VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 206 Posts

679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
**If anyone spots any errors or has suggestions for improvements, please let me know.
Before I start, big thanks to my buddy Brian for helping with the install and taking all the pictures. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Before installing my Koni Coilovers on my 2008 GTI, I found there was a lack of a truly comprehensive DIY for the install. Therefore, I decided to write this DIY for anyone who likes as detailed instructions as I do when working on their car.
I basically compiled information from the following sources for instructions when installing mine. Thanks to the creators of each of the sites/posts below:
**Disclaimer: Although I tried to get the most correct information as possible, I am not responsible for any misinformation presented here. Modify and work on your car at your own risk and be sure to take the proper safety precautions and wear proper safety equipment. This DIY is to be used as a guide only!
Additional Items Needed:
- New front axle bolts - Order these from your local dealer. They do not carry them in stock.
- Lithium Grease – Can be purchased from any auto parts store like Autozone.
-It may also be a good idea to replace the strut mounts and bearings, especially if you have a higher mileage car (I decided not to replace mine). Thanks to GT17V for the part numbers:
Strut Bearing: 6N0 412 249 C
Strut Mount: 1K0 412 331 B
Rear Shock Mount: 1K0 513 353 G
Special Tools Needed:
The following three can be sourced from Metalnerd here: http://www.metalnerd.com/cat05.htm
- Specialty Double 21 & 22 mm Strut Nut Sockets
- Strut Spreader Bit
- 14 mm 12 point (triple square) driver
-An alternative to the double 21 & 22mm Strut Nut Sockets is found on the PureMS website: http://www.purems.com/products/page.php?pageKey=23
- Spring compressor tool – this can be rented for free at Autozone (you pay for the tool and they refund your money when you bring it back)
- Axle puller
Other Non Common Tools Needed:
- 27 mm socket
- 21 mm socket
- 12 point 24 mm socket
In addition to these tools you will need and assortment of standard sockets, wrenches, etc. Scuba2001 has a complete list in his thread: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2213232
Torque Specs
Lug Bolts: 120NM
Top nut on front strut: 60NM
Three 13mm bolts holding front strut assembly to strut tower: 15NM+90 degrees
Three 16mm ball joint nuts: 60NM
Swaybar endlink nut: 65NM
19mm bolt connecting rear control arm and hub assembly: 90NM+90 degrees
Top nut on rear strut: 45NM
Axle bolt: 27mm hex head: 200NM+180 degrees
Axle bolt: 24mm triple square: 70NM+90 degrees
Technically you should replace all bolts that have a torque spec with an additional rotation as these are usually stress bolts. The only bolt I replaced was the axle bolts. It is up to your discretion.

**Note: The following instructions describe the method with removing the axles. While this method makes it easier to get the strut out, you have to replace the axle bolts. It is possible to remove the front struts without removing the axles. Basically follow the same directions as below, but do not loosen the axle bolt and do not pull the axle. When trying this on a friend's car, I found it easiest to separate the ball joint from the control arm. Then step (jump) on the rotor/hub to separate it from the strut.
1. Park the car and pull the parking brake.
2. Loosen the lug bolts and front axle bolts while there is still weight on the wheels. Use the 27 mm socket for the axle bolt (some may have the 12 pt 24mm bolt). You need to first remove the center cap on the wheel to access the axle bolt.

3. With the lug bolts loosened and the front axle bolts loosened, raise the car (pop the hood before you do). I was fortunate to have access to a 4 point lift so I raised the entire car at once. If using a floor jack and jack stands, refer to the following post for jack point locations and procedure:
4. With the car in the air, remove the lug bolts and wheels. Position the wheels in such a way that you remember where to put them back on, unless you are rotating the wheels or something.
5. Start on one side of the car. I started with the driver side and therefore these pics are from the driver side. Remove the brake sensor wires.

6. Remove the 18 mm nut holding the swaybar endlink to the strut body. Swing the endlink out of way when free.

7. Remove the HID leveler arm. I believe these were only on the front and rear drivers side. Make sure to note the orientation of the arm before removing. Use a 10mm socket remove the nut at the joint and use needle nose pliers to hold the nut in between from spinning.

