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From thursday until sunday my car will be used as a showcar at Norway largest car fair/show/exhibition (Norway's answer to Geneva). The car is all ready except the KW suspenion. I have the kit in possesion but I struggle to find a shop that can fit this within thursday.

Will I be able to fit this myself? Anyone of you done this job and can tell me how advanced it is?
 

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Suspension install tips: Moderately difficult, but it can be done in an afternoon.

From thursday until sunday my car will be used as a showcar at Norway largest car fair/show/exhibition (Norway's answer to Geneva). The car is all ready except the KW suspenion. I have the kit in possesion but I struggle to find a shop that can fit this within thursday. Will I be able to fit this myself? Anyone of you done this job and can tell me how advanced it is?

Yes, I did it myself, and it's totally feasible to do within an afternoon, especially if you have experience, assistance, and air tools. It's a difficult job, but not too difficult, especially if you've done VW/Audi suspensions before. Feel free to PM me if you get stuck; note that my time zone is GMT -8.

Tips



Front Suspension:
  • You need a 14mm triple-square/12-point driver bit to remove the bolt that holds the damper in the front spindle.
  • You will need a spindle spreader tool to expand the compression fitting on the spindle (where the damper connects to the lwheel assembly/lower suspension). You can cheat your way around this by using a chisel or a 1/4"-drive ratchet head. DO NOT expand the upper control arms/compression fitting - you can crack the fitting. Remove the bolt then the ball joints by tapping with a mallet.
  • Be sure to remove the headlight range control arm from the lower front left control arm (little, delicate, expensive - don't break it).
  • Removing the front damper from the spindle is really challenging. Once you loosen the damper, you'll want to put all your weight on the brake assembly to push the lower suspension down to give enough space to pull the damper out. This part is really tough, as even with a pry bar, there's very little clearance. Use an assistant to make this easier. Be careful not to pinch the brake hose.
  • Note that the whole damper, spring, and upper strut mount and control arms come out at once, and in one package. It's important to do this step last - you must loosen the four large bolts atop the strut tower after removing all of the lower bolts and getting the damper out of the spindle .
  • You will need a spring compressor.
  • You will ideally need yet another specialty tool to remove the top nut from the damper shaft (once you have the assembly out of the car), but it's not strictly necessary. This tool has a hex-key head that passes through the socket+ratchet that is removing the nut atop the dampner. A way to cheat through this is to use an air impact wrench to spin the top nut off without the need for the hex key, or by gripping a large socket with pliers while holding still a hex key passed through the middle of the socket.
  • Re-assembling the strut+spring+rubber upper strut bearing+upper strut mount assembly is tricky. You have to jam a wrench in a tight spot to hold the damper shaft still while you torque-down the top nut. The specialty tool may or may not be helpful (or even usable) here.
  • Reinstallation is far easier than removal, so once you get to this stage, you're in good shape.
  • Reattaching the front anti-roll bar can be tricky; use an assistant and/or a large pry bar at this step.
Rear Suspension
  • The rear is easy compared to fronts. No special tips, aside from the fact that, again, you may need another (yes, yet another) special tool still to remove the top nuts from the damper shafts; but again, air tools allow you to blast your way out of this, and I'm sure reassembly with the KW doesn't require the tool (though it may).
  • To get the rear springs out, use a pry bar and/or assistant and just pull as hard as you can. No spring compressor necessary.
  • If you are doing anti-roll bar in the rear, you'll need a 10mm triple-square/twelve-point driver bit.
Other tips:
  • Remove the bottom bolts first, both at the front and rear. You want the damper held in position as you push the suspension down.
  • Be sure to torque all exposed bolts when the suspension is in its fully-compressed position. To do this, get a jack and push the spindles/brake assembly up to approximately where it'll be under full load. The principle behind this procedure is to tighten the bolts only when they are under no rotational stress (rest position). If you tighten a bolt at full droop, the mount point will be under some torque when the suspension is at full compression, which can crack components. This applies mostly to the lower suspension bolts.
  • Air tools make this job a lot easier but they're not necessary.
  • You should enlist someone to help you, as there are some elements where two people are necessary. I did most of it by myself, but a friend happened to stop by at the exact moment I needed help.
I have some install instructions with pics that I can send to you, but I don't have them on this computer (will have to be later).
 

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Examples of specialty tools.

Triple-Square/12-point:

Spindle spreader tool:
 

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I concour; definately do it yourself. Its not too difficult especially if you are used to working on cars.
Make sure you torque the bolts/nuts to the right figure.
 

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I did it on my 2004 Audi A3, and it looks to be about the same. I got the damper strut spreader tool from Audi.

It's a day's work, and you will need spring compressors. I had to use a seperate jack to get the damper out of the strut housing, whilst also applying pressure to the spring compressors so it wouldn't spring back once I removed the jack.

The back was separated springs and damper on the A3, so it was a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all your help... Used 4 hours on the job and I'm pretty happy with the result. It's a bit low now so I'll have to adjust the ride height a bit. The job was easy in the back but a hassle in the front. With enough swearing, tears and blood it was all done :=)

Waxed the parts with Swissvax Autobahn before I started. This prevents dirt from sticking the shocks and springs:


The original S-line parts before I started:


Then the KW's are all done:


Just when I was done. The height was even lower after I took a drive (about 1 cm more). So it's a bit too low now:
 

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Awesome!
 

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Good job!

Could you let us know how the front were and what you learned from it? :)

I'm doing the same when I get my car so always great if you have any tips.
 

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Good job!

Could you let us know how the front were and what you learned from it? :)

I'm doing the same when I get my car so always great if you have any tips.
Did you read my post above? Happy to go into more detail if you'd like.
 

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@Europa - Yes of course :) (thanks). I just wanted to hear how easy it was to follow your instructions from someone else ;)

@Skotner - How is the ride quality now compared to before? Have you fiddled with the KW v2 settings? (wondering if I should go with V1's instead)

Is the rear suspension seperate (damper and springs) like on the A3?

And where did you get the wax you put on?
 
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