeve loose from the rubber, the lower shock eye will have to be cut for removal and new bolts acquired, we hate when THAT happens. Hopefully your bolts have turned easily, let's continue, the rest is CAKE!!
Cabby top down, rear windows down, back seat forward; that was easy. On both sides, behind the rear seat, find the black artichoke (but smooth) shaped rubber cones and remove them. They have a groove inside the bottom that fits over a lip on the body. Bare or gloved hands, maybe a little screwdriver help, that was easy #2.
Under the artichokes you'll see the top of the shock shafts. Any rust, clean it now, a little WD40 love would be good. Loosen the nuts you see on the top of the shafts and unscrew them to the top of the shaft leaving the full thickness of the nut still engaged, no worries, we are nowhere near releasing spring pressure yet. If the nuts don't turn freely on the threaded shafts, there are flats on the top of the shaft for holding with an open end. Easy #3.
Rear wheels off by now, ONE SHOCK AT A TIME, off and back on before you proceed to the other side, okay? Time to take out the bottom bolt we loosened above. Shove the axle down to free the bottom of the shock, wrestle the bottom end clear of it's lower mount, might be helper time. Easy #4.
Stand up, reach in the wheel well, grab the strut by the spring with one hand, reach over the rear window with the other hand and take the top nut all the way off, the whole strut is now is your hand, big grin time, say "Easy #5".
Here is the A1 rear shock specific part and explanation. With stock springs (aftermarket springs maybe), the front's have so much energy stored under compression they cannot be compressed and/or controlled by hand, you can literally die trying. Our rear shocks are very easily controlled by hand and you should be convinced by the time it matters. THIS IS THE TIME FOR A HELPER if you have never done this before; three hands are good, four may be needed.
Time to loosen the top nut that holds the top spring seat, I SAID LOOSEN!! One of the two of you holds down the top spring seat, compressing the spring and releasing tension from the nut, you may need a fourth hand and wrench to keep the shaft from turning. Get the nut to the top but not off and both of you relax a minute and look at what is happening, it really is safe. If it was dangerous, removal of this last nut would be the moment of hazard. Recognize that one person can easily compress and control the spring; it goes back together just as safely and easily. Once YOU BOTH ARE CONVINCED it is safe to proceed, one pushes down on the top spring seat compressing the spring, the other takes the nut OFF, the spring holder now relaxes slowly and lifts the spring and seat off of the strut housing, noting or marking which way is up before setting it down. Note the arrangement of spacers and washers; Bentley has a good blow up diagram. Big Grins #2, High Fives, Easy #6.
Also make note of how the ends of the spring spiral nest into the spring seats so you can put it all back the same way.
Assuming a stock hardware configuration as my Boge Turbo Gas shocks are (EXACT FIT!!), there is a washer with a groove, the groove sits on a snap ring on the shaft, the dust sleeve/snubber is below that. Switch this stuff over to the new shock, set the spring in place, compress the spring with seat, put the top nut on and put it all together. Easy #7.
Repeat on the other side, drive. Easy #8.
It took longer to write this up than it takes to do the job.
* Remember, you are responsible for working on your car; Cabby-Info.com, "tolusina", VAG, VWoA, or anyone else
are not responsible if anything goes wrong while you are working on, in and under your car! Use this information at your own risk!* *
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Replacing the Rear Shocks