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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys and gals,

So, After a few days of NB repairs about a week ago, I started a road trip south. I knew prior to leaving that I need new struts and the front mounts could be replaced too. Probably just being antsy to leave I rationalized that they would be fine and I'll do it when I'm home in a month(ish). After a week backpacking in the smokys I'm in Asheville NC, and wanted to checkout the front end because of a noise I thought I may have heard on the highway. There is some play on both front driver and passenger sides. I can see the top strut mount is the source of the play.

I hate to take it to a random shop or dealership around hear, especially because I can do this work at home, but I would hate even more to have some sort of catastrophic failure at 70mph.

Driving with bad front strut mounts I'm sure can screw up tire wear, but are there any serious dangers I should consider pushing the beetle bug another ~2000 miles? Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
 

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dont' just replace your top mount, replace the whole unit!

Not sure what year you have, but the mounts on mine started doing the same thing a few months ago. Really odd clanking that I thought was the actual strut... nope was the mount. I looked into replacement parts (since I can do the work myself in a garage) and was insane amount of money just to replace the top mounts on the front.

I started looking everywhere and found a site that builds the whole strut assembly and ships it to you ready to install. Got the struts, SUPER easy to put in (did it myself with a basic jack) and work perfectly.

As far as the danger goes... 2000 miles is pushing it... if it were a few hundred I would say wait till you get home to replace them, but if they are REALLY REALLY bad, then just order some struts online and have them shipped to a garage where you are and pay a garage to put them in for you (should NOT be expensive since the struts are already pre-built and ready to install).

That would be the way I would fix it. I have an '05 and it cost me less than 200 bucks for the struts and shipping. I bought them from completestruts.com. You can look at the Monroe Quick Struts too, but they are seriously overpriced.

http://www.completestruts.com/product.cgi?group=3943&product=4067 <<This is what I bought

Hope my strut story helped!
 

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I don't care.....
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They're about £40 (english) for the pair and with an impact wrench can be changed in about an hour for both sides.

For that amount of money you want to risk one failing???
 

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Honestly, it's not worth the risk. Get new strut assemblies and have a garage put them on. 2000 miles is a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info guys. It's a 2000 1.8t. That site has very reasonable prices... I will definitely be buying those for when the replacement happens.

So now comes the hard part; I'm in the FL keys now, and now have doubts that any shop will install customer parts. So far the folks I've spoke with said no to customer parts and would cost well more than I'd be willing to pay :/ One shop I spoke with said there won't be any catastrophic failure due to the strut being connected at the top. According to him, the most damage that can really be done is to the tires and possibly dangerous driving conditions in the wind. Any insight on this. It doesn't seem like the strut should be able to disconnect at the top, could it? Any insight as to what could be the worst case scenario?
The mounts feel bad, but not exceptionally bad. Hate to say it but I may just risk it. Its 1200 miles before I could change them myself. I just can't give my money to a tourist trap shop... gotta love away from home problems... sigh. Thanks again guys.
 

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Not sure what year you have, but the mounts on mine started doing the same thing a few months ago. Really odd clanking that I thought was the actual strut... nope was the mount. I looked into replacement parts (since I can do the work myself in a garage) and was insane amount of money just to replace the top mounts on the front.

I started looking everywhere and found a site that builds the whole strut assembly and ships it to you ready to install. Got the struts, SUPER easy to put in (did it myself with a basic jack) and work perfectly.

As far as the danger goes... 2000 miles is pushing it... if it were a few hundred I would say wait till you get home to replace them, but if they are REALLY REALLY bad, then just order some struts online and have them shipped to a garage where you are and pay a garage to put them in for you (should NOT be expensive since the struts are already pre-built and ready to install).

That would be the way I would fix it. I have an '05 and it cost me less than 200 bucks for the struts and shipping. I bought them from completestruts.com. You can look at the Monroe Quick Struts too, but they are seriously overpriced.

Volkswagen Beetle Front End Bundle - Complete Strut Bundles by Complete Struts <<This is what I bought

Hope my strut story helped!
Actually those struts are more expensive than the Monroe Quick struts. On that link the struts cost $149.44 each. The Monroe Quick Struts on Amazon start at around 110.xx and I have seen them as low as 103.xx with free shipping.
I am just wondering about the quality of the Monroe's rather than going with a Bilstein or Koni package.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004J2GTI2/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1332262700&sr=8-1&condition=new
 

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Quality

I forgot to address the quality of the parts I got... literally JUST LIKE OEM parts. my friend has the exact same year make model as me and he bought monroe's, which he had to get replaced TWICE because the first ones were half an inch too long and the second set he got the spring actually POPPED OFF when he lowered the car. The ones I got snapped right in, no clunking, no grinding, no modification.
 

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Wrong. Thats a BUNDLE of both left and right units. Thats what I bought. BEST PRICE EVER.
WOW :calvin: That is a good price!

But how is the quality? Does it ride pretty good? Handeling? Were they easy to install?

