Here is a way to replace the front upper strut mount rubber when they have collapsed and worn out making a nice clunking sound when bad.. I've done this many times and it is an easy way to replace the rubber mount without a spring compressor or removing the front struts or tires. All you need is a floor jack, a few sockets, and the key to this DIY is to have a nut from the front strut mount that comes on a 1992-1997 Passat. You can buy the nut at the VW dealer for like $1 or if you have an old tie rod from numerous VW models, use the nut the locks the tie rod end to the tie rod shaft. What is important is to make sure that you NEVER jack up the car until the nut that holds the strut bearing down on top up the upper spring seat is tight. I accept no responsiblity if you attempt this DIY.
First acquire the Passat nut from the dealer when you go to buy your upper strut mount rubber. I never replace the actual strut ball bearing assembly because they ever rarely fail. It is just the rubber piece that gets worn out. Open the hood and while the car is resting on the tires remove the plastic dust cover that fits over top of the strut shaft. Next remove the nut that secures the round plate that sits on top of the strut.
While the tires are STILL RESTING on the ground, remove the nut that fits down inside the rubber strut mount. This looks like it has a washer (shoulder) made onto the nut.
Now install the Passat nut onto the strut shaft that is protruding though the strut mount and tighten this nut. This nut does not have a 'shoulder' .
Jack up the side of the car you are working on and the strut assembly will drop down allowing access to remove the rubber mount and side it out from where it rests in the body of the car.
Slide out the old rubber mount and slide in the new mount and fit it over the stut shaft.
Center the new Strut mount in the body and lower the car until it is COMPLETELY resting back on the ground.
Remove the Passat nut you had installed.
Install the Jetta/Golf original nut with shoulder.
Reinstall the upper strut mounting plate
Proceed to the other front strut and repeat procedure.
Here is a pic comparing the 2 different nuts
Simple and quick. Please read completely and thoughly this post before attempting.....better yet print it for reference. Oh by the way this works on late model A3 chassis cars as well.
Modified by 4string at 11:04 PM 5-8-2004
Modified by 4string at 12:25 PM 4-18-2005