Volkswagen Jetta (1991-1999) Rear Coilover DIY

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Install Rear Coilovers on a 1991-1999 (MK3) Volkswagen Jetta

Works For:
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Volkswagen Jetta (MK3) Models

Source: JettaJunkie

I have finally installed my Tuning Art rear coilovers into my MK3 Jetta VR6. I will be replacing the stock rear shocks rubber mounts with the (22-902) polyurethane rear shocks rubber mounts that I have purchased . The polyurethane rear shocks rubber mounts can be purchased separately for 24.95 + free shipping within the 48 US states. I am replacing the rear shocks rubber mounts with polyurethane because they’re way better when it comes to performance wise and usually last longer than OEM rubber.

Here are some pictures I took to provide a guide for anyone that is planning to upgrade their mk3 Jetta/golf on how to remove the rear stock suspension system and install rear coilover suspension system.

First, prepare the following interior removal of the interior panels are required to have proper access to the rear strut nut on the rear strut tower for MK3 Jetta’s, skip the following steps for MK3 Golf as these does not apply to them. The pictures are provided by a member Draggingframe of

Quote Originally Posted by draggingframe View Post

Take off the pillar that has the front shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt coming through it. It’s fairly simple, they just kind of snap in place on the rubber. Once it’s off, there will be two screws. One that holds the front pillar, one that holds the rear pillar.

Take the screw out for the rear pillar, there will be about 3 clips holding the trim to the roof of the car. Just pull gently on the trim, they will pop out.

There are 3 more massive metal clips that hold the trim to the side of the car (all of those 3, are where the rear shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt comes out of the trim). Pull them off (it will feel like they are going to break, but it won’t)

Now do the above on the other side of the car..

There is a hook like thing in the middle of the deck, use a flat head to pry the cover off it, and it will have a bolt under it.

If your deck has speakers in it, get under from in the trunk, and there’s 4 7mm bolts that hold them in. (I think they were 7mm) remove them unhook the wiring from the speaker, and push the speakers up through the top.

If it doesn’t have speakers, or you have already removed them.. and removed rear pillars, and the hook like thing in the middle, it should slide right out. It may have some clips toward the bottom (3 or 4, I don’t remember), that you should be able to see by lifting the material that hangs down off the deck behind the seats.

Second, prepare the following required tools at the pictures below to perform the proper removal/installation.

Tools 1

  • -Floor Jack
  • -Jack Stand x2

Tools 2

  • -Air Ratchet
  • -Wrench Drive
  • -Torque Wrench
  • -Adjustable wrench
  • -17mm Medium Socket

Tools 3

  • -Air Compressor (125 PSI or more required and more gallon the better)


  • -Anti-seize Lubricant

Here’s a picture of my rear stock suspension with the stock height. Again, the tires are so distant from the quarter panel fender which is 1 7/8 inch away in height.

Step 1
Slightly loosen the lug bolts then jack up the car. once the car is suspended on the air, place the jack stands to replace the floor jack. Then unbolt the lug bolts and remove the wheels. Never ever use floor jack as a jack stand!

Step 2
Lightly loosen the bolts on both side of the rear beam axle that’s holding the rear strut assembly together with a 17mm socket. Then jack up on of the rear axle beam under where the rear strut bolt is located to raise the shocks and relieve the pulling pressure of the gravity.

Step 3
Fold down all the rear seats to locate and have better access of the rear strut tower.

Step 4
Remove the rear strut tower rubber cover on both sides.

Step 5
Unbolt and remove the 17mm nut securing the huge round metal washer cover for the top rear rubber mount. Then unbolt and remove the 17mm nut securing that larger protruding washer facing down of the top rear rubber mount along with the rear top rubber mount on both sides, then the smaller protruding washer is under the rear top rubber mount follows facing up.

Here’s a picture of how the rear top rubber mount with the large protruding washer was removed, notice the large protruding washer is facing downwards.

Here’s a picture of the smaller protruding washer was removed facing up.

Step 6
Unbolt and remove the bottom bolt of the rear strut assembly connected to the rear beam axle on both sides, then let the rear beam axle hang down by releasing the floor jack. Once the axle is hanging down, remove the stock rear strut assembly by pulling it down. The bottom rear rubber mount should fall off with the rear strut assembly or it will be stock on the bottom strut tower that should be removed. The rear strut assembly should now be out and its ready for rear suspension upgrade.

Step 7
Disassemble both of the rear coilover and screw to bottom sleeves down to the last thread. Grab the anti-seize lubricant and lubricate the coilover strut casing threads. Then assemble the coilover back with the lower perch hand tight making the coil springs with no moving play.

In these Pictures are the protruding washers and the rear strut rubber mounts. The large ones are on the left and smaller ones are on the right.

Step 8
Secure the long tubular strut washer by tightening the nut of the rear coilovers. Then place the new larger rear bottom strut rubber mount on to the rear coilover.

Step 9
place the rear coilovers into the rear well and lightly bolt in the bottom bolt securing the coilover into the rear axle beam on both sides. Then jack up the rear axle beam with the floor jack under the coilover bolt so that the rear bottom strut rubber mount is flushed at the bottom rear strut tower. Once the rear bottom strut rubber is mocked up on to the bottom strut tower, tighten the lower coilover bolt. Lower the rear axle beam again and torque down the lower coilover bolt to 52ft/lbs with the torque wrench. Then jack the rear axle back up with the floor jack under the coilover bolt so that the rear bottom rubber mount is once again mounted on the strut tower.

Step 10
Grab the smaller protruding washer and the rear top rubber mount and put them together.

Step 11
Place the smaller protruding facing up and the rear top strut rubber mount into the strut shaft. Then place the huge round metal washer cover for the top rear rubber mount and secure them with the nut for that washer, to know if its tight enough is by turning the nut tight till the strut shaft turns along with the nut. Then place the rear strut tower rubber cover on both sides

Step 11
The installation of the rear coilovers is complete, place the wheels back into the hubs and and enjoy the rear coilovers.

To find the right height of the coilover per side, It will require a few times to jack up the car, remove the wheel, adjust the coilover, install the wheel, jack the car down a few times. Requires beer and time to do this final final step. It took me 45 mins each side to get the perfect height I want.

Here’s a picture of how low my rear looks like. The tires are like 1/4 inch away in height from the fender.

Before pic

After pic

Its your option to get alignment right away after coilover installation but I choose not to because the coils has not settled in yet although with off alignment currently. It usually takes about 2 weeks for the coilover to settle in place

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