8. Remove the M14 triple square pinch bolt at the bottom of the strut. Hold the 18mm nut on the other end of the bolt.

9. Remove the 3 16mm nuts holding the ball joint to the control arm.

10. Remove the axle bolt. You should have already loosened it at this point.
11. Use the strut spreader bit to expand the hub around the bottom of the strut. Insert the bit into the slot around the area the pinch bolt was. Then turn the bit 90 degrees to open up the gap and in effect, release the hubs clamp on the bottom of the strut. Leave the spreader bit in while you follow the next few steps.

12. Separate the ball joint from the control arm. This will take a little force and maneuvering around. I found it easiest to push down on the control arm while using a flathead screwdriver to pry between the ball joint and the control arm.

13. Use an axel puller to remove the axle from the hub. Be careful not to damage the splines on the end of the axle or in the hub. I was lucky enough to not have to use an axle puller cause my car is relatively new and has rarely driven in any rain (I live in the desert). Therefore, I do not have any pics of this process.
14. Now the axle should be free, the ball joint separated from the control arm, and the hub loose around the bottom of the strut. The next step is to remove the hub from the bottom of the strut. This may take a little force and maneuvering. (If you are having trouble, Dan GSR suggested removing the brake caliper and rotor as it makes the assembly lighter and less cumbersome. Sorry, no instructions for this, but it's pretty easy)
Note: There is a tab on the bottom of the strut which aligns the strut with the split in the hub. This tab may be impeded by the spreader bit depending on where you placed it. If so, try putting the spreader bit lower in the split so the tab can move freely past it.
Once you separate everything, either suspend the hub with rope or rest it on something. I rested it on a wheel chock that was nearby. DO NOT put any stress on the brake lines.
Now the stock spring and shock assembly should be free

15. Under the hood, remove the rubber strip attached to the rain try and pull slightly up on the rain tray to expose the strut tower. Be careful not to break the rain tray. Remove the three 13mm bolts holding the strut assembly to the tower. Be sure to hold the assembly as it will fall once the 3 bolts are removed.

16. Once you remove the strut/spring assembly, be sure to note the orientation of the strut mount with respect to the car. There are 2 arrows pointing to the front and rear of the car on top of the strut mount. In the picture below with the assembly out of the car, the arrows are on the right side of the strut mount pointing to the front and rear. I am pointing towards the front of the car and the car is located to the right.

17. Now, disassemble the stock spring/strut assembly. First, use your spring compressors to compress the spring until the strut mount moves freely (independent of the spring).

18. Remove the 21 mm nut on top of the stock strut. Use the 21mm side of the specialty tool double sided socket. Then pass a 7mm allen socket on the end of an extension through the double sided socket. This prevents the strut shaft from spinning while removing the 21 mm nut.

19. Once the strut nut is removed, remove the spring and carefully remove the spring compressors. You will reuse the stock strut mount and bearing.
20. Assemble the new strut/shock assembly. First, coat the threads on the strut with lithium grease. Thread the collar and locking plate all the way down.
(Yes, I know this picture is just begging for a hilarious caption)

21. Put the white split washer on the strut followed by the new bumpstop, and then the dust cover.

22. Compress the new spring and place it on top of the strut so the bottom of the spring rests on the adjustable collar. Then place the stock strut mount and bearing on top. Then place the new provided lock washer and nut on top of the strut to hold the assembly in place. Make sure the spring and all components are in the orientation shown.

23. Tighten the nut on top of the strut to 60NM. Use the double sided strut socket with a torque wrench connected to it at a 90 degree angle (the instructions for the double socket say the torque read by the wrench is approximately correct when placed this way). Then use a driver with an extension and 11mm deep socket to pass through the open socket. This prevents the strut from turning when tightening down the top nut. (sorry, I don’t have picture of this but it is much like the one found in step 18.
24. Remove the spring compressor and make sure the spring is seated on the bottom collar and upper strut mount. At this point, I adjusted the height on the strut so I would not have to do it while it was on the car. I spun the collar 10 full turns up from the bottom. Make a mark on the collar to make it easier to count the number of turns. Using the provided wrench, tighten the collar against the locking plate.

25. Reinstall the new assembly. Make sure the strut mount is aligned correctly as described in step 16. Install and tighten the three 13mm strut tower bolts to 15NM + 90 degrees. Reattach raintray.

