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I haven't driven a lowered car in in nearly 20 years (I'm 39). Last time it was a saturn sl1 slammed on those generic adjustable sleeves. Bought it that way. Mistake. Rubbed everywhere and bounced all over the damned place.

This car drives way better obviously but man, I still need to re-adjust my driving style. I've been plowing through/over everything at stock height on balloon tires for a long time. Looking at speedbumps/dips quite a bit different lol. It ain't all that hard to hit the bump stops in the front and damn those things are hard. Luckily the road around me is pretty good so there's only a couple spots i have to be careful.
 

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I haven't driven a lowered car in in nearly 20 years (I'm 39). Last time it was a saturn sl1 slammed on those generic adjustable sleeves. Bought it that way. Mistake. Rubbed everywhere and bounced all over the damned place.

This car drives way better obviously but man, I still need to re-adjust my driving style. I've been plowing through/over everything at stock height on balloon tires for a long time. Looking at speedbumps/dips quite a bit different lol. It ain't all that hard to hit the bump stops in the front and damn those things are hard. Luckily the road around me is pretty good so there's only a couple spots i have to be careful.




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You gotta take it all apart again, unfortunately

That said....did you trim your bump stops (front & rear), or use shorter ones, when you did the spring install?

I'd reuse the strut mounts...just get new bearings (these are the OEM supplier to VW, minus the VW price markup):

Dude, I've been thinking about this for a long while now and just can't understand how the stock ones have gone "bad". What exactly is causing them to pop and why would new ones not pop when they are the exact same thing doing the exact same job considering the original ones were still good when I swapped everything?
 

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You gotta take it all apart again, unfortunately

That said....did you trim your bump stops (front & rear), or use shorter ones, when you did the spring install?

I'd reuse the strut mounts...just get new bearings (these are the OEM supplier to VW, minus the VW price markup):

Dude, I've been thinking about this for a long while now and just can't understand how the stock ones have gone "bad". What exactly is causing them to pop and why would new ones not pop when they are the exact same thing doing the exact same job considering the original ones were still good when I swapped everything?
Just got a 2012 Passat TDI a few weeks ago and coming from a long string of lifted trucks I'm a bit out of my element.

Was looking at just some H&R lowering springs but then came across @snobrdrdan post about using CC springs/MK5+MK6 struts.

The post is >6 years old, just looking for confirmation it'd all work since not a single thing specifically says it fits a Passat, lol.

Thanks!
....guess I should add those to my shopping list?
 

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Dude, I've been thinking about this for a long while now and just can't understand how the stock ones have gone "bad". What exactly is causing them to pop and why would new ones not pop when they are the exact same thing doing the exact same job considering the original ones were still good when I swapped everything?
How do you know the original ones were "still good?"
Bearings go bad. (think wheel bearings)

The ONLY moving part on the front strut is the strut bearing....that's the pivot point for the strut assembly to turn, so that the spring doesn't bind up.
If you have a bad/non working bearing you get this binding/popping action:

VW says to swap a new strut bearing in whenever the strut is serviced (taken apart).
I've taken struts apart where the bearings have just fallen apart in my hands and they can't be reused (since they come as a sealed/pre-packed bearing unit)

I've been around these cars for a while & done A LOT of suspension installs for myself and others. I've always used new bearings on the many installs on my personal Passats I had, and never once had any binding or popping....whether on lowering springs or coil overs.
Do it once & do it right


ALL THAT SAID......I also forgot & had to re-read your original post....you never posted a video or anything.
That said....it COULD simply be the fender liner getting caught on the tie rod boot & then snapping back against the frame.
You need to either push the fender liner up or trim the part that hangs below the frame so it doesn't catch.
See here:
 

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How do you know the original ones were "still good?"
Bearings go bad. (think wheel bearings)

The ONLY moving part on the front strut is the strut bearing....that's the pivot point for the strut assembly to turn, so that the spring doesn't bind up.
If you have a bad/non working bearing you get this binding/popping action:

VW says to swap a new strut bearing in whenever the strut is serviced (taken apart).
I've taken struts apart where the bearings have just fallen apart in my hands and they can't be reused (since they come as a sealed/pre-packed bearing unit)

I've been around these cars for a while & done A LOT of suspension installs for myself and others. I've always used new bearings on the many installs on my personal Passats I had, and never once had any binding or popping....whether on lowering springs or coil overs.
Do it once & do it right


ALL THAT SAID......I also forgot & had to re-read your original post....you never posted a video or anything.
That said....it COULD simply be the fender liner getting caught on the tie rod boot & then snapping back against the frame.
You need to either push the fender liner up or trim the part that hangs below the frame so it doesn't catch.
See here:

Yeah the sounds from the video seems to be about right. The car only had 9500 miles on it when I swapped everything out. That and they weren't popping when I removed them, and looked to be in good nick when I put them back in. There was a only a period of about 10 years that I was out of the VW game when I had to have a truck for work, but other than that it's been nothing but VW's. I have to admit that I've never swapped out strut bearings before and never had popping. That in itself isn't saying much I suppose.

