ridinwitcj73 New Reader
3/1/15 8:14 p.m.

My wife and I have had our '04 VW Passat GLS FWD with the 1.8T and Tiptronic trans for about 2 years now. I am not sure what we were thinking when we bought it. We really should of bought a AWD or 4x4 SUV because well you see we we live down a 1 mile dirt road with rocks and hills that might fit for part of the KOH course. But the turbocharged fuel efficient car seemed to good of a deal to pass up. I really should of researched more before buying the car. I new nothing of leak prone coolant flanges and timing chain tensor gaskets that spit oil all over the back of the engine, but I became familiar soon enough. The PO's regular maintenance seemed to include infrequent oil changes and changing the fuel filter when ever the fuel pump gave out(found receipts in the the glove box). Altho from what I could tell they did use the recommended oil that is suppose to help reduce the chance of the dreaded "OIL SLUDGE". It was a one owner/family car that worked its way from Grandma to Daughter to Grandson who we bought it off of. It had 118K miles on it when we bought it an it now has 157K.

Over the past two years I have replaced or added the following (some things more then once). Thor Aluminum Engine Skid plate, Vacuum pump valve, Timing belt, Water pump, Accessory belt, Fuel pump, Fuel filter, ECS Tuning fuel pressure gauge, Spark plugs, Bank 1 O2 sensor, Cat Delete (test pipe), New trans fluid and filter, Replaced Both CV Axles, Coolant flange (2), Most recently I have : Installed new to me radiator( I stabbed a hole in the original while doing timing belt replacement), Flushed coolant and refilled with VW spec coolant, New Coolant reservoir, Valve cover gasket, Cam chain tensioner, I also put a new battery in and new tires before winter.

I feel now that the car is reliable and good to go mechanically for another 50K but our dirt road has gotten worse. It seems the county road graders have forgotten about us. After this recent snow and mud the road is darn near impassable in the car. We have put it up for sale and no one appreciates the time and money invested in the car as much as I do so we have decided to keep it.

Soooo that leads us to the present project of lifting the car atleast 1 to 2 inches to increase ground clearance and fit bigger tires. A friend of mine who also frequents this board (bigdaddylee) has been helping me with ideas and tracking down potential parts to make it happen. I frequent passatworld forum when I need tech advice but I thought I would post a thread hear for kicks. So far we have these options: HD Bilstien shocks, HD springs from rock auto, spring distance kit from Jeggs or Coilovers. I have not found any coilovers that adjust ride height any higher then stock tho. The cheapest is the Spring distance kit coming in at about $90 per axle but Jeggs offers little info as to how much lift these offer I will need to call them for specs. The HD shocks and springs would be great but thats going to cost darn near $900. So that where I am a at this point, now to end my first post with some pictures:

singleslammer UltraDork
3/1/15 9:31 p.m.

Are there any cross over parts from the same generation allroad? You might be able to get struts and Springs from one of those for half the bilstein stuff.

bigdaddylee82 Dork
3/4/15 10:00 a.m.

I just now saw this. I'll proudly be thrown under the bus as an enabler.

Strut spacer in the the front? Derlin, HDPE, Aluminum, Steel.

Spring spacer in the rear? Something between 1 and the spring, or 1 and the chassis.

Might need longer shocks though.

I've got some Daystar spacers on my TJ, I'd donate to the project.

What's the OE tire size, 195/65-15?

bigdaddylee82 Dork
3/4/15 10:13 a.m.

If those are the OE shocks/struts still, with 157K miles on it, I'd probably go ahead and replace them too. Gives a little better justification to the Bilstein HDs.

EvanB UltimaDork
3/4/15 10:22 a.m.

The volvo guys do it by cutting the front strut tube and welding in a new section to lengthen it. Then add longer shocks and springs in the rear.

bigdaddylee82 Dork
3/4/15 10:34 a.m.

In reply to EvanB:

Doesn't look like the B5/5.5 uses an insert, the lower spring pad rides on the strut's body.

You could extend that lower mount, or put a spacer between that lower spring pad, and that ridge it sits on.

ridinwitcj73 New Reader
3/4/15 2:12 p.m.

Lee, I checked the tire size and thats what is currently on the car. You know I reasoned the same thing, it is probably due for some new shocks/struts anyway. How much would the HD shocks lift it? An inch?

I am just thinking out loud here: I need to ponder the homebrew lift spacer options for the front. A spacer between the lower spring pad and the ridge it sits on seems easy enough? What material to use tho?? How much lift wil your tj spacers provide for the rear? How hard would it be to find a longer shock that would fit? We are out of jeep territory so I am out of my element.

The price difference between the spring distance kit and the HD Monroe Springs we found on rock auto is just maybe $40? So I would tend to lean towards the new springs over the spring distance kit.

I like the idea single slammer had of checking salvage yards for vehicles that came stock with the HD springs but from what we have talked about before I think that would be the diesel wagons and the W8? I think the W8 is pretty rare. A quick search on car-part shows a diesel passat in a pick-n-pull about 300 miles from here.

bigdaddylee82 Dork
3/4/15 2:43 p.m.

The Daystar spacers are 3/4" I think.

I'm not sure where exactly where I got the info, but from what I remember from reading through the forums, I came up with slightly less than 2" with a combo of Bilsteins and the 1BB rough road OE springs.

Large-ish assumption that the HD Monroe Springs = OEM 1BB Springs, I'd want to verify that. The Bilstein HDs are known to lift cars a little in the Volvo community, and anecdotal evidence shows that the same is true for VWs. You can believe everything you read on the internet right? I can't recall what the springs or shocks by themselves will account for in lift.

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