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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Installing: H&R Sport Springs
Time: who knows – I started and stopped a bunch but I’d put aside a whole day
Tools:
Various screw drivers?
Torx bits
Allen key bits (6mm 7mm)
18mm deep socket
16mm deep socket
13mm socket
18mm box wrench
Torque wrench
Ratchet
Breaker bar/pipe extension
M14 triple square
M10 triple square
Spring compressors
1 ¼” wrench for spring compressors
hydraulic jack
jack stands (2)
First measure the center of each wheel to the fender so you can measure your results later:
Fronts:
Loosen your lug bolts while the car is on the ground
Jack the car up one side at a time, and place on jack stands:

Remove wheels

Remove 18mm sway bar nut (do both sides at the same time)

Remove HID leveler link – drivers side only (I pryed off with 2 screwdrivers. You can also unscrew the bracket using a small torx bit)

Remove the Strut pinch bolt (M14 triple square socket and 18mm wrench)



Now for the spindle spreading… I didn’t buy the special tool, I used the 3/8 to ¼” adapter. It didn’t quite fit in there at first so I used a 6mm allen key socket to open it just a hair, then fit the ¼” adapter in there and turned to spread:

Undo the 3 bolts on top of the strut by lifting up the plastic tray over them (13mm socket)

Now that you can turn the strut assembly, the fun really begins (extreme sarcasm)
I started with the passenger side since it’s easier.
I undid the 3 bolts in the triangle shape at the bottom end of the control arm to give some more room to work with the whole assembly (16mm deep socket)
Turning the wheel, pushing, pulling, cursing, and some use of a rubber mallet will allow you to remove the passenger side strut assembly.

Now for the drivers side: Because of the location of the transmission, there isn’t as much room as the passenger side so some additional steps are required. Doing all the same things as the passenger side, I still had at least 1” to go to get the strut out. This is where some remove the axle. I didn’t want to do that so I removed the 6 bolts from the transmission to the axle (M10 triple square). To get the to bolts easier, you can remove the plastic protection on the inside of the fender with a couple torx screws. After undoing that, I could slip the strut assembly out no problem. Remember to not let the rotor and caliper assembly just hang, support it with anything you have like your jack or a piece of wood.


Now that you have both struts out, bust out the spring compressor and your 1 ¼” wrench. Compress the stock springs on the strut assembly. Once they’re compressed enough to turn slighty in the strut, remove the top part of the strut with a 7mm allen key and a 21mm socket. I made a special tool to do this, but some buy the 21mm/22mm double ended socket tool for $40 from metalnard.

Take off the rubber bushing on the top, slip off the springs and again take off the spring compressors. Put the spring compressors on the new springs and compress down enough to get on the strut assembly. Installation is the reverse of the taking the strut assemblies apart.

Once everything is set to go back on the car, I started with the passenger side again. Turning the wheel and using all the mobility you can get will allow you to slide the strut back into the housing using the strut spreader tool again (1/4” adapter).
There is where having two people really helps. You have to hold the strut assembly up while trying to maneuver the wheel hub underneath to fit. Both pieces weigh a lot so doing this yourself is tough. Once you have everything set, reinstall your 3 13mm bolts on top and take out you strut spreader tool, and reconnect the 3 control arm bolts.

Back to the drivers side. After the new strut/spring are in, connect the rod and boot back to the transmission using the 6 bolts you took out. Using the star tightening technique and working the brake on the car (in neutral, to turn the shaft for easier access to the bolts and to brake when tightening them), torque them to the correct specs and make sure they are seated properly. Put in the 3 bolts on top of the strut (13mm), and re-attached the control arm with the bottom 3 bolts in a triangle (16mm).

Re-attach you sway bar links (both sides), re-attach your HID leveler, and make sure all your bolts are torqued down correctly. I’m not going to include all the torque specs because they are on the DIY page under suspension. Put your front wheels on and lower the car off the stands.
On to the rears:
Jack up the car and put on stands. Undo the bolt holding the control arm/spring to the wheel hub (18mm) Make sure you have a hydraulic jack under this arm with pressure. DO NOT try to remove this bolt without the jack in place. After the bolt is out, slowly lower the jack to relieve the spring of it’s compression. Take out the old, put in the new. Put the bolt back in, torque down, and repeat similarly on the other side. Only the drivers side again has the HID leveler arm/bracket on the control arm. If you’re changing the rear strut too, there’re two bolts on top to undo and one holding the strut to the wheel rotor assembly.


