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2001 and 2002 Jettas, 02J 5-speeds
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The gap you are seeing is because the rubber strut bushing is worn out. It might be the springs are tired too. See Figure 10, green arrow Volkswagen Jetta Mk4 Front Strut Replacement | Jetta Mk4 2.0L (1998-2005) | Pelican Parts DIY Maintenance Article
If you are looking to lower the car (I've never done it), I belive you are looking for "coilover" springs.
Thanks for the insight. I’m wanting to go the opposite way and add a lift to the car. The terrain on the Big Island (Hawaii) is hard enough on cars so adding a couple inches is definitely the way to go.
 

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2001 and 2002 Jettas, 02J 5-speeds
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Thanks for the insight. I’m wanting to go the opposite way and add a lift to the car. The terrain on the Big Island (Hawaii) is hard enough on cars so adding a couple inches is definitely the way to go.
I put these on my '01 and '02 Jettas and love them. They will lift the car about 2 inches in the rear and 1 1/2 inches in the front: Lift Spring Set (Mk4 Golf & Jetta Sedan)
Strut Spacer Individual (A4)
It's easily a DIY if you have the space and tools. Plenty of how-to's on the internet.

Edit: Metalnerd makes a lift, but I've never installed one Lift Kits for VW® MK4 Chassis Golf®, Jetta® and New Beetle®
 

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Your wagon already has "lifted" springs in the rear. It was standard issue for the wagon in anticipation of carrying additional weight. Be aware that if you use stiffer springs to achieve lift the ride is going to suffer. There are also spring spacer kits machined from aluminum which will achieve the same results. Either way, you will need tools to remove the springs from the struts which can usually be rented from auto parts stores (free at Autozone) for a refundable deposit. Also, for your model, you will need a Metalnerd Strut Spreader Tool (VW) to remove the front struts from the steering knuckles. There are write ups on how to do all of this, just google it.
 

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Sounds like you’re all over it! Looks to me like the rubber strut mount bushings were removed or worn completely out. The strut shouldn’t stick out that much, OEM. The cap would contact the rubber strut mount. Essentially sealing the bearing and nut on top of the strut. #8 in the photo is the strut bearing and bushing set. The bearing has to be on your car or you wouldn’t be able to turn the steering wheel. That leaves just the bushing not being installed.
White Line Font Hat Drawing
 

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Here is an exploded diagram…
#5 upper spring seat/ bearing seat (metal)
#6 Strut bearing
#7 nut
#8 strut mount bushing (rubber)
#9 nut
#10 bushing stop (metal)
#11 strut piton nut
Font Auto part Coil spring Circle Gas

Automotive tire Handwriting Camera accessory Camera lens Tire
 
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