Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Shock Absorbers

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Dasher

Only remove one shock absorber at a time. Do not allow the rear axle to hang by its body mounts only, as it may damage the brake lines.

This operation requires the use of either special tool VW 655/3 or a suitable spring compressor and floor jack.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise the car and support it on jackstands. Do not place the jackstands under the axle beam.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel.
  6.  
  7. Attach special tool VW 655/3 between the axle beam and a prefabricated hook hung on the body frame above the beam. Jack the tool until you can see the shock absorber compressing. If you are using a spring compressor and a floor jack, compress the springs little and, placing the floor jack under the beam below the spring, jack it up until you see the shock absorber compress.
  8.  
  9. Unbolt and remove the shock absorber.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the shock absorber bolts to 43 ft. lbs. (58 Nm).
  12.  

Rabbit Pick-Up
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Jack up the rear of the vehicle and support the axle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Unbolt and remove the shock absorber, taking care to notice the direction of the mounting bolts for installation.
  6.  
  7. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the mounting bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  8.  

TESTING



The function of a shock absorber is to dampen harsh spring movement and provide a means of dissipating the motion of the wheels. This is done so that the roughness encountered by the wheels is not totally transmitted to the body and, therefore, to you and your passengers. As the wheel moves up and down, the shock absorber shortens and lengthens, thereby imposing a restraint on movement by its hydraulic action.

A simple way to see if your shock absorbers are functioning correctly is to push one corner of the car down a few times. This will compress the spring on that side of the car as well as the shock absorber. If the shock absorber is functioning properly, it will control the spring's tendency to remain in motion. Thus the car will level itself almost instantly when you release the downward pressure. If the car continues to bounce up and down several times, the shock absorber is worn out and should be replaced. Examine the strut body for heavy oil streaking, which would indicate shock leakage. Replace a leaky shock absorber.

 
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