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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all,
Ive got an occasional low-mass clunk/rattle from the driver side suspension, sounds like its high - like just past the dash - that happens on some rough snow/ice on the road, sorta like washboard dirt roads. Seems like somethings loose or worn...

Looking at the top of the strut area, I noticed that there is a gap of over 1/4 inch between the stop plate and the body flange. When I jack the car up, the gap closes as the suspension unloads and the tire drops. Could this indicate that the rubber upper strut mount is worn, now loose and leading to the rattle-clunk? will post photos soon to clarify...
 

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Most likely yes.

The local Monro where I live actually knows something about Beetles and Jettas. The tech (friend of mine...helps out when he can) showed me how to tell if the upper mount was bad. Simple as looking at it, and bouncing the suspension on the suspect corner up/down. Seems a little flexing is fine, but anything getting to the 'slop' factor needs to be replaced.

S-
 

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Howdy all,
Ive got an occasional low-mass clunk/rattle from the driver side suspension, sounds like its high - like just past the dash - that happens on some rough snow/ice on the road, sorta like washboard dirt roads. Seems like somethings loose or worn...

Looking at the top of the strut area, I noticed that there is a gap of over 1/4 inch between the stop plate and the body flange. When I jack the car up, the gap closes as the suspension unloads and the tire drops. Could this indicate that the rubber upper strut mount is worn, now loose and leading to the rattle-clunk? will post photos soon to clarify...
Model year 2000, the strut mounts are bad. They only last about 5 years due to the material and weight on the mounts.

Suggest you just update the suspension.

Read this - http://newbeetle.org/forums/1-8-liter-turbo/61596-blauparts-strut-kit-pictures-review.html

http://newbeetle.org/forums/1-8-liter-turbo/61024-bad-day-nobody-hurt.html#post843886
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input! I figured this was the case, but wanted backing opinions before I take the leap.

The Blauparts kits look good, but is it worth the $200 extra for the preassembled package with springs, or go with the regular kit? How hard is it to reuse the springs on it now?
(Point of reference: Ive done the timing belt/waterpump successfully on this car, and have replaced shocks on a 1992 Explorer in the past. Ive never dealt with springs though...)
 

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Thanks for the input! I figured this was the case, but wanted backing opinions before I take the leap.

The Blauparts kits look good, but is it worth the $200 extra for the preassembled package with springs, or go with the regular kit? How hard is it to reuse the springs on it now?
(Point of reference: Ive done the timing belt/waterpump successfully on this car, and have replaced shocks on a 1992 Explorer in the past. Ive never dealt with springs though...)
Well, you can be killed by the springs, so it is slightly risky and as such requires meticulous attention to detail and use of the correct and best tools available.

Having done the job using the same springs I would not do it again, I would spend the extra money on assembled struts.

There is just something about turning a wrench on a loaded bomb when you have a choice to not turn a wrench on a loaded bomb. That's essentially what you're doing, you're turning a wrench on a kinetic energy bomb.

I don't know how much potential energy one of those springs actually holds when installed, I'm sure it's enough that were you to be hit the kinetic energy would make your insides your outsides.


Now that said, if the fully assembled was not good quality, I would take the risk with the spring, safe work habits mitigate most of the risks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, that puts it in perspective... ;)
All kinds of mental images to work with now!

Appreciate the experienced opinion.
 

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Yes it's a bomb waiting to 'spring' into action.

However it can also be done quite simply by taking the strut as a whole unit and finding a shop that has the strut spring compressor. Usually it's buy the tech a 6 pack or a pack of smokes and they will remove the parts and reassemble them again with the new parts. I've done this several times. Normally ten to twenty dollars for a 'tip' and it saves me from wiggling around with the spring compressor tools.

S-
 

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Actually would advise AGAINST the strut/spring combo.

Only the front struts require the spring to be swapped. Also there are a LOT of spring combinations due to all the engine, trans and options on these cars. Also these springs usually do not have issues.

It is worth reusing the springs in my opinion. I have had springs pop loose before, but on these with the strut fully expended, there is not a lot of energy, the spring will not fly across the room, it may jump a few inches, but this is it. Usually what happens in the spring will not even leave the strut.

I say just think and make good decisions, you will be fine or find a shop locally to help with the spring swap.

I just used the WRONG type of spring tools from my local Advance loaner tools. It was really an internal spring tool, had to use 2 on the spring, on opposing sides, not ideal, but I was able to make it work.

The Blauparts kit is really nice and for the $$$ it is really hard to find a better deal IMHO.

Reuse your front springs otherwise you will be swapping your old springs which you BETTER keep of you go this route!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys! feeling better about this (with a healthy dose of bomb-themed caution). Hadn't thought of taking the just the strut units to a shop to do the spring swap. That'll be plan B if I chicken out at the last second (time to put my shop guy's number on speeddial).
Now to find a free weekend, and hopefully warmer temps - garage is hovering around 33deg in this cold snap (-12 outside...)

If this goes ok, maybe I can tackle my son's 1995 Corolla struts next (175k miles, originals still in it...) :rolleyes:
 
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