I may have to get me some of those. :D
 

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I forgot to address the quality of the parts I got... literally JUST LIKE OEM parts. my friend has the exact same year make model as me and he bought monroe's, which he had to get replaced TWICE because the first ones were half an inch too long and the second set he got the spring actually POPPED OFF when he lowered the car. The ones I got snapped right in, no clunking, no grinding, no modification.
Added it right before you replied. I'm super serious. I was floored by how easy it is. Handles VERY tight, VERY stiff, just like I like it. It's like a new car. Getting new rims & tires next! :D
 

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I forgot to address the quality of the parts I got... literally JUST LIKE OEM parts. my friend has the exact same year make model as me and he bought monroe's, which he had to get replaced TWICE because the first ones were half an inch too long and the second set he got the spring actually POPPED OFF when he lowered the car. The ones I got snapped right in, no clunking, no grinding, no modification.
COOL! Thanks for your input! How do you like the ride?

Also what did you do for the rear shocks?
 

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One shop I spoke with said there won't be any catastrophic failure due to the strut being connected at the top. According to him, the most damage that can really be done is to the tires and possibly dangerous driving conditions in the wind. Any insight on this. It doesn't seem like the strut should be able to disconnect at the top, could it? Any insight as to what could be the worst case scenario?
i don't know what the worst case scenario might be, but yes---a failure can happen.

Last winter on Iki, the entire left upper strut assembly failed and blew through the top of the housing.

the car was drivable, sort of...i called a buddy and had it towed to my independent mechanic, who replaced both upper strut bearings, and followed it with a wheel alignment.

IIRC it was about $300, and it was money well spent.

i'd recommend getting it fixed before you head home...no good reason to take a chance.

suggest you keep calling around---hopefully someone on the org can recommend a shop (import? independent?) in the Keys that can help you out.
 

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Agreed!

I agree with Warren.

Find a garage that will put parts on first. THEN order your units and have them shipped to the garage (attention to you or the mechanic or whatever) and drive in to get them fixed (only took me like 30 minutes for each strut but I was in my garage with home tools. I bet a mechanic could put them on in like 5-10 minutes each).

I think that completestruts.com is IN SOUTH FLORIDA (trying to find my invoice to be sure) and the guy I talked to there a while ago mentioned being in florida. I bet he would ship them to you next day (in florida) for free if you needed it. He was super cool with me and answered all my annoying questions.
 

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How hard would these be to put on, and what does it entail? Would I need much more than ramps and simple tools? Sorry to ask such elementary questions, but I really want to take more control of my repairs.:cartman:
 

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How hard would these be to put on, and what does it entail? Would I need much more than ramps and simple tools? Sorry to ask such elementary questions, but I really want to take more control of my repairs.:cartman:
It's not so simple. And no, you can't use ramps since the wheels have to come off and you will need to lower the subframe by about an inch in order to get the passenger side strut out of the holder. A couple of jacks and mostly basic tools and it can be done in about 2 to 3 hours. A impact wrench would help greatly to remove the upper strut nut.

Here is a nice write up with pictures:

Strut, spring, mount, and bearing installation on mk4 Jetta, Golf, or New Beelte
 

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i have a 1999 gls and the front two strut mounts are at their ends, took it to my mechanic and he told me that all that will happen is tire play nothing serious. i drove the car to florida from arizona and back to arizona with bad struts and their was no damage done and my tires are still good. hope that helps.
 

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Here's a better idea. Have the parts shipped to your hotel, go buy the tools you need with a jack, and change them right in the parking lot. Your tools will be less than one hour labour at a garage. If you buy them from the right place (think Wal Mart) you can just return everything when you are done. Of course, that would be wrong ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It's not so simple. And no, you can't use ramps since the wheels have to come off and you will need to lower the subframe by about an inch in order to get the passenger side strut out of the holder. A couple of jacks and mostly basic tools and it can be done in about 2 to 3 hours. A impact wrench would help greatly to remove the upper strut nut.

Here is a nice write up with pictures:

Strut, spring, mount, and bearing installation on mk4 Jetta, Golf, or New Beelte
I was able to make it to DC from Florida with no problems (thankfully). Ordered up the struts from complete struts and put them on yesterday.

1)Install was pretty straight forward. I had to use an impact wrench on the upper nut (the hex on inside top was rusty and stripped).
2)I used a chisel rather than a spreader tool, which worked fine, however it did make it difficult to drop the new strut in the knuckle because the piece of metal that slides between the opening on the knuckle.
3)The passenger side: I just disconnected the halfshaft from the flange for the extra room. This was super simple. Just be ready to support the brake assembly because it will be all loosey goosey.

I have only one concern regarding the final result, and it would be awesome if someone could provide some insight... After torquing everything down and lowering the car I noticed there is still a little space between the struts top plate and the body. Not nearly what it was with the old struts, but there is still a little space. Anybody know if this is normal? It feels great and if it is making noise its very quiet. Looking at the before and after shots on this thread it seems like there is a little space on theirs as well. Front strut mount replacement 'How to' - TDIClub Forums

Any thoughts? Thanks again for the info people.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Reenie, there are a few good how tos on this repair. The one Indytom posted looks pretty good. I came across the one I linked above and also this one : Noah's MkIV VW H&R Coilover Installation HOWTO
He is installing coil overs, but removal is pretty clear.

It really is a pretty simple job, The only struggle I had was simply getting the bottom of the old out and the new in. I'm pretty sure this was because I was using a chisel rather than the proper spreading tool, but it still wasn't too bad.
 
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