Could it be possible I didn't get the upper strut mounts pointed in the right direction (arrow facing forward) when installing? I don't believe that to be the case either but maybe. What if I didn't get the top nut tightened enough? Could that be the cause? I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the bearings magically went bad just from uninstalling them and reinstalling with only 9500 miles on them. I'll check the tie rod boot as well and rule that out.

I REALLY don't wont to undo everything again. Wonder if there's enough room to pull everything down after undoing the upper strut bolts? Probably not. Crap.

Thanks for the help on this.
 

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Yeah the sounds from the video seems to be about right. The car only had 9500 miles on it when I swapped everything out. That and they weren't popping when I removed them, and looked to be in good nick when I put them back in. There was a only a period of about 10 years that I was out of the VW game when I had to have a truck for work, but other than that it's been nothing but VW's. I have to admit that I've never swapped out strut bearings before and never had popping. That in itself isn't saying much I suppose.

Could it be possible I didn't get the upper strut mounts pointed in the right direction (arrow facing forward) when installing? I don't believe that to be the case either but maybe. What if I didn't get the top nut tightened enough? Could that be the cause? I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the bearings magically went bad just from uninstalling them and reinstalling with only 9500 miles on them. I'll check the tie rod boot as well and rule that out.

I REALLY don't wont to undo everything again. Wonder if there's enough room to pull everything down after undoing the upper strut bolts? Probably not. Crap.

Thanks for the help on this.
It's possible that the mounts could be oriented wrong, but if you have the popping....all signs point to the strut bearing.

There's no facts/science here, but maybe the new springs put the pressure on different points of the bearing....you never know.
That's why I recommend new ones with new springs. Like I said, I've never had noises or issues doing it that way & haven't had to redo any installs.

As for the top nut....it bottoms out. It's either tight or it's not, and if it wasn't tight....it'd be more of a clunk since the strut rod would be rattling around in the strut mount.

You could TRY not removing everything, but it's going to be more of a pain in the butt doing it that way (due to limited room under the strut tower) versus just removing them off the car all together.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'm just giving you my 2 cents
 

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It's possible that the mounts could be oriented wrong, but if you have the popping....all signs point to the strut bearing.

There's no facts/science here, but maybe the new springs put the pressure on different points of the bearing....you never know.
That's why I recommend new ones with new springs. Like I said, I've never had noises or issues doing it that way & haven't had to redo any installs.

As for the top nut....it bottoms out. It's either tight or it's not, and if it wasn't tight....it'd be more of a clunk since the strut rod would be rattling around in the strut mount.

You could TRY not removing everything, but it's going to be more of a pain in the butt doing it that way (due to limited room under the strut tower) versus just removing them off the car all together.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'm just giving you my 2 cents

Thanks. I'm positive I have the mounts pointed correctly, and the top nut is tight. It's just weird for me to think about. I can't help but think that putting new ones in will do the thing. I'm also sure I'm overthinking this by a loooong way. I'll nut up and get some new bearings and throw them in one of these days. Good thing is my alignment place has a 6 month warranty on the alignment so maybe I'll just swap them, and take it back saying something is wrong, haha!
 

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I don’t have loud popping like that in turns but I can hear a bit of roughness. Nowhere near that loud.

However, I have a separate pop/clunk I’m trying to diagnose that seems only related to shifting of weight on the left front. Back out of my garage straight, dropping off the tiny ledge, I get one pop when it drops. Very suddenly throwing the car to the right, I get a pop on the left, it may or may not make one more pop when the weight levels out.

Today I had it jacked up to clean rust off the hubs just in case it’s causing a vibration issues I’ve been dealing with for a while. I grabbed the tie rod and pulled a bit and hear that loud pop. There’s no play in the tie rod tho. Gaskets seem in tact. The sound was deeper like it came from a bigger piece of metal.

Is it possible extra tension from being lowered/oem tie rod length putting more pressure on sway bar, and popping in the bushing?

I have checked and rechecked the tightness of everything many times now. I can hear the bearings/springs very lightly only on U turns pretty much.

Maybe there is still tension being built up due to the bearings that nots being released until there’s a bigger shift of weight off the left corner.

Spitballing here

Edited to add- I’ll get around to replacing the top bearings in a month or so.


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^^^
EVERYTHING was tightened with the suspension loaded (either on the ground, or with a floor jack simulating the suspension being loaded), correct?

Stock sway bar end links still?
 

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^^^
EVERYTHING was tightened with the suspension loaded (either on the ground, or with a floor jack simulating the suspension being loaded), correct?

Stock sway bar end links still?
Yes and yes. Im going to just order the bearings and do them soon. Give me an excuse to get in there and re-verify everything.


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