VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
1,229 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following are some details on my H&R OE/Bilstein Sport install that I completed today.
I decided to remove the strut and upper suspension arms as one assembly. Doing it this way made it much easier to remove the lower strut bolt and it did not leave any marks in the engine compartment. On my Passat the plastic covers in the engine compartment are painted over and the covers themselves look like something the dealer would have to order. Looking back on it I’d say this way is quite a bit more easy.
The lower strut bolt on the driver’s side came out without a problem once I turned the steering wheel all the way to the left and gave it a little tap with a screwdriver on the back of the head. The right side was more of a pain until I removed the top three bolts on the assembly along with popping out the upper arms. This allowed me to rotate the suspension and remove the lower bolt.
I made the mistake of putting the spring compressor on the bottom four coils of the springs. If you do this the compressor will get stuck in in between the coils once everything is assembled. On the right side I put it on the bottom three coils and it worked fine. You can tell the top and bottom of the OE springs because the writing on the coils should be right side up.
The spring perch on my Bilsteins was about ¼ of an inch lower than the OEM struts. The shaft on the Bilsteins also was ¼ of an inch higher when you stood the two up side by side.
I made a discovery at Sears for a replacement to the special VW tool used to tighten the top strut assembly nut. They sell an 18MM spark plug socket that has a 13/16ths nut ground into the top of it. I picked one of these up along with a 6MM allen wrench to hold the strut. Put the spark plug socket on the wrench, put a 13/16ths box end wrench on the socket, and drop your allen wrench through the hole. This worked like a champ!
I would definitely recommend fellow B5rs at least rent an electric impact wrench for this job. Compressing and decompressing the springs took up the most time and was the biggest PITA of this whole job. It would also help if you had someone who had done it before there to help.
Doing the front suspension on this car was only a little bit more difficult than one with MacPherson struts. The only additional step is taking apart the strut/upper arm assembly.
I’ve had the rear suspension installed for about two months already and have probably put a 150 miles on the car since. Now that I have the front suspension on I am really pleased with the feel of the car. It is amazing how well this car responds to suspension modifications! I’ve only driven it five miles or so since completing everything. I wouldn’t describe the ride as being harsh but it definitely is not floaty either. I’d say it is along the same lines as the ‘02 A4 with the sport package.
Once I put a few more miles on it I’ll post some before and after pics. For a preview my car had a 4 to 5 finger gap in the rear with the same in front before. Now it has a 3 finger gap all the way around. I suppose the front might settle a little more with some miles.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.