26. Now you need to reassemble the 3 major components: the ball joint back onto the control arm, the axle back into the hub, and the bottom of the strut back into the hub. This is difficult and requires a lot of maneuvering the various components around. I found it easiest to do it in this order:
- Reconnect the ball joint to the control arm (place ball joint studs through holes in control arm). Hand tighten the 16mm nuts.
- Place the bottom of the strut in the hub (it does not need to be all the way down in at this point). At the same time, slide the axle back into the hub.
- Thread the new axle bolt into the axle and lightly tighten to help pull the axle through. (make sure the splines are lined up as to not damage them).
-Now push the hub all the way up onto the strut. The tab on the bottom of the new strut has a cutout for the pinch bolt. Push the strut into the hub until the cutout lines up with the holes in the hub for the pinch bolt. You may need to jack up on the control arm to get it seated all the way.
- You may also need to relocate the spreader bit so that it clears the tab on the new strut.
- Once the strut is properly seated in the hub, remove the spreader bit.

27. Tighten three 16mm ball joint bolts to 60NM.

28. Install M14 pinch bolt and 18mm nut at bottom of strut/hub. Torque to 70NM+90 degrees.

29. Reattach HID leveler arm using 10mm socket and needle nose pliers. The joint in the leveler arm should be pointing towards the driver side.

30. Reattach brake sensor wires.
31. Do not reattach swaybar endlink until the reverse side is completed. Do the other side and reattach the swaybar endlink in the same order as removed. Torque the 18mm nut to 65NM.

32. Mount the wheel and tighten the lug bolts. (keep the wheel center cap off to get access to the axle bolt.
Edit* Step 32.5
mrbeefy2 noted that the Bentley manual says to torque the axel bolts with weight off wheels:
mrbeefy2: The axle bolt should be torqued while the wheel is in the air to 180 NM or 200NM (depending on which part of the Bentley manual you follow) then + 180 degree turn when the wheel is on the ground. They say the wheel bearings can be predamaged otherwise.
33. Lower the car just enough to get weight on the wheels and tighten the lug bolts to 120NM.
Edit* see statement above regarding this step-- Then tighten the axle bolt. If using the 27mm hex head bolt, torque to 200NM + 180 degrees. If using the triple square 24mm bolt, tighten to 70NM + 90 degrees.
Follow the same directions for the opposite side. Just remember to go back and connect the swaybar link on the first side you did.
34. Once you are finished with the front you can adjust the dampening with the supplied knob from Koni. Turn clockwise for softer and counter clockwise for firmer. DanGSR suggests ½ turn from full soft in the front for best handling.

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 4:47 AM 4-7-2009

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 5:27 AM 4-7-2009

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 5:48 AM 4-8-2009

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 11:09 PM 5-3-2009

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 7:08 PM 11-25-2009

679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Koni Coilover Install DIY (mxpx09rawker)

1. Loosen the lug bolts, jack up the rear of the car, and remove the wheels.
2. Remove any brake sensor wires.
3. Remove the HID leveler arm (driver side). Make note of its orientation. Use a 10mm socket and needle nose pliers.

4. Remove the two 16mm bolts from the shock tower mount.

5. Place a jack under the control arm and lift only slightly.
6. Remove the 18mm bolt and 18mm nut connecting the control arm to the hub assembly. Raise and lower the jack slightly to get the best alignment so that you can remove the 18mm bolt easily.
(sorry I forgot to take a picture of this so this is the best I can do)

7. Carefully lower the jack until the spring is loose. Make note of how the stock spring sits in the recess in the bottom of the control arm. Remove the stock spring and rubber mount.
8. Remove the 21mm nut holding the bottom of the strut to the hub assembly and remove the strut assembly.

9. Place the stock strut mount in a vice. Remove the black cap and remove the nut on top of the stock strut. To do this I first used an impact gun to loosen the nut. Then, I used a pair of vice grips to hold the nut and a pair of pliers to hold the top of the shaft so it would not spin. The ideal tool for this would be a deep socket box wrench instead of vice grips.