Here’s my results:
Before measuring from the center of the wheel to the fender lip
Front Left 14.75”
Front Right 14.75”
Rear Left 14.5”
Rear Right 14.5”
Pics:



After measuring the same way
Front Left 13.5”
Front Right 13.5”
Rear Left 13.5”
Rear Right 13.5”
Pics:




H&R Sport Springs on 2008 GTI TSI 6-speed
After driving around on them for a day, they settled to the heights you see. Just after lowering the car back on the ground after installation, the rears were a little high and needed some driving encouragement.
Tips/comments:
I did this all by myself, some friends to help will absolutely make this easier and shave some time as will air tools.
Stuff I wrote here is my opinion, if you did it otherwise and think differently, that’s fine. I just wrote this up to help some people out, not to dispute the correct or incorrect way to do it. Maybe this could be put in the DIY as an alternative to removing the axle bolts?
Get your alignment checked after a week or so
Make sure the bolts are torqued correctly and replaced if they are stretch bolts

Hope this can help at least one person!
http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: DIY: H&R Spring Install (lonepatrone)

I undid the cv joints as well instead of removing the axle bolt when I did the install of my suspension. Much easier and no worry about having to torque the axle bolt to the right spec.
 

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Re: DIY: H&R Spring Install (Tooly)

Great write-up! I've been on the fence about doing my own but after looking at your install I'm definitely going to do it. I too don't understand why people remove the axle bolt instead of the CV joint from the transmission. I know it's more to remove, but I think it's easier than the axle bolt method. My only question to the OP is why didn't you remove the passenger side CV connection as well?
 

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excellent job... the rear seems to be a piece of cake compared to the front!
should be the exact same thing on a Rabbit, only minor difference would be the HID auto-leveler thingy, which we don't have.
I've been going back and forth as for doing this myself or not... kinda convinced me to try it on my own! I got the exact same springs for the Bunny (the GTi ones).
Did you look at the springs closely? is it me or they are dark blue, not black?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: DIY: H&R Spring Install (nmcp1)

To answer some questions from previous replies... I only undid the CV joint on the drivers side because I felt it wasn't necessary to remove on the passenger side because I could remove the strut assembly without detaching it. I only had to turn the wheel and work stuff back and forth a little bit. (Also, the CV joint on the drivers side is easier to get to and is not right under the middle of the car).
The color of the springs is a dark metallic blue. I noticed that when I first got them, and it's even more evident in the pictures with flash.
Glad this is helping some people out!
 

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FV-QR

go back and replace those inner cv bolts you took out.
otherwise you'll have black grease all over the underside of the car. they are one time use.
for all future installers reading this diy:
do not remove the inner cv, those are much more sensitive to the correct amount of torque than the other bolts are.
 

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Re: FV-QR (b0mb3r)

Quote, originally posted by b0mb3r »
really? even if you don't use proper torque wrench? I removed axle bolts twice and both times it was a PITA.

the inner bolts are very sensitive, i have had mine come loose and have the cv joint spit grease everywhere. it is much safer to just remove the outer bolt and just replace it with a newone.
its rather easy to guess the torque on the older (hex head) axle bolts, assuming you weigh around 150-180 pounds, you mark off a location 1 foot on yoru breaker bar, put it paralell to the ground, and stand on it, repeat until the bar moves no more, and then you stretch the bolt 180 degrees.
with the newer bolt, i have found that torqueing the bolt down with a regular 1/2" drive ratchet until you cant anymore, and then stretch it 90 degrees.
those are fairly good estimates for when you do not have a torque wrench, but they are not a replacement to torque wrenches, and you should not reuse those bolts.
 

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Re: DIY: H&R Spring Install (MCPorsche993)

http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: FV-QR (dubsker)

Quote, originally posted by dubsker »

the inner bolts are very sensitive, i have had mine come loose and have the cv joint spit grease everywhere. it is much safer to just remove the outer bolt and just replace it with a newone.
its rather easy to guess the torque on the older (hex head) axle bolts, assuming you weigh around 150-180 pounds, you mark off a location 1 foot on yoru breaker bar, put it paralell to the ground, and stand on it, repeat until the bar moves no more, and then you stretch the bolt 180 degrees.
with the newer bolt, i have found that torqueing the bolt down with a regular 1/2" drive ratchet until you cant anymore, and then stretch it 90 degrees.
those are fairly good estimates for when you do not have a torque wrench, but they are not a replacement to torque wrenches, and you should not reuse those bolts.

I followed the tightening pattern and torque specs from the service manual when I did the bolts on my cv joints and no issues. I'll take my chances with that rather than standing on a breaker bar to try to get the axle bolts tight enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: (diesel86)

Some replies to the comments. I used a torque wrench for everything. Inner CV bolts or axle bolts, you still use a torque wrench so i preferred the CV bolts. No problems so far ~300 miles later. Doing for an alignment check on Friday, i'll let you guys know how far or if it was off at all. I'm not worried with anything about the CV joint bolts.

As for the ride: Aside from the fact that I absolutely love the stance now, it rides really good still too. The stock GTI suspension wasn't the softest thing ever so comparing the new springs to the old, the ride is only a tad rougher. Nothing that I would even consider to be a major change. It's lower, it's stiffer, of course it's going to be a little rougher, not bad at all though. Less body roll, and less movement of the car front to back when off the line and upshifting.
Thanks for the comments guys
 
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