Back to Tech Articles Menu

The article below describes how I replaced the front shocks on my Audi S2 Coupe.

No responsisbilty is accepted for anyone attempting this procedure by following the steps contained in these pages. This is intended as a guide only and all usual precautions should be heeded when attempting work on a motor vehicle. I cannot be held responsible for any damage sustained as a result of using these pages.

WARNING: Spring compressors can be lethal if not secured correctly. Follow instructions supplied with the tool carefully.

Replacement parts needed are as follows:

1. Replacement inserts x2 895 413 503 C (S2) or 8A0 413 503 J (RS2)
2. Replacement cap nuts 431 412 047 B (not essential but recommended)
3. Replacement top strut mounts 8A0 412 323 D
4. Replacement outer top nut x 2 [N 041 183 5]
5. Replacement tie rod to strut nut x 2 [N 011 189 6]
6. Replacement strut to anti roll bar link rod nut x 2 [N 021 195 5]
7. Replacement slotted nut x 2 [811 412 365] (not essential but recommended)
8. Replacement outer hub bolt x 2 4A0 407 643 A
9. Replacement ball joint pinch bolt* / nut. */ N 021 195 5

*The part number of the pinch bolt changes midway through the S2 chassis production as below:

Up to chassis 8B-P-008000 uses N 010 445 7
From chassis 8B-P-008001 uses N 034 778 4

Tools needed are as follows:

1. VW 524 slotted nut removal tool
2. Slotted socket 22mm - VAG 3078
3. Ball joint separator
4. 17mm socket and spanner (open ended)
5. 10mm spanner
6. 7mm allen key (preferably with long handle)
7. Spring Compressor
8. Tube socket with 33mm hex VAG 2069 a
9. 27mm socket or 17mm allen driver


Remove the alloy centre cap and undo the centre hub bolt.
This will be either a 27mm standard socket or, if it has
been replaced previously, a 17mm allen driver. The car
must be on the ground for undoing this bolt.

Working inside the engine bay,
remove the plastic cover and use
VAG 3078 in conjunction with the
7mm allen key to loosen the top nut.
Do not remove the nut at this stage.


Raise the car on the jack and secure with an axle stand.

Remove the guide pin bolts from the front caliper as pictured and discard. A 13mm and 17mm spanner are required.



Remove the brake pads from the carrier and place to on side.
Unclip the caliper from the carrier and swing out the way.
Turn the steering lock to one side to expose the carrier
securing bolts. These can be undone (caution: high torque)
and the carrier placed to the side. When the carrier is
removed, the disc will fall off the hub.

Undo the ball joint pinch bolt and nut (17mm).
Use a ball joint seperator to split the ball
joint from the strut.


The brake hose and pipe are secured to the strut on a bracket. Undo the 10mm headed bolts which secure this bracket to the strut as pictured. Be careful with these as they are very fragile.



Undo the anti-roll bar drop link top nut. This is made easier if the strut is lifted from below with a jack to the correct height. You'll need a spanner on the flats of the drop link. This will be either a 17mm for an original or 16mm for the aftermarket ones.

Undo the tie rod end nut and allow the tie rod to drop down. Sometimes it may need some persuasion with either a splitter or seperator. If you're really unlucky, it will drop down before the nut is completely removed. This means the joint will just spin. A puller used in reverse can get round this problem.





In the engine bay, the ABS sensors are clipped
on to the suspension turrets. On the right side,
I had to dismantle the airbox for access. The
left side connector is under the coolant expansion
bottle. With these disconnected, the wiring can be
pushed through the grommets. Unclip the ABS sensor
from the clips in the wheel arch and on the strut
and brake hose bracket and pull the wiring through.


Remove the centre hub bolt and seperate the cv joint from the hub until the hub is completely free of the splines on the end of the driveshaft.

The only place where the strut is held on now is the top outer nut. Undo this and the complete strut housing will drop down. Withdraw it and place it in a vice for dismantling.

Use a spring compressor to shorten the spring. Use special tool VW524 in conjunction with a 7mm allen key to undo the slotted nut.

With the slotted nut removed, withdraw the top mount, top spring plate, spring and protective covers. Clean the threads of the strut with a wire brush and also thoroughly clean the inside hex of the cap nut.

Ensure the strut housing is secured firmly in the vice. Place VAG 2069a over the shock and secure firmly in the hex of the cap nut. Undo the cap nut. Easier said than done. I was using a 2ft bar with a 6ft scaffold pole for extra leverage.

Caution - the torque of this nut is very high and often the official tool can slip in the hex. If this happens, it may be easier to use large stilsons or a pipe wrench on the outside of the nut.

Once removed, the insert can be withdrawn. There are special rules for disposal of shock absorbers - they cannot be placed with regular refuse.

Place a small amount of oil in the bottom of the strut housing. Compress the new shock absorber insert several times before installation. Torque up the cap nut to 220 Nm and re-assemle the spring, cover top plate and top mount.

Refit to the car and re-assemble everything in reverse order to the removal. New nuts and bolts are required for the following:

ball joint pinch bolt / nut
tie rod nut
anti roll bar drop link
outer top nut
Centre hub bolt
DescriptionTightening Torque
Shock absorber cap nut220 Nm
Ball joint pinch bolt / nut50 Nm
Inner Slotted Nut50 Nm
Tie Rod to strut Nut30 Nm
Anti Roll bar link rod to strut Nut 40 Nm
Outer top Nut 60 Nm
Wheel Bolt 110 Nm
Centre hub bolt (M16)200 Nm + 90 degrees


An alignment should be carried out on the car after 1000 miles which allows the new shock absorbers to settle.