Advice on Golf Suspension?

Discussion in 'VW Mk4 Jetta, Golf, New Beetle, Passat TDI forum' started by Hoff6282, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Hoff6282

    Hoff6282 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
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    57
    Car:
    2000 Volkswagen Golf TDI ALH
    Location:
    Brighton, MI
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    Egr delete, lift kit, skid plate, pp520 nozzles
    Hello all, just a few quick questions I was hoping someone could answer for me if they have a moment. So I purchased my vehicle, a 2000 mk4 golf, with lowered suspension already on it. I live on a dirt road though and in a state where road maintenence is not a high priority, and additionally I do not care for the look of lowered cars. I would like to restore the stock height, if not possibly even lift it a bit higher, to get more clearance from the road and potholes. That aluminum oil pan just gets me worried. I know there is also the possibility of adding a skid plate, but again, being in Michigan and knowing that this vehicle will be trudging through snow eventually, I just want to get it up and out of the way.

    The shocks and struts that are on currently aren't very obviously marked as far as the manufacturer, but they are bright red in color, leading me to believe perhaps they are Koni Reds, as those seem to be quite popular. So my first question is, if I were to leave the shocks and struts on as is, but were to replace the springs with a set of stock OEM Golf springs, would that restore the height, or do the shocks and struts themselves add to the drop? Many spring packages I've looked at refer to the amount of drop they give-- I'm looking to reverse the process.

    Also, assuming that new springs would help, there is a gentleman on ebay with a set of stock front and rear springs that he took off his 2011 mk6 golf with about 12,000 miles on them. Compatibility wise, if I were to buy these could I slip them on to my mk4 Golf? They are quite affordable (he's asking $85 for all 4 shipped) and it probably wouldn't be a bad investment even if they didn't raise it that much, although I'm hoping they would.

    Any and all insight would be greatly appreciated guys. Thanks a lot.
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  2. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
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    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    Good question, I don't know if mk6 springs will fit a mk4. If you want to risk $85 want to post a follow up? The spring perches and rubbing against something is where you'd want to look.

    But all new springs will be helpful since old used springs will be sagging quite a bit by now. I've heard bilstein HD spring perches are slightly higher in the front which raises the car slightly.

    New upper front strut mounts will also help a lot.

    There are suspension lift kits that work like spring spacers although I don't like changing the geometry that much and they preload the springs...in that case might as well reuse old springs.
  3. Hoff6282

    Hoff6282 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Car:
    2000 Volkswagen Golf TDI ALH
    Location:
    Brighton, MI
    Mods:
    Egr delete, lift kit, skid plate, pp520 nozzles
    If I decide to go with the mk6 springs, I will absolutely post a follow up to verify if they fit or not. I've been searching all around to see what other people have done to try to gain some height too. Some appear to have used Passat Wagon towing springs for the rear and VR6 springs for the front, the idea obviously being that since the springs are intended for a heavier vehicle carrying a heavier load, they would raise the light Golf frame up a few inches. I'm a bit torn right now, but I'll be sure to keep updated once I decide.

    Last night I broke out a ruler to see exactly how low my ground clearance was.... 3.5 inches at the lowest point. Doesn't leave very much room for error when it's that slammed.
  4. shuswap

    shuswap Member

    Joined:
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    183
    Car:
    2005 Golf TDI auto
    That 3.5" is not enough clearance for me! If your luck is similar to mine you can do it now or do it later, while you're replacing the damaged sump out in the middle of no-where!!
  5. Hoff6282

    Hoff6282 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    57
    Car:
    2000 Volkswagen Golf TDI ALH
    Location:
    Brighton, MI
    Mods:
    Egr delete, lift kit, skid plate, pp520 nozzles
    Just an update for anyone who might be interested in lifting their golf.

    I decided to go with a set of stock VR6 struts and springs in the front to lift it up. I found a used set with only 10,000 miles on them for $25! Upon closer inspection of my Golf, I discovered that a set of red Autotech / Sachs Clubsport shocks, struts, and springs were installed. So after a bit of of pushing, pulling, and PB Blaster, the swap has been made and I am pretty pleased so far with the results. I went from having a space of about one inch from the wheel to the top of the well to between 3 and 4 inches. The front seems to sit quite a bit higher, and I am picking up a skid plate this weekend as well to help with the occaisional pothole from hell.

    I also picked up a used set of Jetta wagon rear springs and am planning on putting those on this weekend. I read a lot about the VR6 front/ jetta wagon rear combo and people seemed to have good luck with that, so I figured I'd give it a go. Got a plate for the car today and am looking forward to having a little road trip later this week!

    One last thing though. The manual and several guides I consulted recommended getting an alignment after replacing suspension, which I understand, but just out of curiosity, what exactly might they (an alignment shop) change if in fact it is deemed "out of alignment"? Just curious if it was something I could do myself, and also what elements of the wheel and suspension systems they actually manipulate to align everything.

    Thanks!
  6. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

    Joined:
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    22,186
    Car:
    2006 Jetta TDI
    Location:
    CT
    you can diy alignment if you know how and have tools although I'm sure there's some clever way to diy w/o tools. camber and caster are fixed, toe is what they adjust by moving the steering rack tie rod length. If you loosened the ball joints that'll also mess up the alignment unless they go back exactly the same. If you want to mess with camber you can buy aftermarket camber plates although not desirable unless you want a sport-cornering setup.

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