VW Passat & Audi A4 1990-2000

MacPherson Struts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Front Wheel Drive (FWD) Vehicles
1990-97 Passat Models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear seat belt retractor trim. On sedan models, slide a suitable flat-blade screwdriver into the opening at the lower forward portion of the trim and twist the screwdriver to release it. On wagon models, remove the self-tapping fasteners and release the cover.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 upper strut mounting bolts at the seat belt retractor unit.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower strut mounting bolt and self-locking nut.
  10.  
  11. Rotate the strut until the four retaining lugs are aligned with the slots on the body and remove the strut.
  12.  
  13. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following tightening torque:
  14.  
  15. Rear strut-to-axle beam: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
  16.  
  17. Rear strut to body: 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
  18.  

a4 models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear seat side backrest cover or backrest as necessary to access the upper strut mounting bolts and remove the bolts.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the rear wheel.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower strut to axle beam mounting bolt and nut and turn the strut assembly until the catches align with the openings in the body, then remove the strut assembly.
  10.  
  11. Installation is in reverse order of removal. Note the following:
  12.  
    1. Tighten the upper shock mount-to-body nuts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Install a new lower shock-to-axle beam bolt and nut hand tight, and then carefully lower the vehicle.
    4.  
    5. With the vehicle on its wheels, tighten the lower shock bolt as follows:
    6.  
    7. Using a new nut and bolt set, tighten shock absorber-to-axle beam in 2 steps:
    8.  
    9. Step 1: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
    10.  
    11. Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
    12.  




Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The strut upper mounting bolts are accessed through the interior

All Wheel Drive (AWD) Vehicles
1998-00 passat models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake caliper from the caliper bracket and support with mechanic's wire.
  6.  
  7. Remove the sway bar bushing holder bracket.
  8.  
  9. Remove the sway bar link from the sway bar.
  10.  
  11. Remove the upper control arm to bearing housing (knuckle) nut and bolt.
  12.  
  13. Remove the upper strut-to-body mounting bolts.
  14.  
  15. Remove the strut-to-lower control arm mounting bolt and nut.
  16.  
  17. Pull the wheel bearing housing (knuckle) downward and remove the strut assembly.
  18.  
  19. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following:
  20.  
  21. Replace the brake caliper-to-bracket bolts and the strut to control arm nut and bolt.
  22.  
  23. Tighten the fasteners as follows:
  24.  
  25. Sway bar bracket-to-subframe: 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
  26.  
  27. Connecting link-to-sway bar: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
  28.  
  29. Strut assembly to body: 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
  30.  
  31. Brake caliper-to-caliper bracket (replace): 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm)
  32.  

Strut-to-control arm (replace):



Step 1: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

Control arm-to-wheel bearing housing



Step 1: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

a4 models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the wheel lug bolts slightly.
  4.  
  5. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the wheel assembly.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the lower strut-to-control arm bolt and nut.
  10.  
  11. Loosen the upper control arm-to-bearing housing through bolt and nut.
  12.  
  13. Remove the upper strut support bracket-to-body fasteners, then remove the through bolts and nuts previously loosened.
  14.  
  15. Pull downward on the wheel bearing housing and remove the strut along with the upper control arm link. If necessary, prior to pulling down on the wheel bearing housing, disconnect the sway bar link.
  16.  
  17. Installation is in reverse order of removal noting the following:
  18.  
  19. During assembly observe the following torque specifications and information.
  20.  
  21. If removed, torque the upper control arm-to-mounting bracket with the control arm horizontal using a new nut and bolt.
  22.  
  23. Make sure to torque the upper control arm-to-bearing housing and the lower strut-to-control arm using new nuts and bolts with the vehicle's wheels resting on the ground.
  24.  

Strut-to-mounting bracket (replace)



Step 1: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

Upper control arm-to-mounting bracket (replace)



Step 1: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 

Upper control arm-to-bearing housing (replace)



Step 1: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 
Strut bracket-to-body: 41 ft. lbs. (55 Nm)
 

Strut-to-lower control arm (replace)



Step 1: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
 
Step 2: 90° ( 1 / 4 turn)
 
Sway bar link-to-sway bar, nut (replace): 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm)
 
Sway bar link-to-wheel bearing housing, nut (replace): 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
 



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The lower mount of the rear strut assembly is attached to the lower control arm with a through bolt

TESTING

Please refer to the front shock absorbers for testing procedures.

While each shock absorber can be replaced individually, it is recommended that they be changed as a pair (both front or both rear) to maintain equal response on both sides of the vehicle. Chances are quite good that if one has failed, its mate is weak also.

OVERHAUL

Please refer to the front shock absorbers for overhaul procedures.

 
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