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Discussion Starter #1
G'day Guys,

I'm in Australia and would like to buy some front shocks from an American website. Even with freight & duty they represent better value than anything I can find on the Australian market.

Trouble is, my exact model NB was never released in the States so I can't check my vehicle's compatibility on their database.

So I'm hoping someone in the States might be able to research this and tell me if I can fit Monroe 171525 "Quick Strut Complete Strut Assembly" to my vehicle:
Build Date - Jan '06
Body Type - Hatchback
Engine size - 1.6 Litre
Engine Type - 9C
Engine Code - BFS
Fuel - Petrol (Gasoline)
Trans - 5spd Manual

I'm fairly sure these shocks would be a good fit, but I'd like to be absolutely certain, and would appreciate any help you my be able to offer me.

Cheers,
Scruffy.
 

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Most suspension parts, are petty standard and the same, across the New Beetle, Golf and Jetta line of Volkswagens. That being said, because of the cost of purchase and extensive shipping, required to get to Australia, you need to make sure you get the right parts.

I would confirm, the correct part numbers; for your particular car by contacting your local VW dealers parts dept. and with your vin number, request a parts quote for the front/rear shocks/struts. That way, you know for sure, what the correct parts would be; you could also, look at your old parts and they typically have a sticker with the part number on them.

I don't know, where you are located in Australia; however, here is a VW dealer locator.

https://au.volkswagen.com.au/find-dealer/

Once, you get the part numbers; you can contact the parts supplier or do a search on Monroe's website: (note, you can search by typical car info, vin number or part number):

MONROE:registered: SHOCKS & STRUTS :: Ride Safe with the Industry Leader of Ride Control Products

Keep in mind, the oem's for VW shocks/struts; I believe, were typically made by the oem Sachs, the main differences being the standard suspension and "sport" versions, which were usually slightly stiffer, offering better handling/control. Most brands, will offer a number of different levels of performance and ride quality upgrades or just the equivalent stock oem parts, for a stock ride/feel.

Also, do not neglect the associated needed new stretch/torque to yield fasteners, mounts, bearings and other possibly worn out front end parts, that may need replaced (e.g. tie rod ends, ball joints, control arms, end links, etc). These can many times be purchased as a "install kit" and a "front end refresh/rebuild kit".

I hope this gets you started and if you have anymore questions or need ideas, on where to shop online, for the best prices, let us know! Thanks! <img src="http://newbeetle.org/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
 

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G'day Billy.

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you, but sometimes at my place the wheels of progress can turn rather slowly.

Okay, let's address things one at a time:

1) Thanks for the Monroe link, but the US website doesn't recognize my VIN. Although they share the same corporate image & branding, Monroe Aust and Monroe US seem to be two totally different beasts. They have a different product range, different part numbers, and they don't communicate too well. The US guys are reluctant to talk to me about a foreign car; and the Aussie guys are reluctant to talk to me about a foreign part.

So I've given up on Monroe.

2) Yes, I'll get in touch with VW Aust and see if they have a part number for a complete strut assembly, and then work backwards from there.

3) Yes I'm aware of all the ancillary fixtures and parts I'll need, but they're available locally and competitively priced. However, I've found a front-end rebuild kit on eBay (pics attached), but it's a brand I've never heard of so a bit of research is called for.

4) No, it's not that I'm going crazy to buy American gear - it's just that, locally, one gas strut costs AU$320, so the economics of the siruation are pretty compelling.

5) Sports suspension? Mate, my Bug is just my daily, economical, runabout. I do a nice combination of country highway driving and stop/start suburban stuff. And as I said earlier, it's only a 1.6. So I don't think I really have a need for a "sports" set-up, and I don't think a driver of my limited prowess would even notice or appreciate the nuances of sports suspension.

Okay Billy, I've taken up enough of your time with this. The Monroe gear is a no-go. When I get things organized, or have a few more questions, I'll reprise this thread and let you know.

Thanks for your help,
Scruffy.
 

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G'day Guys,

Well it seems I may be cut out for a career in politics as, after just a few short days, I've managed a complete backflip and ordered the Monroe shocks.

Here's the short answer:
Yes, the Monroe 171525 Quick-Strut Complete Strut Assembly will fit my '06 1.6L BFS Beetle. (Yay!)

Here's the loooonng answer:
The 171525 Quick Strut is a suitable replacement for these VW OE part numbers-
1J0413031BJ
1J0413031DQ
1J0413031DR
1J0513025BH
1J0513025DA
These OE struts were used in a variety of Beetles, Golfs, and Jettas, over different numbers of years.

For some reason I can't get to the bottom of, a few other manufacturers also use the 171525 code. So if you google that number with your OE part number, I'm fairly certain you'll find the right struts for your vehicle.

Globally, the Monroe shocks come in at least two variants that I've learned of - the Euro (made in Belgium) and the US (I think might be made in Mexico). The brackets and spring seat are all identical, so they should bolt straight in.

There are two differences that I can discern-
A) The US version has a smaller 20mm piston rod compared to 22mm in the Euro version. But the top studs remain the same at M14 x 1.5.
B) The valving for the US version is softer because, apparently, "Americans prefer a smoother ride". (Monroe's words, not mine.)

These Monroe shocks get mixed reviews on the US Amazon site, but if you look closely you'll find that they get a lot more 4- & 5-star reviews than they do 1- & 2-star ones. (A lot of the negative reviews refer to an inch-and-a-bit lift in ride height; but I'm wondering this - If your car's 15 years old, and has 150,000 miles on it, and your shocks are shot, could it be that your original ride height has imperceptibly dropped over the years?) On other dedicated car-related sites these Monroe shocks enjoy a 4.5 - 5-star average.

Right now I know I'm starting to sound like a Monroe sales rep, but I promise you I'm not. I'm sure there are better shocks out there, and I'm sure there are cheaper ones. I was just looking for the most economical solution I could find from a company I'd actually heard of, and whose products I've seen in an auto store. And here's the kicker - one Euro gas strut costs me AU$360 locally, whereas I've just been able to import two US completely assembled coil-over shocks for AU$300. So the research was well worth it.

Okay, I hope this meandering post may be able to help someone in the future.

Cheers,
Scruffy.
 
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