10. Remove the stock bumpstop and dust cover from the stock strut as you will use this on the new assembly
11. Before assembling the new strut, adjust the dampening as you will not be able to do so when it is installed in the car. Do this by pushing the strut shaft all the way into the strut body. Then slightly turn the shaft using a 7mm allen on the top until you feel it “click” into some grooves. Once you have engaged the grooves, carefully rotate the strut shaft clockwise or counter clockwise to adjust the dampening. Clockwise is firmer and counter clockwise is softer. DanGSR suggests ¼ turn from full stiff for the rear.

12. Assemble the new strut. First slide on the new white split washer, followed by the bumpstop and dustcover.

13. Install the new strut assembly into the strut mount. Use the new 17mm nut provided and tighten down on the top of the strut. The tool is a deep socket 17mm box wrench and a 7mm allen socket. I did not have the deep socket wrench so I improvised as you can see in the pictures. Torque the top nut to 45NM.

14. Install new rear strut assembly. Tighten 21mm nut. I do not have torque specs for this.

15. Put lithium grease on the threads of the rear spring perches. Then wind the collar and locking plate to the desired height. I set mine with the threads all the way up (lowest setting)

16. Assemble the rear spring, perch, and plastic washers. Assemble in the order shown below. Make sure the spring is in the correct orientation.

17. Install the new spring. Place into the bottom of the control arm in the same orientation that the stock spring was. The bottom of the spring should look like this in the base of the control arm, so that the end of the spring rests against the nub the arrow is pointing to:

18. Jack up the control arm making sure the top of the spring and perch assembly sits correctly on the nub on the frame of the car.

19. Insert the 18mm bolt and 18mm nut connecting the control arm and hub assembly. Tighten to 90NM+90 degrees. Raise and lower the jack to make sure the holes line up and make it easier to install the bolt.

20. Install the 16mm bolts in the strut mount. I do not have torque specs for these.

21. Lower the jack.
22. Reattach the HID leveler arm (drivers side) using a 10mm socket and needle nose pliers. Make sure you have the correct orientation with the joint facing the drivers side.
23. Plug all the brake sensor wires back in.
The rear is now completed. You can switch over to the other side.

24. Once finished with both sides, mount the wheels and tighten down the lug bolts. Take the car off stands and torque the lug bolts to 120NM.
25. Stand back and admire your work!



Front (with 10 threads left):

Rear (all the way down with perches in):

And the Finished Product!

Make sure to get an alignment after about 100-200 miles of driving once the new coilovers have settled.
After going back and looking at these pics, I noticed that the front settled about another inch (tucking tire) and the rear settled about another 1/2 inch.

Modified by mxpx09rawker at 2:50 AM 1-14-2010

603 Posts
Re: Koni Coilover Install DIY (mxpx09rawker)

dont have time to read through it all but the detail in the install is really appreciated. thanks for taking the time. maybe I will be able to do an install like this myself

2,671 Posts
amazing write-up.

679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: FV-QR (itskv)

Quote, originally posted by itskv »
Will keep this bookmarked. For some reason it looks like your car isnt as low as other koni's??

If I took the perches out of the rear, I could get another 3/4" or so. I also have another 10 threads in the front, so another 1" maybe.
I don't want to be super low though. I just wanted to get rid of that fender gap. This is my ideal drop, although I might bring the front down a little.

679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: (ttempted)

Quote, originally posted by ttempted »
How long did this take to complete?

Waaaaaay too long! Haha.
It took approximately 7 hours. We spent alot of time taking pictures and this was also my first time doing this install so there was extra time for the learning curve as well.
If you subtract the time to take pictures and are well prepared before attempting the job (ie. have all the right tools/supplies and read the directions thoroughly), then I would estimate the job taking between 4-5 hours.

4,864 Posts

Best install DIY I've seen yet! It's good to see someone else that just slathers the whole strut body in grease, though it doesn't look like rust is going to be a big concern...

Those garages ya'll have access to must be one of the best perks of the job huh?

34,109 Posts
Excellent DIY!
Though... I would recommend buying new strut mounts/bearings & rear shock mounts.
It costs extra money. But since you paid good money for the Koni coilovers should replace them to prevent clunking later & you don't need to disassemble the stock components (maybe except to get the rear bumpstop)
might as well add the part numbers:
Strut Bearing: 6N0 412 249 C
Strut Mount: 1K0 412 331 B
Rear Shock Mount: 1K0 513 353 G

Modified by GT17V at 7:38 PM 4-6-2009
1 - 20 of 206 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.