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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everybody,

2002 ALH Jetta TDI w 360,000 miles...

I have been working through this in my head for a while. Tires were getting choppy, and everyone said shocks. Probably they are right, but they aren't leaking, and it doesn't have a bad bounce. I really really don't like taking things apart and not replacing everything because bushings and stuff are usually so cheap, why not do it right?

I'm (mentally) working on the rear end at the moment.

  • Rear beam bushings, check
    • Seat Cupra S
  • Mid brake hoses, check
    • ECS SS
  • Rear brake hoses, check
    • ECS SS, their set has no hard lines 0_0
  • Shocks and struts, check
  • Upper shock mounts, check
    • ECS heavy duty
  • Upper spring seats, check
    • OEM
  • Lower coil spring isolator, check
    • OEM
  • Always replace hardware, check
    • Beam bushing bolts/nuts
    • Kerma kit, OEM
      • Upper shock mount bolts
      • Lower Shock mount bolts/nuts
      • Front strut pinch bolts/nuts
  • Bump stops, check
    • Added dust covers at $4 each, check

I'm planning on having VW shop do the work on this, but anything else I should know?

Thanks, Vernon.
 

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I’m of the mind ….’if it ain’t broke…’ but, if you can afford it and a competent mechanic (you?) has determined that’s what she needs, go for it. That said, my ‘03 ALH MK4 Jetta Wagon is at 365k miles and going strong. I do preventative maintenance and learned to do the timing belt and hammer mod injection pump, ventectomy, etc from advice and information here and on YouTube.
Good luck with your decisions, more experienced owners will hopefully comment.
 

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When I was in your position, I had a nasty clunk in the rear end (those rear subframe bushings) were worn, they are no fun to replace but with time and swearing you can get them in.

I always wanted a little more height on the car for obstacle clearance and snow. I put VR6 springs in the front and Jetta Wagon springs in the back. Koni shocks with all the hardware. My front lower control arms were worn too so those got replaced. One of the captive nuts in the front subframe had broken free so I had to cut the LCA off and get a new subframe. Shortly after that my steering rack blew seals so that had to come back down and be replaced. Having an extra inch of lift certainly helps with snow and doesn't affect the ride at all (make sure you get an alignment after all that work though!). I wish this (2003) had a 6 speed gearbox though! other than that it's a beast of a car!
 

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You can get new LCAs (lower control arms) that come with the Audi TT bushings for pretty cheap. I've done four complete suspension jobs on MKIVs (all TDIs). First was my car and I got used LCAs and did the bushings ahead of time for a quicker job; but, it's a bit of work, so now days (and with a few more dollars on the table) I just go for the new LCAs.

The Koni Oranges (STRTs) are pretty decent. I had them on my car and really liked them (had another Golf with Bilsteins and wasn't all that impressed with those): recently replaced with Koni Actives (liked how these turned out on the wife's car). They're not something I'd want if running on rough roads: roads I mainly travel on are really good, mostly highway. Will warn, however, that Konis are known to rust out in areas where rust is a threat.

Other bits to replace:
  • Sway bar bushings (for something simple this is one job that always has me cussing!)
  • Link arms

Rear control arm bushings on a post 2000 are a lot easier to remove, but still a fair amount of work. MAKE SURE TO GET THE RIGHT TOOL for Cupra R bushings! (standard tool doesn't work on its own- I had to improvise)
 
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