Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to replace the Strut Mount & Spring Seat on a 2004 VW Jetta.

An easy way to find out when you need to replace your Strut Mounts is by visually inspecting the Stop component of the strut from the engine compartment as illustrated in the images below. The first image shows the Stop Component of the strut elevated which indicates that the Strut Mount is worn out. While a healthy Strut Mount will not let the Stop Component of the strut move much as illustrated in the second image.

Elevated Stop Component of Strut (Worn Strut Mount)

Normally Positioned Stop Component of Strut (Normal Strut Mount)

Strut Mount Comparison (Worn vs. New)

STEP 1: Remove the tire to access the front suspension compartment.

This is the Spring and Strut of the front suspension.

Strut Spring Compressor Tool

STEP 2: Carfully place the Strut Spring Compressor Tool along each side of the Strut Spring. Then, start compressing the Strut Spring carefully by working both sides in an alternating fashion.

One thing to pay attention to is that the end of the Strut Spring has a designated groove that it ends in.

STEP 3: Now you need to remove the Stop Component of the Strut by using a special Socket Wrench as illustrated below and a 7 MM Torx Bit.

After removing the Stop Component of the Strut, you can now visualize the Strut Mount from the engine compartment side.

STEP 4: Detach the ABS & Brake Sensor Wire Bundle from the attaching hooks on the right side of the Strut.

STEP 5: Unscrew and detach the metal bracket carefully using a flat head screwdrive to prye it out of its attaching slot.

Now you have exposed the bolt and nut that fasten the Strut of the front suspension.

STEP 6: By using 2 Socket Wrenches in opposite directions undo the Bolt and Nut assembly that fastens the Strut into its seat.

STEP 7: You may want to spray some WD-40 where the Strut fits into its seat and then with the help of a prye bar, carefully pull it out of its seat by applying downward pressure on the seat to release the Strut.

You may want to remove one of the bolts that fasten the Sway Bar Link inorder to be able to press down the suspension with a prye bar to facilitate the removal of the strut from its seat.

STEP 8: After you have removed the Strut out, unscrew the nut with the 7MM Torx Bit & socket wrench. Then remove the Strut Mount, Strut Bearing, and Spring Seat in the following order.

STEP 9: After removing the Strut Mount, Bearing, and Spring Seat in the following order, remove the compressed Strut Spring. Then remove the Strut Boot and inspect the Bumper and shaft surface to make sure they are not damaged and that the shocks are not leaking oil.

STEP 10: Place the Strut Boot back on the Strut and then place back the compressed Strut Spring onto the Strut and into its designated groove at the bottom of the Strut.

STEP 11: Then place the Spring Seat, Strut Bearing, and Strut Mount in the following order and fasten them using the Socket Wrench and 7MM Torx Bit.

STEP 12: Place the Strut back into its normal position and lower it down completely into its seat until you can see a patent passage for the bolt that fastens it into position.

STEP 13: Place the Bolt and Nut that fasten the Strut into position carefully and tighten them accordingly.

STEP 14: Reasseble the Stop Component of the Strut from the Engine Compartment side and tighten with the socket wrench and 7MM Torx Bit accordingly.

STEP 15: Reattach the ABS & Brake Sensor wires into their designated attachment sites at the top and bottom.

STEP 16: Reattach and srew in the metal bracket into its designated attachment site.

STEP 17: Tighten the Sway Bar Link Bolt back into postion. This was removed earlier to allow the suspension to be pressed down with a prye bar inorder to facilitate the removal of the Strut from its seat.

STEP 18: Tighten the nut that fastens the Stop Component of the Strut from the engine compartment. Then place back the plastic round cover that goes on top of it.

STEP 19: Perform a final inspection on all the srews, nuts, bolts, ABS & Brake sensor wires to make sure that everything is tightened and in its proper place.

STEP 20: Put on the tire and tighten the nuts. Finally, lower the jack carefully and observe the Stop Component of the Strut from the engine compartment. It should barely move and shouldn't have a gap as illustrated in the images at the begining of this article.